"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
- James 1:27
100% of your donation to an adoption grant will help fund a Candian Christian family's adoption, without deducting anything for administration costs.
Connecting, equipping and mobilizing the Church in Canada to care for the orphan through adoption and foster care.
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Here's the second part from our last post on pastoring adoptive parents. To read Part 1, click here.
6. Keep on encouraging them.
Those who step out in faith to adopt enter a journey filled with many ups and downs. Keep supporting them throughout the process. Ideally, they will have a care group or some close friends that will be able to do this as well.
7. Provide financial counsel and help.
The majority of couples adopting are challenged by the high costs. Any ways that you can provide encouragement and help financially will express love in a very tangible way.
One way you can do this is by establishing a church adoption fund to offer grants and loans to members.
8. Cry with them and celebrate with them.
The majority of adoptions are filled with great highs and great lows.
There are often many tears shed due to failed placements and other setbacks. There is also unparalleled joy in being matched with your child and bringing them home.
Do what you can to enter into their experience. Embody the compassion and empathy of Christ in the hard times and magnify the joy of the Father in the celebration.
9. Celebrate adoptions publicly in services.
Give time during worship services not only to teach on God’s heart for orphans, but also to celebrate specific adoptions. You can perhaps do this as part of Sanctity of Life Sunday or in conjunction with another special day such as Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day. Also, November is National Adoption Awareness Month.
There are many ways you can publicly celebrate adoption during the service such having an adoptive family share their story, honoring adoptive parents in the congregation, or taking a special offering for your church adoption fund. Be creative!
10. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers.
Use the wisdom and experience of the Christian adoption community. There are a growing number of resources available, including many churches that have ministries aimed at promoting and supporting adoption.
Encourage those in your church who have a passion for adoption to lead the church in caring for the fatherless and supporting adoption. And remember you are not alone! There is a community of others to support you and above all, God, the Father of the fatherless, is with you to provide all that is needed to follow his call to care for the “least of these.”
One of our board members, Jason Kovacs wrote this blog post about 10 ways to pastor adoptive parents and those considering adoption. It is written to a US audience, so some of the references are from the US. However, the content and principles are very relevant to a Canadian audience as well. Enjoy!
There are many ways that you can express your pastoral care for those considering adoption and those who have adopted already. As an adoptive father and former pastor, I offer a few thoughts on how to help adoption become a biblically based, heart-led, missional movement in your church and not merely another program on your church’s list.
1. Develop your own heart for the fatherless.
God calls Himself a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) and emphasizes throughout Scripture his special care for orphans. In fact, the very heart of the gospel is God’s passion to not only redeem sinners but to adopt them as his very sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:4-5).
Many adoptive parents and those pursuing adoption feel alone in their churches because it seems like no one understands. By communicating that adoption is fundamentally connected to the gospel and the nature of God you will challenge the view that adoption is a “plan B” if a couple cannot have children biologically.
2. Do a biblical study on God’s perspective on orphans.
As you develop your heart for adoption, pass this on to your people in your preaching. You can start by simply looking up all the instances in the Bible to the “fatherless.”
3. Educate yourself on basic facts about adoption and orphan care.
Did you know there are roughly 129,000 children waiting to be adopted today in the US and over 132 million orphans worldwide? That is a starting point to stir your heart to pray and cry to God for his justice and grace to be poured out on their behalf.
Some websites I've found helpful in keeping me aware of these issues are...
Cry of the OrphanJoint Council of International Children's ServicesUS State Department Office of Children's IssuesUS Department of Health and Human Services
Your awareness of these kinds of things will speak volumes to the church you lead. Whether it is through your preaching, teaching, or just regular conversation, your church will begin to hear this and will gain God’s heart and perspective on adoption.
Your understanding will also touch those who have adopted and who are considering it.
4. Ask questions.
Listening is one of the most powerful expressions of your care. Learn to ask the right questions. Here are a few good ones to ask:
Why are you considering adoption? Are you both on the same page? If not, where do you differ?Do you both have the faith for adoption?Are you aware of the risks, ups, downs, and unknowns of adoption?Have you talked to other adoptive families about their experience?Have you been praying together about this?Where do you feel called to adopt from?What kind of support do you have in place?Are you aware of the cost of adoption? How will you pay for it? Will you need help?
