Show and Tell
Invite the women ahead of time to bring a small heirloom or memento from their family. Have the women share with the group what that item means to them and why.
There are many videos on the internet about foster care and testimonials from families. Here is one example: https://sw-ke.facebook.com/Proj127/videos/10155179252241652/
Project 1.27 is a local nonprofit in Grand Junction, Colorado that helps prepare families for foster care and matches children with families.
Foster Care Information
Contact a local foster care agency to invite a social worker to talk to the women about what is involved in becoming a foster family. If this is difficult, the Internet can provide information about foster care that can be shared with the women.
Duffle Bag Drive
Often when children are removed from their homes and are transitioned into a new family, their few processions are thrown into a trash bag. Invite the women to look through their closets and see if they have any garment bags or small suitcases that they are not using. Ask the women to donate some basic items to be put in the bags. The following website gives ideas for assembling baby bags, kids bags and teen bags. https://www.fosterloveproject.org/bag-drives.html
Donate the collected bags to a local nonprofit that helps with foster care placement.
I grew up in a very tight knit family. Every holiday we had big family get–togethers. I used to joke with my friends about having four Christmases. We had Christmas morning with my immediate family. We had a Christmas party with my Dad’s side of the family. We had another Christmas party with my Mom’s paternal side of the family. And we had yet another celebration with my Mom’s maternal side of the family. I cherished all of them, and not just for the presents. But sharing each tradition was precious to me. Every time a grandparent told a story of what it was like when my ancestors immigrated to America, I always thought to myself, “I hope I can make my family proud like this one day,” or “I hope I can live up to the legacy of my family.” However, I quickly found out that my family wasn’t as perfect as I thought. I was still proud to be a member, and I have never doubted the fact that I am loved and am worthy of their love. Although things aren’t picture-perfect, I knew that I belong and was wanted.
While I grew up with unswerving love in my household, there are so many children who don’t have that experience. I’m reminded of all the children without families of their own. On any given day in the United States of America, there are 443,000 children in the foster care system. These children have had their worlds turned upside down. I think about the legacy that I want to live up to and wonder, what legacy do these children have? Where have they come from? What examples have been set for them? Abuse? Sorrow? Neglect? Broken homes? Pain and suffering? Some will be separated from their siblings. Some will get bounced from house to house not knowing the consistent love that so many of us grew up with and that every child deserves. Psalm 68:5, 6 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.”(NIV).
I remember when I truly surrendered my life to God. I was so overwhelmed with love and hope from the Holy Spirit that I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I just sat there and cried. I felt complete for the first time in my life. I felt “good enough.” I don’t have the answer on how we can help all these children who wonder if they’re worthy of love, but I know we can start by praying for them. We can pray that these children will understand how God sees them. We can pray that God will call more people to foster and adopt. We can pray that God will strengthen those already involved in foster care and adoption. We should pray for God’s comfort to be with these children in the most difficult time of their lives. We should also pray that God will show us how we can get involved.
While we didn’t all grow up in loving homes or with families that adored us, when we enter the family of God, we inherit a new legacy to live up to. Lamentations 3:24 says, “I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” (NLT). Despite where we’ve come from or what we’ve experienced, we can find hope in God’s perfect love.