Jason Marianna writes at Things Above, and has been fostering kids for a year and a half, and joins me to discuss the need for Christians to step up and foster children in need of a good home. Key subtopics within the discussion include: the need for Christian foster families, the differences between raising natural children and foster children, the rotten system & the need for Christian influence over it, and Jason talks through concerns families have that may make them reluctant to volunteer to foster children.

An Outline of the Discussion
  • Jason & his wife had their first foster child about a year ago. It was a “baptism by fire” for them, and he was a troubled child. Giving him a good home really helped normalize him. He responded well, and he developed into a normal child, but was eventually removed and was reunited with his birth father.
  • In the middle of the process of trying to welcome another child into their home, they demonstrated a willingness to take multiples, and have now had three children for about a month.
  • They are a foster-to-adopt home, and are hoping their current situation leads to adoption.
  • Fostering, and adoption, is a ministry.
  • There are differences between raising natural children and caring for foster children. Jason explains some of the bigger differences; things such as bonding and earning trust.
  • Kids who have been neglected need things that generally are associated with much younger kids (rocking to sleep, help in the bath, etc.) Foster parents refer to this as “making up for lost time.”
  • The system is rotten, and there’s a desperate need for the Church to redeem it.
  • “The saddest day in Church history that no one talks about” was the day that the care of children was handed over from the church to the government.
  • The primary goal of the government system is to reunite children with their parents. Sometimes this is best for the children, but sometimes it’s not.
  • The first step to fixing the situation is for more Christians to enter the system.
  • Jason answers Andy’s concerns about becoming a foster family:
    • One parent can be very busy with work obligations, making it much more difficult for the other to step up and take sole responsibility for the care of more kids. (Sometimes we’re barely holding it together now.)
    • We’d need another (expensive) vehicle. Our largest vehicle won’t comfortably seat any more kids.
    • Fears of attachment & detachment. Loving a child as he/she needs can be very painful when/if the child is removed from the foster home.
    • Older children would bring past problems into our family.
    • More kids means each kid gets progressively less attention from Mom & Dad.
    • Government regulation or increased involvement in our lives.
    • We are not a perfect family.
    • We’d have to feed them!
  • Bigest Myths & Truest Truisms… Myth: It’s a shame that an abortion is $400, and adoption is $40,000. Truism: Adoption is something that is going to take a lot of time and attention (and it’s a good thing.)
  • Bonus Truism: If every church adopted just one child, the need for adoptive parents would be nearly wiped out.
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