In 2004, Bishop Aaron Blake stood before his congregation with his adopted sons on his mind. He began sharing with his church that over 30,000 children were in the foster care system in Texas and about 500,000 in the United States.
Then Bishop Blake rhetorically asked, “Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in our community?”
Unexpectedly one lady in the back of the church stood and replied, “I will”.
That one response led to another, and another, and another standing all around the church responding to Bishop Blake’s plea to stand with him. *story adapted from CAFO blog
Watch this video as Bishop Aaron Blake tells the story in his own words. And the amazing result.
When we decided to stand up
Seven years ago my wife and I had a similar experience. We sat in a conference to listen to missional leaders from around the world at the first Verge conference when a worship leader presented a similar question as Bishop Blake’s.
Aaron Ivey and his band shared their stories of adoption and how many children were in foster care in the Greater Austin area. His plea was for one family from each church represented to consider fostering one child. If that happened, no child would remain in foster care at that time in the Austin area.
I didn’t stand up at that moment, but as Danielle and I left to go on a lunch break, we knew that we would respond even though we didn’t know exactly what that looked like.
A few months later we began the process to become foster parents, and about 15 months later CPS placed an eight-month-old boy in our family. Then 15 months after that we adopted our son. (You can hear more of our story as a Patron. See below.)
Honestly, Danielle and I never would have considered foster care or adopting through foster care had Aaron Ivey not asked the same question that Bishop Blake did. We had much different plans for our future.
All my blogs and podcasts this month of November are about foster care and adoption. The need is still great as highlighted in this recent news article on KXAN—Almost 4,000 Children Are Waiting for Adoption in Texas.
Please hear me though…The last thing you need to do is to jump into foster care or adoption before you think through the decision. A child doesn’t need the added trauma of a failed foster home or adoption. Your family doesn’t need this either.
Instead we need well informed, trauma care trained, and strongly supported families to “stand up” and answer the call.
Ready to stand up but want to know where to begin? Here is a great resource that will help you think through the steps to foster and adopt—https://www.fosteringhopeaustin.org/steps-to-foster-and-adopt/
Let me hear from you if “you will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in your community” by leaving a comment below or an email—Kenneth@KennethACamp.com.
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If You Are Considering Foster Care or Adoption, You Need to Take this Free Course!
This 8 day course—Are You Considering Foster Care or Adoption?—will walk you through this important decision. Sign up for it now!