As program director for Focus on the Family’s Adoption & Orphan Care Initiative, Sharen Ford has a deep and abiding passion for seeing kids in families. Whether through foster care or through adoption for those who have lost their families, she challenges the church to consider our calling. Today’s Christian Woman talked with Sharen to hear more.
What makes families so important for kids who are in foster care or available for adoption?
Kids need families because no man is an island. We need people who will support us in growing and learning and in our highs and our lows, and families do that for one another. Families are accepting and giving and caring and just there. And if kids don’t have families, then what do they have? It’s one thing to be alone because you choose to be alone; it’s another thing to be alone because you have no one. Kids who come through our foster care system are coming from hard places, and they need someone who will be there for them—that ear, that voice, that pat on the back.
So what kind of family do foster children need?
Individuals thinking about being foster parents need to be flexible people who are good listeners and who are teachers. Kids in foster care have often missed educational opportunities or developmental opportunities, so foster parents are teachers who teach them how to be a kid, how to wash dishes, how to take care of themselves in positive ways; people who are an advocate for them in the school system, in social environments; people who just have the capacity to love.1