In the United States, nearly 400,000 children were without parents at the end of 2012, making the need for orphan care in our own country great. For many waiting children in the US, the journey to come into the love and permanency of a family through adoption will account for more than three years of their childhood. Although the US foster care system has continued to tailor their policies to better meet the needs of children removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other imminent risk, the resulting need for loving and supportive foster families remains. While it is certainly true that foster parenting does not always lead to adoption, here are a few key things that adoptive families want you to know about their journey from foster care to adoption:
1. Foster Parenting Does Not Always Lead to Adoption
Since the goal of temporary foster care is to eventually reunite children with their biological families, those providing foster care are often not able to adopt the children in their care, even if they wish to. This reality is one that foster care families face everyday – the balance of loving and caring for children in ways that help usher in healing and connection while understanding that the placement may not be a permanent one. For this reason, among others, foster parents covet the prayer and support of their community. If you know foster care families in your community, consider ways in which you can partner with them to provide much-needed love and support.
2. Foster Care is Just as Vital as Adoption
Whether a couple chooses to provide temporary care for a child through foster care or to become their forever family through adoption, the loving care and steadfast support for a vulnerable child in each role is incredibly valuable. The majority of children entering foster care are likely coming directly from an unstable environment or recent trauma. The immediate presence of a family who can love and nurture them in a safe environment can be just as life changing as the restored hope of an adoptive family. The impact of a loving foster family can mean a world of difference in the life of a child.
3. Adoption is Born of Loss…And Restores Hope
While it is hard to understand and accept, many children coming through the foster system and into adoption have experienced a certain level of trauma and loss that we cannot imagine a young child going through. While this certainly does not mean that children coming out of foster care are without hope, it does give adoptive families a unique opportunity to restore hope to a child who desperately needs to experience the love and permanency of a forever family. As children of God, we too are adopted into the forever family of our Creator as he restores hope to our souls. This is the true joy of foster care and adoption: the ability to walk alongside children as they experience the love of Christ through the love of a family.
Whether through permanent adoptive families or life-giving support like foster care, Show Hope is passionate about caring for orphans in distress. As we seek to fulfill God’s call, would you consider partnering with us in this great work? Whether you choose to give a one-time gift or become a Show Hope Sponsor, our hope is that you would join us in this global mission to restore hope to waiting children all over the world.