Many times I hear "I wish I could do that" or "I would be so afraid my heart would be broken" when I talk about our foster care/adoption journey. There are was You CAN Help, even if you are not called to specifically foster or adopt.
One of these ways is you can adopt a family that is adopting or fostering. I know what you are thinking, "I just said I wasn't CALLED to do that." Hang with me here for a minute. A family who is walking to path of foster care or adoption is under a lot of stress and pressure. They are welcoming a new child into their homes (one who is typically not a new born, has different genes and personality then they do). Beyond the "normal" things that need to be dealt with in adding to ones family they are also dealing with a child who they have little or no medical history for, attachment issues, and the scrutiny of the public and the agencies they are working with. Many times they are now placed in a fish bowl for the world to view how they parent these precious children.
I know many families who would love to be taken under someones wing. That extra support would mean the world to them. Here are some ideas:
PRAYER: This is the first and most important. If you have a desire to support a family going through this process please PRAY for them. They will covet your prayers!
MEALS: Could you bring a meal to the family? It doesn't matter if its a week past bringing the child(ren) into their home or six months, daily tasks can still seem overwhelming at times.
HOUSEWORK: A new child(ren) means more dishes, laundry, toys, and just general mess. Coming to clean once a week, once a month, or just once could truly ease a burden.
BE INTENTIONAL: Many times adoption brings a drastic change to a family. This could be two children suddenly become "twins", a family with teens now has a toddler, or a family jumps quickly in numbers. This brings about a whole new routine for church, school, shopping. Be intentional about seeking this family out to help in these matters. Maybe that means they need the door at church opened when to walk up with their double stroller, maybe this means delivering or picking up some of their children from Sunday School (with their permission), or maybe this means being available to take care of some of the kids so they can get things they need to get done for their other children.
BABYSITTING: All I can say is....YES, YES, YES! Foster/adoptive families are desperately in need of free babysitting. Whether it is the ability to run a few errands on their own or enjoy coffee date with their spouse these families could use the relief. Even a few hours to breathe can make a world of difference to them.
Many adoptive and foster families feel alone. They are dealing with unique problems and children that are hard for others to understand. Coming along side them to love and support them would bless them and you!