Archive of ‘Adoption/Foster care’ category
Catherine Greer shared her personal experiences as a foster mom in our last two posts (here and here). Today she shares interesting insights into unique needs that kidmin staff and volunteers need to be aware of.
1. Teachers should keep in mind that foster children lack social skills, including being “bossy”, poor language choices, and not following rules.
2. Usually a child is delayed a few years behind their physical age, both mentally and emotionally, depending on when the neglect in their life began.
3. These kids need extra attention and love. They probably have not heard much about God.
4. Structure in the classroom is best and having the same teachers each week is extremely important.
5. Usually, these kids have lacking attention spans, as well as hygiene and bathroom issues.
6. Often, foster children have eating and/or hoarding issues. Sometimes this even manifests to the point of stealing.
What have you experienced as unique needs of kids in foster care?
One of my favorite people I have met since moving to Florida is Catherine Greer. Catherine serves in our kids’ ministry. She and her husband, Brent, went from having no children in their family to adding 9 foster kids since October of 2011. This year they had the blessing of adopting three of the girls. Catherine will be sharing the next three posts, as she shares incredible insight into the life of a foster family and the needs of foster kids in your ministry.
Children come into foster care for a number of different reasons, i.e. Death of parents, neglect from parents and abuse from parents. As these children are taken from their homes they literally have 30 minutes or less to get their belongings together and head out the door with the police officer or DCF agent (Department of Children and Family). They are then transported to the DCF office to locate a placement for them for the night. Frantic calls are made to find them a bed. And heaven forbid they are a sibling group because there is a 99% chance they will be split. Then they are transported to a home which they have never seen and welcomed on the worst day of their life by a smiling couple at the door telling them they are so happy to have them.
So lets get this straight…. in less than 24 hours this child has been taken from everything that is familiar to them, even if that familiar thing is bad or harmful to them, and placed in a setting with strangers and told everything is going to be alright. They wake up the next morning to start their “new” life (at least for the next 12 months, because that’s the length of time a parent is given to work their case and get the children back). It’s off to a new school, new friends and a long line of doctor visits and psychiatric evaluations.
As a foster parent to a new placement you can expect the worst or best from a child. Usually there is a honeymoon phase in which the child is exceptionally good and polite, generally the child is in such disbelief as to what is happening. A child at this phase needs a lot of love and care from the foster parents to start building up their emotional banks for when the anger phase hits. Although they seem like the perfect the child at this point you want them to get into the anger stage so they can begin their cycle of grief. This cycle of grief will help them cope with life in foster care with all the ups and downs of the system and the parents. I was told in MAPP class, the 10 week course taken to become a foster or adoptive parent, that you can give everything you have to the child and they will not appreciate it until they are older as young adults. So everyday you wake up, give them everything you have, all the love and hugs and good advice, and even a discipline or two to help teach them some social skills, poor behavior redirection or even physical or verbal fighting redirection. You finally make some headway with them as they begin to trust and settle in and then the coalition throws in weekly visitation with the parents. Once visitation begins on a regular basis, the child is emotionally shifted from one way of life to another and they begin to resort to their old behavior. These are called triggers, it usually takes a couple of days to get them settled back down to their routine. It starts all over again the next week after that visitation even if the parents are a “no show”, which sometimes can be worse. But because this is your ministry, God told you to do it and you love what you do, you pour everything into them with no gratitude in return.
The whole year is a rollercoaster with the court system, case managers and guardian ad litems coming in and out of your home on a monthly basis, doctor, dental and psychological appointments and the parents working or not working their case. And then there is the other side of it….the normal life side. No child likes to be labeled a foster child and so when they enter into school or social situations it is always a little bit difficult for them. They see others kids hanging with their parents, sisters and brothers and they feel out of place in their family setting, its not their parents yet these people are showing them a love and respect that they have never had before. It’s not their blood brother or sisters sleeping in the other bed in the room yet they live with them 24 hours a day 7 days a week and share and experience everything together that a family setting offers.
Also there is the factor of their anger and their rebellion…it can come out in a number of ways ie: violence toward others, misbehavior in school and at home, personal hygiene and toilet issues, and even outright public tantrums. Usually a child that you get is emotionally and mentally a few years younger than what their age is, depending on when the neglect or abuse began. So as a foster parent you can take them back to those younger ages and stages of life and try to help them develop those skills that will be so important to them later in life in their careers and personal relationships. But the outside world doesn’t get it….”they should act their age and quit misbehaving”. Its such a struggle for the child and foster parent to catch them up to speed.
