The very heart of biblical Christianity is the reality that we are saved from living for our individual self and placed into a family. Adoption reminds us this very thing. We are part of a family that is called to live life together with gospel-intentionality. We worship together. Eat together. Struggle together. We share our lives with one another. The writer to the Hebrews says that we need daily encouragement and exhortation in the gospel if we are going to grow (Hebrews 3:12-13).
Just as our growth in Christ is a community project, adoption is meant to be done in community.
Every adoptive and foster family needs people around them that will support them. This is sadly one of the more neglected areas of focus in the adoption and foster care world and it is also one of the leading reasons why families burn out and things breakdown.
So whether you are an adoptive or foster family already or if you are considering it; ask yourself who your community will be. Who are those people who will support you when things get tough (and they will).
If you have people in your life already that is great! Ask, what can you do to help them become an even more effective support network.
If you don’t have anyone, don’t be discouraged, pray hard for who they are. They may already be in your life but just don’t know how to support you. It may take time. You are definitely not alone though.
Share your thoughts on what has worked for you? How has your community wrapped their arms around you in a meaningful way? What resources would be helpful for you in developing a support network?
We didn’t think about any of this when we first became foster parents. We took in four girls who were 4, 6, 11, & 15. We never thought to think of the support system around us because we thought the “system” would help us out. Now that we are 3 1/2 years down the road and have had 7 kids through our home, I think about this often. So much in fact that God has birthed in my heart to start our Every Child Initiative here in our church. It is so vitally important for the “body” to realize their role in caring not just for the orphan or foster kids but for the entire family as well.
That is so similar to our story as well. We had no clue! It is awesome to hear of what God is birthing in you and your church! Keep me posted!
We recently adopted a son after fostering him for over one year. I completely agree with your post. We have sought out various kinds of support throughout the process. Many were willing. They only needed to know how to support.