Supporting families is a massively important part of your church's foster care and adoption ministry. It's easily one of the most predominant conversations to be had every time I'm working with leaders. We all know we need to have systems of support in our church, but what does that actually look like? What points of reference can we use to focus our efforts and truly meet the needs of families who are caring for children from hard places?
We all have an “inner voice” that sometimes whispers to us and sometimes screams at us. Mine is usually preaching a message of fear and doubt when I sense God leading me in a certain direction. Maybe yours is too. It’s asking, “Who are you to think you can make a difference?” or “What if you don’t have what it takes?” or “What if you fail and look foolish to others?” or “Are you sure you’ve heard correctly from God on this?” Your voice could be asking you a million other things right now.
The journey of foster care and adoption is an incubator of seemingly competing emotions, feelings and experiences - none of which are felt lightly or quickly. The tension of everything seeps that much deeper and lingers that much longer. The joy of loving and the heartache of letting go. The thrill of adopting and the grief of all that's been lost. The confusion in the wake of brokenness and the clarity in the face of redemption.
Sometimes the foster care problem feels really big (because it is!), and our people feel really small. There are over 425,000 kids currently in the United States foster care system. No doubt thousands of those are right there in your own state...and perhaps in the very city you sit in while reading this. It's no surprise people in our churches can sometimes feel small.