November 22nd is National Adoption Day. This month you might notice news outlets, organizations, and even Facebook friends posting stories or opinions along this theme. This month is very special to several of us here at Three Strands Ministries because we have become or hope to be foster and/or adoptive parents. This month you will here from us about Foster Care and Adoption. We hope that you will relate to our stories, share them with someone who is a Foster or Adoptive parent, and consider opening your heart and your home to a child in need. For those of you who have never adopted and are wondering what the fuss is about, here are some important facts regarding National Adoption Day:
What is National Adoption Day?
Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving thousands of children, their soon-to-be-parents, and local social workers assemble at their local courthouse to finalize their adoption. Some children are adopted from birth. Others were swept into the Foster Care system and wait several years before they are adopted, and, in some cases adult children (18 or older) are officially adopted by their parents. Each family has their story, which has led to this culminating event. It is not the end of their story, but simply the end of a chapter and the beginning of another. If you would like more information about National Adoption Day, we recommend you click on this link nationaladoptionday.org .
Why is this Adoption Day different from other Adoption Days throughout the year?
This is the time of the year when several states make a big push to finalize the adoptions of kids who are in the foster care system in an effort to ensure that foster children find their forever homes. Typically, more adoptions occur in the month of November than in any other month throughout the year. It is a day of celebration and a time to raise awareness about the needs of foster children
I am interested in foster care and/or adoption. Where can I find more information?
There are several great organizations across the country that specialize in foster care and adoption abroad and in the U.S. We at Three Strands Ministries recommend the following organizations:
- Youth For Christ (YFC) for foster care and adoption services (Seattle/Tacoma region)
- Child Share (LA region)
Is there a way to help foster kids without becoming a foster parent or adopting? I want to help, but I can’t foster or adopt. What can I do?
There are lots of ways to support Foster and Adopted Families. Here are some ways that you might consider helping a foster/adoptive family:
- Respite care – Child care for the foster/adoptive parents while they enjoy a date night, run errands, or even go grocery shopping. This is like specialized child care in that you may need some training or to attend a class to know how to care for children with special needs. You will also need to have a background check on file with the child’s social worker. This is easy to obtain and the foster family and their social worker should be able to help you know what needs to be done.
- Host play dates – Foster/adopted children, for the most part, are just like your kids. There may be some children who have special play needs and a play date may not be appropriate. But for the most part, helping to provide a sense of normal and a safe place to play with friends is important and will be a great encouragement to the kids and their families.
- Be a friend – Foster moms and dads need someone who is willing to listen and not judge them or their kids. Invite them over for dinner, take them out to coffee, and just listen.
- Don’t judge. Offer to help – Sometimes, being a Foster parent can be difficult. People who are not Foster parents don’t understand the special needs and challenges that come with caring for a child who has been exposed to drugs or alcohol, abuse, neglect or abandonment, and have behavioral, emotional, developmental, or psychological challenges. So if you see a mom at the checkout stand buying subsidized food who seems overwhelmed by unruly, undisciplined kids, don’t write her off as a bad mom. Instead offer a smile, offer to help carry her things to her car, and just be a blessing.
- Help raise awareness – Change your profile picture on social media and challenge others to do the same, and help give a voice to the thousands of foster kids who are looking for their forever home.
Join the conversation
Do you have questions about Foster Care or Adoption? Are you a Foster or Adoptive mom and are willing to share your story? Email us your questions or share your story and we will post it on our blog.