Job 1:21 reminds us that “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” This verse aptly describes the journey of a single person, a couple, or a family stepping into the world of foster care and adoption. This rewarding, life-changing, difficult space can seem impossible at times. Children who are hurting coming into the lives of well-intentioned believers can create unintended chaos in the lives of those who only want to love them well. Sometimes these children leave, and sometimes they stay forever. The road of foster care can seem very lonely. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Several SBC of Virginia churches are taking steps to stand in the gap for children and families on the foster care path.
Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg recognized the need to serve foster children and families in the church and in the community. Spotswood responded by implementing Interwoven, a foster care and adoption ministry. Interwoven is designed to advocate and raise awareness for vulnerable children. Interwoven serves families in specific ways to help the children and families feel the love and support of their church family. One major tool that Spotswood and Interwoven use is Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM), a step-by-step coaching tool from SBCV’s partnership with Send Relief. FAM coaches help local churches identify and implement ministries to meet the needs of families, care for foster children, and provide wrap-around care for foster families.
One of Spotswood’s major goals through Interwoven is not only to see more foster families join in the journey but to create a support team for each foster family in the church. They want foster families to be able to continue the work of loving children from hard places while feeling loved and seen by their church. As part of FAM, the church family can provide such services as regular meals, babysitting, prayer time, and tangible support for the foster, adoptive, and kinship families in their church and community. Interwoven provides family picnics, online support groups, and a sense of belonging through the body of Christ.
The national average time that a foster family is able to persevere is less than 12 months. The number-one reason they decide not to continue fostering is because they are overwhelmed and don’t have the support they need to continue. When a foster family decides not to continue fostering, there is one fewer home the local agencies have as a resource for children in need of a safe and loving home. Believers can help reduce this statistic by coming alongside foster families in their local churches and communities and demonstrating “pure religion” in tangible ways as we are all invited to do in James 1:27.
One foster family at Spotswood shared the difference Interwoven has made for them:
Because of the Interwoven ministry at our church, we have received an unprecedented level of love and support from our church family. We adopted from foster care several years ago and before becoming involved in the FAM at Spotswood, we felt unable to welcome more children into our home. However, through receiving this love and support in a tangible way, we were able to welcome home more children over the last few years. We are so grateful for our church family and Interwoven community.
You can also join the foster care journey with families in your church and community through Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM). SBCV churches can join with churches like Spotswood Baptist Church to make sure no child is without a family or the hope of the Gospel. ■
Resource: To learn more, visit sbcv.org/fam