Supporting Foster Adoption
Q: I've heard some things about foster care and adoption, and I'm curious -- but hesitant because our family is already so busy. Somebody told me that your organization strongly supports foster adoption. Why do you think we should get involved?
Jim: This is an issue close to my heart because I was an orphan myself in elementary school -- both of my parents died by the time I was 12. I know what it feels like to drift through life without the anchor of a parent's love. So, I empathize with the 140 million children worldwide who just want to call someone "Mom" and "Dad."
When we hear the word "orphan," many of us envision poor kids in developing nations' slums. That's certainly a serious global issue that deserves much more attention. But there are over 120,000 adoption-eligible children in the United States' foster care system. They dream of real homes filled with love and laughter; they crave acceptance and a place to belong. That's why Focus on the Family established the "Wait No More" campaign.
I believe that American culture's "me first" attitude has undermined our God-given sense of benevolence. We're presented with countless opportunities to entertain ourselves with media, sports, hobbies and possessions. Those things aren't inherently wrong. But when we pursue them so much that we fail to love and care about those among us who are truly hurting, we definitely need to rethink our priorities.
Sure, adoption isn't for every family. But my guess is that many couples could find room in their hearts for a child who doesn't have a place to call home. And there are many ways that families who don't adopt can help those who do. For more information, you can contact your local social services department and/or visit Focus on the Family's special website, WaitNoMore.org.
Q: My husband and I have been married nearly 10 years. But we have a lot of relational problems. I think we're both wondering if we should just bag it and go our separate ways. Why would our marriage even be worth trying to save?
Dr. Greg Smalley, Vice President, Marriage & Family Formation: My heart goes out to you. I'm sure what you're facing is difficult and discouraging. But I believe your marriage is worth fighting for, for many reasons.
First -- if you have children, their welfare should be one of your most important considerations. Some people claim that kids are relieved when their parents divorce because that means the arguments stop. But that's really not true. In fact, studies show that divorce is one of the biggest fears for children. Decades later, children whose parents divorced generally still remember the loneliness and fear caused by the breakup.
Research also shows that divorced couples aren't significantly happier once their marriage ends. In fact, most wish they'd worked harder to save their marriage.
But what happens if you put in the work to repair and strengthen your marriage? Again, the research emphasizes that in most cases each spouse experiences greater physical, mental and emotional health, and their relationship is stronger and happier.
So, here's my advice: You don't have to choose between staying in an unhappy marriage or divorcing and being just as miserable. Your marriage can be restored if you're both willing to try. Yes, it'll take work. But a healthy, thriving relationship is worth the effort. I'd even say it's priceless.
Our counselors at Focus on the Family would be happy to help; don't hesitate to call them at 855-771-HELP (4357). And for couples on the brink, Focus on the Family's Hope Restored program has an exceptional success rate in healing troubled marriages -- see HopeRestored.com.
Jim Daly is a husband and father, an author, and president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family radio program. Catch up with him at www.jimdalyblog.com or at www.facebook.com/DalyFocus.
Copyright 2022 Focus On The Family. (This feature may not by reproduced or distributed electronically, in print or otherwise without written permission of Focus on the Family.)Copyright 2022 Focus on the Family. This feature may not be reproduced or distributed electronically, in print or otherwise without the written permission of Focus on the Family.