November is National Adoption Month in the United States and Adoption Awareness Month in Canada. These observances highlight a great need.
In the United States, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care. Over 100,000 are waiting to be adopted.
Scripture teaches that each of us is called to care for the vulnerable. Other than a child in the womb, no one is more vulnerable than a child without a family. How can you help?
First, take the issue to prayer. Then consider some meaningful ways to engage. Your family might feel called to provide respite care for foster children for a season. You could also help a family in your church who’s already answered the call to foster and needs encouragement and support. Or maybe God will place it on your heart to adopt and provide a permanent home for a hurting child.
If the Lord is moving you to participate at any level, tune in to our Focus on the Family Broadcast “How You Can Help Support Foster and Adoptive Families.” Our guests are Jenn and Josh Hook and Mike Berry. They are coauthors of the bookReplanted: Faith-Based Support for Adoptive and Foster Families. And can help you navigate the challenges ahead.
The adoption or foster care journey is deeply meaningful. But adoptive and foster families face unique stressors, including insecure attachment issues, trauma responses, and service agencies who don’t provide sufficient training and support for adoptive/foster parents.
To address these challenges, Jenn recommends what she calls the “replanted” model. It’s built on the premise that adoptive/foster families have three key needs for healthy growth:
- Emotional support.
- Informational support.
- Tangible support.
Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but everyone can do something to help. The challenges are real. But so are the powerful stories shared by believers who have expressed the love of Christ through foster care, respite care, or adoption.
You might also be interested in Wait No More, our foster and adoption effort here at Focus. We estimate that over 4,000 children have been adopted out of foster care through our efforts. If you’re wondering where to start or just need more information, visit our website Wait No More (or call us at 800-A-FAMILY). We’ll help you learn what you can do to step into the life of a foster child in the name of Christ.
Jenn is the Founder and Executive Director of Replanted, a ministry that equips foster and adoptive families through support groups and conferences. Her husband, Josh, is a Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas. Mike Berry, along with his wife, Kristin, cofounded the support site Oasis Community.
Jenn, Joshua, and Mike’s book Replanted: Faith-Based Support for Adoptive and Foster Families is available through our ministry for a gift of any amount. Visit our website for more information or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).