In this information saturated time we all wander in, it is quite easy to think that all the world has gone to hell and that good and decent folks no longer exist.

Then we come across a story like this one by Carol Robinson of

It is the heartwarming tale of Clay and Laura Hammac of Shelby County and their involvement as foster parents.  Though they have three children of their own they have had 18 foster children in the past six years and recently adopted one of them as their own.

Clay works for the Shelby County sheriff’s department and it was a case he worked on in 2009 that set them on the path they are now on.  The case involved a 15-month old little girl who was beaten to death with a doll by her mother’s boyfriend.  It was a horrific case that deeply impacted Clay and Laura.

He is commander of the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force and many of their foster children are newborns who are going through withdrawal because of their mother’s drug addiction.

Not only is this a story of a wonderful couple with a true calling to make this world a better place, it also resonates because of the stories so many teachers and principals have shared with me.  This is a world they know all too well.  A world that has a huge impact on how schools and educators “perform.”

While we seem hell bent on putting a value on educators judged solely on test scores, the real world is far, far different.  Because the mission of public education is to welcome all children through their doors, those that come from a traditional nuclear family–and those who were born into a far different environment.

May the Good Lord continue to bless Clay and Laura Hammac and the legions of foster parents who open their homes and hearts to children.  And may the Good Lord also open the eyes of so many who have yet failed to acknowledge much of the world around them.