Being involved in a foster community in which there are functions that are attended and meetings that continue to teach us new techniques or answers to our questions of how to reach this child, really helps, because the foster parents understand the delay issues or the poor behavior and are more accepting of it all.
I will never forget the sibling group of 4 that we received over a year ago and how long it took us to get a couple of them to realize that no matter how long they whined or threw a tantrum we weren’t going to give in. It’s the “move” that they would use on their parents to get their way and it was a hard one to break. Especially with the weekly visitation. The best thing we can do for these kids is inform others in our church and community about these delays that they have so that there would be more patience for them. They already don’t trust adults and the more adults can show them how to act, how God acts through us the better chance we have of changing the cycle of them having their kids enter the system when they grow up.
Of course I am writing this after a full day of having 9 kids under 12 by myself, since my spouse was out working, and am probably a little exhausted and frustrated with the lack of respect from the kids or the lack of respect the kids give each other. But, every morning I wake up happy and ready for a new day to make a difference in their life. One more day for me to “be there for them”, hug them and show them God through me. I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a few cases in which I could also minister to the parents, either through the kids or a quick word of encouragement at the visitation drop-off.
I so enjoyed our guest posters’ perspectives on adoption and how we can best minister to families who are on that adventure. I’m most thrilled that you had the opportunity to meet those precious families. This week we will explore the world of foster care and kidmin.
Since moving to Florida, I’ve loved getting to know families in our church who are passionate about foster care. It has been a new experience for me in ministry as we have a great number of kids in our kidmin who are or have been foster kids.
Here are the two realities that I’ve discovered and been reminded of:
- What an incredible opportunity for ministry! I will never forget a conversation with one of the foster mamas in my ministry as she shared the story of some of her kids. She very casually mentioned that these kids had been sleeping on the street before they came into her home. Like literally sleeping on the street. My little suburbian brain had a tough time with that, but it is reality. It is the reality of children in our community that we too often ignore. But they are the children that I think Jesus would spend His time with. And here they are in our church doors because there are families who love them and love Jesus enough.
- What a challenge for ministry! With kids who have had a really tough time come really tough issues. It can make kidmin messy. And hard. But, show me the verse that says the gospel is easy. Show me where we decided ministry needed to be neat? When I study Jesus’ words, He seems to talk alot more about ministry focusing on the hurting kids than the suburban kids. So, yes, ministering to foster kids is tough. But it is the good, gospel kind of tough!
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14)
I look forward to exploring this world with you this week. I especially look forward to the firsthand wisdom of families in the trenches.
Marsha and Brian Foreman have been dear friends of our family for many years. We were in small group together and praying for God to add to their family through adoption. I’ll never forget the day, six or so ears ago, I got the very brief email that they could have children in their home within days. We were all expecting one sweet little baby – not three siblings! It has been such a blessing to see God put this family together, watch Marsha and Brian raise these babies, and see them trust God through very challenging days. Marsha was so gracious to share her story and to share a few practical ways that you can serve families who are experiencing adoption.
I was thrilled when Jenny asked me to write about our adoption. I love sharing our story. Let’s just say our adoption journey took an unexpected turn. My husband and I had been on the waiting list for one year with Lifetime Adoption. Not one birth mom had showed interest in us during that time.
Then it happened. I remember it well. I received a phone call one day while I was out to lunch with my mom and stepdad. The call was from Libby, my adoption case manager. Libby wanted to present us as one of the couples for a young girl that wanted to adopt out her three children. Yes, three children.
Now we had not considered adopting three children so I told her I would discuss with my husband and call her back. She told me that they would be presenting the couples to her that afternoon so a decision had to be made quickly. Brian and I prayed over it and didn’t receive a clear answer from God. We decided that we would put our name in and depend on the result to be guided by God. We have never been one to shy away from a challenge. J
By that afternoon I had spoken to the birth mom and we were matched. 3 weeks later we were on our way to Houston to pick up our 10 month old, 18 month old and 2 ½ year old children.
As you can imagine, our life changed dramatically over night.
