Foster Fridays: Just Some Thoughts-Foster Care & the Church
When I first started telling people the plans my partner and I had to foster, I was generally met with less than enthusiasm. Common replies were along the lines of:
“Don’t you want your own kids?”
“Just make sure you get a baby.”
“I know someone who did that and adopted. Their kid gives them lots of trouble.”
Since welcoming our first placements questions/comments have shifted to:
“You’re lucky you got a good one.”
“It’s so nice that he looks like you.”
“Could you not have your own kids?”
Unfortunately, most of these things were said inside the walls of different churches.
These statements are problematic for different reasons, but ultimately all deliver a similar message. People who haven’t explored the possibility of fostering/adopting themselves unintentionally imply that there is something wrong with how our family is being constructed.
Foster care and adoption are reflections of God’s redemptive love. They are images of the Gospel happening in kitchens and minivans. Caring for children without safe homes should, therefore, not be a rare/special/odd thing, it should be embedded in the culture of the Church. I recently heard an adoptive parent say “Don’t let them ask why you’re building your family this way. Ask them why they’re not.”
What are some practical steps churches can take to help children in crisis? What are some ways in which your church has supported you?