James 1:27 directly commends care for widows and orphans as the prototypical examples of true religion. Adoption goes beyond orphan care, as important as that is, to providing a lasting family that children so desperately need. God has designed the family, and He also uses adoption as an object lesson for what it means to become a Christian. Because of these principles, we are committed to helping families adopt. Financial assistance is a need for most families pursuing adoption, and so we have just established a James 127 adoption fund as an official part of our church budget. If you’ve been looking for a way to obey James 1:27, the elders want you to know about this ongoing financial opportunity.
Some of the guidelines voted on by the elders include that this fund will be administered by the elders or else a team appointed by the elders, providing funds for members in good standing who are pursuing domestic or international adoption. Reputable agencies or lawyers are the normal expectation, and any adoption outside of these will be reviewed case by case. Money from this fund will be available once prospective parents have signed with an agency or else completed the home study process. Amounts given from this fund will take into consideration a variety of factors such as the total amount needed for the adoption, the number of other current applicants, the current amount in the fund, and the collective input of the elders or team appointed by the elders. Members of this team cannot be currently in the adoption process themselves.
If you are a member interested in receiving help from this fund, you’ll need to communicate your interest to the elders. In a meeting with the elders or adoption fund team, parents should be ready to discuss their reasons for adopting, their financial plan to pay for their adoption, the current state of their personal finances, and where they are in the adoption process. Once the team has made a decision, parents will be notified and the funds will be given directly to an agency or law firm involved.
If you would like to contribute to this fund, you can give at any time to Grace Church and mark “James 127 adoption fund” on your gift. While we cannot legally guarantee that your gift will be given to specific parents, the adoption team will certainly consider any preferences you have as they distribute the funds. At this point, we will not be placing any money in this fund from our general budget. Instead, the fund will be built as people give to the fund directly. Will you prayerfully consider giving towards this fund? We are praying that God will continue to bless us with the desire and ability to live out a James 1:27 kind of religion.