- This post may be long and rambling. :)
- I am not claiming to have any expertise in this area, quite the opposite!
- I am NOT NOT NOT judging any particular church, ESPECIALLY my own!
Ok, Jess, get to the point already :).
As I've been swept along this road to adoption, I've come across something that doesn't feel quite right. It seems that some adoptive families don't get support from their church. I'm talking big churches and small churches, all across the country. I'm blessed to be a part of an adoption Yahoo group and have been able to hear from many people about this.
Support from churches seems to vary. Some not at all. Some will not allow members to announce their adoption plans to the congregation, but it is ok to ask individuals for support. Some churches are great about announcements and encouragement (including my own). Some will take up a specific offering. What I haven't seen a lot of, (and that doesn't mean it isn't happening, this is where YOU come in!), is churches giving directly from their budget (you know, what people tithe) to financially support adoptive families.
I've heard various reasons for this, and they all make logical sense. I am a very logical person, so my head understands very clearly the reasons. For small churches, they often have very little money to give. For large churches, they have so many members that if they support one family they would need to support them all, so they don't support anybody.
Now, I have never been a part of a budget committee and I'm sure it is a VERY hard job! That is why I'd like to hear from you, if you have any insight. My head gets it, but my heart doesn't. Especially when I think of the early church, in Acts 2:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Is this part of the reason for the tithe? So that the church could support "anyone who had need"? Again, I don't know the answers to these questions, help a girl out here! :)
But I wonder...
Would more people consider adoption if the church (in general) regularly and openly helped adoptive families financially? Maybe they could budget adoption grants and families could apply for them? Are there any churches out there that do this? I am curious if you know about one.
Money IS the biggest obstacle for adoptive families. There are many scripts I have played out in my head as to why we shouldn't adopt now:
- Lord, we're too young. We haven't worked for very long and don't have much savings.
- Lord, just let us pay off our student loans first.
- Lord, it makes more sense to work for a year to save up the money.
- Lord, we are losing my income so I can stay home with Riley and help him adjust to his new life in a family.
- Lord, I am graduating and will have to start making payments on my student loans.
- Lord, Riley's medical needs will bring more expenses than we have ever had before.
- Lord, we might have to take out another loan for the adoption....
All that to say, what are your thoughts? I'm sure this discussion has been had "behind the scenes" at budget meetings galore, but I think it's important for us "lay" people to know.
If you've never commented before, please take this as a personal invitation from me to share your thoughts and experiences.
I want to hear from you! Sound off.