“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
The Wright Family
There are many ways we as families can get involved in the lives of others, making a difference. This can make us a little uncomfortable at times when God pushed us to step out of our comfort zone. Taking ‘uncomfortable’ to a new level are the many families who are choosing to become foster and/or adoptive families. Raising children is a tough nut to crack, and raising kids with fostering and adoption in the mix is a whole different ball of wax.
That being said, I do firmly believe that God is calling each of us to do something about the orphan. There are those who take the mandate of James 1:27 quite literally and open their hearts and homes to children through a foster or adoptive placement. My family is one such family and I want to share a little of our story.
My wife, Dawn and I are parents to 9 beautiful children. Six of our children came to us through the foster care system in two different states. One of our children came to us from Ethiopia, one a US domestic agency adoption, and one a US special needs adoption.
I won’t go into the details of each child’s story, but I want to express some of our heart for adoption. This isn’t just to make you feel ‘warm and fuzzy’ about our family; it is meant to stir your heart to see how God is calling you. As mentioned before I am a firm believer that God is calling ALL of us to action for the orphan in some way. Maybe you’re not meant to adopt or foster a child, but that doesn’t mean you’re ‘off the hook’. The orphan crisis both at home and overseas is staggering and WE (The Church) cannot ignore the problem. There is an estimated 165 million orphans in the world today. Yes, you read that number right! That number is too big for us to say “I’m not called”. We are all called to do something. If you don’t feel able to open your home to a child as a foster parent or through adoption, then get behind those that are! Foster and adoptive parents need your prayers, your baby sitting help, gift cards, respite, encouragement, a meal prepared, a person to talk to, a cheer team to greet them at the airport when arriving home with a child, a baby shower (Or gift shower for a teen foster child), fund-raising help, recognition in the church, and plenty of people in the body of Christ to love and welcome these children into the church family!
See? There’s something practical you can do to be a part of the solution! Ask if you have an adoption or foster care ministry in your church and get involved. Become a foster parent (There is such a shortage), consider adopting a child – it will change your life.
I will share a little about our family in more detail in Part 2, but to learn more now about our family’s journey through adoption check out our blog at: arethesekidsallyours.blogspot.com