DAY 1: The Call
Not many would debate whether God’s will is for orphaned and wounded children, but few have fully considered it. In Psalm 68:5–6, God calls Himself a father to the fatherless and says that He sets the lonely into family. In James 1:27, it’s clear that God sees caring for the orphan as pure and faultless. And in Psalm 127:3, we’re told that children are a gift from the Lord, a reward from Him. There are many other scriptures we’ll read throughout this seven-day journey that emphasize God’s heart for His people to answer the call of adoption. However, each believer must prayerfully consider his or her part in answering that call. For some, it means financial support to a family that is adopting, childcare assistance, making weekly meals for a family, helping with school clothes, or supporting an orphanage. Answering the call for you might mean committing to a child for life through adoption or walking with a child temporarily through foster care.
In considering the call of James 1:27, many overlook the work of foster parenting because the children aren’t ‘orphans’ in the truest sense of the word. Children in foster care are probably best categorized as “at-risk” children from “at-risk” families. They have parents, but their parents aren’t able to care for them in a stable, safe environment. Caring for children who’ve experienced the trauma of abuse and neglect is no small task; it takes boldness and courage. Foster parents have a unique opportunity to impact the lives of the children in their care for eternity. Whether a child is in your life for moments or years, you could potentially be the only reflection of Jesus that they ever encounter. Helping to reunite a family in crisis is a beautiful way to be the light of Jesus within the community.
It’s clear that God’s will is for all followers of Christ to take the gospel to the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s His will for everyone to pastor a church. In the same way, it’s God’s will that we care for orphans, but that doesn’t mean every family is called to adopt. Too often, families confuse God’s whisper to get involved in the cause of orphans as a directive to add an orphaned child to their family. That can lead to heartbreak for even the most well-intentioned family.
It’s important that you take time to ask God to speak clearly to you about your specific and unique call to adoption. Our call is to older teenage girls. It’s unique, it’s specific, and it’s what God has asked us to do. To others it might be adopting an infant domestically or internationally. Ask specifically. He’ll answer.
I encourage you to spend time with your spouse (or a trusted friend if you're single) to ask and answer the following questions.
Discussion Questions - Day 1: The Call
1. What motivated you to get involved in foster care or adoption? Was it an emotional draw? Did you have experience with a particular child or family?
2. Today’s devotion says, “Caring for children who’ve experienced the trauma of abuse and neglect is no small task; it takes boldness and courage.” Talk about what you think this would mean to you and your family.
3. Read Psalm 68:5-6. What do you think it means that God “sets the lonely in families”? What does it mean to your involvement in foster care?
4. What are you currently praying about related to your foster or adoption journey? How can this group pray for you?