I came across a great initiative via Foster Parent Podcast called the 111 Project. Based in Oklahoma, their motto is, “1 church, 1 family, 1 purpose: to leave no Oklahoma child without a father or a family.” Basically, they’re trying to grab hold of the statistic that the number of churches outnumbers the number of foster children in need of a home, both temporary and adoptive, and mobilize Oklahoma churches to step up and provide for these kids. All that is needed to provide enough homes is for one family from each church to become a foster and/or adoptive family.
I’ve written about this before. It’s always an issue that brings out several reactions in me:
First: Christians—we can do this! God has provided religious freedom in this country that allows faith communities to flourish openly. There are so many churches with so many professing believers. If one family (or more!) from each church would open their home to a foster child (or sibling group!), what a glorious witness it would be to our country that Christians care for the needy because our God cares for us. Psalm 68:5-6 and James 1:27 remind us of God’s heart for the orphan.
Second: the reality of being a foster family. Goodness gracious, it’s hard, tiring, frustrating work. You have to work within the confines of a broken government system. The kids are really difficult to parent and train. They’re worth it, but it’s not easy. You will spend more time in doctors’ offices and on hold with bureaucrats and filling out paperwork (that will get lost) than you will spend enjoying your expanded family. Satan is alive and well in this system of broken families. I have great respect for the veteran foster families who keep at it—we closed our license after our adoption. Fostering wore me out. So when I hear, “we just need one family to commit to fostering!”, my heart overflows with empathy and compassion for that one family that steps up.
BUT! Being worn out and tired and broken is worth it. We serve a Savior who gave His life so that we might be saved!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
In light of the beautiful gospel, Christians are able to answer the call to be these needed foster families. We don’t have to be afraid of the challenges, because our God is already victorious. He goes before us and provides all that we need to persevere. He will give you the strength to be that “one family”.
So what can you do? First, watch this video from the 111 Project. Then…if you know a foster or adoptive family, get moving to help them! Bring them a meal. Sign up to be babysit (which can require a background check!). Find out what they need—laundry, housecleaning, errands, picking kids up from school , tutoring—and do it!
And then…ask God if He wants you to be involved in foster care and adoption by actually taking kids into your home. You just might be that “one family”—and praise God for that!