The Open Hearts, Open Homes Ministry recommends our Adoption Bible Study as a first step. We have offered the study twice a year, spring and fall, for the last three years. Pastor Daniel has put together a great study of God's Word on the subject of the orphan. This is truly a Bible study that helps us to see the Lord's heart for the disenfranchised (that is my newest big word).
Whether your mind is made up or you just have a fringe interest we'd love for you to hear what the Bible has to say about reaching out to those that are without a family.
If you are wondering if you are ready to adopt I recently came across a very good guide on how to adopt and I thought it would be good to share it. The following is an excerpt from Shaohannah's Hope "Your Adoption Guide" (http://howtoadopt.org/).
Conduct a Self-Assessment
Do you clearly understand why you want to adopt?
Are both parents committed to adoption?
Does your lifestyle allow you the time necessary to meet the needs of the child you are seeking to adopt?
How will adoption change the dynamics of your family and do you have what you need to make it work?
Do you have deeper issues in your marriage which you are hoping the adoption will help with?
Do you realize that the notion of saving an orphan and their gratitude to you for doing so is not a foundational reason on which to base an adoption? Yes, in many senses, adoption can and does save orphans from ill fates; however, expecting regular expressions of gratitude from your adopted children would be like expecting biological children to live in a constant state of gratitude for and towards their biological parents.
Do you have support from your nucleus family?
Are you called to provide/care for orphans in other ways?
Finally, do you possess these needed characteristics?
Perseverance and patience; nearly all adoptions involve a significant "waiting" period(s) in the adoption process.
The ability to accept without judging, and to love unconditionally;
Awareness that healing doesn't always come quickly; once the child has arrived there is usually an adjustment period. (with an older child there is often a testing period — the child will want to know if your love is unconditional.)
Willingness to learn new things;
A belief in adoption and ability to commit;
Open to dealing with the child's issues as if the child was a birth child — adoption is forever and adopted children must be treated as equal to biological children;
Please know that when you adopt, you are not only providing love and a home, you are also sharing your values with a child. An examination of your belief system can help you define your own needs and be aware of your expectations.
Parenting skills are essential to successful adoptions. If you are a first time parents, and particularly if you are adopting an older children, parenting classes are worth considering.
You can read the entire guide at http://howtoadopt.org/ and click on the "Your Adoption Guide" button. This entire site is a great resource for those desiring more information on adoption.