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Unleashing the Possibilities for Children in Foster Care

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2022 6:00 am

Unleashing the Possibilities for Children in Foster Care

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 1, 2022 6:00 am

Ryan Bomberger, founder of The Radiance Foundation, reveals important research on abortion, dispels myths about adoption, and explains why more people should explore adoption from foster care. The discussion also promotes ways to support other adoptive families.


A child placed in foster care are uprooted from the only life that child has ever known. Your support today will not only support our Wait No More Foster Care and Adoption program efforts, but you’ll also offer a waiting child something comforting that they can call their own: http://focusonthefamily.com/don-daily-broadcast-product-2022-11-01?refcd=1507601


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I was really struggling as we walked through the aftermath. It just felt like every day was a struggle.

It was hard to breathe sometimes. It was hard to just function day to day and it was so lonely. When Carrie learned of her husband's affair, she felt betrayed by God. She lost hope until she heard a focus on the family podcast.

The reason why I listened to it over and over again is because it felt like I was sitting down with a friend who was telling me like I've been there and it's okay and you can do this and I promise in the end it's going to be worth it and it just broke me in a good way. I'm Jim Daley. Working together, we can heal more broken marriages like Carrie's and give families hope. Please call 800 the letter A in the word family. That's 800 a family or donate it.

Focus on thefamily.com slash hope and your gift will be doubled. Literally, if you look at evangelical and conservative Protestant congregations, there are about 191,000 of them. If one family out of three of those or if one family out of 33% all of those evangelical conservative churches adopted a child of the foster care system, there would be no children waiting on that list. That's Ryan Baumberger and he's our guest today on Focus on the Family.

Scripture tells us that when we act on behalf of the least of these, it's the same as if we were ministering to Christ himself. So we have a clear command to care for children. We'll be talking about that today as we observe November as National Adoption Month here in the US and in Canada. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daley and I'm John Fuller. John, there's over 400,000 children in foster care in the US and of that number about 120,000 that are available for adoption.

That's a big number state by state that 120,000 of course is distributed into different states and in Canada, there's about 30,000 children waiting to be adopted out of their system there. So it is an opportunity for Christians to actually do the work of God to do his will and to take these children in and to be that forever family for them and we're going to have that conversation with Ryan today who has an amazing story of being adopted from foster care by loving family and he's living proof of what God can do in the life of any human being who has given him a chance to do that work in his life. So I'm excited about this discussion. Yeah, and Ryan Baumberger is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional. He's really gifted. He and his wife started the Radiance Foundation, which is a life-affirming nonprofit organization. Ryan is a public speaker, educator, a broadcast media designer, a producer, author. I'm tired. Yeah, I was just thinking, what am I doing? I do radio, one thing.

He's written a book called Not Equal, Civil Rights Gone Wrong and we'll have details at the website. Ryan and his wife Bethany are the parents of four children and two of those kids are adopted. That is great. Ryan, welcome back to Focus. It's great to be here. Hey, I alluded to it, but you have lived it. So that's, I don't, you know, you've got the college degree. You've got a great, you know, background and John ticked off a number of accomplishments that you've had, but coming through and living through it to me is what gives you the greatest bona fides, if I could say it that way, that we could have, you were conceived in a very difficult situation. Your mom decided not to abort you, but to put you up for adoption.

So for those that didn't hear last time, summarize that story for us. Yes, I'm that fringe example that we struggle with in this country and around the world when people talk about the issue of abortion. The inevitable question is, well, what about rape and I'm the tangible example of that and partly the answer that my birth mom experienced the horror and the violence of rape.

She was a victim of the violence of rape, but did not, as you said, make me a victim of the violence of abortion. And so she had not only gave me the incredible gift of life, but also gave me the incredible gift of adoption and I was adopted into your typical American family of 15. That's the typical family.

I love it. Six brothers, six sisters and 10 of us were adopted and we're all just all kinds of different hues, all kinds of different backgrounds, different stories. Most of us adopted out of the foster care system and just love. We were adopted and loved.

That's my story. As you mentioned, I'm an adoptive father with four kiddos and my wife and I are really passionate about advocating for adoption. You know, you have thought about this a lot. Obviously, you've written about it a lot and even the way you connect the violence of rape and then the violence of abortion.

