Orphan Care

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Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” – James 1:27

Adoption & Orphan Awareness Month may be almost over, but the need for those who will care for orphans is not!  Not everyone is called to adopt, but all followers of Christ are charged with the responsibility of caring for the orphans of the world.  It is estimated that there are more than 153,000,000 orphans worldwide, all facing the reality of the world on their own – all who need someone to stand up for them.  You may not be called to adopt, but you can stand up for an orphan who has no one else.  Many people think that adoption is the only way to care for an orphan, but that is only that start of how you can make a difference for an orphan somewhere around the world!

I have compiled a list of ideas and resources for orphan care below.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it can get you started!  This holiday season, I challenge you to chose one of the options below to pursue on your own or with your family.  Please, make a difference in the life of a child!

 

Foster Care

The Foster Care system is always in need of stable, loving homes to care for children in our country – whether they are orphans or waiting to be reunited with their family.  There are a great deal of myths and misconceptions surrounding foster care – don’t rule it out until you are educated!  Whether you are single or married, with or without children, a home owner or renter, an empty nester … you could be an awesome candidate for making a HUGE difference in the life of a child, or many children!  If you live in the Cedar Rapids area, check out Safe Families for Children – an awesome organization that gives you the opportunity to be a short-term host family for a child who is in need of immediate housing in emergency situations.   Learn more:  Safe Families for Children, Iowa Kids Net, AdoptUsKids, National Foster Parent Association

 

Financially Support Someone Else’s Adoption

“33% of Americans consider adoption.  79% of those are concerned about the costs, the biggest deterrent.  Less than 2% adopt.” (Abbafund.com)  Most families feel a great deal of emotional support from their family, friends, and community when announcing an adoption, but feeling a lack of financial support can be very discouraging.  Often, there is a misconception that unless a financial gift is substantial, it is not helpful.  This is NOT true!  Every little bit absolutely helps, and the encouragement that comes with any show financial support is invaluable.  If you know someone who is adopting, consider supporting them monthly through the duration of their adoption process, similar to how you might support a ministry or missionary.

 

Child Sponsorship

Consider sponsoring a child in need who lives somewhere around the world.  A monthly sponsorship can be very affordable, and can give a child a chance to receive food, clothing, shelter, clean water, medical care, and education.   It also gives you the opportunity to write letters back and forth with your sponsored child, share pictures, allow them to be a member of your family from afar, and watch them grow up.  These experiences can be absolutely life-changing for both you and your sponsored child!  Learn more:  Compassion International, World Venture

 

Give to Organizations That Provide Adoption Grants/Loans

Many adoptive families will apply for grants or low/no interest adoption loans from various ministries and organizations.  These forms of financial aid can take some of the burden off the cost of adoption, and are a huge blessing to the families who receive them.  Most of these ministries and organizations give out these funds entirely from donations that they receive, so supporting them financially is an often overlooked way to help many families with their adoptions!  Learn more:  Show Hope, Abba Fund, LifeSong for Orphans, Affording Adoption

 

Adopt An Orphanage

There are organizations and ministries that give you the opportunity to sponsor or adopt an orphanage somewhere in another country.  Your support will provide the orphanage with adequate facilities, improved supplies and materials, and helps to provide qualified staff members.  Learn more:  LifeSong for Orphans

 

Help Your Church/Business to Start an Adoption Assistance Program

Many churches have started assisting adoptive families through establishing adoption assistance programs to show emotional, financial, practical, and prayerful support.  Business and companies are catching on to this as well, and are implementing things such as paid leave for adoption and reimbursement for adoption expenses.  Ask your church or company leadership if they have an already-established adoption assistance program, and if they do not – help them start one!  Learn more:  Christian Alliance for Orphans, LifeSong for Orphans, Show Hope,

 

Orphan Hosting

My first exposure to orphan care was through an orphan hosting program in my home church growing up.  Each holiday season, a group of orphans from the Ukraine would come to our town and stay with host families.  This was an amazing experience for these kids to get out of the orphanage life and experience the love of a family, even for a short time.  Some of these children were eventually adopted into families in our church, but either way, it was an incredible experience for them!  Most orphans have never had a positive family experience or even been shown love in a healthy way, and being a part of a host family can be life changing for them and do wonders for lifting their spirits!  Learn more:  New Horizons for Children, Kid Save, Ukrainian Resource Center, Frontier Horizon (There are many more!  Just Google “orphan hosting”.)

 

 

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”  -Matthew 25:40

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