You might be wondering how you can support couples that are adopting or have adopted. There are many ways to help. For example if you have the means you could assist financially. Adoptions are very expensive and most families do not have all of the funds needed. Donate items and help the family have a yard sale or throw a fundraiser. Help create an adoption fund at your church.
There are also some practical ways that you could help with everyday life.
- Help the family with childcare. The couple will need to have time together and often cannot afford a babysitter.
- Older children and teens could offer to play with the child in the home to allow the parent’s time to clean house or cook dinner.
- Take the kids to the park and give the mom the opportunity for a nap.
- Be an encourager – Try not to offer advice on how to do something better, tell them how well they are doing.
- Provide the couple with gift certificates to a restaurant or to a movie theatre.
These are just a few ideas but keep in mind that every family is different and their needs can vary. As I said before we didn’t plan on adopting three children. We were ill prepared and had no place for them to sleep once we returned home. Friends from our home group got together and had a baby bed and two beds donated and in their room by the time we came home. We also had enough baby food to last a month. This meant more to us than anyone will ever know.
I hope you all will consider adoption or consider supporting those that have adopted in some way
I had the great privilege of serving for a short time with Kenneth and Kristy Bruce at Westwood in Alabama. Kenneth serves there as the Minister to Students. They are the parents of four boys, all kindergarten and younger. For that alone they deserve a prize! In today’s post, Kristy shares a little of their story and how our ministries can better serve families who have adopted, especially international adoption. You can read more about the crazy adventures of the Bruce boys, and the honest life of adoption, on her blog.
In November 2009 God led our family to begin the adoption process. At the time we had a biological son who was two. In June 2010 we became a family of five when we brought home two boys from Ethiopia, aged two and 9 months. By October we were a family of six when God blessed us with another biological son.
Although this was a time of incredible blessing, it was the toughest year of my life. My husband and I felt very alone. Each day was a fight for survival. Adoption is intense spiritual warfare and there were times I felt like I was barely hanging on. I felt consumed by the battle to not act in the flesh and joyfully surrender to continued obedience. My faith in the Lord was sure but I felt and thought things that were awful.
The adjustment period is very challenging for multiple reasons. Perhaps the most challenging for me was feeling like I could not truly be honest with people because they would misinterpret my struggle for regret, or lack of trust in the Lord. I in no way wanted to convey that I regret the adoption. In fact, I pray that more people will willingly take on the fight for orphans. It is messy and dirty and tough and worth it.
There are several ways that a children’s ministry can minister to the needs of internationally adopted children and their families:
- Please be patient and understanding. The first six months after homecoming are especially rough. Everyone in the family is experiencing some sort of trauma, no matter what age. The fight for survival is real. Adjusting to a newly forged family can be difficult. As a new adoptive parent I needed people from the church to verbally assure me that they knew my life must be difficult and that it was okay if real life was not the magical picture of adoption we have formed in our minds. I needed to be assured that people were praying for me and for my family.
- Understand that internationally adopted children do not behave the same as biological children, at least not at first, and probably never. Do not expect that of them. It does not make them a bad kid. Wounds are very deep, even when a child has been adopted as a baby. Please do not expect the newly adopted child to have any sort of manners or even basic skills like drinking from a bottle or making eye contact when spoken to. It is common for children adopted from hard places (which includes all international adoption) to act half of their age emotionally. This is true for both of my Ethiopian-born children. Their bodies are similar to their peers, but in several areas they are far less emotionally mature.
- Do not be surprised if the child has special needs. Sensory Integration or Sensory Processing Disorder and behavioral issues are especially common in internationally adopted children. While you may not be familiar with the particular issues, it is helpful to ask the parents how to best minister to the child. Things that have worked with biological children will probably not work. Be willing to do things a little differently to accommodate special needs. For example, a child may need to suck on a mint through class or have a fidget toy to get proper sensory input. Another child may need to sit in the hall with an adult if the music in class is too loud. The amount of toys, colors, and people can be overwhelming to children who are not used to such stimulation.
- Understand that drop-off time can be very challenging. One of my sons has been home for two and a half years and still throws himself on the floor in hysterics, kicking and punching anything or anyone in his way. He is typically fine within three minutes, but those few minutes are ugly. In those three minutes, he needs to be held tightly and spoken to softly, no matter how frustrating it can be. In those minutes you can offer him security, stability and love just by reassuring him that it will be okay and he is safe.