It's powerful coming from someone who is coming from the place you've come from. Even Christians back up on that one and again, the number of abortions related to rape is very small. I mean, that's always what they trot out to defend abortion as a selective option, right for just to get rid of the baby because it's not where I want to go right now to be a mother or a father. So speak to that Christian community particularly who should not back up on the issue of rape.

You're living proof of that. Right abortion that results because of rape related pregnancies less than 1% and then we have to remember especially as Christians is we're all creating the image of God whether we were humanly planned or not, whether we were conceived in violence or not. We are still made in the image of God and none of us control the circumstances of our conception.

I'm assuming YouTube didn't control the circumstance of your second control. Then no, none of us have that kind of control. But yet we pretend that we can be the arbiters of human value and so for Christians, we should have a very different perspective on that and even with the cases of rape, we believe as Christians that every individual is redeemable that Christ came to redeem all of us.

So even the rapist deserves redemption, but somehow when we talk about a child conceived in rape, those who are pro-abortion or pro-choice don't really think about the child having worth and having value and so hopefully I can be that tangible example of a life lived that shows the beauty of possibility and so as Christians, we should really center on the fact that every human life whether you're planned or unplanned has God-given purpose. Let me go back to your family for just a second. I mean with all those kids were your adoptive parents were they really able to show love, the love of Christ to each one of you, their biological kids and the adopted kids equally and all those kinds of things. Yeah, well, I was the favorite in the family.

So I shadow that whole thing that biological is favored. So I was the first one adopted and you know, each year it was new flavor added to the family and I would tell you my parents never whether in public or even inside the home never distinguish between the biological and adopted children. They loved us all.

I mean they showed us time after time when I mean we face instances of racism. Our parents would defend us out of our store. Our family owns a retail store and you would never know I mean parents didn't say oh, that's my adopted child.

You didn't that's not something you do. You don't say that's my adopted child. That's my biological child. No, that's my son. That's my daughter. It's the way that they live their lives and some people think it was kind of chaos to have 13 kids. I don't think so.

Although I don't know anything different. I didn't grow up an only child, but they they poured love into us. Their faith was real. Their faith was the same inside that home as it was outside of the home. My parents Henry and Andrea Baumburger because they love Jesus that natural outflow was loving people and they loved us all and I just have to throw this out there. My father passed away a year from last January. So on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade even and here's a man who loved the Lord and because of him and he's the reason why I love being a husband love being a father.

He modeled integrity model love for Christ and he is the reason why I am the man I am today and my parents poured everything everything into us. Yeah, in addition, I mean some of your couple of your siblings are special needs. Correct. Yes.

I mean that that to me is amazing. That is an incredible act of love to adopt special needs children shouldn't be should be kind of like yeah, they're equal to us and they need help. They need care. Where are they today? Those two?

Well, they're actually the more than two. There are differing needs. Some have physical disabilities to my brothers were born with albinoism. So they have legal blindness and so they're varying levels of that one brother who is albino can driving the other one can't although that was always strange to me because they always had to watch the TV about this close.

Like how are you driving? Others had some learning disabilities others had some physical disabilities and deformations and had to have multiple surgeries. So there are a handful of differing special needs.

Yeah, my parent. I mean, this is the thing when you look at life and you look at people through the lens of Scripture through the way that God would look at others. You don't see them as lesser than right. It's a whole different thing. It changed the way that you respond to people and the way that you react situations and my parents just I felt like they didn't know any other way other than to pour their entire selves into each and every one of us to help us, you know, realize our own God-given purpose. And so those siblings are and they're married.

They have children some are my one brother who was legally blind is a music ministry leader. I mean this flourishing all over the place and that's what love does. Yeah, it helps unleash that it's so again. It's such a wonderful thing. I mean the blessings I was thinking, you know in tombstones they don't talk about your vocation.

You know, this man was a wonderful Vice President, right? It basically is he was a great husband and a wonderful father right and the same for moms, right? And that's the idea here far more important far more important to invest in people than other things, but let's cover some of the myths and misconceptions and adoption.

I think that'll be good. Then after we'll talk about things people can do to get involved which I think is critical as some of those myths include the thought that people just aren't adopting children from the US, you know that that's not we adopt from Africa. We adopt from China. Some of those adoption areas are now getting really restrictive. So speak to the issue of adopting a child who was born here in the US out of foster care.

Is that happening and they want numbers? Well every orphan is worthy of love, of course, but that whole nonsense that people aren't adopting from the United States. Well, there are several issues here. One, there's not a national reporting system that actually even tells us how many children are being adopted.

That's a problem that stopped at the believe in 1992. That's a major problem because we don't have a full picture to understand what we do have is the Department of Health and Human Services. It puts out what's called an AFCARS report that tells us how many children are in foster care and how many are adopted in 2020, which is the latest report. There were about 54,000 children adopted still another 63 almost 64,000 waiting to be adopted by the end of the year. So we're looking at at least the National Council on Adoption said that there are about 110,000 adoptions domestic adoptions a year, but there's so much more that we can do so much more that the church can do literally if you look at Evangelical and conservative Protestant congregations, there are about 191,000 of them if one family out of three of those or if one family out of 33% of all of those Evangelical conservative churches adopted a child of the foster care system, there would be no children waiting on that list. Yeah, that's really how achievable it is and yet there are many who have a lot of misconceptions that these children aren't wanted. They're not being adopted.

They are just there's not enough involvement. I think of God's people. Yeah, and one of the things right there talk to your pastor if you're a pastor listening to this think about how you can lift adoption up out of foster care or wrap around care. We're going to get to some of those solutions as well. It's called respite care, but a couple can come alongside a couple that does adopt and provide some help to them.

Those are all good ideas. You know, I really want to give a shout out to Brady Boyd who's our pastor here at New Life Church because he and I had lunch when I was thinking of what focus could do to get involved and I talked to him and he said, you know, Jim, if you do something, I think we could probably get a hundred children adopted. It's a big church 12,000 13,000, but he said I think we could probably get a hundred kids adopted out of our congregation alone and they did they adopted 106 kids. I think the number was at the end of the day and I mean think that's one church, right?

That's awesome. I mean if all the churches could have that attitude which would eventually lead to every available child being adopted by the Christian community, wouldn't that be an amazing headline? It would be and what a testament to the church. I mean being God's people taking care of widows and orphans. This is this should be our DNA doesn't mean that every parent has to be the adoptive parent or the foster parent. But like you said wraparound serves there are many other ways that people can get involved in encouraging that culture of adoption and you know to your point of the numbers that's just you know, every third church adopt one and then those families get around that one.

Yeah, I mean that that is really doable. I mean that's shifting culture right there. It is. Yeah, Ryan Baumburger is our guest today on Focus on the Family. He's got a great book not about this particular topic specifically but the book is called Not Equal Civil Rights Gone Wrong. It really tells some of the story that you're hearing today. It promotes the idea that every life is sacred. You can get that book at our website and we do want to encourage you to consider getting involved in adoption or supporting others who adopt through foster care as Jim and Ryan have been speaking about and all the details are on our website.

The link is in the show notes or give us a call. You know plant parenthood has that abort over adoption agenda. That's one of the things that I have you know, really tried to stress is these people in the industry the abortion industry are financially motivated. It almost disqualifies them to be in the debate because they're making money off of the killing of a child.

Right six seven hundred dollars. I mean, it's that plane and for them to be the ones in the center of the town square screaming about a woman's rights and a child's death to me it disqualifies them because it's all about the cash and there's no way around that forum but speak to that dilemma that the abortion industry faces of trying to feign being for something when actually they're they're raking in the dollars from it. Well, they are plant parent specifically demonizes adoption all the time in fact in their tool for educators which was material that to educate, you know activists for them saying that adoption it's much more painful for a woman to you know relinquish her child for adoption as they put it relinquish child for adoption than to terminate her unwanted pregnancy. I mean, this is an organization that touts itself as being pro-choice, but if you're demonizing one of the two alternatives to the violence of abortion how pro-choice are you and this is what they do. They demonize especially now they demonize adoption. They demonize foster care and all in this whole anti-racist rhetoric by the way saying that it's racist to actually pull a black child out of his or her culture where you're ripping a child apart out of his or her mother's womb. Right that's racist. I mean plant parent touts itself by the way they call themselves an anti-racist organization. If you're the leading killer of black lives how in the world are you an anti-racist organization?

