Yesterday my oldest Army buddy lost his foster son to cancer. Sadly Maryland, which funds almost everything, will not provide enough funds for in ground burial of foster children.
The overwhelming majority of foster parents care deeply about children. They take in foster children, feed them, clothe them, and cry with them, all out of the goodness of their heart. Most foster parents also do not have a lot of money. Indeed to take care of foster children at least one parent often has to stay home and not work. The families do not take in foster children to get rich but to help these children, to give them a real chance at making it in the world, and to ensure they help these kids grow into adults who will not be burdens on the public treasury.
Jordan was my friend’s foster son. He was a lovable young man. Jordan took in so well with my friend’s family that he was not just their foster son but one of their own. Their other children loved him too; they saw nothing different in him as he saw nothing different in them. Jordan had found a home even if legally he still belonged to Maryland.
Sadly foster children sometimes pass away. Jordan began coughing many months ago. The doctors found that it was cancer. Chemotherapy was attempted and seemed to work, at first. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy did not work and it became apparent that Jordan was not going to be cured of cancer. Amazingly, this is where Jordan finished well. His final months showed Jordan to be not just a child, but a man of great faith.
Throughout his visits to the hospital Jordan presented a face of calmness to his doctors. He told them that it would not be their fault if he was not cured. Jordan received many gifts from kind hearted people in his last few months. While he was greatly appreciative, he often gave those gifts away to the doctors, the nurses, and other sick patients believing it was better to give than to receive. Finally, Jordan would say to his foster family that even if he would not be cured on earth, he would be healed in Heaven; where he would be with his biological mother and with Jesus.
Yesterday morning, Jordan went to Heaven to meet his mother and Ultimate Healer. To the end, this amazing young man showed the same courage in the face of death that is the hallmark of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Like our soldiers, Jordan “belonged” to the government though his worth came from God. He understood that.
Still, there are other realities to face. Funerals are very expensive these days, especially in ground burials. Maryland, it seems, provides only enough funds to cover cremation services. Government provides for in ground burials for solders, who technically belong to the state, so the government should not spend resources on trivial, pet projects, and the like but instead remember the least of these; children who often have no one.
If there was ever a case for compassion from the public treasury, this is it for these kids belong to the state; and they belong to all of us. Even the City of New York provides in ground burial at Hart Island for criminals, the poor, and the unwanted.
Surely, in the public treasury there is enough fraud, waste, and abuse that can be eliminated to fund the in ground burial of foster children. Surely, there is a government program that is not working that can be cut to provide foster children a proper burial. Surely, this is a case for government reallocation of resources and resetting priorities.
How many foster kids pass away each year? Probably not many which begs the question of how can states can provide the best for many hardened, unrepentant, criminals yet not provide for a proper, in ground burial for those few who pass away and have done no wrong?
Maryland Governor O’Malley, and Lt. Governor Brown, can fix this with help from the legislature. You can help too and contact Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown at
Jordan’s page is also listed below: