USA (Buckner/MNN) — Have you ever wanted to serve vulnerable children but weren’t quite ready for a full-time job of adoption or fostering?
Buckner International reassures you it’s okay if you’re not quite ready, and you’re not the only one to feel this way. But we all have a role to play in providing love, support, and hope to children, and there are simple ways you can help.
“Scripture commands us to take care of orphans and widows. It’s not really optional,” says Candy Palmer, who along with her husband, Michael, adopted a sibling group of four through Buckner.
“It doesn’t mean everybody has to adopt or foster; but every family, I think, should come alongside a foster or adoptive family, to walk alongside them, to bring a meal or to pray for them, or to do something to make a difference.”
Buckner suggests six different ways you, your family, small group, or church can lighten the load for adoptive or foster families.
Talk about adoption. Use their Abba, Father devotional guide in your small group for one month to gain a better understanding of the biblical theology of adoption. If you’re a pastor, preach on the biblical mandate to care for orphans and how foster care and adoption answer that call. You can download sermon outlines from Christian Alliance for Orphans and Buckner videos as resources.
Pray. Ask families about specific ways you can pray for them and commit to regularly praying over those physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Use our prayer guide to pray generally over the needs of vulnerable children.
Help families get trained. Volunteer to provide child care while parents attend foster care and adoption interest meetings and trainings. Church leaders, host an information meeting for interested families at your church, which can be led by local Buckner staff.
Host a shower, welcome party, or fundraiser. Help new adoptive families transition by supporting some extra expenses, collecting items like diapers, school supplies, shoes, clothes, restaurant gift cards, etc. Ask families what is most helpful for them.
Give them a break. Gather a group to be trained as respite or substitute care providers for foster families. Once trained, plan a parent’s night out to give them a chance to recharge.
Simply ask what they need. Intentionally seek out ways to support adoptive families in your church by asking what they need. This could mean anything from babysitting to taking them meals or helping with yard work.
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