The Traceys

By Anthony Saude

Jim and Kristin Tracey of Eastvale have adopted, Kaden, a 10-year-old boy from the foster care system. They are in the process of adopting 2 others children, a girl and a boy. None of them are infants so they come with problems from the lives that they have led so far. What makes this story so beautiful is that the Tracey’s had raised 2 children of their own to adulthood before they started this process. The story began when Kristin, always looking for ways she can help the marginalized, went to a foster kid’s camp.  Royal Family Kids’ Camps, Inc. RFKC, Inc. is a network of camps, children’s clubs, and child mentoring for abused, abandoned and neglected children in the foster care, system. RFK founded in 1985 by Wayne and Diane Tesch.

Kristin fell in love with the cause, but most of all she fell in love with the children she met at one of the camps. Taking some into her home and adopting them sounded very normal to her but these were not normal times in the Tracey house. Jim was unemployed at the time and had been for an extended amount of time. They finished their parenting responsibilities they had signed up for over 18 years earlier. I loved being a parent but it is a tough job and signing up for more years after the end of the game is just a little nuts in my book.  Being a man, Jim may have been having those thoughts as well some anxiety about the financial responsibility it would create in their lives. In the beginning Jim may not have been as enthusiastic as Kristin but he has always said “it is biblical”. Jim is the cautious one and Kristin is full speed ahead with both feet, no in matter how cold the water might be. Kristen prayed for Jim to share her enthusiasm and Jim prayed for understanding and answers. Making a decision of this magnitude would be difficult for any male in a perfect situation. The Tracey’s circumstances were anything but perfect. “Every time I prayed I kept getting the same answer, trust God.” said Jim. When my son said, “if that is the answer you keep getting from God, wouldn’t it be disobedient to not follow through? Jim took it to heart stepped out in faith, put his fears behind him and hasn’t regretted one second.

82.2% of child abuse perpetrators were found to be between the ages of 18-44, of which 39.6% were recorded to be between the ages of 25-34. In the United States, more than 4 children die from child abuse and neglect on a daily basis. Over 70% of these children are below the age of 3.

Riverside County has 4,300 children in foster care, 341 of whom are in group homes.

Approximately 3.5 million reports are made to child protective services annually concerning the safety and well-being of approximately 6.4 million children.

A nationally estimated 679,000 children were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect. (1)

Of these children, 79.5 % were neglected, 18.0 % were physically abused, and 9.0 % were sexually abused.

Approximately 1,520 children died due to abuse or neglect every year.

Eighty four percent of foster children will become parents within a few years after reaching adulthood, potentially repeating the cycle of abuse.

Jim once told me “if one family in every church in America took in one foster child there wouldn’t be any left in the system”. Seems simple. Google foster care in your area and throw your hat in the ring for a child’s sake. You know who you are, you have been thinking about it for years. It is that little voice in the back of your mind that just won’t go away. Jump in with both feet and take a chance on a kid that needs your help, you won’t regret it.