One of our newer ministry initiatives is to actively support foster and adoptive parents in Romania. Adoption brings with it both unique blessings and challenges, and Romanian adoptive parents have far fewer resources at their disposal than Americans do. Decades of dictatorship left Romanian culture devoid of the informal community groups and networks that tend to thrive in America. Support groups, mentorships, and the like are new but desperately needed concepts in this country.
In October 2014, we joined with a few other NGOs to sponsor the first-ever Christian orphan care conference on Romanian soil. As a part of the conference, we held several days of training workshops exclusively for foster and adoptive parents. The response of attendees was eye-opening. Many of our parents expressed their joy at being given real encouragement and practical tools for the first time. Some told us that they had been on the verge of giving up, until the conference gave them the hope and practical help they needed to go on. They finally knew they weren’t alone.
As we look toward the next two years, we’d like to provide more local workshops for foster and adoptive parents, as well as translating adoption books into the Romanian language. We’d also like to set up a better support structure for parents who adopt from us, with proactive training and follow-up, mentoring relationships with other adoptive parents, and regular counseling.
Beyond simply helping adoptive families, we believe this step will ultimately help us recruit new adoptive parents. We’ve already found that some of our best recruiters are other adoptive families – especially those families who are well-grounded and thriving. The better connected and supported our families are, the more likely they are to become evangelists for adoption among their friends, families, and churches.
Of course, this new emphasis on support for families will require additional funding and resources. But it’s a crucial prerequisite to the final step of our four-step vision: building an “adoption culture” in Romania.
Section: What We Do
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