Saturday, March 03, 2012

We are a Safe Family

As I have been trying to figure out how to share what Safe Families is, one thing that has come to my mind is this. We often here comments such as ...

"Why would you adopt from another country when we have SO many children here who need homes".

"If I were going to adopt, I would adopt from here. There are so many kids here who need help."

"Shouldn't we take care of our own before we take care of other countries".

Now typically I just blow these off. If there is anything I have learned through our journey of adoption it is this. People don't mean to come across as idiots uneducated when it comes to orphans and adoption, they just are. And so I look at it as part of our calling to break these ideas that some have and show them TRUTH. Really this is a whole post on it's own. In most situations I can handle the comments with grace. Though I will admit in my head I might be thinking "If YOU are SO worried about the children here stop talking and DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING." But those who have dumb opinions are most often the ones who have a big mouth & that is all they have.  I digress, where were we.. Oh yes Safe Families.

We are starting an orphan ministry at our church. We were approached about this program called Safe Families and it seemed like such a GREAT idea. A way to prayerfully help keep kids out of foster care. A way to care for Families in Crisis, to PREVENT orphans? AND a way to help those in our own back yard. 

 So.. What is a Safe Family??

Websters Defines Safe as:

  -free from harm or risk 

  -secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss

  -not threatening danger :harmless  b : unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction

There are many verses in the Bible that talk about being safe. Here are just a few...
 Psalm 20:1
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

Psalm 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:3
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

Psalm 32:7
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

So what is this Safe Families for Children all about?? And WHY in the world would a family who is obviously already coo coo, sign up to take in MORE children?  
Let me start by giving a brief overview of what Safe Families is. According to their website
A Movement of families giving hope to children and parents in crisis.  

It is NOT foster care, but it looks similar. 

You get licensed, but the process is not nearly as intense as foster care. 

Parents have made the choice to place their children. Maybe it is a single mom who is struggling. Maybe it is a family looking for a place to live. Maybe it is a mom who needs to be in the hospital and is unable to care for the children. It is a way to minister to the mom, while being certain the children are safe.

This is a growing movement and we are becoming involved through Bethany Christian Services. Through the orphan ministry we are starting, this will be one of our big areas to support.

So, the question, WHY would WE take in MORE kids?
Well to us it is simple really. Yes, we are a bit stressed at times. Yes, we have much on our plate. The last few weeks a bit more than the normal of course. 
BUT, we CAN do this.  I am reminded often, Jesus did not call us to live life comfortably. Easy. Calmly. He called us to live like Christ. 

And more than anything THAT is what I want. I want to love as many children as He will allow me to in as many ways as He will call me too. Be it by parenting, by mentoring,  by traveling to China, or simply by opening my door and my arms to more.  

Today we took in our first placement. How it works is we receive emails when there is a need, along with all the other families registered. If we can take the child, we call. So, despite life & the insanity of it, (so much to share...) we decided we were ready. We needed some baby giggles to brighten things up!

The great thing is there are LOTS of ways other can step in and help. Maybe it is becoming a Safe Family. Maybe it is supporting those who are safe families with help financially. Because you can imagine diapers and formula and clothes and food can add up!  Maybe it is signing up to do respite care, helping out with the kids at times. There are mentor jobs, and much, much more. In fact on MARCH 13, our church will be hosting an informational meeting if you live near me. I encourage you to come and at least hear what this is all about. 

So pray for us if you will. More than anything we just want to be a light and share the love of Jesus. And even if it looks crazy, as long as we are shining bright, that is just fine.


Anonymous said...

Another wonderful post, Shannon. When I worked at Christian Northeast hospital we had a crisis nursery there. I was an amazing program that provided short term care for all types of situations. I think was your doing is wonderful !!! If there is anything you need to get like a "kit" together with essentials please let me know so I can help.
God Bless YOU

Anonymous said...

What a doll baby! May God bless! Judy and Ray