Nearly six years ago I posted a short blurb about the book, Adopted for Life. In that post I mentioned that the book blessed me immensely. It is one of the few books in my library that I have read multiple times. In fact, I have it on mp3 and in paperback. I’ve listened to it and read it several times. I love this book. When Angela and I decided to move forward into the foster care process we bought it and gave it to several of our family members.
Six years ago we began reading and praying about foster care and adoption. Two weeks ago we completed our journey from foster care to adoption and now legally have two more children. At the time of our adoption, the legality was the only thing that was missing. They have been with us for over a year and have been our kids since the winter of 2015.
As I think today about our journey (you can read a little about what we’ve learned here), there are several things that I want you to know about orphan care and adoption and why the church should make it a priority.
- God cares about orphans. James 1:27 says, “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.”
- Orphan care is pro-life. When we stand against abortion, it is important to recognize that those unwanted children need somewhere to go. Pastor, you did a great job preaching about the sanctity of life in January, but make sure that you do so with the realization that there are thousands of orphans in your state that need a place to live. Make room.
- Orphan care is a gospel issue. If children are not adopted into homes where the gospel is taught, they may never hear the gospel. Orphan care is an arms race—a race to see into whose arms these children will go. Will they go into the arms of Christian people who can lead them to Christ or into the arms of parents who do not know Christ and, therefore, can’t introduce them to Him?
- Foster/adoptive parents need the ministry of the church. We have a great family and church family who have cared for us throughout our foster care and adoption process. In addition we sought out a counselor who helped us navigate the terrain of assimilation. The adoption process is hard and can feel very lonely. Not everyone is called to adopt or foster, but nearly everyone in your church can be a blessing to others by praying, offering child care, or cooking a meal. Just as parents of new babies need the care of the church, foster and adoptive parents need that care because orphan care is hard.
- You have been adopted. In Adopted for Life, Russ Moore mentions speaking John 14:18 over his boys before he was able to adopt them. I cried when I heard those words into my earbuds as I ran in the summer heat. We adopt because we have been adopted. We model Christ when we love like Christ. He found us and saved us. He did not leave us as orphans.
Pastor, prayerfully consider making orphan care a priority in your ministry. As I said above and as I repeat often, foster care and adoption is not for everyone. I know that. But, I am convinced that every church can find a way to be a part of caring for orphans. You can support foster parents in your fellowship. You can adopt the local DSS agency. You can volunteer as a DSS chaplain.
How has your church gotten involved in orphan care? Please share in the comments below so that we can all benefit together.