My perspective of adoption and foster care comes from a different angle than most. I volunteer in Kids ministry, and while I may seem unqualified to speak about foster care and adoption, I can assure you that the Lord has given me a bigger vision for what it looks like to invest in and care for those in the foster and adoption process through the Kids ministry.
Perspective Is Everything
When I started serving in Kids five years ago, I thought that I was signing up to cuddle babies, change diapers, and give parents a chance to listen to the sermon. Over time, I realized that serving in this area is much more than childcare; it is discipleship and evangelism. It is a chance to love on families and remind them that they have a place where their children can have fun and love Jesus. It is also a place where families formed through adoption and foster care can bring their children into a larger family to remind them of their value, worth, and identity in Christ. It is a place where we as the church have the opportunity to live out our faith through our actions and the call to care for the orphan as seen in James 1:27.
One Story of Many
About two years ago, a new child walked into my MH Kids classroom. I did not know that my new toddler friend was being fostered, but I did notice some intense separation anxiety and frustration during “drop off” each Sunday. Some days in class were harder than others, but that did not minimize my desire to make this child feel loved and welcomed. In fact, it fueled my desire to partner with parents in this daunting and overwhelming process of fostering a child. I wanted these parents to hear every success story from class, even if it was small. I wanted them to know that we as Mercy Hill volunteers wanted to invest in their child as much as they did.
Launching the High Point campus provided me a perfect opportunity move up classrooms with my sweet toddler friend. It brought me great joy to see the growth that had taken place in the past year, and I wanted to continue to invest in that relationship. Through the consistency of love shown to my friend this year, separation anxiety during “drop off” is rare, and it’s rewarding to hear them say their bible verses with assistance. It’s equally as exciting to share these moments with the parents who are encouraged by knowing that they are not alone in welcoming this child into their personal family and the greater family of Christ.
This Is My Charge
Serve in Kids. I shamelessly ask for you to join me in loving on children and their families, especially those formed through adoption and foster care. I challenge you to get involved. Be consistent in supporting families with foster children. Generously give of your time and energy to support a family in the local body who is trying to adopt. Support someone in your Community Group by putting on events to help with fostering or adopting a child.
If the church does not love these children and their families, who will? If the church does not proclaim to them the good news found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, then who? If the church does not step in to meet their physical and financial needs, then who will? If it’s not for you to engage in the foster and adoption care community, then who?
I leave you with the words of James: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
-Hannah Willey (MH Member)