Adopting and fostering children is a rewarding but sometimes challenging journey.
Young children, including babies, may struggle to cope with big changes such as moving home to live with a new family.
They will have left their birth family, and moved on from one or more foster families and will need time to build trust and bond with their new family. Changes in their lives at such a young age bring a whole host of emotions and practical upheaval, which is why adoptive parents receive thorough preparation and need to be resilient.
For Christians, their church community can provide much needed emotional and practical support to new adopters and foster carers as they do for all new parents. Celebrating the arrival of a new child through christenings, baptisms, or dedications helps to give children a sense of belonging.
Those adopted or fostered with families who attend church receive love, care and security within their new immediate family and their wider church family. This helps those children to learn about and create strong bonds of love and trust.
Parents And Children Together (PACT) is an adoption and fostering charity, supported by local parish churches and the Oxford Diocese. More than 70% of PACT adopters have a faith including Ali who adopted her two daughters through PACT.
She explains how the encouragement she received from her church provided much needed support during her adoption journey.
She says: “In Romans 8 we read that through becoming Christians, we’re adopted as God’s children. This could be the reason that I felt so supported by my church family when adopting our two daughters – it wasn’t just our immediate family that welcomed two new people, but our church family as well.
“I knew early on that I would need God’s support and guidance all the way through the process. Through parishioners’ prayers and very practical support my local church was with me every step of the way.
“In times of stress, bad news and disappointment through my faith and belief in God, I was given the gifts I needed to pass through those stages – patience in bucket loads, encouragement, kindness, acceptance and loads and loads of joy!
“God wants all that’s best for us, in the same way as we want the best for our children. He’s a great role model to have as a fellow adopter!”
Krish Kandiah heads up the Home for Good project, www.homeforgood.org.uk, which encourages churches to talk about adoption and fostering, and encourages everyone to do what they can to support adoption and fostering whether that is coming forward to apply, or by offering support to those who do.
Krish and his wife have 3 birth children, an adoptive daughter and a steady stream of foster children, and have shared their experiences in the book Home for Good: Making A Difference For Vulnerable Children published by Hodder.
If you want to find out more about adoption and fostering come to any of PACT’s events, or come to its information evening for Christians on November 14, at PACT’s Reading office in South Street.
This event is also open to people who aren’t in a position to adopt
and foster but would like to support those who do and the evening will also celebrate the PACT Parishes’ scheme.
For more information and details of PACT’s adoption and fostering events, visit www.pactcharity.org/info.