On Saturday, Sep. 24, 2011 we attended a one-day adoption conference in Redmond, Washington. The conference was called “Wait No More” and was hosted by Focus on the Family. There were about 630 people in attendance. The point of the conference was to raise awareness of the over 1,000 children in the Washington State foster care system, waiting for adoption. They brought in people from the Washington Foster Care System to share stories and facts and they also had three very moving testimonies from two adopted children and a sibling of an adopted child.
We were interested to check out the conference because it sounded like an interesting idea to maybe host in the Lower Mainland someday. Although the conference was open to anyone to attend, because it was hosted by Focus on the Family, they were focusing on the Churches response to the foster care need. One of the points they made, that really stuck with us, was that there are currently over 1,000 children waiting in the Washington State foster care system and over 5,000 churches in Washington alone. That point really hit home for us. They went on to point out that if one family out of every five churches were to adopt a foster child, there wouldn’t be any more waiting children in Washington! When put in that light, it doesn’t sound like that big of a mountain. There are churches in Washington that have over 5,000 people in attendance on any given Sunday.
We left the conference feeling encouraged and dreaming for what might happen in BC. The current number of children waiting in the foster care system in BC right now is around 600. How many churches are in BC? I'm sure there's more than 600! We'll have to get back to you about the ratio for BC churches.
About a week later we received a follow up email that said that as a result of that conference, 111 families initiated the process of adoption from foster care! That’s really exciting!
We are aware that not every one of those families will end up adopting and we’re also aware that one can’t adopt on a whim or what sounds like a good idea, but we’ve sat through a short version of a ministry presentation and even after leaving that, you are very aware of the real challenges and struggles that will be a part of the journey. So rest assured, these families will go through the process and they will be made aware of all of the angles and things to expect throughout their adoption journey. The process is long and these families will have time to digest the information and make informed decisions.
But today, let’s rejoice that 111 families’ hearts were touched enough to take the first step. Even if 111 families don’t bring a child into their home, 111 families in Washington will think differently about adoption and the part they can play to bring other children home into their forever family.