Merriam-Webster defines family as: the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children ....with marriage rates falling and divorce rates around 45% (according to the CDC), this definition is at odds with the current “normal” American lifestyle. My observation is that "True Family” are those who love and nurture you. I discovered, for me, “home” is where my heart feels safe.
I believe some of us are lucky and/or blessed to have many physical “parents” in our lives. I have also observed that GOD is always the SAME! He is the Father of us ALL. In order to survive all the changes
in MY life, I learned to pray to God about everything – to talk to Him and ask Him questions. I ask Him
for help, for guidance and wisdom. I have made it my life-long goal to learn about His ways, because it
was obvious to me that my parent's ways were NOT the ways I wanted to follow. Where else could I go?
Our bio moms and dads on earth are intended to be God's helpers – to guide us, to hug us and teach us to love each other. Some are good at this, some are not. I quickly learned that as new people came into my life, a NEW adventure began. I received new hugs and new lessons. I learned to see the common love even in new foster homes. The commandment: “honor your parents” turned into representing them as an honest, useful, God-fearing person to the best of my ability. Anger wasn't any help to me! Looking back I can see that we learn new things when our lives change or when things go wrong. We should be thankful when things go right. I am most grateful for all the people that came
forward and helped me and my siblings as we struggled through the chaos and multiple changes
after our parents got divorced and Mom lost her ability to care for six kids as a single mom in the
1960's. Even the extended family couldn't hold us together as we bounced around through what they
call “kinship homes” today.
When Mom dropped us off at that orphanage it seemed like our world was ending and, as a family, we
were doomed. But when we were met at the door by the smiling faces of nuns in their traditional black
and white habits, there was a glimmer of hope in my heart. “This might just work out okay,” I said to
myself. And for a while IT DID. We all got new clothes, new shoes and there was plenty of delicious
food. We ate three meals a day – and even had special activities and treats brought in by Knights of
Columbus volunteers. Things were looking up.....until.....we were told that we had to move out and go
into separate foster homes.
For all those that help – THANK YOU!
By making time to help others less fortunate, you are not only setting a good example for your
immediate family, you also rescue the helpless children who are victims of circumstances beyond their
control. You are doing to others what you would surely want someone to do for YOU! You practice the
Golden Rule and kids in crisis have a better life because of it. To us, you fill the role of mom & dad
and that gives us HOPE!
For all those struggling with the chaos and change.....Today, and everyday, I encourage foster youth to focus on happy things; smiles and songs chase away pain and loneliness. Find a reason to smile and sing. God gives other people a chance to share their love and their home with you. Embrace it! You are on a lifelong journey – don't panic, this is just the next stop. Listen to this beautiful song God gave me to share with others: I Hear an Angel Whispering - click HERE. I hope and pray that your heart finds a place to feel safe!
Born in 1953 the oldest of six kids, Danny Vann has faced many challenges in his life. He has been
inspiring and motivating people for decades through his professional music, corporate leadership and
church fellowship roles. He is a Songwriter, recording artist and the author of My Journey in the Shadow of “The King” - A story of hope and resilience...the discovery of a cherished life. Find out more about Danny Vann HERE.