July 8, 2020
Cornerstone has been the home of several families who have expressed our pro-life and pro-kid positions through fostering and, in some cases, adopting. Becoming a parent reveals all sorts of things about our own hearts. It is challenging to raise your own kids. But loving, sacrificing for, and raising someone else's kids? That can be even more stretching. I am so grateful that many of you see the value of fostering children. Even as I write this, I smile as I think of those of you who have fostered and those who have adopted children.
Fostering and adopting can be related, but not necessarily so. The goal of fostering is to provide a good home for a child with the goal of reunifying that child with his/her biological family. The fostering family is not only loving the kid, but loving the parents in a partnership. It can open doors for the gospel and certainly puts the gospel on display. Adopting is when the child's biological family is no longer an option. It is not easy, but it is good, and I want us to be a church that encourages couples who foster and adopt children by supporting them in tangible ways.
Here are some helpful facts:
- There are currently over 300 children and teens in Michigan waiting to be adopted. I've read some of their profiles on this website: https://www.mare.org/For-Families/View-Waiting-Children
- Most of the time, kids end up needing foster care due to abuse or neglect, and there is good reason to believe that this need is going to increase significantly in the next few months.
- In the U.S., 250,000 kids are placed in foster care each year.
- Over 23,000 teens age out of foster care each year. 1/5 of them become instantly homeless.
What are some things we can do?
- Pray for these kids, the foster families, the biological families, and for those who choose to adopt. Every situation has its own set of challenges, many of them complex.
- Donate helpful things to a local foster closet. There is one in both Mount Clemens and Oakland County. Specific information on these can be found on their Facebook pages. Many kids going into a foster home have very little and some of the foster families need to find beds, clothing, car seats, toys, etc.
- Provide a meal for a family in the church who have just recently received a foster child. Pregnancy can give a couple 9 months to prepare for the invasion and take-over by an infant. Some foster parents only get an hour or so to prepare.
- Consider fostering. Would you get attached? Absolutely! You better. Would that be hard when the child went back home? Certainly. But, you are never lesser for loving. Loving others is the point of fostering. After all, being loved by God is the point of the gospel. There are plenty of families in our church who have and who are fostering who would happily share their experiences with you that may help you consider this opportunity.
As many of you know, my dad was not wanted by his parents. But he was raised by a couple who would probably not qualify to foster or adopt in today's world. But God used them to expose him to the gospel, and the rest, shall we say, is history. And it is a sweet history.
Grace and peace,