- Remember that these children are in a new culture. The behaviors that we despise in our churches are likely the behaviors that kept these children alive. Selfish behavior, stealing, lying, manipulation and entitlement are some of the common behaviors I have seen in my two boys. Although they should be disciplined, do so gently because newly adopted children have to unlearn some of the behaviors they had to engage in to survive. It is best to ask the parent how discipline should take place. This too should be handled with great care.
- Expect tantrums for no apparent reason.
- Please do not pass judgment—on the children or the parents. Although you might not be able to see it, most newly adoptive families are hanging on by a thread. We already feel like we are alone and drowning. Our failures are ever present in our minds. Please rally around us in support. Even if it is leaving a meal on the front porch or sending prayer notes in the mail.
- Remember that your words matter. Harsh, negative words can crush the spirit of an adoptive child and or adoptive parents. Positive, encouraging words can be like salve for the soul. When we found out that I was pregnant during the adoption process words of encouragement were hard to come by, and we were on a church staff. In the midst of everyone’s shock and disheartening words, one friend said, “The Lord is showing you favor.” Tears flooded our eyes because it was the first positive we had heard, with no reservation. Our youngest is named after him. Adopted children and their parents need your kind words as they fight an intense spiritual battle.
- Envelop the family in prayer.
This post is the second provided by guest blogger, Jason Underhill. You can read the first part of his family’s story here.
Adopting kids is an incredible adventure. However with it comes a ton of blessings and a ton of challenges. Many times the challenges out-way the blessings that God has given you. You become blind by what God is doing because it is so difficult at times throughout the process. I like to think of it in terms of riding a roller coaster. You have times when you’re climbing the steep slope and everything seems to be going really well. Then there are the times when you are turning upside down totally out of control to the point you feel sick to your stomach and you are ready to just throw up it’s so hard. Deep down inside though you know that you have a God that is with you every step of the way but in the midst of the challenge you don’t always see God. You get caught up in the circumstances and the challenges. You miss out on so many of the blessings. I want to share this so that you and others can be prepared for yourself to adopt or to know how you may be able to help those in your church who have adopted so you can be there to lend the support they need when they arrive home.
Once we knew we were called to adopt we started the process immediately. We found an agency filled out all the necessary paperwork sent it and now the time came to wait. We waited and waited. When was our turn going to come? God we are being faithful, other people are getting referrals and bringing their kids home in just a matter of months. Our time of waiting turned from weeks, to months to a year and one month before we received our referral.
We finally received our referral on November 2, 2010, we received a call at church that we had gotten a referral for 2 twin girls that were 4 months old at the time. We prayed and knew they would be ours and two days later confirmed it with a phone call that we would accept the referral and move the process in bringing our girls home. We had more paper work to be done, people to share the news with. Our kids were so excited. We set it up for each of our children to have a part in telling our parents and family about the girls. Our family was so surprised but excited at the same time. Our prayer was that we would bring them home in the next few months. We waited and waited but we did not get our first court date until December 30, 2010. Those few weeks seemed to take forever.
Our goal was for us to take our oldest two children to Ethiopia so they could meet the girls and share in the experience. It turned out that God blessed us and provided what we needed for them to go in February, 2011. It helped them to also see the plight of orphans in Ethiopia that we had seen on our first trip to Africa back in 2000. It is amazing how God softens the hearts of children and shows them love so easily. I’m reminded of what Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Our children have been exposed to something that I wish I had been exposed to at the young of an age. I am so blessed that God allowed me to take them on this journey so they could have this experience and know that heaven belongs to all children everywhere. My daughter (Katie Beth) talks about it in school and our boys (Everett and Nolan) are so proud of there two little sisters (Lyla and Sosie). When they talk to you about their sisters, if you had not met them or known they were from Ethiopia you would think they were our biological kids. When adults meet their sisters it is awesome to see how proud they are and how much they love them. Only through the eyes of children do we sometimes get a great glimpse of what God see’s in the world!
The time in Ethiopia was a blessing. We finally met Lyla and Sosie for the first time after several months of seeing pictures that were emailed to us. We were able to hold them in our arms and we thought we were just a matter of weeks from bringing them home. Unfortunately the urgency to bring them home knowing they were ours was gut wrenching. We knew it would be a matter of weeks but the weeks became months. We came to a point where it even appeared that we would have to start the entire adoption process completely over. We were devastated to say the least. We prayed, we cried, but God was there.
