Thank You Grassroots Church!
My wife and I are currently in the process of becoming foster parents. There is a lot of paperwork, steps to take, home visits, and more. I am happy that the organization puts potential foster parents through this much work and preparation. I pray it helps ensure that the ones that make it all the way through are healthy families that can help foster children move forward in their lives. Lord willing within the year we will be approved and ready to welcome our first foster child into our home.
If you are not aware, the month of May is Foster Care Month. Currently, in the United States, there are over 400,000 children in foster care in 2018. This number has increased every year since 2012 and does not show signs of slowing down.
There is good news from this trend. In 2018 alone over 3000 kids were adopted out of foster care. That brings the total number of adopted children to over 57,000. Of the more than 250,000 children who exited foster care, 89% were adopted or reunited with biological family! These statistics are taken from an article posted on the website of the National Council For Adoption.
You can find that article here: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/blog/2018/01/stats-show-our-nations-foster-care-system-is-in-trouble
Here in West Virginia, there are over 6,000 children in Foster Care with more being placed weekly. There is a growing need for foster care homes. There are multiple organizations within the state that are active in placing these children in foster homes and training & approving foster families. If you would be interested in learning more we would invite you to check out http://childhswv.org/prog/foster.htm or https://www.missionwv.org.
I entitled this post “Thank you Grassroots Church” because as my wife and I have embarked on this adventure together we have looked around the Church we serve and been encouraged all along the way. We have kept the Grassroots family up to date on what has been going on in our process and we are met with clapping, cheers, thumbs up, and nothing but excitement! They have been such an encouragement as they have cheered us on, prayed for us and encouraged us to make it all the way through the process.
We have also been encouraged by our church family because as we looked around the church body at Grassroots, we found that we have four families that are approved foster families or are in the process of becoming foster families. We also have four families that have adopted kids into their families. There have been a total of seven kids adopted with four more being adopted in the months to come. To top it all off, my wife’s parents (who are a part of Grassroots as well) have made the decision to become certified to care for foster children that are already in placement so that they can help us with the kids that we take in. Foster grandparents are vital as well!
We feel as though it is a biblical mandate to step into the gap for these children, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world,” James 1:27. To look around the Grassroots family and see this played out in so many families has been such an encouragement to my heart as an Elder of the Church. We are praying that more families will be willing to step into this gap as the Lord leads them.
We know that it is a bit scary, a huge responsibility, and life-altering. However, it is an adventure that brings glory to God in such amazing ways. My wife and I have three boys. They are 15, 12 & 4 years old. We remember thinking at one time that we only have ten years left before the house is empty and we can have more “us” time. That is when our 4 year old and was born. We jokingly thought to ourselves that we had added eight years “on to the sentence”. As he grew we realized more and more how our lives are meant for more than “us time”. We became willing to welcome kids into our home to foster (and adopt if led that direction) because our rest is coming when this life ends.
Jesus is preparing a place for us to enjoy alongside him, and be in worship of him, that we will rest in for all eternity when this life ends. Therefore, this life is meant to be poured out in service to him. There is no “sentence”, there is no “retirement”, there is just the next season of serving. What season are you in? What season are you heading into?