Pure and Undefiled, Not Perfect

This is an excellent post about a friend of ours and her experience as a single foster parent of 3 girls. I am praying that because of her (and many others like her) many will be inspired to dive off the deep end of foster parenting and adoption.

I love how Kelly ends this post – “So many little ones need rescuing.  How long will we watch from the shore waiting for “perfect”?”

Read the whole post below:

I got to hang out with a precious friend this week, and this time was different from every other time we’ve gotten together.  This time she brought a friend with her, a child almost two years old.

What’s so unusual about that?  My friend (we’ll call her Taylor) has stepped her toe into the waters of parenting— or pretty much dived straight into the deep end— by taking on motherhood as a single woman.  She’s a (first-time) foster parent for three girls.

Taylor has talked about adoption as long as I’ve known her (15+ years), and I’ll admit when she first told me about her desire to foster, all the “This will be hard!” bells and whistles went off in my head.  If the human heart naturally seeks to avoid pain as many authors have suggested, then choosing the difficult thing is diametrically opposite.  It’s running into pain headlong.  [But didn’t Jesus say strange things like that?  Lose your life to gain it? (Matthew 10:39, Matthew 16:25)  The first will be last and last first? (Mark 10:31)]

As we talked about the joys and struggles involved in caring for the boys and girls in our lives, I realized how profoundly God has worked in Taylor’s life to prepare her for this calling.  We could be candid as we talked, and I realized how difficult it is for some people to accept Taylor’s decision to be a foster parent.  She acknowledged, “It isn’t perfect. These kids’ lives aren’t perfect.  I’m not perfect.  But I can provide a safe and loving environment for these little ones for a time.”

Whoa. That truth has been sinking into me all week long.  My friend understands well that the children she comes to love will be entrusted to her only for a time (true for us all).  She’s following the Lord’s direction now, not waiting for later— waiting for perfection.

Taylor also shared with me the incredible community she’s found in Austin, Texas at The Austin Stone Community Church.  That led us to discussing a Together for Adoption conference this fall being hosted in Austin.  The theme for 2010 is “The Gospel, the Church, and the Global Orphan Crisis.”  It looks like something we all need to consider.  How can we be involved—at any level?  (I still can’t get over the “Miracle in Franklin” video I watched here, a true story that happened to a friend of a friend.)

As we hugged goodbye and I held this darling towheaded toddler, her future uncertain and her family life in upheaval, all I could think was “Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father  is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (Jas 1:27)  In front of me were two faces living out that reality.

Taylor’s courage and faith inspire me as I watch her fearlessly grip the Savior’s hand and dive off in the deep end of foster parenting.  So many little ones need rescuing.  How long will we watch from the shore waiting for “perfect”?

2010 National Foster Care Prayer Vigil

The National Foster Care Prayer Vigil is calling followers of Christ together across the country during the week of May 16-23 to cry out to God on behalf of children and youth in our nation’s foster care system, their families, their workers, and the church as it responds to the needs of those involved in the foster care system.

A local prayer vigil can take on many forms, from a formal, church-wide event to an informal gathering with your family after dinner.  Ideas suggested by the organizers include doing it as:

  • Part of a regular Bible study group in your home
  • Part of a regular Community Group meeting
  • Part of a Sunday School class
  • A Prayer walk through your city
  • A gathering of friends at a park, or the beach
  • A lunchtime gathering with co-workers
  • Or whatever and wherever you want it to be

If you’re ready to register an event, you can learn more here. You can also see the national map for a listing of vigils already scheduled.

2009 National Foster Care Prayer Vigil

The National Foster Care Prayer Vigil is calling followers of Christ together across the country during the week of May 17-24 to cry out to God on behalf of children and youth in our nation’s foster care system, their families, their workers, and the church as it responds to the needs of those involved in the foster care system.

Is God calling you to be the voice for your city? See the map for a listing of vigils already scheduled.  See the links to the left to learn how you can become equipped to add your city to the map.

Gather together.  Pray for the kids.  Watch God work.

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Foster Kid Jokes

I just stumbled onto this video. I wasn’t sure about it at first but in the end it struck me as powerful. Please take the time to watch.

Here is a description from the folks at Foster Club who did the video –

These foster kid jokes have been circulating underground for the past few years. Regularly at national child welfare events, where foster youth and young alumni assemble, these jokes have become a tradition of sorts. Some of the jokes are shocking, some are tragic, but they have all been created by youth who lived them. Some foster youth view it as a way to use humor to deal with the past. Others feel the jokes unveil a universal bond between people who have shared the experience of life in foster care. These jokes are shared with you today to raise awareness about the issues faced by young people in foster care. One last note: Many of the jokes seem very hard on biological parents. That is not the intention. At FosterClub, we understand there are complex systemic problems leading to foster care, including extreme poverty, mental health, addiction, and more. The jokes simply illustrate “how things are” from a young person’s point of view.

Nearly 250 Families Initiate the Adoption Process

This is exciting news out of Colorado! I pray that what these churches in Colorado are doing for the orphans in their State will spread to the rest of the country. There are already similar initiatives that I know of in Florida, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas.

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Good News: Focus on the Family Helps to Find Homes for Colorado’s Kids

Nearly 250 families initiate the adoption process.

by Jennifer Mesko

About 1,300 people flooded into New Life Church in Colorado Springs
on Saturday. Their mission: To learn more about the 700 kids in Colorado’s foster care system waiting for adoptive families.

Focus on the Family and the other sponsors of the Wait No More event had hoped 100 families would feel led to welcome a child home.

“We are thrilled that nearly 250 families started the process of adoption from foster care, and we will continue our efforts until we are the first state with no more waiting kids in foster care,” said Kelly Rosati, Focus on the Family’s senior director of Sanctity of Human Life.