Nationally there are over 440,000 children in foster care, and in Colorado well over 5000 children in foster care with 590 legally free for adoption. When we hear these numbers our hearts typically go out to the children affected; we shake our heads, nod and say that it’s a terrible thing. But what can we do after that? What can we do to support children in foster care, their foster families and birth families? Maybe your church can recognize National Adoption Month by supporting families who are interested in fostering and adopting children or celebrate adoptive children and their families. If you’re not sure what steps to take, here’s a few to consider.
1. Celebrate adoptive families in your church and community. Pray for these families as they seek to train up their children. Pray for those going through the adoption process as they wait to bring children into their homes. Ask the families how your church can support them financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
2. Celebrate foster parents in your church and community and the role they play in helping hurting children heal by providing stable, loving homes. Pray for foster parents as they seek to demonstrate Christ’s unconditional love in difficult situations. Pray for the children being fostered to come to know Christ.
3. Celebrate mentors. Pray for mentors as they instill life lessons and build relationships that could impact future generations. Ask a mentor from your church or community to share information or best practices for connecting with children in foster or adoptive placements.
4. Challenge members of your congregation to pursue a relationship with a child in foster care or an adoptive home. Challenge them to pray and care for that child and family intentionally, consistently and passionately.
5. Remember not all children will understand or want to celebrate their adoption. For some, adoption triggers big emotions of grief and loss. It’s difficult to understand why they can’t live with their birth family. Pray for and with these children as they grieve.
6. Celebrate, enjoy, and love all the children in your church and community. Pray for children to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to discover the plans God has for each one of them.
Christian Alliance for Orphans has an excellent, online Foster Care Prayer Guide.