“You can pray about getting involved in foster care and adoption, but God isn’t going to tell you no. He’s already called us all to it.” Those words—heard from an adoptive family in our church—stuck in my heart for months before we did anything about it. “We’re not equipped to foster.” “We’ve never raised kids of our own.” “We’re still ‘new’ here.” All of these were reasons why I never thought foster care or adoption would be part of my story. BUT GOD…
A New Family
When my husband and I moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2018, we immediately started searching for a church that we could call home. We came to love Mercy Hill pretty quickly, and we really felt like the Lord had brought us here for a reason, but it was a reason we didn’t fully understand until we attended a foster and adoption interest meeting in May 2019.
A New Call
We had heard for months about Mercy Hill’s heart for foster care and adoption, but we didn’t know how or even if we would get involved. We started to pray about how the Lord could use us, but we just weren’t on the same page about the timing or our capacity for helping in this way. When we found out about the Foster Care and Adoption Ministry interest meeting and decided to go, we just expected that we would get some information on ways to get involved and then keep praying about it. We heard stories from foster families in our church, private agency workers, and community ministries that support foster and adoptive families. We listened to a panel of families who had been through this process, who answered so many of the questions that we had about what foster care really looked like. But what was completely mind-boggling to us were the numbers—the staggering number of children that enter into foster care every year and the tiny number of foster homes in our county. I remember looking over at my husband in the middle of frantically taking notes and whispering, “We HAVE to do this.”
Before the meeting could even wrap up, we signed up for the foster care training classes that were being offered at Mercy Hill. It became so clear to us in that moment that THIS was why we were brought to Mercy Hill—because God wanted us in a community of believers passionate about foster care and adoption. Throughout the last several months of training and preparing our hearts and home, we have seen this community come along side us in prayer and support. I cannot say enough about how encouraging the foster care adoption ministry and interest meeting were in our path to foster care. We do not know what this foster care journey ahead may look like for us, but we do know that we have already seen such a clear picture of the gospel and the church that we had never experienced before.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” (James 1:27).
Mercy Hill’s next Adoption & Foster Care interest meeting is November 10th from 2-4pm at the Edgefield Road campus.
-Maddie Batton (MH Member)