Listening to: Oldies
Reading: A Mother for Choco
Writing About: Orphan Care, Advocacy, Adoption, Foster Care,
November is about many things:
Arguably / Regrettably / inevitably the day after Halloween is Christmas time.
Hate all you want, it is what it is.
Also, Thanksgiving and Veterans Day.
Guy Fawkes Day, Black Friday, and National Unfriend Day.
And of Course:
National Adoption Month !
So, with that in mind.
Here are 10 ways to get involved in Orphan Care.
Just some broad outlines
just to start the dominoes.
Start pulling any of these threads and see where they go!
#1: Foster Parenting
Be a foster parent. Spend some time loving kids who need love. Can you make pancakes? Do you throw a frisbee? You may be a good fit.
Yes it is difficult. But you’re a big boy. Put on your big boy pants and do the difficult thing so a kid doesn’t have to!
Guardian Ad Litems are caring volunteers who represent the best interest of a child in court. They make visits and build relationships with kids in care. They are the only one tasked with speaking up for the child in court; not the birth parents, not the potential placement, not the technical details of the process or plan…just the interest of the child. You could be the voice of a child who has no voice.
#3 International Adoption
I put all of my eggs in the foster care basket, that’s true. However; I have a great deal of respect for and believe in the power of international adoption. Access to services is one reason people are often drawn to international adoption. Kids adopted from international settings may never have access to state funded schooling, health care, mental health counseling or nutritional help in their country of origin. They may face a life of institutional care which, at it’s best, is not family care. It’s complicated, and beautiful.
#4 Domestic Private Adoption
Some families know they want to be a permanent home for a child. Domestic private adoption doesn’t carry all of the “unknown status / undefined future” weight that foster care brings; but still provides a loving home for a child who needs a home.
#5 Go Pro
The adoption world is a difficult place to work. It is also an important place to have good people. If you are at a place in life where training, schooling, or a new career are feasible options; consider becoming a part of the system. Case Workers, Investigators, Administrators, Adoption Workers, Lawyers, IT/Tech pros..all of these skills have a place in the professional world that supports kids in need. That world needs good people, highly skilled people who truly care about kids.
#6 Resource Others
Help raise money for families who are going through the tremendously expensive international adoption process. Make care packages for foster kids to receive when they are placed in care. Supply group homes with things…or build relationships with kids in group homes! Bless case workers, investigators, and all of the (mostly) ladies who are working in tough spots for the sake of kids.
#7 Sponsor a child
It is common, in international adoptions, for kids to enter orphanages (and eventually the adoption system) because the birth family lacks resources. Nearly every adoption agency has a program to help sponsor children. Child sponsorship helps provide support systems that keep kids in their families, and builds capacity for them to help their families exit the systems that kept them in poverty. You’ve probably heard of This one I really love This one
#8 Host Events
Do you love party planning? Is Pinterest opened in another tab right now? Plan events for kids in care, or mom’s day out for foster or adoptive moms. Facilitate a support group, bake cakes for group homes..make ambitious crafts and cute wreaths, or whatever you do on pinterest.
#9 Use Your Skills:
What do you love to do? What are you good at? What activities make you feel most alive?
Is there any way that those things can intersect with the world of orphan care?
Are you passionate about BMX?
Take a kid in care out on a trail!
Are you in the Cross Fit Cult?
Put on a grunting competition, all proceeds benefit your favorite orphan care organization !
Do you design or write code?
Google orphan care websites, you’ll see some real dogs…reach out and make their stuff beautiful, then don’t charge them!
Think hard about what you do, be creative, do something you love!
This is not a cop-out, it’s not just a way to ensure that the strategies are Christian. The need is overwhelming, the difficulty and darkness that intersect with the orphan care world is heavy. Pray for kids, pray for birth parents and families of origin, pray for adoptive parents, pray for siblings of kids in care, pray often, pray for what you know about and understand. Pray!