Archdiocese Local Ministries

Adoption and fostering can create strong family units

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It only makes sense that Christians are very much in favor of adoption and foster care.

Not only are the Scriptures filled with admonitions to care for orphans, but all Christians are, in a way, adoptees.

“Furthering our understanding of adoption’s importance is our recognition that through our baptism we become adopted sons and daughters of God,” said Ron Kelsey, a board member of the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic in Kansas City, Kansas.

“Furthermore, in foster care we see that God chose one of our greatest saints — St. Joseph — to be the foster father of his son, Jesus,” he said. “Thus, God directly teaches us the lofty importance of adoption and foster care.”

During October, which the U.S. bishops have designated Respect Life Month, one of the great pro-life issues the church considers is the care of children through adoption and foster care.

“Adoption and foster care are important pro-life concerns because they are both involved with uniting children into loving families,” said Kelsey.

Lots of families in archdiocesan parishes have adopted and fostered children.

Patti and Steve Fisher, members of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence, have both fostered and adopted.

The Fishers have fostered about 30 children since 2012. During that time, they fostered a sibling pair. Pru (Prudence) is now 8 years old, and her brother Shawn is almost 6.

After fostering for a while, the Fishers decided that they wanted to adopt. A series of circumstances made it possible for them to adopt Pru and Shawn.

“We took a little break [from fostering] to transition,” said Patti.

“We adopted Pru and Shawn in May,” she said, but now things are settling down.

“We’ve gone on family vacations and Shawn started kindergarten, so we’ve decided to open our home again to more kids,” she said.

Cassie and Brant Myers, members of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Leawood, have two children. Collin, 21, is their birth child and Anabel, 16, was adopted.

The Myers family opted to go with an international adoption. Anabel was born in March 2001 in Calcutta, India. As adoptive parents, they underwent background checks and a home study by a social worker. They also had to follow regulations set by the government of India.

“We feel very blessed that Anabel’s birth mother chose to go to term with her pregnancy and deliver her somewhere safe so she could find another home,” said Cassie. “She signed a relinquishment at the orphanage. She wanted her child to be born and have a better life. All of that is very pro-life.”

What advice do these fostering and adoption families have for others?

Talk to others who have fostered and adopted. Pray for the children and their prospective families, and consider hosting a meeting about foster and adoption at your parish.

Get to know families who are fostering or have adopted, and do family service work in support of foster children as a way to plant an idea in your own children about fostering and adoption.

Consider becoming an advocate or mentor for a child in need by joining CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). For information, click here.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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