As a believer, it’s important to not only support adoption and foster care in theory, but to do your part to create an atmosphere where adoptive families can succeed. If you know someone in your community who is adopting, is in the foster care system, or has adopted, here are a few ways in which you could support them:
Offer Prayer and Encouragement
Adoption can be a life-changing experience for everyone in the family. Change, even when it is positive, is always difficult at times. Offer encouraging words and be very aware of any negative comments or anything that would serve as a discouragement in a vulnerable time.
If you haven’t already, read yesterday’s blog post about trauma and adoption. While you might see a situation and think that a child is naughty and needs to be disciplined, there is probably much more going on than you realize and the trauma needs to be addressed before any other behavior can.
Talk to Parents Privately About Approaching Children
Adopted children may have special needs that you are unaware of. Talk to parents privately before offering them food, gifts, or even physical affection. These things coming from a stranger may derail hard work that the parents have been doing.
Treat Adopted Children and Kids in Foster Care Normally
While these children may require a little bit of extra grace, do not make a “big deal” about them. Help them feel normal by treating them normally.
Offer Specific Help
It may be helpful to offer things like babysitting, meals, or something similar. When you offer specific help, it doesn’t require families to have to manage their lives and the help you can give them. Don’t be offended if they don’t need your help at that time.
Offer a Listening Ear
Parents sometimes just need to talk without judgement. Even if it isn’t for anything longer than a short conversation, offer a listening ear to let them vent off steam.