Sunday, October 21, 2012
Adoption and Foster Care
As I've mentioned before, we are in the middle of taking classes to become either foster parents or adoptive parents through the state, so adoption and foster care are on our minds a lot lately. After our last class, which emphasized the foster parents' role in keeping in contact with the child's bio family while they are in our home, I came to realize the very different outlooks you have to have when you are doing foster care versus adoption.
Andy and I have a heart for adoption. We love being able to serve the Lord through providing a needy child with a secure and permanent home, unconditional love, and a sense of belonging. We love each of our children so much and are grateful to God for how he has put our family together. Adoption is very child-focused, it's all about giving an orphan a family.
Foster care, on the other hand, is more whole bio-family-focused. In order to do foster care well, you need to have a heart for re-unification. Your desire must be for the bio parents to change and improve their behavior so that they can get their child back. You obviously can't go into foster care with the mindset of, "I hope the bio parents don't improve their life so we can keep their child". Unfortunately sometimes the bio parents aren't able or willing to make good choices and they do lose the rights to their children and they become available for adoption. Then your focus can shift to the child and away from the whole family.
So, we are thinking through where our heart is and whether we should do foster care or just seek to adopt again. We would appreciate your prayers as we make this decision! We are praying that God would lead us to the child he wants in our family, however that may come about.