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Carey’s Corner: A Mighty Change of Heart
After fostering 25 children, one couple discovered that change began with them.
Carey Peña | Contributing Writer
“She came in right from the hospital. All she had was her nightgown from the hospital and a bootprint from her stepdad on her face.”
When Darin Moss shared this story on my podcast, he physically broke down with tears streaming down his face. It’s heartbreaking to think about the day he and his wife tried to rescue a 5-year-old girl whose young life had been marred by abuse. But her story, though extreme, is not unique.
“We all need to get outside of our own little world and find whatever we can do to help,” Moss said. He is living proof.
A decade ago, Moss and his wife, Kara, an educator, were busy working and raising one son and three daughters. They have lots of family in Arizona and are part of a devoted church community. Life was somewhat calm.
So he wasn’t all that excited when Kara suggested maybe they should consider becoming foster parents … with the possibility of adoption.
I guess you could say he acquiesced.
“I had to look at things a little different,” Moss explained. “I had to get to the point where I was willing to try something. As I tried and exercised faith in that, it grew. And continued to grow.”
As his faith grew, so did his family. Over the course of eight years, the couple became foster parents to 25 children. They ended up adopting six of them who currently range in age from 3 to 13 years old. Four are siblings who they adopted so the children would not be broken apart.
“They didn’t choose this. This wasn’t their fault,” Moss said. “Pushing them aside because of what their parents did to them is not fair.”
Even after fostering 25 children and enduring heartbreaking situations time and time again, Darin and Kara still wanted to do more.
Not that they have a lot of free time, but somehow the two have also started a nonprofit called A Mighty Change Of Heart (amchaz.org).
For now, they are focused on providing personalized duffle bags for foster children in Arizona. Each child’s name is embroidered on the bag and it is filled with brand-new clothes, toys, books and at least two sets of pajamas.
In one month alone, they distributed 350 bags to 25 group homes.
Next, the organization plans to partner with Rio Salado College Lifelong Learning Center in Surprise to help kids who are aging out of the system get their GEDs. This is especially important to Kara who, as a former second grade and special-education teacher, understands how crucial it is that all children have the opportunity to continue learning.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Moss said. “The kids who are aging out of the system who have not been adopted … 70 pecent of them are either going to be a dropout, homeless or on drugs within the first few years.”
These kids want to succeed, he assured me. “There is nobody in this world who doesn’t want to succeed — if they have the chance,” he said.
As Darin Moss poured his heart out on my podcast, it struck me that he wasn’t complaining, nor was he asking for accolades. He was simply sharing his family’s story in hope of inspiring others to open their own hearts, however they see fit.
For the Moss children, life is full of newfound possibilities.
But the road to now wasn’t easy.
Several of the Mosses’ children suffered terrible abuse at the hands of their birth parents. Trauma like this causes many children to stop growing emotionally.
They entered school way behind the others and it has taken a true village to get them where they are today. Moss points to an outpouring of love from his family and church, along with incredible communication and support from teachers in the Dysart School District.
Painfully, Moss has had to come to terms with the fact that he and his wife can’t save every child who has entered their home over the past eight years. The little girl who had a bootprint on her face still haunts him to this day.
I asked how he remains positive.
“Growing up I always wanted to change the world. I never knew how I was going to do that,” Moss said. “I think I’ve finally figured it out. I’m going to change it one person at a time.”
To see Darin Moss’s interview and other inspirational stories, visit inspiredmedia360.com and subscribe to Carey Peña Reports.