Do you remember my post about Drake? He was one of the orphans in China who was waiting for a forever family. Did you notice I said was?! Finally–finally!–he has been matched with a family, and he will be coming home to them soon! We prayed for him for so long, and it looked as though he would age out of the orphanage before he was matched, but God saw this one boy who wanted a family. And God always keeps His promises!
God sets the lonely in families – Ps. 68:6a.
I want to spend this cold, rainy Monday busting another myth about foster care/adoption. Today’s myth is:
Now before you write me off, hear me out. I am not saying that you need to start filling out paperwork to bring your darling child home! We are not all called to be parents–whether through adoption or through natural means. But we are all called to be involved in orphan care!
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 – Jms. 1:27.
When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved, 12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him – Job 29:11-12.
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute – Ps. 82:3.
God has definitely commanded us to care for the orphan–“the fatherless”! But one of the most common excuses I hear is that God has not called everyone to foster or adopt. And I completely agree! We all have different gifts in the family of God, and we are to use those gifts in different ways. But God has called all of us to foster care/adoption! No one has permission to turn their back on the most vulnerable.
So here is a list of ways that you can use your gifts to follow God’s command and answer His call:
1. Pray. This is the most important thing you can do to help with the orphan crisis! Pray that God will open your heart to parent just one (or more!) if that is His will for you. Pray that these children will find a home. Pray that their needs will be met. Pray that they will find love. Pray that today, there will be one less orphan in the world.
2. Go. Take a trip to an orphanage and see these children face-to-face. There are over 130 million orphans in the world, but these children are not numbers and statistics. They need you. They need to feel your touch. They need to look into your eyes. They need to hear your voice. If you can’t go through your church, then consider joining with a group like Compassion International or American World Adoption Agency. Both organizations plan several trips throughout the year to help with orphanages around the world.
3. Provide temporary care. Perhaps you can’t go on a trip, but can you offer short-term care here at home? Can you provide a short-term residence for orphans from other countries who come to the States to meet possible families and to have some of their health care needs met? Organizations such as Nightlight Christian Adoption Agency are often looking for host families for a few weeks in the summer or over the Christmas holidays. If you can’t provide your home, can you provide your services? These children come here for help with dental needs, eye care, and general health concerns. If you are in any of these fields, you can be a tremendous blessing to these children by providing your services for free. Even if you aren’t in any of these fields, can you pay for just one of these children to receive the help they need?
4. Support. Maybe you can’t parent these children right now, but I am sure if you look around, you can find a family who is. Offer to babysit for free to give the parents a break. Becoming foster/adoptive parents can be emotionally exhausting, and sometimes a couple just needs a night out to reconnect. Can you help with financial needs? One family in our church is currently adopting from Kyrgyzstan and is in need of $5,000 immediately to be able to hand over when they are matched with a child or children. They still need $15,000 beyond that! Even if you don’t know someone who needs financial aid, they may need clothes, bottles, a car seat, crib, etc. Can you provide any of those things to them?
5. Love well. You may not be able to parent, but you can still be a part of these children’s lives. Invite their family over for supper. Plan play dates with their kids and your kids. Volunteer in the church nursery or children’s church. Offer mentoring services. Love them well! Know them well! Learn their names, their likes and dislikes, their favorite television shows. Treat them as part of the family!
These are just some simple suggestions to get you thinking about how you can answer God’s call for orphan care. He has called you to this, and He wants to help you do it well!
He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it – I Thess. 5:24.