A Fostering Mission: First Steps

It is no longer a question of if I am called to care for the orphans…it is how am I being called to care for the orphans.

The  plight of a child who has found themselves without a home to call their own, the plight of a child who from first breath never had a place to belong, the plight of a child who can’t bear risking to love — because it hurts too much every time that source is ripped away, the plight of a child who enters house after house, but yet can never find home…the plight of an orphan.

No person, let alone no child, ever asked to be put in a place in life where love is a word so foreign, distant and distorted. But yet, with no permission given, children every day find themselves in situations that become a world of emptiness; a world laced with fear and loneliness. It is a place where hope is just a fantasy that can’t be indulged in, it only makes the hurt that much more painful and the scars run that much more deep. It is better to shut-out the good then to risk it becoming a weapon to later wound.

And so, here I sit. My fingers resting on a keyboard punching out words words words with keystroke after keystroke. My heart and soul wrestle with the part of me I can hide so well. The part of me who finds security and satisfaction in the known, in the neat and tidy, and in the certain; a security and satisfaction that is not completely buried in the heart of God. My mind drifts to a garden…a man crying out to his Father in such fervent prayer that sweat became as drops of blood (Luke 22:44). His life perfection and his deity true, giving up himself in perfect sacrificial obedience – an obedience that led to pain immeasurable and death on a cross. For me? For me. FOR ME. A picture so clearly painted – Jesus, God’s SON, giving up his life so that I too can become a child of God. His pain, suffering and death…a rescue for me. He took it all on, in obedience to His Father, for…me…for you. And it becomes clear…whatever I am holding onto in this earth is nothing compared to what has been done for me. In clinging to the only one who ever knew perfect obedience, I can move closer to the heart of God.

Now, I think. My mind whirls. I know that I not only want to obey His command to care for the orphans, but I want to point them to Rescue. I can come in and love them, feed them, clothe them – but it is only through Christ that they will find their rescue. The only way they may ever find their way to Christ is through my obedience and willingness to let go of my own uninterrupted life and to say, “yes”. It is not a “yes” that is spoken with naive tone, it is one that understands their will be a sacrifice and a cost, it is a “yes” that is finding itself buried in the security of a sovereign and good God.

This “yes”, I do not know where it will lead. I know that not all are called to foster and/or adopt, but I do know that I am called to do something. I do not know where my calling is found right now, I just move. Step by step I move forward in obedience. The important factor is taking that first step…where that first step will eventually lead, only God knows. Through Jesus, I trust and I obey.

Where are you? Have you taken that first step? Are you like the many others who took that first step already and are now on step 20, 200, 2000? Where did you start with your first step? Where has your first step taken you?

Are you wanting to take that first step? Are you ready to obey the call to take on the plight of the orphan and care for them, but don’t know where to begin? Below are some suggestions as to where you can begin your first steps.

From the first step on, let God guide and let His Spirit lead.

  1. Ask one of your friends who are currently fostering and/or have adopted how you can be a blessing to them. Ask them what you can do to come alongside them and give them support – filling out necessary paperwork to be qualified to babysit, help with adoption fees, etc. (If you do not know someone, then your first step would be to get involved somewhere that will give you the opportunity to do this, maybe by contacting your church or local foster agency).
  2. Contact your local foster agency and see
    1. if there are ways you can get involved in supporting foster families in your community – whether by bringing meals to a family with a new placement, donating necessities, or just being able to partner up with a family.
    2. What needs you can help with for the children that are in shelters.
    3. What volunteer opportunities are available for children in shelters.
  3.  Become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
  4. Contact organizations and ask how you can get involved (just a few suggestions listed below)
    1. The Forgotten Initiative
    2. Christian Alliance for Orphans
    3. All In Orphan Care
    4. 111 Project
    5. Angels Foster Family Network
  5. Contact your church about what volunteer opportunities might be available through them
  6. Begin the process of opening up your home to foster care (background checks, trainings, home checks, etc.)

“We care for orphans not because we are rescuers, but because we are the rescued.” – David Platt

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