How to provide support to those called to adopt:
(small excerpts from the booklet by Focus on the Family)
What if you have not been called to adopt a waiting child, but you still want to help orphans and play a role in the adoption process? Focus on the Family has a tremendous little booklet called Wrapping Around Adoptive Families - (if you're interested in the small booklet, I'd be happy to send you a copy- use the comment section to ask).
YOU CAN play a role in the adoption journey. You CAN help a child. You CAN support a family. You CAN make an enormous difference, and here are a few ideas Focus on the Family wrote:
Often an adoptive family is welcoming home an emotionally wounded or struggling child. The child has a large LOSS they're dealing with. Adoptive families need others to W.R.A.P. around them with prayer and practical help. Here's an easy way to remember their needs:
W - wrestle in prayer
R - respite care
A - acts of service
P - promises of God
There is spiritual warfare involved in rescuing orphans it is very real and often overlooked. Adoptive families need us to WRESTLE in prayer on their behalf.
Pray for things such as:
- Strength and patience
- Grace and mercy
- Spiritual eyes to see the truth behind their struggles and strength to exercise their faith and trust in God
- That God's love which never fails, will cover the child in all he does.
- For the child to know and believe that there is hope in Christ.
- That the child will trust and recieve her new family's love and desire to help her heal.
- Seek out a group of believer who will commit to pray regularly
PRAY.....FERVENTLY and OFTEN
RESPITE care -no matter how wonderful, committed and loving adoptive parents are, they need a break from the demands of caring for their children. Respite care is defined as short-term or temporary care...to provide relief to a regular caregiver.
- Respite should NOT begin until the child has been in the home for several months - check in with the adoptive parents perhaps after four months being home.
- Get to know the child beforehand and spend time with them along with mom and dad. Being a consistent presence in their lives communicated a genuine concern for them.
- Respite must be long enough to be worth the trouble of preparing for it.
- If possible, provide respite in the children's home in order to maintain as much of the structure and schedule as possible.
Acts of Service - one of the keys to effective acts of service is that they are offered enthusiastically, in a spirit of love and are specifically designed to meet the needs of the family.
-Errands and Shopping - don't say "let me know if you need anything" (because you'll likely never be asked). Instead, tell them you're going to the store that week and ask if they have time to give you a list.. Or keep a running list of their regular items such as detergent, toothpaste and so on.
- Laundry - pick up the laundry, take it home and return folded.
Gifts of Homecoming Celebration
Promises of God - Scriptures mane many promises of God that can encourage us during the different seasons of our lives. His Word is living and active, but His truths sometimes get lost amid pain and struggle.
- Provide encouragment with God's Word through notes, call or e-mails can be a powerful source of comfort and strength for families. Hope-filled words combined with listening ears, understanding hearts, kindness and mercy will deeply resonate.
- Don't be afraid to communicate truth in love to adoptive families. Knowing they have your support and prayers is helpful to them.
- Buy a box of cards and periodically send them an encouraging note.
While not every family is called to open their home to a child in need, everyone can be involved in caring for orphans. Take time to explore how the Lord may be asking you to service the adoptive families in your community. Often it's the small gestures that mean the most.
= Focus on the Family
"Each helps the other and says to his brother, "Be strong!" Isaiah 41:6