So here you've got you know an organization that killed over 345,000 human beings last year. They don't make money on referrals for adoption. That's not what you know generates the revenue. It's abortion.

That's what generates the revenue. Of course, they're going to be anti adoption. I just want to stress this point for a pregnant woman who's looking at what shall I do? What can I do and she goes to Planned Parenthood and there she's on the exam table. They're steering her toward the abortion because again they're going to make six seven hundred dollars from that they get zero for an adoption referral zero.

So that lack of incentive for them. That's one of the things I've thought about can we incentivize a an abortion clinic to pay for an adoption? I mean what if we gave them twelve hundred dollars for an adoption and get you know if it's all about the money which I think it might be that'd be interesting to see if they would take me up on that. I think I could find people to support that and and we could save a life one by one.

But that's the problem that they have is while she's on that exam table. It's all about how do we get her to commit to an abortion not an adoption right that that's not in their financial interests and we've seen that over and over again actually the abortion industry and like-minded organizations came together years ago for something called the adoption network and they said we're going to take the mantle of adoption and it's dissolved within a year's time because you can't on one hand say this child has value therefore we're going to advocate for adoption and in the other room literally tearing apart that child that doesn't have value because of his or her wanted status. So every time the abortion industry pretends that actually is offering choice.

I mean it literally just disintegrates. So is why advocate for pregnancy centers the 2,700 pregnancy centers that don't have any financial interest in any decision whether the woman chooses to abort or not and that's why we need to better equip them to advocate for adoption in the centers and many of them do a great job but they don't get the half a billion dollars taxpayer dollars each year from the federal government to do what they do and that's I mean their whole thing is some radically different their transformational where the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood's are transactional as in the financial transactional sort of thing. You know in the Christian community Ryan, I think given Dobbs that court case that overturned Roe v. Wade some Christians think okay, the battle's over it's really you know become more complex because it's now 50 states that have the right to make a decision for against abortion or limiting abortion. So the battlefront has gone from a federal level to a state level and so focus continues to fight those battles other Christian organizations are fighting that battle to get as many states as possible to restrict or eliminate abortion and then we got to step up. But did I paint that fairly that what we're looking at and what are you seeing in a post Dobbs decision?

Definitely. I'm grateful that the Supreme Court finally, you know changed the supremely wrong decision in both Roe and Doe which were decisions made on the same day. But there yes, the concentration is in state level. Absolutely and but you still have on the federal level. You have President Biden for instance who is fighting tooth and nail to expand abortion to protect abortion. In fact, they have a new website from the Department of Health and Human Services on reproductive rights and reproductive health and not one mention of resources other than abortion. So on the federal level, there's so much misinformation and so much destructive direction, but on the state level you've got legislators who are doing what they were elected to do pro-life legislators and we're seeing I believe there are 13 states at this point that have banned abortion the violence of abortion, but it's also on the local level. There are city councils who for instance award funding for Planned Parenthood or for abortion in the area. You've got states that want to be abortion sanctuary states. So the church has to awaken. It's way past time for them to pretend that oh, this is a political issue is a moral and a spiritual issue and if they don't catch on to them, they don't realize that we're looking at still nearly a million aborted in 2020. There are 930,000 innocent human lives destroyed by abortion.

The church has to awaken but it is on a state level and as a Christian for me, it should be on the church level that there are so many things that church can do to change our culture to embrace a biblical perspective on life. Yeah, right. Let me play an audio clip from some children who were adopted from foster care by loving Christian parents like you were.

Let me play the clip and get your reaction. Now that I look back on it, I know I would have ended up in juvie or something like that. I guess I figured it was hopeless. You know, every day is just a survival day and being passed around and stuff from family to family. It's like well, you know not get too comfortable because you know, you just got to have to leave again. So it's always winter when you know when today when am I going to go when they came they came with their stuff and plastic trash bags. So all they had were a few pairs of clothes and maybe a toy that they kept with them makes you kind of feel like a dog because you get passed around.

It's about the same deal. The darkness is like a dark room or something and they blindfold you and they spin you around and they just stick you someplace and you don't know where you're at or anything and it's a very dark room and you have to learn how to survive and find your way around without hitting the walls. You're with other people that don't know God and they're in the same dark room as you but really you're just trying to figure out how you can get out of that dark room and you have no idea how to do it because you're just a kid that doesn't know anything and then all of a sudden someone walks in the room that you don't know but that person's light and that's the only light in that room and then the next thing you know you're going with that person out of the room into this whole beautiful world where it's light pretty powerful descriptions. Yeah, it's heartbreaking and also encouraging.

