Faith,  Family,  Heart,  Hope-filled Fiction,  Mind,  Soul

Do Something

My husband and I attended this conference yesterday in Salem, VA, and it opened my eyes even more to the need for foster care and adoption. Here are a few stats for you: An estimated 88% of trafficking victims come out of the foster system. Less than 4% of foster kids graduate from a four-year college. Only about one-third of children in the care of the Virginia Department of Social Services are returned home. In Roanoke City alone, over 200 children are in need of foster homes with only 78 families hosting.

Does that break your heart? It does mine. This is one reason I serve as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Chesapeake, VA. It’s why the main character in the novel I’m writing is a CASA volunteer. I weave themes of foster care and adoption throughout my book hoping God will use a fiction story infused with truth to turn hearts toward hurting children around the world.

Our Almighty God has a heart for these most vulnerable among us.

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. James 1:27

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. Psalm 68:5-6

As believers, we should become more like Jesus every day, and if Jesus has a heart for orphans, shouldn’t we?

I’m sure many reading this are saying, “I can’t be a foster parent. I don’t have the time, patience, money, ability, ____________.” You fill in the blank. I get it. I have those same fears and concerns. What I know is that whatever God calls us to do, He equips us to do. So, I’m just asking you to pray. To consider what part God may have you play in helping children in need.

Not everyone is called to be a foster parent, nor to adopt. But we are ALL called to Do Something.

Here are a few options for you to consider if you can’t, or don’t feel called, to foster or adopt.

  • Become a CASA volunteer in your local juvenile and domestic court system. Find out here what it means to be a CASA.
  • Participate in the “Safe Families” program. Take a look at their mission statement: “Safe Families for Children hosts vulnerable children and creates extended family – like supports for desperate families through a community of devoted volunteers who are motivated by compassion to keep children safe and families intact.”

Through this program, you can volunteer as a host family and care for at risk children anywhere from two days to six months. Or, be part of the family/friends support system for the host families. Other opportunities include resource friends, family coaches, and safe family churches.

Since I learned of this organization only yesterday, I don’t know much about it but I plan to check into it, and I hope you will too. Use this link to find out more.

  • Donate
  • Provide respite care
  • Pray
  • Volunteer as a mentor
  • Advocate

Check out this link for more details on the above options.

Do some research. Learn about the opportunities in your city to help the vulnerable and hurting children who await your love and care. I found Together We Rise through a quick search on Google for “Organizations that help foster children.”

The Christian life is not a life of ease. It’s not about getting everything we can while on this earth and when retirement comes, we sit back, relax and enjoy our leisure. We have a mission. A calling from God to serve and make a difference for His kingdom until the day He takes us home. What will you do?

I leave you with two passages that drive home the truth that following Jesus will cost us. Helping children in foster care will cost us. We may have to suffer through some painful things. Is it worth it? I think Jesus would say yes.

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:15-17 (Emphasis mine)

And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost.” Luke 14:27-28a (Emphasis mine)

Join the conversation. What other organizations are you aware of that focus on helping children in foster care? What can you do to help children in these dire situations?

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.