Welcoming home a fatherless child: Part three

How three dads became interested in fostering and adopting

By Focus on the Family Canada staff

We asked a panel of three Calgary foster and adoptive fathers to join us at a special End the Wait evening in late January. Each one graciously agreed to share his journey of laughter, love and learning about becoming “Dad” to the fatherless child welcomed into his home. This is part two in that series. Check out part one here and part two here.

Why adopt Albertan children when there is so much need in other places? 

Adopting or fostering is an intensely personal decision that may look different for every family. Choosing between the ways to bring a new child into a family – through domestic infant adoption, fostering, international adoption or adopting through the public government system – can be an extremely complicated process as parents and parents-to-be weigh different aspects of each approach. 

For adoptive and foster father Mark and his wife, awareness of the global children’s crisis really brought to light how they could have impact locally. “I remember in the 1980s when there were alarming stories of ‘warehouse babies’ coming out of eastern Europe.” The horrifying stories of orphanages and abandoned children around the world attract the attention of many prospective adoptive parents who feel called to care for vulnerable children.

Mark explains, “It really caught my wife’s heart and opened our eyes as a couple. But then as we looked around, we saw that there were children right here in North America, in our own backyard, that we could respond to. God calls us all to care for children everywhere but we feel our personal calling is really to the children here in our own city.”

That calling can differ for every family. Some may feel called to adopt internationally, others may be drawn to fostering or adopting locally. Even more families may find their place is in serving vulnerable children in ways that don’t involve fostering or adopting – through churches or other organizations.

Rick, an adoptive father who has never been a foster parent, said that getting to know the children who were in foster placements within their church community really influenced their decision to pursue adoption locally. “We had seen kids coming through our church who were in the government system. We got to know them and as we did, we kind of fell in love with them. It opened both our eyes and our hearts.” 

For other families the decision can be partly economical. There are no fees to adopt through the provincial government system and, in many cases, there is actually financial support available for after a child has been adopted. International adoption can be cost prohibitive; however, there may be financial assistance available to help families in that process as well. 

No matter what the reasons, choosing how to bring a child home can be a complex decision. If you’d like to learn more about the options available to you, check out the links below: