Home for Good: Adopting and Fostering
Home for Good is a national campaign to raise the profile of fostering and adoption in UK churches, organised by Care for the Family and the Evangelical Alliance homeforgood.org.uk If you are interested in finding out more, there is an event by Home for Good on 18th November. Ruth Thomas shares her story with us and why she decided to adopt.
"There are 150 children at any one time in Leeds waiting for adoption."
I grew up in a Christian family and my faith has grown up with me! I feel very privileged to have always Jesus and always felt excited about how God works in the Bible in and through families. When I was a teenager I remember going for a walk and thinking about the verse: 'God sets the lonely in families’’ (Psalm 68:6) and praying that God would somehow use me to do that; at the time I had no idea how! It's only now that the full meaning of the previous verse has become clear, that God is 'a Father to the Fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling.' (Psalm 68:5) Although most children waiting to be adopted in the UK are not orphans, they are not able to be looked after by their birth families for a variety of reasons. This verse shows that God's heart is for those children and he longs to adopt them into his family. The fact that God the Father adopted us as his children really inspired me through the process of adopting our son because I felt we were doing something close to the heart of God.
There are 150 children at any one time in Leeds waiting for adoption. During the adoption preparation course we attended as part of the assessment process, we heard heartbreaking stories of situations some children are in. This prompted me to pray that 'light would come into the darkness' and I felt a burden to pray for more Christians to adopt children in Leeds; I would encourage people to pray about whether this is something God is calling them to do. It's a fantastic thing to do!
In terms of the challenges of adoption, I would say that the main things that you need in order to be an adoptive parent or foster carer (apart from space and time!) is a willingness to be emotionally aware and to understand that adoptive children often need a different type of parenting from other families around you. Sometimes you have to do things in a way that other people may not understand for the good of your child. Adoptive children may (or may not!) grow up with unresolved grief and identity issues which affect who they are and how they behave. So if you don't feel called to adoption or fostering, one way to support adoptive/foster families is to pray for them for wisdom and to be understanding of the sometimes complicated issues they face.