Are you considering becoming an adoptive or foster parent? If so, pick up this book. Over the course of 30 days, Pam Parish, herself a foster parent, will lead you through 30 themes relevant to adoptive or foster parenting. Each chapter will guide you as you think about pursuing foster care or adoption, asking you to consider many aspects of the journey, pointing you to relevant verses in the Bible, asking hard questions, and giving you space to write down your thoughts and feelings. Throughout this devotional, Pam shares from her own experience, encourages you to reflect on your reasons for embarking on this adventure, and makes sure your eyes are wide open before you do so.
A few highlights:
On day one, Pam points out the Biblical mandate to care for the orphan and the fatherless, but notes that not every Christian’s call is the same in that regard. She writes, “It’s clear that God’s will is for all followers of Christ to take the gospel to the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s His will for everyone to pastor a church. In the same way, it’s God’s will that we care for the orphans, but that doesn’t mean every family is called to adopt. Too often, families confuse God’s whisper to get involved in the cause of orphans as a directive to add an orphaned child to their family. That can lead to heartbreak for even the most well-intentioned family.” You need to be sure of your calling before adding to your family in this way because you will return to the certainty of that calling in the more difficult moments.
Day 11 talks about adoption as legal and permanent. And foster care may not be permanent, but it is also a commitment. She writes, “When a child is placed in your home, you’ve committed to protect them, love them, and provide for them until the time comes for them to return to their family or enter permanency in another way.” Even when it’s really really hard, as a foster parent, you’ve committed to caring for this child. If things aren’t working out, you can’t just send them back. Days when you want to, you’ll need to return to what you know, that you were called to this. “This process isn’t about finding the right child to meet your needs; it’s about being the right parent to meet theirs.”
The point of foster care and adoption is to provide a loving environment for a child whose birth family is unable to. Ultimately, you want the child to adapt and grow in your family. But to do that, she needs to be able to trust you completely. The theme for day 14 is Trustworthy, and it warns you about how children discover whether you are a trustworthy person: they test you. Again and again. They act out. They shut down. They do all kinds of things to find out if there’s anything that will make you give up—and prove yourself untrustworthy in your promise to care for them. You must remain true to your calling to stand by these children and be unshakeable—no matter what they throw at you.
This 30-day journey will bring ideas and concepts to your attention that you might never have considered. It will be an invaluable tool for helping you determine if adoption or fostering is for you and preparing you for some of what lies ahead if you decide it is.