Foster Care Awareness

It is wonderful to see families in our church minister to children in need through foster care. They are a constant, tangible example of the gospel of Christ as they practice “pure and undefiled religion” (James 1:27). As our church recognizes National Adoption Awareness Month throughout May, it is our great pleasure to share this testimony from Sheldon and Alana Ko, who have served little ones in need through foster care since 2016.

We were already a family of six. Why did we become foster parents? Why would we decide to add two foster children to our family, along with all the challenges and responsibilities that come with them?

Simply put, the answer is because God has adopted us. We were once enemies of God, orphans, and estranged because of our sin, but God in His kindness saved us and adopted us as His own children (Romans 8:14–17; Galatians 4:4–5). God has a special love for orphans (James 1:27), and because of His grace in our lives we have this same heart. We decided to become foster parents so that we could provide a loving, Christ-centered home for the fatherless—to tell these little children about the gospel with the hope that they too might be adopted by God.

Now, it’s true that foster care and adoption are often two different things. While some children have an immediate need for an adoptive family, many foster children will eventually be reunited with their biological families. When a new child is placed with a foster family, it is impossible to know what the next day, month, or year hold. That little one may stay a week or a lifetime. So how can foster families deal with the pain of frequent loss and the lack of influence over court and county decisions?

First, foster parents must remember that God is in control. They can trust Him in all that He does because He will always accomplish His good pleasure (Isaiah 46:10) and He works all things for good in the lives of His people (Romans 8:28). So even when circumstances don’t make sense, God can be trusted.

Second, foster parents should create specific guidelines so that the whole family is clear on why they are fostering. Our family has adopted these three principles…

  1. Take care of the immediate needs of the child. We have no control over whether the child leaves our home, but we do have full control on how we love that child while they are in our home. These children need safety, stability, and self-sacrificing attachment from a family who has counted the cost.
  2. Work toward reunification. We must remember that this child is not our child, and that they have parent(s) and family who are actively working to improve their own situation and reunify with their children. It is our job to do whatever we can to facilitate that reunion. This time is also a rich opportunity to evangelize the whole family.
  3. If reunification is not possible, provide permanency through adoption. If the courts determine that the family is not fit to have their child returned to them, we can move toward adoption. Many foster cases turn into adoption cases, but we don’t fight for adoption unless reunification is not possible. We don’t want to compete with the family, because our loss is the other family’s gain.

If you want an opportunity to extend Christ’s love to needy children and their families in the same way that God has loved you through Christ, consider foster care and adoption. The need is great, and while the challenges are undeniable, the blessing is very rich.

For more information about foster care or adoption, please visit gracechurch.org/handsforhope or call 818-909-5721.


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