In July, five months after our first trip we received the call to officially inform us that Lyla and Sosie were our girls and that we would be making a trip in August to bring them home. Due to my schedule at church and with the kids going back to school I was not able to go on the 2nd trip, but Sarah took her Aunt Nancy with her to bring the girls home. The trip home was the most challenging and disgusting trip they ever had. The flight home was the worst. I was not there so I cannot truly paint you a picture of how bad the flight home was. The girls had an infection which many children have coming from Ethiopia. The infection caused the girls to have explosive vomiting and explosive diaper blow outs. My wonderful wife and her Aunt literally changed clothes about 5 times and had a garbage bag filled with the smelliest odor I have ever smelled. You could see it in their faces how exhausted it had been. No one who had come to welcome her at the airport including myself truly understood all they went through on that flight home. Sarah was like is it worth all of this?
The girls were home and for a couple of months they continued to have the blowouts as they were on medication to clear out their system. We didn’t sleep well, and we were exhausted. It was the most difficult 2-3 months I think we ever had. We were also taking time to bond with the girls so they would know that we were their mom and dad. We couldn’t let other people hold them and we kept them in our home to bond. They needed this to know that this was home and to know that we were there to love them no matter what. Sarah didn’t want to leave them for a second but she needed an outlet to have a break during the day with them. It was hard on her and I still don’t know how she made it sometimes through those days. Our small group was incredible. They were always there to help. They would call and check on us to see how things were going. They are our best friends and we know we can count on them for anything. Others would bring meals to help out which was great as well. I know that God was with her and I would have given anything to help her even more than I could.
We had taken all the classes and spoken to other people that had adopted kids so we could be prepared, but until you have adopted children and experience it yourself, there is no way to explain what happens those first 6-9 months. I say that to say we knew people were praying for us and helping us and in June of 2012 we had a moment. I can’t explain it or even describe it, but it was an AHA moment where Sarah and I were like, this is unbelievable. This is truly a miracle of God that we have these incredible girls. Even though the past 9 months had been gut wrenching all of a sudden everything seemed to just click. We were finally able to see the blessings God had given us in the midst of our challenges and circumstances.
We took a vacation in July after VBS and Kids Camp which was a much needed family vacation. On the trip we celebrated Sarah and I’s 15th wedding anniversary and we celebrated Lyla and Sosie’s birthday’s by turning 2! It was their very first birthday! We had small gifts for them and pink little shirts that said, “I am 2.” They were so cute just smiling and laughing enjoying the moment. Time stood still for me that day and I soaked in of how God was blessing us. We all realized that these two girls would never have possibly had a birthday had we not obeyed God. We could see the joy in their eyes and we could see them the way God sees them even for just a moment.
Over the last few months Sarah and I have grown closer to all 5 of our children, each other and most importantly our Heavenly Father. He showed us that through the difficult times He was there, but in the midst of the trials and circumstances we had lost our focus on Him. We got so caught up in the stuff that we missed out on our calling. We look back and we see now how God has blessed us. We see the girls singing, “Jesus Loves Me” and know that if we had not been obedient they may have never heard about Jesus. Now they sing it all the time and it reminds me of the greater purpose and calling on my life.
I have grown as Children’s Pastor as well because of our adoption. I am helping other families who are in our church with adoption and asking them how things are going. When they come home I know they will have challenges so offer any way we can help. If someone in your church is or has adopted I would encourage you to do some homework and find out how you can help meet the needs of the family. It will mean the world to them and it will show that you care. We now have an adoption ministry that helps folks with this in our church that has been a very helpful resource.
We still have our challenges but now we see it from a different perspective and know that God is BIG! He is the one who helped us through the entire process and we know He has a special plan for our girls. We have no idea what it will be, but I believe He will use them for His glory to reach others that wouldn’t have been reached had we continued to be disobedient. We have all changed for the better and I believe this is still the beginning of greater things that God has not only for us but for children around the world. God is using children today more than ever to share the love of Christ and I believe this next generation of children will be used by God in way’s we can only imagine.
Today’s post is brought to you by my friend, Jason Underhill. Jason is the Children’s Pastor at Longhollow Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. In his past seven years at Long Hollow, he has been privileged to watch the Children’s Ministry grow to serve nearly 1200 children across four campuses. He is married to his beautiful wife Sarah of 15 years. Jason and Sarah have 5 children (Katie Beth , Everett, Nolan, Lyla and Sosie) which he likes to call his mini basketball team.
