Two years ago I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen in weeks. “How are you?” I asked. She had just started fostering a sibling group of three kids about two months earlier. Tears formed in her eyes and she began to weep. “You are the first person in weeks to ask how I have been,” she said. I was stunned; partially because this woman was clearly struggling and isolated, but even more so because this woman was an active member of her church and lead bible studies. She was plugged into her church community and it was no secret to anyone she was fostering.
“Has anyone brought you a meal or asked to watch the kids to give you a break?” “No”, she said. “But plenty of people tell me they are praying for me. “
Where was the church body in this? The body of Christ? The Village? Why was it in a church full of young families, constant play dates, and VBS, this family was receiving no support from the church body?
Unfortunately, this family is no longer fostering and joined the staggering statistic of 50% of foster families who stop fostering after their first year.
Two months later I attended a national adoption/foster care conference. Clones of my friend’s story were told over and over by various women from across the country. While they are actively living out James 1:27 in every moment of their life, their church family was playing a meager role in supporting them outside of a flippant “I’ll pray for ya.”