The Encouragement Project: Week 3

I recently started doing a series called “the encouragement project” where I give everyone {including myself} ideas on how to encourage a particular group of people in our lives. Of course, encouraging anyone at anytime is great, this just gives us a specific time each week to evaluate if we are encouraging anybody!
This week, I want to focus on encouragement for adoptive families and/or those who are fostering. We have several families in our lives that have done this/are doing it and they are awesome!
But along with being awesome, it is hard work. My own parents took in 24 foster children {along with raising their 4 birth children} over the course of 10 years. I saw the love and dedication it took to bring in these children, as well as the uncertainty of not knowing if they would be with us for 7 days or 7 years. {Our shortest placement was a weekend, the longest for 9 years off and on.}
And the truth is, as Christians, we are told in God’s word that the best, purest way to show our religion is to care for orphans and widows {James 1:27}. So even if we aren’t personally taking in children in our homes, I think it is vital for us to take some part in their care.
So what are some ways we can help out the ones who are actually doing the fostering/adopting? {For future reference, I’m going to refer to them as F/AFs- foster/adoptive families}

1.) Clothes-
much as a new mom is thrown a shower for a new baby, a new any-size person in a home probably doesn’t come with much clothing. As a mom who has lived almost entirely with hand-me-downs for my four kids- I know what a huge blessing they are! If you’re cleaning out closets for your own kids, consider giving what you don’t need anymore to a F/AF with children of that same size.

If you don’t have kids of your own, it would be a thoughtful gesture for you to pick up a package of undies or socks in the new kiddos’ size, or diapers if they are babies. You may want to check with the family for sizes, or what they need specifically.

2.) Food-

I pretty much always mention this in a post about encouragement. We have been blessed so many, many times with the gift of a meal. When our babies were new, when our son was sick, when my husband was down with his back, church members were so faithful to bring food to us. Any time we have a transition in our lives, it helps so much if even just one thing is taken off the table. {or,  in this instance, put on the table! 😉 }
If the thought of preparing a whole meal overwhelms you, picking up a few extra snacks or throw-in-the-oven meals while you are at the grocery store are helpful things as well!

3.) Pray for foster/adoptive families

They are doing something very dear to God’s heart and I know they can use our prayers. For the parents, pray for strength, for wisdom to make the right decisions, for bonding within the family. Pray that they get rest during the night! :)
Ask the new parents for specific requests for the children. Children in these F/AFs come there for many different situations. But one thing is the same: for some reason or another they are not with their birth parents, and obviously this can cause confusion and hurt. Pray that the Heavenly Father brings them peace and comfort.
About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. Great concept Kelli! I love the encouragement project. The world needs more encouragement. Keep up the great posts!