Established in May of 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, National Foster Care Month brings focus to the children waiting in foster care and the families that welcome them into their homes. Currently, there are more than 102,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted.
James 1:27 reminds the church of our duty to widows and orphans. While everyone might not be called to adopt, we are all called to care for orphans. We can come alongside those who make the decision to grow their families through adoption. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how to help. Here are a few ideas to get you started, whether it’s now or throughout the year:
- Offer to help out at the house. You can make a meal or two over or do laundry. Maybe you clean the kitchen or the bathroom, or even mow the lawn. Helping with everyday tasks can give the family space to devote energy to loving the kids they’ve made a part of their family.
- Be available. The process of becoming a foster care or adoptive family is a journey. And it can be a difficult one. Being a safe person who lets them cry or process what they’re walking through can lift a huge burden. Don’t try to fix anything, just listen.
- Educate yourself. Learn how to use the right language when you address their families. Organizations like Bethany Christian Services and Show Hope offer resources to help you understand how foster care and adoption work. While you don’t have to know the ins and outs of the process, making the effort to know the basics will give you a better idea of how to help.
Bonus: Pray. Commit to praying for families who have decided to be foster care parents or embark on the beautiful road to adoption. Check in with them to see what their specific needs are. Pray Scripture over them. Pray for the kids who enter their home, many who have come from difficult situations.
To learn more about adoption and foster care, you can visit the organizations listed above. The Christian Alliance for Orphans also has information and resourced dedicated to raising awareness about kids in America and around the world who are in desperate need of forever families.