Adoption influence has changed tremendously in the last 20 years. As technology has made sharing experiences easier for parents, families, and children in the adoption community, many have developed a platform with the goal to help others on their journies. To stay up to date on current voices in the adoption community, follow us on Instagram @Adoption.
Foster the Family US – Influencer for Foster Care and Adoption
“Nearly half of foster parents quit within their first year due to lack of support.”
(@fosterthefamilyus, June 8, 2021, Instagram post)
Jamie Finn, Executive Director and founder of Foster the Family US, and her team across the country are working to change this depressing statistic. In the cities in which they operate, they show up within 24 hours of a foster family receiving a placement. They bring basic supplies like pajamas, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other hygiene supplies for the child who is away from home. They also bring a home-cooked meal, a note for the family, and an invitation to join their operation’s network of support. They offer support groups, meet and greets, and workshops to anyone in their area who needs help.
Foster, the Family US began in a small town in New Jersey and has recently expanded to numerous large cities across the country. Jamie travels speaking about the realities of foster care and encouraging groups of people large and small. She recently published her book, Foster the Family, which will be available in February of 2022. She also co-owns Goods & Better, a company that donates an item to a foster child for every item they sell (even the small ones). She also hosts the Real Mom Podcast. She is a mother of children both biological and adopted and continues to foster while appropriately sharing her experiences on her Instagram account. By all accounts, Jamie Finn and Foster the Family US are the rock-stars of our nation’s foster care systems.
As a foster and adoptive parent and fellow (though much smaller) influencer, I admire Jamie’s openness and honesty, as well as her business savvy and entrepreneurship. Her mission is simple and her impact is significant. She makes herself vulnerable sharing the highs and lows of her foster care and adoption journeys. She speaks to trauma in foster and adopted children and the secondary trauma experienced by their caregivers. She can remain relatable and professional while relaying her message of encouragement and hope. She fiercely advocates for foster and adopted children and their biological families.
Lifesong for Orphans – Influencer and Adoption Grant Provider
Before we began fundraising for our adoption, I had never heard of Lifesong for Orphans. I have since fallen in love with this organization and its mission. Lifesong’s mission centers around four areas of support: adoption funding, orphan care, foster care, and church partnerships.
Lifesong for Orphans is based upon the simple truth that “everyone can do something.” Their main goal is to muster the global church to take responsibility for orphan care. A large part of their organization is dedicated to training churches to support adoption through creating funding accounts, global orphanage sponsorships, and general education. Their administrative costs are already covered, which means that 100% of all donations go directly to orphan care.
Perhaps the greatest impact Lifesong for Orphans has is through their grant programs. They believe that the financial burden of adoption should never hinder a family from adopting. Not only do they provide guidance and resources for churches to help them set up their funding sources, but they also offer grants to adoptive families.
Adoption costs can include lawyer fees, travel fees, agency fees, and much more. When we were pursuing a domestic infant adoption we were planning to spend around $35,000 before incurring normal infant costs like medical care, diapers, formula, etc. This commitment hinders many waiting families. Lifesong for Orphans provides a significant dent in this financial feat.
Among other financial guidance, Lifesong for Orphans provides loans, matching grants (we received a matching grant), direct grants, and donations. They also offer help with crowdfunding sites and post-adoption tax credits including the Adoption Tax Credit. They also provide post-adoption financial counseling.
In addition to adoption support, Lifesong for Orphans partners with local leaders in several countries to ensure that orphaned and vulnerable children and their families receive the help they need. Some of the support offered are education, medical, food, discipleship, and shelter. Lifesong operates in Bolivia, Haiti, India, Ukraine, and many other countries.
The Forgotten Initiative is Lifesong’s Foster Care Ministry. The Forgotten Initiative (TFI) trains advocates across the country to partner with their local church as support to meet the needs of their county’s Children’s Division and other foster agencies. TFI believes that all members of the foster care system are equally important: caseworkers, foster parents, children, and their families. They provide all of the training necessary to connect the church to the foster care community allowing for the greatest impact.
In all of these areas, Lifesong partners with churches. They provide the resources needed to empower the church to influence their community.