I’m excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow author, Kristin Hill Taylor. Her book Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family is a great read. I felt like I was sitting across the table from Kristin, listening to her story, and to what God has done in her life. It’s warm, engaging, conversational, and honest.
In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, I’m eager to share this guest post from Kristin with you. If like me, you aren’t an adoptive parent, but you have lots of friends who are, I pray this post is as helpful to you as it is to me.
5 Practical Ways You Can Support An Adoptive Family
I became a mom through adoption — three times — after a hard season of infertility. Adoption wasn’t our Plan B, but infertility was the heartache God used to get our attention. We had no idea what we were getting into, but once we were there, we knew that’s where we were supposed to be.
And He’s showed us so much beyond our immediate family since.
Obviously, not everyone is called to adoption, which gives orphans families. But God does call His followers to care for the fatherless and orphans.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
Sometimes caring for orphans does mean growing your family through adoption or foster care, but many times it looks like helping families who are walking through these processes, participating in programs that help feed and clothe orphans, or supporting businesses that give to orphan care.
As believers, when we claim to be pro-life, we have to do more than protest abortion. We can serve children who need love and moms who are choosing life. To be pro-life means more than being pro-birth; it also means supporting families who are raising God-given lives in their homes.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. With that in mind, I wanted to share some ways you – wherever you are, single or married, with kids or without – can support those who have been called to grow their families through adoption or foster care. This month is as good as any to start, but these families need your support any month of the year.
1. Show Up with a Meal in Disposable Containers
Any time a regular routine is interrupted – even with something much wanted – it’s hard to get to the grocery, plan meals, and prepare meals. Whatever you bring doesn’t have to be gourmet. Go to the local BBQ restaurant and get enough meat and sides to provide a few meals to the family adjusting to its new normal. Have a pizza delivered to them. Double whatever you’re making for your own family.
And take whatever meal you decide upon in disposable containers so the new momma doesn’t have to worry with more dishes. I’ve also taken a gift bag full of paper plates, disposable coffee cups, and plastic forks to new mommas so there’s one less chore to think about for the adjustment season.
2. Offer Specific Help
Think about this family’s life and offer to do something specific – go to the grocery, do laundry, sit with the baby so momma can shower, or mow the lawn. Texts that say “Let me know what I can do” are well-intentioned, but saying “I’m at the grocery store, what I can I get you?” is more practical.
3. Provide Care for Other Children
With adoption and foster care come many appointments (meetings with social workers, pediatrician checkups, visitation with bio family, court hearings, etc.) the family doesn’t have much control over. If you know a family who is fostering a little one, offer to help with any older kids in the home. If you know a mom who adopted a newborn, volunteer to help transport older kids to school. Moms with older adopted children may need help with younger children also in the home.
4. Be on Call to Get Supplies
Adoptive and foster situations can happen with little time to spare. If you know someone who suddenly has a new child in the home, offer to run to Walmart to get diapers, formula, clothes, activities, or whatever else that child may need – and bring chocolate!
5. Understand You May Not Understand
Even if you weren’t called to adopt, your friend was. Be a listening ear and be there for whatever practical support is necessary, but don’t judge the way she’s bonding with a child. Your friend may not be able to share details of the child’s biological family out of respect to the birth mom or because there are harsh details not suitable for young ears.
If you do some of these things I shared – or other things that make sense for the people in your life – then you’re serving orphans because your friends need you while they’re in the trenches of giving orphans families. And my guess is you’ll get a whole new perspective that draws you nearer to God, the One who builds our families and our faith.
Kristin Hill Taylor
About Kristin Hill Taylor
Kristin Hill Taylor believes in seeking God as the author of every story and loves swapping these stories with friends on her porch.
She lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids and shares stories at kristinhilltaylor.com. She recently published Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family.
About Peace in the Process
Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family is the story of God’s faithfulness through a season of infertility, three adoption processes, and the days since. Through it all, Kristin Hill Taylor learned God hears the desires of our hearts, wants us to live in community, and uses all of our circumstances for our good and His glory.
This second edition (2017) of Peace in the Process includes contributions from other adoptive moms, the Taylor children’s birth moms, and resources for families who want to grow through adoption and the people who support them.