making the connection...
First Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA
Why did you decide to become a Connect 1:27 Church?
First West recognizes the need for Foster and Adoptive parents in NELA. In seeing the need, we realized we could tie it to our church’s mission and vision. By doing so, we can encourage our members to get involved.
What does your church do as a Connect 1:27 Church? (Pray, host events, volunteer at events, inform the congregation of the crisis or even a specific ministry)
We had a Foster and Adoption Sunday where these ministries were highlighted. We also set up a Foster to Adopt fund to help families in our church with the costs associated with the process of fostering to adopt. We hosted this area’s Foster Care banquet, and held a special Parent’s Night Out for those families a few weeks later. We partnered with the DCFS and the LBCH to host the Quality Parenting Initiative. We helped by providing some volunteers at Family Fun Day.
Is there a specific event or ministry in your church that supports Foster and Adoptive Families?
This is a new opportunity for First West, however, that does not mean God isn’t moving. We have had several families that have started and completed, or are currently in the process of being a foster parent and/or adoptive parent.
What is your advice to churches who are considering becoming involved in Foster and Adoption Ministry?
The need for foster and adoptive parents in this area is so great. We believe that taking care of the orphan is a mandated principle of Scripture. We are committed to that and would encourage other churches to do the same.
making the connection...
Anthony and Sage
How many years have you served as a foster parent, and to how many children?
7 years. We did some respite placements before taking a break to pursue our international adoptions. We have had 2 pre-adoptive placements of older children.
Why did you become a foster parent?
We felt led to open our home to older children who were, for lack of a better term, “stuck in the system”. We have never felt led to open our home to babies or younger children.
Why do you continue to be a foster parent?
We have recently been made aware of the plight of teens who are aging out of foster care before having a chance to graduate. That is our current focus.
Describe your family dynamic.
Married 26 years
2 homegrown- daughter is a senior in college, son a freshman
2 adopted internationally- 15 year old boy 14 year old girl
17 year old foster son
All different ethnicities :)
What is your favorite activity to do as a family?
Anything with our church.
What has God taught you as a foster parent?He has reminded us that He is in control and it is our obligation as His followers to be obedient and go where He leads us. Obedience is rarely easy, but always fruitful.