Together We Can Do This - An awesome foster, adoptive mom, Michelle McNew, brings wonderful insight to ways we can all help a foster family.
We've all heard the expression, "It takes a village." So, what does that really mean? Some claim this proverb may have originated in the Bible because it reflects unity and self-sacrifice. For example, Ecclesiastes 4:9,12 says, "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
When it comes to the orphan, I like to think of the 3 strands as you (and me), the orphan, and most importantly Jesus!!!
Here are some things I've observed as someone who has adopted and who is connected with other families in the foster/adoptive community. When you decide to take the plunge, if you will, there will be those who think you have lost your mind. But most will tell you how awesome they think you are and how it takes a special person to do what you are doing.
Of course, that's not the case. It's not about being "awesome," it's about being obedient. After the compliments and accolades die down, you are still in the process of adjusting to this new life and all that it entails. This may sound like an odd comparison, but it reminds me of what often happens when a loved one passes away. Initially, there is an abundance of support...phone calls, prayers, and casseroles. Then, you get back to 'real life" and the phone doesn't ring quite as often, but you are still in need of support from friends and family. You may be thinking "are you trying to guilt trip me?" not really... well, maybe just a little. We are ALL called to do something! It's not optional, it's biblical. James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
So, you ask "what can I do?' I'm so glad you asked! The opportunities are endless, but here are a few things. First of all, you can PRAY!!! Pray for the kids who are asking, even at this very moment, for a loving home/family. You may not know their names, but God does!!! He has a plan for their lives, and who knows, you may be a part of it.
Pray that the Lord will show you what your role is. God may be calling you to foster, adopt, or to provide respite care. He may tug at your heart to give financially. Or just to rally around a family that is walking through this journey...take them a meal or give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant! Some of these families have a lot of kiddos, so going out to a restaurant may be a rarity. Even sending a card or text periodically to let them know you are praying for them, ask how you can help (and following through) can be such a blessing.
I think Proverbs 11:25 sums it up well, "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." So, choose to be that person who refreshes others and watch what the Lord does in return!!!