When God’s people respond to His command to care for vulnerable children, our churches become an important part of the lives of parents, children, and siblings who are in the midst of the joyous and challenging journeys of fostering and adoption.
Lifeline desires to provide resources to churches and adoptive communities with them to help support families in realistic and helpful ways. Two of these resources are called Equipped to Love and the Adoptive and Foster Parent Connect Guide. Read more about them and the impact they can have in your church below.
Equipping the Church
We know that church families want to help and support adoptive and foster families but often do not know how to do that in the best way. Therefore, we developed a free curriculum for churches called Equipped to Love that answers the Why? and the How? of supporting adoptive and foster families. The curriculum helps others understand how to make adjustments in traditional church programs and settings, as well as the language they use, to provide families with practical support.
Hear from one of our adoptive moms, Stacy Huff, as she describes how Equipped to Love has impacted her family and her church:
During our adoption process we enjoyed great support from our church family. They prayed for us, encouraged us and gave financially to us. Once we were home, as one friend put it, “We wanted to help you but we just didn’t know how.” Equipped to Love has been able to give insight into how our family has changed, the reasons we do some of the things we do, and has empowered friends with the knowledge of what to do!
Hear more about how Equipped t0 Love impacted Stacy’s family here. As an agency, we desire to hold the hands of our families throughout their journey, from the very beginning to many years down the road. However, the church will be the daily support for families, and it is our desire to equip the local church with the knowledge to serve their foster and adoptive families well.
Topics in the Equipped to Love training include: caring for families, interacting appropriately with children with compromised beginnings of life, demonstrating sensitivity for adoptive and foster parents, understanding the unique needs of children from hard places, exhibiting sensitive language, and managing challenging behavior.
Connecting the Church
When adoptive families connect with one another, they are able to interact with others who have or are facing the same challenges, joys, and needs. Being in proximity with those who understand provides a safe environment in which every member of each family can share, encourage, disciple, cry with, laugh with, and connect with one another about all the ways God is working in their lives.
With this understanding in view, Lifeline offers a free Connect Guide, which provides all the components needed to start an adoption and foster parent connection group. Included are suggestions for group format, supplies needed, a confidentiality agreement, group evaluations, facilitator outlines, and printable worksheets for participants.
Each session is broken into three sections: Connect, Explore, and Apply. These areas are designed to build group cohesion, encouraging vulnerability and more opportunities for support.
Encouraging your church members and other families from surrounding churches to participate in a support group will strengthen families and the body of Christ in your area.
Find more information about Connect Groups here!