One Day. One Voice. One Purpose.
On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless, to care for the child who has no family, to visit orphans in their distress. (Isaiah 1:17)
We hope you’ll make plans to join us for two Orphan Sunday events this year. On October 20th we will be hosting a Lunch Fundraiser to benefit our Joy Adoption Grant. November 10th will be our Orphan Sunday service at Joy. We will present an adoptive family with our grant, along with raising awareness of the global orphan crises and how you can make a difference.
The Global Orphan Crisis
The total estimated number of vulnerable children worldwide: 140 million
This number includes both single and double orphans. In the '90s, UNICEF and other global organizations broadened the term 'orphan' to also include children who are left vulnerable due to the loss of one parent, such as with the AIDS epidemic. Children and families staggered by the loss of a parent may face hardships such as poverty, malnutrition, displacement and lack of education.
The misunderstanding of the 'orphan' classification can lead to responses that focus on providing care only for individual children rather than supporting the families and communities that care for orphans and are in need of support. Of the estimated 140 million children classified as orphans, 15.1 million have lost both parents. However, these numbers do not include the estimated 2-8 million children living in institutions, on the streets, exploited for labor, victims of trafficking or those participating in armed conflicts.
What about here in United States?
Children in foster care in the U.S. in 2017: 442,995
Children in foster care waiting to be adopted in 2017: 123,437
Children “aging out” of the foster system in 2017: 23,000
Children in care whose parental rights were terminated in 2017: 69,525
Number of children in Georgia state foster care in 2018: 15,000
Each of these numbers represents a face, a child, a teenager, a future of hope or one of hopelessness.
5 Ways to make an Impact
James 2:17 tells us that faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. The global orphan crisis is too large for any one person or one church. But without a willingness to act, or an attitude of defeat, this crisis continues to grow. How can you make a difference in your sphere of influence? Consider these 5 ways to act:
Babysitting: Foster families need approved babysitters. The process is simple paperwork with no required training. You need to be at least 18 years old. Every married couple needs a date night, foster families are no different. Download the Families4Families Babysitting Packet and become an approved babysitter to serve a foster family you know.
Respite Care: Interim Caregivers give foster families the extended break they need to remain healthy in their marriage and overall life. These helpers, through a special approval process, are like aunts and uncles to foster children, keeping the children for a long weekend or even up to a few weeks. Further, Interim Caregivers are “on deck” foster parents, qualified to step into a more committed role if they choose.
Foster Care: Foster parents give grace, love and stability for sometimes weeks, often months, and occasionally years. Bill Moyers once wrote, “Faith based charity provides crumbs from the table. Faith based justice offers a place at the table.” Foster parents offer children a place at their table, in their home and in their hearts. Imagine a child that has just been removed from their home in the middle of the night. Feeling terrified and in chaos, you as a foster parent can bring peace and stability back to their heart.
Adoption: Adoptive parents fulfill the most important need in a child's life: giving them a forever family. Whether you're adopting domestically or internationally the journey is costly, stressful, time consuming and sometimes painful. Orphan children come with hurts, fears and baggage. But love conquers pain, and the rewards are absolutely from God. What is closer to our Heavenly Father's heart than taking one who is on the outside, and bringing them in! Check out Joy’s Adoption Grant.
Support: Do you know a foster or adoptive family? Family helpers and child mentors become extended family to a foster family. Volunteers are part of a care community of support to a foster family, providing practical support such as meals, laundry, housecleaning, yard work, transportation, childcare, tutoring, mentoring, etc.
Get all of your Questions Answered
We recommend your first phone call be to Familes4Families!
families4families.cc is a private agency that provides foster and adoption services to Georgia families. F4F works closely with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services to ensure children are placed in safe and nurturing homes. With F4F you’ll find everything you need starting with information, required training and ongoing support.
Georgia Foster & Adoption Support
fortifyga.org is a faith based non-profit ministry created to support foster children, foster families, child welfare services and biological families. Fortify has a resource building located at the Kiwanis fairgrounds in Griffin. The resource center was created to collect and disperse donations for state, private or kinship caregivers. The FRC is open on the second Saturday of each month.
Every Christmas, Clark Howard and News/Talk WSB join with the Georgia Department of Family and Children's Services to provide gifts for the foster kids all across Georgia. Whether you give in person or donate online, your generosity shows them that someone really cares, a gift that truly lasts a lifetime.