This year the theme of the Alliance for Romania Without Orphans conference was ‘infinitely more.’ Two of our volunteers attended the conference, which focused on the verse James 1:27, ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’
While not everyone is called to foster or adopt, the aim of the conference was to discuss adoption and fostering in Romania and how it can be encouraged. The best option for a child is to be raised in a family, not an institution, no matter how small the institution is. The conference included social workers, foster carers, adoptive parents, members of NGOs, church leaders, political figures and experts in the areas of supporting children who’ve experienced trauma.
It was very encouraging to hear how progress is being made across Romania, such as a new law being implemented reducing the time a child is in the system before they are adopted and plans to build up more creative profiles for the children placed for adoption who are recognized as hard to place. There is also evidence of various adoptions arising as a result of the conference and the alliance raising awareness across the country. However, there are still many areas to that can be improved including: ensuring legislation is implemented properly, increasing the number of people with specialist expertise in the field, and creating a plan for children abandoned in hospitals with no identity.
A big part of the discussion was the role of the church in this. In Romania, as well as worldwide. It was commented that if every church in Romania adopted 2 children, there would be no more orphans in Romania. Ideas were shared about how members of a church can be involved in adopting a child, whether it be helping to make dinners for a family who have adopted, offering to babysit for the family or offering financial support to the family, or simply sharing more information about adoption in the church. And also how churches can support NGOs, and vice versa with NGOs offering expertise and churches offering nurture to children and families.
The parting message of the conference was how we can all do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can imagine according to His power in us.
Would you consider how you can support adoption and fostering? This Sunday is Orphan Sunday across many areas across the world, including Romania. Can you help us share this?
~ Written by Sarah Peters