It's all all that stuff mixed up. There's no reason that I mean it's it's painful that child ever has to experience any of that and that's why you know you hear often times people say well, no one should ever have to face that kind of trauma. No one should have to face that kind of broken as well. You know where humanity is broken in every way shape and form and yet God gives us the means to actually enable triumph to rise from tragedy and so you heard that in that clip. I mean there are moments of triumph but you know you hear Pro-abortion advocates say well that child should have to go from that they'd be better off dead. I don't know if you remember Simone Biles the world's most decorated gymnast who was a foster child herself kind of said the same thing on Instagram that a child shouldn't have to go through that and like but you're the you're the tangible example of the beauty of possibility of rising above having been adopted by your grandparents and achieving incredible greatness not that we have to achieve anything to make us worthy, but these clips just remind me of why we need to be that light for these kids who I mean no child.

No child is ever equipped to navigate something like that. No, I have friends who all their lives is moved from one foster home to another foster home to another foster home. And yet like I see them serving the Lord.

It's really incredible. In fact friends of mine who live in Dallas Texas who power couple love the Lord serving in ministry, but that was her story. She would was the one who had the bag going from one family to the other to the other to the other.

Yeah, right. And this has been so good and I think the purpose has been to open the eyes of believers that are listening and viewing that possibly would look into this or they know somebody that might be the right couple to do this. The point being when you hear those kids wouldn't be nice that we didn't have kids with those stories that the Christian community again steps up and does what it needs to do.

And you know, thankfully Gene held me accountable to that. We've got to do this and we've probably had 15 kids come through our home and two sets of kids for quite a long time three years in one case and a year in the other case. So, you know, we did it and I would encourage you to consider doing it and there are a lot of different ways you can act. You can the respite care. We talked about people that study foster foster adoption. It's about five couples or five families that really are the meaningful help that a family needs to succeed in this and that means giving them a weekend break allowing them to do something other than the laundry from time to time to do the laundry form do the shopping for them.

Just tangible ways to take some of the load off of them. That's respite care and you know, that's something we can all do actually and I think the Christian community what a great way to get connected to that adoption community by reaching out and helping them. There's so many more things that we have ideas for and you get those at the website and John will give you those details.

Yeah, the starting point is going to be our website where you can learn all about wait no more. That's our program to come alongside and encourage foster adoption. All the details are at the website will link over in the show notes or give us a call 800 the letter A in the word family and when you get in touch be sure to ask about a suitcase bundle that we're making available to these children ask God what he would have you do to bless a child in foster care. Jim we heard in one of those clips one of those children say their stuff was in a plastic trash bag and what we're trying to do is bring some dignity to those children with this special suitcase bundle. Yeah, in fact, it includes a age-appropriate Bible a little teddy bear and that suitcase just to demonstrate that we care about you. In addition, there's a handwritten note from staff here at focus that goes into every bundle to that child and you know, it's just again a way to show them dignity and people can definitely support that and I think we've given away now four or five thousand suitcases through the adoption agencies.

We make them the heroes and we just want to continue to do that. So join us in that desire to show these kids some dignity call and donate if you can a $100 gift will enable us to send a brand new suitcase an age-appropriate Bible a stuffed animal and a handwritten note to these children and foster care donate as you can at the website again. The link is in the show notes or call 800 the letter A and the word family and again stop by our website.

There are so many ideas for you to be able to get involved and we also have Ryan's book there as well on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for joining us today for focus on the family. I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Oh, hey Mike got here as soon as I could.

What's going on man? Hey, I just wanted to give you an update on my marriage. Is it good news? Yeah, our marriage is going great right now. I couldn't be happier. Do that's awesome. Yeah, it's like a solid five out of 10 having a marriage that's just okay. Isn't what couples really want to live give yourself and your spouse an all-inclusive weekend where you'll slow your pace and focus on each other. Get more details at focus on the family.com slash getaway. That's focus on the family.com slash getaway.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-09 03:47:19 / 2022-11-09 03:54:22 / 7

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