I believe the greatest need in the adoption movement today is a greater emphasis on caring for those families and children who have been adopted or fostered from hard places. I, along with a growing number of other adoption/foster professionals, feel that too many families are adopting and fostering without the support they need pre- and post. Many of the children that are being adopted and fostered come from difficult places and they enter their new family with deep needs. Love is not enough. They need special care and they need it not only from their family but from their church community. Love is not enough. Providing them a family is not enough. They need a family and a community that will understand their pain and story and be willing to enter into it and be used of God to bring healing.
While more and more churches are calling their people to step out in faith to adopt and foster there is just as much need for them to call their people to count the cost and to provide the care they need when the child is home.
I see this included in the very passage we use to call people to adopt – James 1:27 says that “pure and undefiled religion before God the father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.”
We do a disservice to adoptive and foster families if we are not helping them understand what that “affliction” means. We further disservice them by not doing everything we can to learn and understand and support them in entering that “affliction.” They cannot do it alone.
There has been a growing sense that this is needed and I am so thankful for the work of many out there to provide resources. In particular I think of what Dr. Karyn Purvis has done. Along with Michael and Amy Monroe she has just released a 16 video series (developed in partnership with the TCU Institute of Child Development) offering seven insights and seven gifts that are highly relevant for those who are parenting or considering adopting or fostering children from hard places.
ETC is also developing a discussion guide for this video series, which will be available in May 2010.
Watch the first video below and click the link below for the rest.
Watch the rest of the videos here.