One of the biggest frustrations adoptive families have is the huge cost of adoption - many international adoptions run $15,000-$35,000. Thankfully, it seems like alot of churches have begun to rally behind adoptive families and take James 1:27 seriously, but what does that look like?
I'm not sure that God has asked every family to adopt a child (though I have friends who would disagree). But I do believe that God has called every family to care for orphans and widows in their distress. So maybe that means sponoring a child or family, or doing foster care, or "adopting" a single mom and helping her with yardwork and budgeting and childcare. And for some, it's sacrificially giving to help another family adopt.
When we talk about money, things can get awkward. People get defensive or feel guilty. But if everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him...and if the religion that God really loves is to care for the fatherless and widows, then shouldn't our money (my money, your money, the Church's money) be closely tied to that mission? In talking to adoptive families, it seems that churches tend to be at one extreme or another - - encouraging partners in adoption, or incredible frustrations. One adoption friend described how her church leadership explained that they don't help families with things like buying an expensive cars or putting new landscaping in at the house, so why would they help with an expensive adoption - as if it's just one more personal choice. One way that our church has handled this is by supporting an adoption ministry. In His Hands Orphans Outreach is a non-profit organization started by a woman at our church. By encouraging this ministry (which we could always do better at :)) the church has a place to direct families who need help with all aspects of adoption. But if we continue to look at adoption as just another personal choice instead of God's mission, we rob churches of the opportunity to be part of God's big rescue plan for the world.
Show Hope (formerly Shaohannah's Hope) is one fantastic organization giving grants to adoptive families, but another organization that blessed our family is Lifesong for Orphans. Lifesong encourages the local Church to come alongside adoptive famlies with matching grants.
I'm excited that ministries like Lifesong are doing even more to help churches put their money where God's heart is!
So Much Bigger Than Us from Tapestry on Vimeo.