I am sensing today after reading some RAD mom posts and having this on my mind constantly that our churches are failing adoptive/foster families. I would guess (no statistics here) that a good majority of adoptive/foster families do so out of religious reasons, whether by the specifics of their faith or a moral obligation to do more. Or even just the desire to please God by stepping out in faith. I know that’s where we fit in this spectrum. Our church embraced our adopting three siblings but had no idea how to help four years later when the bottom fell out and our oldest had to go to a residential facility for se*ually abused kids. We even tried to keep the church informed as to the diagnoses and reasons. Our pastor was great, but I still always felt looked down on and ostracized. We left shortly after that and went to a much larger church where we could get lost a little easier. Most people had no idea we had another child. Few knew of the suffering we went through with false allegations and continued revelations. We have just recently left this church because of other reasons, but we’re faced with trying to find a church home with two special needs children that look fine on the surface. So we visit but don’t make any commitment. We get lost in the anonymity.
Here’s my problem. The families that are adopting/fostering are hurting and very often desperately in need of Christian brothers and sisters who will take them by the hand and choose to become informed and supportive. These families are usually some of the most involved in the church yet the church is losing them because no one understands. I know for myself that I am too exhausted right now to put on my happy face and advocate for adoption. I still believe in it but I also know I was completely unprepared and our lives have been turned upside down for 10 years. So I try to encourage via my blog and commenting on others. But what is the church’s responsibility? What is our responsibility to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters? How do we keep others from feeling totally alone? I don’t have the answers but I know some of you out there will have some ideas. I know I’ve seen some great blog posts out there so feel free to send the links. We’re all in this together, no matter how alone you may feel.