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Latest News Category: Foster Care

July 3, 2017

Who Is the Orphan in America?

orphan-in-america

When you hear “orphan in America,” who comes to mind? The truth may surprise you. Since the United States lacks traditional orphanages it can be easy to believe that our country is void of orphaned children (whether literal or social). Yet, in reality, the need to love and care for vulnerable children in our country is vast and growing greater all the time. Since many–if not most–of today’s orphans in the U.S. can be found in foster care, here are 3 facts to consider about children in the system: 1. 428,000 children are in foster care in the U.S. Consider this: The 4 largest football stadiums in the United States could be filled to capacity and still not hold all the children who are currently in the system. FYI: Roughly 102,000 of these children are currently eligible for adoption. 2. 8 is the average age of a child in foster care in the U.S. According to milestones established by professionals, … Continue reading

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June 14, 2017

My First Father’s Day as a Foster Dad

The-Gobena-Story

I remember the first time I saw my girls. I had butterflies in my stomach. At first it was a picture on my Iphone. Then I remember walking into the agency and I saw them through the window blinds. The youngest had long (and I mean long!) black pigtails and sat next her birth mom quietly. The oldest was energetic and busy. We met our first two foster daughters that day in March 2012. Before we met them, we talked with their birth mother. She was concerned because she knew we didn’t have kids and thought maybe we just wanted to steal hers. She was also concerned we were the sixth home the girls were going to in less than a year. Both April and I made it clear why we were foster parents. We were there to support both her and the children. April graciously let her know that we would probably … Continue reading

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May 24, 2017

Carried by God: National Foster Care Month

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May is National Foster Care Month. Last year The Forgotten Initiative (TFI), Lifesong for Orphans’ foster care ministry, started something new with the launch of The Forgotten Podcast. Their goal with every episode is to bring voice to the foster care community. Jami Kaeb, Founder and Executive Director of TFI, has the honor of interviewing individuals who minister to the foster care community, serve on the front lines, or who have spent time in foster care as a child, like Nicole Argo. Nicole’s story At age seven, Nicole witnessed her mom being severely abused by a boyfriend. At this tender age, she already felt exhausted from life. In that moment, she wanted it to be over because she didn’t want to hurt anymore. She sat on the ledge of an open window in her apartment, dangling her feet outside. She remembers hearing God’s voice–even before knowing who God was–saying to … Continue reading

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May 3, 2017

17 Things to Pray for the Fatherless

pray for the fatherless

It must grieve the heart of God that the line of fatherless children world-wide is 30,000 miles long. Truth be told, God’s heart would be broken if there were only 1 orphaned child in the world. So here is how we can pray for the fatherless who are already close to His heart– 1. Lonely children. Ask God to comfort, protect, and provide for children who feel forgotten. 2. At-risk homes. Ask God to supply mentors and resources for families in crisis. 3. Foster children. Ask God to comfort the hundreds of children who will enter foster care today. Every two minutes a child enters the system. 4. Aging-out youth. Ask God to protect and provide for youth in foster care, specifically young adults preparing to age out of child welfare. Ask God to provide families committed to love and welcome them. 5. Willing parents. Ask God to raise up new foster and adopting families willing to stand in the gap. 6. … Continue reading

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April 26, 2017

Life Touching Life: How to Create a Culture of Commitment

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The statistics are sobering. 75% of foster parents no longer foster after their first placement, and as many as 1 out of 4 adoptions dissolve or disrupt. Fostering and adopting is hard work, plain and simply. But our relational God made us to be relational, and created a way for families to be encouraged while doing the hard, daily work of loving the fatherless and vulnerable. His solution?–the Church. When a church family wholeheartedly commits to its fostering and adoptive families for the long haul, children are best positioned to succeed. But it often begins with an organized, committed adoption/foster care ministry within the church. Here are 3 specific guidelines for creating a culture of commitment in your adoption/foster care ministry– 1. Connect. Foster and adoptive parents cannot thrive in isolation. Goal: Create an environment where families feel connected–connected to the adoption/foster care ministry, yes, but more importantly, connected to each other. The only thing that grows well in the dark … Continue reading

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February 13, 2017

How to Strengthen Your Marriage on the Fostering or Adoption Journey

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Dennis and Barbara Rainey know a thing or two about how to preserve and even strengthen a marriage while doing the hard work of caring for the world’s most vulnerable. They’ve been married over 40 years and have 6 grown children, one of whom is adopted. Additionally, they lead Family Life, a multi-faceted ministry to families. So when they shared their tips for cultivating a healthy marriage while fostering or adopting, we listened. Here are 2 points to keep in mind, as well as 4 practical suggestions– 1. Your marriage must be built to outlast your children. Whether our children are biological, fostered, or adopted, they will challenge us, and our marriage must be built to withstand the challenges. Why? If our relationship with God or our spouse suffers, it negatively impacts our marriage as well as the children we are trying to care for and love. Stepping into the foster … Continue reading

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February 8, 2017

Why “The Least of These” Matter Most

Least-of-these

Bible scholars have argued the identity of “the least of these” for decades. Is Matthew 25 referring to the world’s most destitute, or is it instructing believers to care for fellow Christians in need? Either way, both interpretations of “the least of these” have sufficient Biblical support in other passages. Scripture isn’t silent that it is our Christian responsibility to care for fellow believers, and as many as 2,000 verses in the Bible relate to our response to poverty. So for the purpose of this discussion, “the least of these” refers to individuals–believers or otherwise–who need our help. “The least of these” should matter most for 3 reasons– 1. How we treat “the least of these” exposes the true nature of our character. It is easy–even enjoyable–to do good things for people who can return the favor. But doing good to those for whom we will never receive basic gratitude or reciprocal kindness?–this litmus test reveals … Continue reading

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