You probably know the answer. One bite at a time! Of course, the saying refers to how one tackles a huge challenge. That is how I felt after we decided to become foster parents.
We felt strongly that God was moving us in this direction. But, He did not drop us an instruction manual in the mail. So, I asked Him for help.
Like anyone would now, I conducted some internet research. I quickly began to feel overwhelmed. How exactly was I supposed to begin?
I talked to a few friends who were or had been foster parents. Each had gone about the process a different way. Great!
Then God brought an unexpected answer to our dinner table. A friend of mine, Felipe Adams, was working at the Austin House of Prayer when he asked to meet with me. He wanted to share with me about some ministry opportunities at AHOP. So, I invited he and his wife over for dinner.
Felipe and I were the only ones acquainted. So, we spent some time getting to know our wives. That is when we learned that Felipe’s wife, Leigh, used to work for Child Protective Services. Wow! Felipe and Leigh also shared that they were close to finalizing a private adoption.
Is not that how God works? Felipe and I thought we were getting together to talk about Austin House of Prayer, which we did. But, God knew that we needed to talk about foster care and adoption.
Leigh helped us understand how the foster system worked. She also explained how they worked with private agencies. And, she made some suggestions about how to get started.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Even better, find someone who has eaten an elephant and ask them how they did it.
If you are considering foster care or adoption through CPS and you do not know where to begin, here are some bite size suggestions to get started:
- Contact the CPS office in your county to learn about upcoming informational meetings.
- Do an internet search for private agencies in your area. Find out when the next scheduled orientation meeting is that you can attend.
- If you attend a church, check to see if they have orphan care ministry. If they do not, ask if any members have fostered or adopted through CPS. Not only will these families be able to give you some advice, they will become a part of your support system.
- Search for adoption networks in your city or area. The network might be a nonprofit or a network of churches that encourage orphan care. Many times these networks provide conferences or classes.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of children are in foster care now in your area. That fact is a huge challenge in itself. Please do not allow the size of the challenge paralyze you.
If you are in the Austin area, here is an excellent conference to help you get started. February 9, 2013 – A Future and A Hope Austin – http://www.afutureandahopeaustin.org/