As we spend this month getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day, there is joy and pain in equal measure around this day for many. Especially those who have lost their mother for any reason.
Working for a global ministry that serves children and youth, I am deeply saddened by the worldwide epidemic of family brokenness. It increases the weight of the spiritual responsibility we carry as believers to be spiritual mothers and fathers to the young among us.
Who better to share his heart on this topic than my friend, Jim Daly, who has personally experienced the pain of abandonment, complexity of adoption, and is fervently passionate about the importance of family.
“When Rob invited me to write on this topic, I was eager to do so.
OneHope and Focus on the Family
After all, the heartbeat of OneHope in so many ways is synced with ours at Focus on the Family. Both organizations exist to share the Gospel. Both have a passion to see children thrive in Christ … because of Christ. The teams at both OneHope and Focus work every day to fulfill their callings with excellence, innovation and God’s love.
I’ve seen miracles happen with our own partnership with churches across the country through our Wait No More conferences, part of our adoption and orphan care efforts.
During our Wait No More events, we bring together state and local child welfare officials, child placement agencies, churches and ministries to educate families about adoption from foster care. Since its November 2008 launch more than 10 years ago at New Life Church in our Colorado Springs backyard, we’ve had the honor of being hosted by many other wonderful congregations. Wait No More has been welcomed by Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church; Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale; One Community Church in Dallas; and First Baptist Church Simpsonville in Greenville, S.C., to name a few.
All of these churches have caught the vision of loving the orphan in one of the most practical ways of all: adoption.
As an adopted people ourselves, Christians should be first in line to open up our homes to children waiting for a forever home.
Furthermore, as men and women who have freely received the gift of salvation, how could we not give a child the opportunity to come to a saving knowledge of our Savior after experiencing His love through us?
God has been faithful to bless our team’s hard work. So far, we’ve seen thousands of families start the adoption process, with many choosing to adopt children who have remained on the rolls for years, especially older children or those with special needs. Results like this are the reason why the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute has named Wait No More a national best practice in foster care adoption recruitment.
There is still so much work to do.
Currently, there are more than 104,000 legal orphans in the United States foster care system who are waiting for adoptive families. We also know that our country has more than 300,000 churches. So, while the need is significant, it’s our prayer that more and more churches will consider making adoption a priority by asking their families to consider whether the Lord might be calling them to offer one of these children a forever home.
The Bible says in Psalm 68:5-6 that God is a “father to the fatherless,” and that He “sets the lonely in families.” Indeed He does – and sometimes, He does it through us.
It’s my hope that many of us will prayerfully consider being the blessing in a waiting child’s life.”
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. Daly’s personal journey from orphan to head of an international Christian organization dedicated to helping families thrive is a powerful story. He tells his story in his 2007 autobiography, “Finding Home.”
Read more by Rob Hoskins at goodnewsfl.org/author/rob-hoskins/