“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” John 14:18
God knew that this world would be full of brokenness and heartbreak. Knowing that He sent His Son to die for us so that we would be ADOPTED into the family of God. By doing this God took His perfect and Holy Son, placed Him into this world, and allowed that brokenness to consume Him. Resulting in the “great exchange”, God’s righteousness for our unrighteousness.
So, with that He wants us to allow the brokenness of this world to consume us. He wants our hearts to break for His children, just like His heart was breaking for us. He wants and needs us to love and care for His children…it’s quite simply our job. He did it for us, right? It’s an exchange and sacrifice…sound familiar?
Feeling led to foster and/or adopt is never something to brush off or take likely. It is hard…really hard. There will be days when you want to quit or even question how you got there in the first place. Trust me, I’ve been there. I felt the tug and instead of diving deep into prayer and asking for His guidance and strength, I ran with it. In that process, I quickly learned that we weren’t ready…my heart wasn’t prepared and our family wasn’t equipped.
If I truly would’ve been listening during that time I would’ve realized that that tug that God placed on my heart was more of a “Hey, I’ve got plans but I need you first.” If you are called to foster and/or adopt, God will prepare you. That doesn’t mean He is going to make you invincible and this super strong person that can handle anything…you weren’t made to be that kind of person anyway and He will prepare you for THAT. When things seem so out of control, scary, broken and just plain hard…He will prepare you to lay it all at His feet. Once again, sound familiar?
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” -James 1:27
Not everyone is called to foster and/or adopt. However, we are called to care and fight for the fatherless, to walk alongside one another, to pray for one another, and to stand in the gap for one another.
“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” -James 2:15-16
Ways to Help Foster/Adoptive Families
I spoke with my sweet friend, Leanna, who is a Child Welfare Specialist and she gave me some ways to provide support to foster and adoptive parents/families.
- Become a licensed respite care family. Respite foster care is when one family temporarily cares for another family’s foster children.
“A person/family may not feel led to foster full time, but if they could provide respite one weekend a month or even a week during the summer, that would mean so much to our families who desperately need a break! And to take that a little further, our families with difficult kids are often the ones who need the break the most. Anyone signing up for respite should go into it with an open mind and heart, prepared to deal with WHATEVER the kid throws at them. It would be so devastating for a foster family to think they have two days to rest and relax just to get a call to pick up the child a few hours in.”
- Donate on a local level. There is always a need at group homes and youth shelters.
“Contact the local child welfare office and ask if there are any specific needs. We love to have baby supplies on hand for our foster parents or kinship homes who get a surprise newborn. And I know our teens are always needing new clothes.”
- Start or join a foster parent support page. It’s a place where families can be prayed for and can ask for specific needs.
If you need specific ideas we would encourage you to ask a foster or adoptive family in your church or community for ways that they could use help. You can also ask them what has helped them the most during their hardest times.
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chrisleigh Heller: email@example.com
Molly Pontius: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Kirby: email@example.com