A Heart To Cherish

I don’t often feature Romance authors here, but am happy to welcome Judith McNees, because the story behind her novel touches me. She’s out to make a difference in this old world! Hope you enjoy A HEART TO CHERISH. AND Judith is offering a free e-book to one commenter here.

The first seeds for the character Julia in A Heart to Cherish began to form in my mind back in 2011 when my husband and I went through foster parent training. In one of the classes, we listened to a panel of foster parents and former foster youth talk about different aspects of the foster care system. 

The thing that stuck out to me the most from that experience was hearing just how many children “age out” of foster care without being adopted. Perhaps I’d been naïve to think that, on the whole, the system was working. That day, my paradigm changed, and I realized that young people were leaving foster care by the thousands with no support system behind them.

Writing what I’m passionate about comes naturally, so when I got the stirring in my heart to write a novel last summer, having a character who was a former foster youth was an obvious choice for me. I wanted Julia to be a character who would show how heartbreaking it can be to grow up in this system but also leave my readers with a sense of hope. The love she experiences in her new “found family” helps her to grow beyond the loss and abandonment she went through many times over as an orphan and a foster child.

Just like Julia, it is very common for teens who “age out” of foster care to become homeless, and well over half of the girls become pregnant by the time they are twenty-one. Like Julia, more than half of them experience difficulties finding gainful employment by the time they are twenty-four. Though many of these teens report a desire to go on to college, as many as one quarter of them will fail to even graduate high school due to the number of times they have to switch schools as well as other problems that make it difficult to finish.

I’m very thankful for my own journey with foster care and adoption and the things I’ve learned along the way. It is my hope that, through Julia’s story, others will be encouraged to find their own ways to help as well. 





10 thoughts on “A Heart To Cherish

  1. “Aging Out”; what a sad and lonely phrase that is. It made me stop and thank God for my adoptive parents who took the time to invest in me as a young man, and on into adulthood. Even in my 60s, I was still learning lessons from my dad. Perhaps, as we seek to get to know folks, if we see someone who “aged out”, we can offer to come alongside them to help guide them and give them someone to reach out to for counsel. While God is always there for them, many probably don’t have a relationship with Him. As Christians, it is our charge to be “God with skin on.” Thank you for sharing Ms. Judith and her story behind the story with us today.

    • It is certainly a phrase that has haunted me through the years. Once we adopted and could no longer foster, my heart was, and continues to be, to find other ways to get involved and to encourage others to do so as well. God bless you!

  2. I so want to read this book. Is it in print or via Kindle e book? A very good topic to bring to readers. I agree with J.D. There is more we all can do to help.

  3. Excellent coverage of an ongoing problem. We have adopted children in our family, so I have some knowledge of the fostering care system. May I suggest a series-in-progress, on the same subject? Carol McClain’s Treasured Lives series so far has Borrowed Lives and Prodigal Lives with a third in progress. I’m forwarding this blog to Carol so she will be aware of A Heart to Cherish.

  4. I’m sure your book will help increase awareness of issues faced by children in the foster system. I hope your book will inspire beneficial action for someone in need.

  5. Judith, God bless you for writing about and bringing this problem to the attention of readers. I believe there are many who live with the mistaken understanding that the foster care system is working efficiently, but there is so much that is “broken” and countless children are suffering because of it.

    May God continue to bless you as you spare this all important message!

    • Yes, Patti, it was certainly a shock to me to navigate that brokenness. Countless times I ended up with a broken heart myself, but I’m thankful for the grace of God that sustains me even still. Thank you.

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