A Forever Family for Christmas
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘adopt’ is “to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one’s own child,” but to Shamber Flore, “adoption is the rescuing of one’s life.” It is connecting a child with a forever family.
Shamber, a vibrant young woman, was originally adopted through the help of St. Vincent Catholic Charities when she was a child.
“I personally came from a rough part of town where I saw continual poverty, danger that was often found at the tip of a gun, and women working jobs that would be a disgrace to voice openly,” said Shamber. “I remember being left home alone and wandering about the house, both outside and inside, aimlessly.”
Shamber and her siblings experienced various types of abuse that resulted in Child Protective Services removing them from their biological family when she was just five years old. Many of her young memories are scarred by feelings of terror and agitation.
Shamber’s personal tale is shared by many others, as over 13,000 children are currently in foster care in Michigan seeking a forever family. The difference is the triumphant story that Shamber is able to tell now.
“Thanks to St. Vincent, I was adopted by a family that has treasured my once fragile heart,” said Shamber. “My mother and father have given me an education that has bettered my mind and my worldview. They have provided me delicious food, a cozy bed, a roof over my head and beautiful clothing. But apart from these luxuries, they have also given me the greatest gift of all: Jesus.”
Shamber’s mother and father, Tamal and Jerry Flore, adopted Shamber and her two siblings in 2005. Since then, they have provided a spiritual foundation that has given Shamber the strength and confidence to not only overcome her past, but to be a voice for the thousands of children in foster care who do not.
“To me God is everything,” said Shamber. “The joy that you see upon my face is only there because HE has delighted my very soul and has breathed life into my bones. The confidence I carry as I walk, talk and interact is because he has given me a new identity and security.”
“But because of Jesus and the people he has brought into my life, I am not a statistic. Jesus comforts me, satisfies me, loves me, helps me, and so much more. My goals in life are to help others who come from similar circumstances as me. I want to be a professional speaker and to share my story in order to encourage other families to join in this fight.”
With the help of people like Shamber and the Flores, STVCC’s adoption and foster care program can continue to identify a compassionate forever family for each child in their care. The willingness of each family to foster or adopt betters the lives of children aching to be loved and cherished.