Home for the Holidays

As we approach the holiday season, it’s a great time to be reminded that when it comes to orphan care, we are all called to do something. James 1:27 makes it clear that caring for the fatherless is not a good deed we do because we are religious, but that it is the essence of our religion in the purest form. Does that sound weighty? It should! But not for the reason you might be thinking. Believe it or not, it is not our goal to get you to foster or adopt… but, hey, maybe God is nudging you in that direction! Our wish for you is simple and it’s that you’d find your lane in orphan care. And here’s a hint: if your lane is not bringing children home then it is supporting those who are.

Most people have preconceived ideas of what foster care and adoption looks like, but few have had the opportunity to talk to adoptive parents or children. This month we have the opportunity to learn from an adoptive parent about their family’s orphan care journey. The Euerle family from Waxahachie, Texas, has their hands and hearts full with five beautiful children—three biological and two adopted, ages 5, 6, 12, 13 and 15. 

As you read about the Eurle’s perspective on adoption, notice how God equipped them with support through the local church! When God calls a family to adopt, he also calls families to walk alongside them to help.

How have you talked to your child about their adoption?

Katie Euerle: “They were in two failed adoptive homes before ours and I think it confused them.”We have talked openly about adoption, and how we are all adopted into God’s family!”

As Christians, we can identify with the joy of adoption through our own story of being grafted into God’s family. We were all separated from our heavenly Father, but have been brought into our forever home through Jesus Christ. Romans 8:14-15 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Paul then applies this for us in the verses that follow. He says that if we are sons of God then we are also heirs with Jesus. The story of our spiritual adoption is a beautiful parallel of physical adoption!  

What emotions did you experience early on? How did you cope?

Katie Euerle: “For us, most of the emotion was excitement! However, when things did get tough, the best way I found to cope was talking to God and my husband! There are a lot of overwhelming feelings with adoption and children who come from trauma!”  

God wants to be close to those in adversity. Psalm 32:7 says, “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” So let us not forget to take our cares to the Lord. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean that we won’t have troubles, rather that we won’t be alone in them. We can rest assured that as God leads us into orphan care, He will help us carry the weight that comes with it.

What barriers did you experience in your adoption journey?

Katie Euerle: “Some barriers we faced were the way people saw us. Some thought we were crazy and others thought we were saints! I just felt like we were being obedient.”

The life of faith will always seem radical to some people. After all, following Jesus ought to reproduce His love in us…and His love is extravagant and sacrificial. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Think about how radically Jesus loves you. If that love was reproduced in more of us, orphan care wouldn’t seem radical at all. Instead, it’d simply be an expression of what Jesus’ love has done in us.

How has being part of a church with an orphan care ministry helped you in your adoption journey?

Katie Euerle: “It was the best thing. The friendships we have created through this process are priceless! They help encourage us and we know we can reach out to them anytime. The best support we could have ever gotten were the other families at church that were fostering and adopting at the same time we were.  Having other families who are walking through the same journey makes you not feel alone in the process!”

We are wired for relationships! Whether something great is happening or something very difficult, isn’t it true that our natural reaction is to share it with those closest to us? Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Adoption is not a lone ranger endeavor, but one that must be taken on by the whole Church. We cannot all do the same thing, but we all must do something. And when we do, we find the most beautiful result: hurting children find healing homes and lives are changed for eternity!

Did you hear how important it was for Katie to have the church rally around her family?  In your community, there are children in need of families. And within your community, there may be families willing and able to welcome them home! Where there is often a gap is in the lack of support. It takes all of us doing something to bring children “home for the holidays.” So whether you are 5 or 105, there is a lane for you in orphan care. Click here to find out how to start!

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