5 Easy Ways to Encourage a Foster or Adoptive Family

There are hundreds of ways to participate in the ministry of foster care or adoption without actually parenting.

Here are 5 simple ideas that could make BIG impact on the adoptive or foster family in your life—


1. Pray (and tell them you are praying).

Prayer is not a cliché unless it is promised and never offered. Adoptive and foster parents have no independent power source apart from what God has promised. Their faith and endurance depend on God’s provision of it. So praying for them–and telling them you are praying for them–is incredibly encouraging.


2. Take a meal (or bag of groceries).

Whether the family is recently home with a new child or has been home for some time, you can encourage them with a meal or bag of groceries. (Or consider giving a gift card to a restaurant or grocery store). These items take time and resources that they may be struggling to juggle. Also, providing food enables the parents to spend extra time focusing on the child instead of meal prep.


3. Seek the child out at church (and be kind and supportive).

Very little can encourage the heart of parents like seeing the church family show the love of Christ to their children. But especially when the child comes with a unique set of circumstances–whether behavioral, spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical–a parent can be greatly encouraged to see church family show kindness and acceptance. A simple word of encouragement or genuine welcome to the child can go a long way.

The goal is to see the precious child that exists beneath the survival strategies, and to let them know that we see them.
—Dr. Karyn Purvis 

4. Write a note of encouragement (and deliver it).

In our fast-paced world, handwritten notes of encouragement are golden. If you see the parent doing something good or the child doing something right … or if you know the family is struggling and could use a kind word, put it in writing and give it to them. Don’t know what to say? Ask God for wisdom, and include verses from His Word. It doesn’t need to be profound to be profoundly helpful. A nice note can go a long way because it can be read and re-read in moments of doubt or discouragement.


5. Learn about foster care/adoption (and help educate others).

Take an interest in learning as much as much as you can from foster and adoptive parents. Read good books or ask the families you know for recommendations of good resources. Encourage those in your sphere of influence to take an interest as well. Showing that you care and want to understand is one of the kindest demonstrations of support.