Adoption has been a part of me and my wife Sarah’s heart almost all of our marriage. We’ve been married 15 years now and have 5 incredible children which I like to call my mini basketball team. When we were about two years into our marriage we took classes for foster care/adoption. Not because we couldn’t have kids, but because we just had a heart for it. It didn’t work out (they lost our huge pile of paperwork – yep, lost it, and then we moved to TX for seminary.) We went on our first mission trip to Africa where we introduced the Bible to hundreds of kids and shared the gospel in the summer of 2000. We were blown away by the number of orphans and knew God would be calling us to Africa at some point. We originally thought sooner than later. Our next few years were filled with getting started in ministry and serving in three great churches and having three great kids. The places we served helped us grow, and prepared us for the right time to adopt.
I know sometimes people don’t get what it means to feel like God is calling you towards something. But, every time we would hear about orphans there’s just a longing in my heart. There were kids who didn’t have a mom or dad to love them and care for them. Why shouldn’t we step in to give them the love they need and to hear about Jesus? I work with kids every week why not us? Its like a stabbing longing where something in your heart is missing. It’s a constant prompting from the Lord. It’s a sense of no peace regarding this issue. Sarah and I began to pray about what God wanted us to do in regard to adopting. We prayed but we realized that while we were praying we were really disobeying what God was calling us to do. We thought we needed to wait until our kids got older , etc., etc.
He bought into the phrase that we use with our children to mind, “Delayed obedience is disobedience”. We realized that while we were praying as an act of obedience we were really putting off what God was calling us to do and being disobedient. Sometimes we do need to keep praying about things. Sometimes the timing isn’t right. BUT, we were struck by the fact that one of Satan’s favorite things to hear from Christians must be that we’re “praying about it.” Because for me, as long as we were praying about it and waiting on God’s timing, I felt like I was obeying. We’re going to obey, just not now. That is delayed obedience which equals disobedience in the Underhill house!
So, I believe God had awakened our hearts, but I just wasn’t doing anything with it. When we got home from a service at church on a series titled, Crazy Love, Sarah and I talked about adopting again. God had laid it on my heart that now was the time to move forward and Sarah had been thinking the exact same thing. We knew we couldn’t delay. God confirmed our desire with His desire in the verse 2 Cor 5:13 ”If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.” This is CRAZY, CRAZY! The stakes were high as we began the journey.
We began to find the right agency and started to talk with other folks in our church and outside the church who had adopted to find out as much as we could so we could be prepared for all God had in store for us. We had a ton of support when we announced that we were adopting. We held fundraisers, yard sales, and other gifts were given to help us in our adoption. God was right there with us. We had people praying for us, sending us messages and encouraging us along the way.
We could see that God was blessing us because of our obedience. Maybe God is calling you to adopt but you are giving Him excuses for why you shouldn’t . Give all your what if’s to God because He is all powerful and can use you to make a difference in the life of a child that otherwise wouldn’t have a mom or a dad. He may be calling you to be their mom and dad to share the love of Christ with them. Are you delaying God in what He is calling you to do? It may seem crazy but don’t delay because it will bring God glory.
My heart has been thrilled over the past couple of years as God has turned the hearts of His people towards adoption and foster care and for caring for the orphaned in our world. I was adopted as an infant, so I have always had great affection for those who God calls to explore this opportunity.
Over the past couple of months, I have realized that this movement of God has a great impact on kidmin, yet there are not very many conversations happening about it. How do we best minister to families that God is calling to this adventure? How does our ministry change when it becomes more diverse via adoption? How do we meet the needs of kids who have potentially lived through some pretty tough stuff?
I am certainly no expert, but God has blessed me with numerous friends… really more like heroes… who are walking these paths. And they have graciously agreed to share with kidmin world in great transparency their perspective on what God is doing and how we, as children’s ministry partners, can best engage.
I would love to hear from you too. What are your experiences, questions, challenges, joys in ministering alongside families who are adopting and fostering?
Take the time to watch this incredible adoption story that I first saw on Jonathan Cliff’s blog:
New Film Premiere – I Like Adoption. from ILikeGiving.com on Vimeo.