ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – Single foster mom Alicia Wong developed a heart for adoption after learning of China’s one-child policy. Had her parents not moved to the U.S. after the birth of her older brother, Wong’s birth would have been deemed criminal.
“Ever since I heard about the one-child policy, even as a little girl, I always thought I’d grow up, get married and adopt kids,” Wong, an associate professor and director of the Gateway Seminary Women’s Program, told Baptist Press.
Decades later and having remained single, she began pondering whether God really wanted her to adopt, receiving an answer in 2016. Instead of adopting, she would become a foster mom.
Originally, Wong thought foster agencies would only be interested in two-parent homes, but she began to develop a different perspective as early as 2009. At that time, her job in women’s evangelism leadership with the North American Mission Board involved too much travel to allow foster parenting.
“I just heard of more and more people that were fostering and adopting, so that just became something I began to really pray about,” Wong said. By 2016, she joined Gateway’s faculty in Southern California, where she has the support of extended family members including her father Kuo Zung Wong and mother Kam Chee.
“I was just getting adjusted, and my first Christmas home, it was my dad who came up to me and said, ‘Alicia, have you ever thought about fostering/adoption, because we can’t push you to get married.’
“It was just perfect timing, because I had been praying about this now for over 10 years at this point, but never getting a peace about this, when I need to start. So when he said that, it was that following week I called a Christian agency that I was put in touch with, that just does fostering and adopting.”
Wong began fostering in 2017. She has fostered four children spanning ages 14 months to 12 years, and has offered respite care for middle-school-aged foster children when their foster parents are traveling.
She meets each child at their point of need, recognizing that many have suffered trauma, and loves them with the realization that foster parenting is designed to reunite children with their primary caregivers.
“Each child is so different. I think first and foremost, it’s really neat to be able to introduce them to the Gospel,” Wong said. “For a lot of them, they haven’t heard the Gospel. They don’t know who Jesus is. So, it’s fun to be able to share with them who God is.”
Wong expresses the joy, wonder and challenge of fostering as she takes the children to church, teaches them to pray and holds Bible studies with them at home, including the 12-year-old she currently fosters.
“She just started youth group (at church). It’s so fun because she’s able to ask, ‘Why are they singing? Why do we tithe?’” Wong said. “I get to really put all the ecclesiology, theology, soteriology, all those seminary degrees, the seminary stuff I’ve learned, and I put it into junior high language. And then I try to live that out, and I’m challenged by that day to day.