5. Remind them that they desire a good and God-magnifying thing.
Encourage those pursuing adoption with God’s heart for the fatherless. Encourage them with God’s promises to direct their steps (Prov 16:9). Encourage them with God’s faithfulness to provide.
To be continued...
Last month we introduced you to the Mahoneys and shared their family's story of how they wanted to help an ABBA family. We want to thank them for a very successful event that will bless an ABBA family. Here is their update on how things went.
"We had a perfect day and raised a total of $1,372!!! $687 in direct donations and an additional $685 from the Yard Sale & Lemonade Fundraiser. Megan & Mikayla baked cupcakes & cookies and made endless pitchers of Lemonade that started selling quickly once the sun started shining down on us. They had a couple of neighbourhood friends join them to help for the day.
Once the sale was done, we held a raffle for 12 gift certificates that were donated from local restaurants and had the pleasure of calling the winners to share the good news. Lastly, we boxed up all of the leftover items and dropped them off to the local Goodwill so others can benefit from the donated items that we couldn’t sell.
A heartfelt thank-you to everyone who supported us through this event. We’re all a bit tired, but the girls both said that all the work was worth it and they can’t wait to do it all over again next year!"
We want to introduce you to the Mahoneys. The Mahoneys are a family touched in several ways by adoption. Here is a snippet of their story:
"We are the Mahoney's - Kevin (father) was adopted here in Canada, Michelle (mother) is the daughter of an immigrant family and we adopted two beautiful daughters, Megan (13) and Mikayla (12) both born in South Korea."
The Mahoneys have started a group called Inspired for Influence where they are "aiming to leverage social media to influence others to step off the sidelines of life and get involved." Their focus is on finding homes for children that have been orphaned around the world.
This July, they are holding a fundraiser event. Here is the description of their event:
"Megan and Mikayla are adopted and want to help others. They have been involved in the Me-to-We program at school and this summer have decided to start their own fundraiser. They are planning Megan & Mikayla's Mammoth Yard Sale and Lemonade Stand with the objective to raise $1000 to donate to ABBA Canada"
Let's come alongside them and pray for a blessed event that not only raises funds, but also awareness for what they are doing and the needs of adoptive/foster families and waiting children around the world!
Click here to visit their page.
This past year we celebrated a very special milestone in the life of ABBA Canada. We wrote a cheque for the $100,000th grant dollar and we have you to thank! More importantly, here's a thank you quote directly from the family that received the grant:"Thank you so much to all those who have donated to ABBA. Receiving this grant is but one of the many miracles that have worked together to enable us to adopt again. Words cannot express our gratitude"Andrea & Kyle received the grant towards their 2nd African adoption. But they're not the only ones that are eager to see this little boy come home. According to their son, "I've been waiting forever for my baby brother!" Andrea & Kyle, in response to this, go on to say that "sometimes it sure feels like it. But every day and every night we pray for him and trust God to watch over him until he is home with us. We dream of the day when he is here with us, helping to light up the room with his cute little smile! While he may not know it yet, we already love him so much."Join us in praying for this beautiful family as they journey towards bringing this precious child home.
Click here to visit their page and read their full story.
Did you know that every time you share an ABBA Canada Facebook post to your own Facebook page, about 35% of your friends see that post in their news feed? That means that each time you share one of our posts, a couple hundred new people, that we've never been in contact with, could have an opportunity to learn about this ministry that you care about.
For us, what that means is more families being helped in their adoption journey. The majority of ABBA Canada grant money comes from online donations, made by people who read an ABBA story and are inspired to play a part in someone's adoption journey.
A huge way you can bless and support the ministry of ABBA Canada is by choosing your favourite ABBA post or posts and clicking "share" to your page.
Let's help more families. Thanks for your help!
Visit the ABBA Canada Facebook page here