I’ve heard it said that raising children is like being pecked to death by ducks. They start taking little chunks out of you from the start. The first time you lay eyes on your newborn you lose a piece of your heart. By the time that kid graduates high school you are a walking tattered holey mess.

Multiply this little scenario by seven and you get my life. Yes, I only saw four of them at birth but the first time I saw the blonde and the two brown eyed baby dolls the feeling was just as intense. I didn’t know whether to run and hide or squeal with joy. I still oscillate between the two.

Children in general are challenging.  Fostering children takes a lot of love and nerves of steel. Thankfully, I have the love … the nerves, not so much. Adopting children from foster care is like opening the gate and inviting all the ducks on the pond to dig in to your bare ankles.

I am not kidding when I say, “It ain’t for wimps.”

But, it isn’t for superheroes either.  My husband and I are very ordinary people. We work, we struggle, we second guess ourselves.

When we started this journey we knew we had the support of our friends and extended family and we certainly needed that. We still do. I appreciate the understanding teachers our girls have had. I am thankful for church activities, sports and dance programs they have participated in, but mostly I am blessed beyond measure by the organization that has come to our rescue with everything from hand me downs to math tutoring.

BigHouse Foundation is the “heartchild” of our daughter, Micah Melnick. She got the idea after we had been fostering for a few months. She knew how much the support of our circle of friends had meant to us. She wanted every foster family to have this kind of help.

Bighouse has grown in the four years since it was launched in Opelika. It is an awesome organization, just ask any foster parent in Lee County, or ask the social worker who was driving a foster child to an appointment when they passed BigHouse.

He turned to her and said, “I love that place.”

BigHouse is currently collecting swimsuits and towels for their statewide drive, this will be the fourth year they have collected swimsuits and towels but this is the second statewide event. Their aim is to present every foster child in Alabama a towel with his or her name embroidered on it. Most will receive a new swimsuit too. This may not seem like much to you, but if you are a kid in the system and someone hands you a new soft towel with your name in colorful letters embroidered on it, it is a big deal.

You may not be called to foster or adopt but you can help those who are. Volunteer, buy a towel, write a check. Call BigHouse at (334) 363-2634 and tell them you want to help or find them on facebook or at www.ourbighouse.org