November 21 is Adoption Sunday. This marks the day we dedicated my younger sisters. My mom has represented foster/adoptive families at church on this day. We’re an adoptive family; it’s what we do.
Adoption Sunday doesn’t have to be just for families with adopted kids, though. Simply because adoption isn’t for everyone, does NOT mean that the Bible’s commands to care for the orphans isn’t for everyone. The Bible speaks to whoever reads it, not just the families who have adopted.
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. (Psalm 82:3)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
Fostering and adopting children are not the only ways to defend the fatherless. Anyone can take up the cause. Adoption Sunday can be a reminder to everyone to support adoption.
Adoption is HARD. It’s not for everyone. Children who can’t be cared for by their biological parents have a deep, different kind of hurt that I will never be able to comprehend. The repercussions of this vary from child to child, and affect every member of the adoptive family. Any day is a good day to encourage a family.
And now, from multiple conversations with my mom, and my experience as the big sister to adopted siblings, I present to you 5 ways to support foster adoptive families you know (not in any particular order).
1. Prepare care bags for kids transitioning to foster care
When children are taken from a dangerous or harmful situation and immediately put into foster care, oftentimes, they have next to nothing of their own. Make a care bag for them with things like a toothbrush & toothpaste, a set of pajamas, a coloring book, and blanket. There are different organizations out there that collect bags and give specifics on what to put in the bag depending on age. My Stuff Bags is a good place to start.
2. Bring dinner
Throughout the first couple of weeks of adjusting to having a new child in our house, friends brought us dinner. It was such a relief to my parents to not have to worry about what to make for everyone that night. If you’re a cook, make a fancy Chicken Parmesan; or if you’re busy, a family meal from Bojangles’ will do just as fine.
3. Babysitting night
Offer to take care of all the kids for an evening. Chances are, the parents rarely get to go out on a date, if ever. Have a Disney movie and the game of Clue ready, and your night is set! The parents will love a few hours to breathe and relax as a couple.
4. Love on kids individually
A family is a team with individual members. Sometimes those on the outside lose sight of that, though, and only see “Mr. and Mrs. Smith with all their youngin’s”. Talk with the older sister about the concert she’s going to next week and the younger brother about the train set he received for Christmas. Even offer to take the kids out one at a time for an ice cream cone (or a hot chocolate, depending on the season). A treat and the individual time will make any kid’s week.
5. Pray for foster and adoptive families you know
There are many things you can pray for. Pray for peace, especially if there are still court sessions to attend. Pray for emotional healing for the adoptive child and the rest of the family. Pray for truth and honesty to be a core of the relationships.
^All the kids on the day my baby sister Alex was officially in our family!
If you have any more ideas, write them down in the comments!