I asked God a long time ago to teach me to see people as he sees them, then to love them as He would love them. And as I've prayed those prayers, God has continually been showing me that we can't just sit in the pews on Sundays, hear a good message, then go out the door and keep living life as though nothing has happened. God's word is living, and active - and it should be continually changing us, refining us, and molding us.
I have gotten lots of questions about adoption and foster care from some readers, and one thing I've often heard is "I don't know if I could make that large of a commitment." I understand that, I really do. Adoption is a huge commitment, one that is only trumped by my decision to follow Christ, and my commitment to my husband.
That being said, I've always loved finding solutions, and I have one for you. If you are in that place - you have desire to help hurting families, but aren't ready to adopt or even have long-term foster kids, then I would encourage you to become a Safe Family.
Safe Families are different than a foster family in many ways. One main difference is that the parents voluntarily place their children in the program, and maintain full parental rights during the placement. The goal is to help the families before they get to a place where they lose their rights, and to give parents a little breathing room to get things straightened out in their lives, whether that be going to rehab, undergoing surgery or medical treatments, or finding a job.
In addition, this program is not state or federally run - it's a non-profit organization intended to mobilize people of faith in reaching out to people struggling in their community.
This is a way for the church to come alongside hurting people and help them pick up the pieces.
In this video, Katie Couric interviews people from different sides of this program:
Katie Couric on Safe Families for Children from John Norton on Vimeo.
Right now, Dave and I are committed to adoption, but for those of you who are not ready to permanently add to your families, how amazing would it be to be able to help those who are desperately struggling to hold things together?
The mom that they interviewed as she was dropping her kids off to their Safe Family brought tears to my eyes. To have cancer is awful enough (trust me, I would know!), but to then lose your job, and your home, while caring for 2 kids is completely, utterly, overwhelming. She so badly wanted to be a good mom, and having someone take care of her kids freed her to find a job and get to a better place in her life.
What better way to show love to people who are in need then to provide practical, tangible assistance at a time where they need it most? I would strongly encourage you to think about it, and consider whether you could be that person, or family, who makes such a difference in someone's life.
To read more, or to volunteer to help, please click here.