One of the most beautiful parts of the gospel and a part that we hardly ever talk about is the fact that we are all adopted children of God, Paul mentions it in Galatians and Ephesians and in Romans. God dares to use this crazy metaphor that once we were somehow outside of God’s family; we were broken, we were lost, we were vulnerable, we were sinful, and God didn’t just forgive us, he didn’t just rescue us, he invited us to become a permanent part of his family and I think that is one of the most beautiful and powerful pictures of the gospel and we rarely talk about it.
I think God wants to drum into us his heart of compassion for our world. The love that we’ve received from God wasn’t because of any qualities that we had, you know, God didn’t have a shopping list of the kind of children he was looking to adopt, and so I believe the church has a responsibility to model this same kind of adopting grace to children that are waiting in the care system. So, I think if we want a way of proclaiming the gospel in word and deed here is a fantastic way of doing that, a lived parable day by day.
So, as we call the church to step forward to find a home for all these children that need it we think that the church family has a huge role to play. I know for us as an adoptive family, the rest of the wider church community have made a huge difference to us. We have lots of foster aunties and uncles involved in our life, so when we bring kids to church from the care system, there are people that make a B-line for them right when they arrive and make sure they feel welcome, or when there’s a birthday party in someone’s family they get invited, and when it’s Christmas or birthdays or Easter or Valentine’s Day, gifts are given, so there are very practical ways that the wider church can make a difference. When we first were foster carers, we fostered a little baby straight from hospital and every day members of our church would pop round with food ready for us which was just a blessing. Other times we’ve heard of people that have turned up and said ok we know it’s tough at the moment for you, we’ll take away all your ironing and we’ll bring it back nicely done the next day.
it takes a whole church to foster or adopt children
So we believe the church is family and we believe it takes a whole church to foster or adopt children, and that is a wonderful witness to the children that they would know what the church is, not just in theory, not just on Sundays, but actually to social workers when they see the love that Christians have for foster children and their families – that makes a huge impact.