In the fall of 2011, after learning of the need of millions of orphans worldwide, including approximately 1800 in Bell County, several couples gathered to pray about starting an adoption support ministry at First Baptist Belton.
As part of the information gathering process, an e-mail was sent out to the church asking members who had been affected by adoption to let the church know, if they so desired. Thirty-five families responded and several new families attended the next support group meeting.
The cost of adoption was discussed, and it was recommended that the church take steps to assist in some specific ways. An adoption closet was set up to provide clothes, furniture and other baby items that might be needed on “short notice.” The missions committee added a line item in its budget to help with financial costs.
The support group felt that to adequately engage the church in this ministry an entire morning service needed to be dedicated to orphan care. Pastor Davis agreed to set aside January 22, 2012 as Adoption Sunday. Several church members who had responded to the e-mail were asked to be involved in the service by participating in “cardboard” testimonies.
An additional emotional time in the service came when the pastor asked anyone who had been touched by adoption to stand. It was truly a beautiful sight.
You can view our adoption fund policy by clicking here.
Resource tables were also set up that morning with representatives from various domestic (www.tdprs.state.tx.us) & international adoption agencies (www.ifservices.org and www.dillonadopt.com), as well as local foster care organizations, like Bright Future Children & Family Services in Belton. Here are some other links that may help you get started: www.arrow.org and www.Icareaboutorphans.org.
A survey was distributed to allow members to be involved in a variety of ways including: giving to the adoption fund or closet, getting trained to provide respite care to adoptive or foster parents, being in a support group for children or parents, helping with small construction projects, and actually pursuing fostering or adopting a child.
Providing training, at the church, for foster/adopters or those wishing to help with family respite would help cut the cost and allow for child care for any children already in the family. Classes in CPR and other required training will be held in the next few months.
Several members attended the Empowered to Connect conference in Dallas and suggested that opportunities be given for parents to view the videos of “Trust Based Parenting.” Watch the calendar for this. Go to www.onethankfulmom.com for more information about this parenting style.
One possible way to encourage both the children and parents that they are not alone on this journey, is to gather together as adoptive families. An adoption support group has started on Wednesday evenings. For more information on this semester’s support group, click here.
We are challenged in James 1:27, “Pure & undefiled religion in the sight of God is to care for orphans and widows in their distress, …” May we be found faithful.