What if I told you it would only take seven percent of all the Christians to end a world epidemic?
Seven percent is all it would take to prevent an entire generation from experiencing PTSD, abuse, neglect, pain, suffering, hunger, etc.
Seven percent to change not only an entire generation but also future generations.
The Foster Care/Adoption epidemic would end if only seven out of every one hundred Christians opened their home.
James 1:27 says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
Is this really an epidemic? Well, you tell me.
There are 18 million “double orphans,” those who’ve lost both parents, in need of a home. That’s enough to fill a Super Bowl stadium—not just once, but 180 times. Twenty-one percent of foster care alumni suffer from PTSD- that is a higher rate than war veterans. Eighty percent of all children in the foster care system have serious emotional issues. There are millions of children who are experiencing such high levels of all forms of abuse and neglect that it affects them their entire lives. It affects how they hold a job and daily living habits, how they treat others they’re in a relationship with, and how they parent. They live their life on repeat and more than likely their own children will enter the foster care system creating a whole new generation of orphans. There are millions of children who are forced to stay in an abusive home because there’s nowhere else for them to go. There are millions who will wake up tomorrow bruised and battered, physically and emotionally because the church decided to wake up and continue on with their day turning a blind eye.
Is this really an epidemic? Well, you tell me.
If the seven percent of Christians opened their home to these orphans and shared the gospel with them- that’s an entire generation that could and should be healed from all their pain and suffering. That’s an entire generation of people coming to know Christ who will have children raised in the Lord, not the system.
In all my years of ministry, including my time studying in college, I’ve never heard a sermon teaching and educating people on caring for the orphans, except when I worked at a Foster Care Agency where it was our job to care for them. There are multiple generations of people attending church regularly and never truly realizing that as believers we’re ALL called to care for orphans. We’re all called to either be the one opening our homes or providing the support network for those families.
I don’t want to ignore the churches that do preach on this subject, hold classes at their building, and is a support network for the families in their congregations who are following the Biblical command. They’re out there doing a fabulous job and really changing lives but, there needs to be more of them. It’s the churches job according to scripture and because we have severely lacked in providing that, our government had to step because no one else would.
As a church, we have the teachings of Jesus which include eternal life and healing. We can be a tool that provides healing to a whole people group. The amount of pain and suffering these children go through doesn’t end when they’re adults, it only continues. The only way someone can properly heal from what they’ve suffered is learning who their healer is and how are they to learn this if the church isn’t there to teach them?
I want to answer some common questions that I get asked all the time in hopes that at least one person who reads this decides to save a life.
Q: Do I have to make a certain amount of money or own a home to foster or adopt?
A: No, but the state does want to make sure you are “financially stable” to care for a child. There are no income requirements, they just want to see stability.
Q: Do I have to be married?
Q: How do I know which agency to go through or where to start?
A: Each agency handles the process to become licensed to foster/adopt differently. However, they cannot go against state or federal regulations. Do a lot of research on the different agencies in your community along with your local children services and select one that fits your family the best.
Q: How long does it take to become licensed to foster or adopt?
A: On the shortest end- 3 months. An average is 6 months, but it’s not uncommon for it to take up to 9 months. It depends on your agency and county. Once you are licensed to when a child is in your home varies.
Q: I can’t afford to take care of another child, but I want to foster.
A: Children fostered from the state are given a daily rate. The rate depends on age, health, etc. of the child. The state will pay the foster family the daily rate in one lump sum each month. Healthcare and life insurance are provided as well as yearly financials for clothing and school supplies. If you’re still worried that it will be too much, consider becoming a respite family. You watch children for a short period of time, usually a weekend or a week while the foster family rests.
Q: I am worried that I will become too attached and be heartbroken when they leave, so that’s why I haven’t fostered.
A: I’m going to be really honest with this question. You’re going to allow a child to suffer emotionally and physically for a lifetime because you, an emotionally stable adult, don’t want to experience heartbreak when they leave? Think about that for a bit. Also, unfortunately, you’re not going to bond with every child the same and you may feel relief when a child leaves because that time was difficult and tiring. I hope you are heartbroken when a child leaves your home because I hope you love that child like Jesus does. You may be the only person in their lifetime who does.
Q: I fear I won’t love my adopted child the same way I love my biological child.
A: You might not, but you also may. The love for your adopted child could happen right away or it may take years. Nothing about adoption and foster care is easy and clean. It’s hard and messy for everyone. Your love for them may be different, but that doesn’t make it any less. Different doesn’t mean less than.
Q: Where do I even start?
A: A simple google search for foster care/adoption agencies in your county is a great place to start. Read up on each agency, meet and interview each one before selecting the one you want to move forward with. This is vital since they are your initial support system.
Q: I’ve heard of caseworkers lying and doing whatever it takes to place a child. I don’t want to be lied to.
A: I don’t want you to either. The truth is, you probably will. Caseworkers are just like any other position in any other job. You may get a great one and a not so great one. You have more authority and power then they will ever allow you to think. Researching your county, state, and federal laws will help you when you see something being done that is not right. When you know these laws, your process and experience can be smoother.
Q: I want someone to talk to who has walked this path before so I can get the best understanding and not a sugar coated answer from an agency. Who do I go to?
A: First, I’m always here to answer any questions, point you in the direction for the right answer, or be a listening ear. Secondly, there are adoption and foster care support groups everywhere. Searching through social media or your local agencies will connect you with other families who are a little further down the path than you and can provide insight into things in your specific community that is priceless.
We have wanted to adopt for a long time, I am not sure why we have never followed thru but now I really wanna go home and talk to my husband and do that
I saw a study done by the Barna group that states around 40% of Christians think about fostering or adopting and only 2% actually follow through with it.
Emily | To Unearth says
How sad that the church misses such a vital aspect to God’s command to love and care for orphans. I love how you not only state what the issue is, but also answer questions people might have. Thanks for bringing attention to this issue!
Thank you for reading 🙂
Fostering and adopting are true gifts from God! Thanks for such an informative post!
Alice Mills says
I have taken in a number of kids for years at a time. Truly they blessed me, not the other way around.
That’s amazing to hear!
Thank you for the informative post! I have thought about this but get cold feet. We have 5 kids and I’m not sure how it would work with the intermixing of my kids!
It’s possible if you really want it. Or helping support foster families is always a need 🙂
About 65% of my mental health clients are children who have been in the foster care system or who have been adopted. Their wounds run deep. I agree only knowing and accepting the love of Jesus is going to heal them. Sadly, it can take a long time for them to believe in that love after their experience with trauma.
Thank you for this!! I am going to use this comment and share it Bc it’s sooo important!
Holly Lasha says
This is great. We have seriously considered foster/adoption several times, but for us waiting until our children are a little bit older just makes the most sense. In the meantimes, I love supporting those that do!!
I think that’s a wonderful way to do it. Waiting is a good idea for many families!
Leslie Albizzatti says
Thank you for teaching me
Thank you for reading!