Though the Christmas holidays have many of us feeling merry and bright, the feelings experienced by children in foster care are often very different.
Instead of joyful anticipation, Christmas can be a time of confusion and loss, sadness and grief. For children in foster homes, Christmas is often a reminder that their biological family is broken. It is during the holidays when families are supposed to be together, but this is not the case for children in care.
This month as we celebrate Jesus coming and being PRESENT with us, will you join us to pray for His PRESENCE to be a comfort for the children in foster care?
PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN:
- who are struggling emotionally during the holidays.
Although they want to share all the happy feelings their foster family is experiencing, they may instead feel left out and restless because they are acutely aware that this family is not their family. Please pray for His PRESENCE to bring rest.
“And He said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.'” Exodus 33:14
- who feel confused and conflicted.
Some children may feel like their foster parents are buying them gifts out of obligation, which can cause them to feel guilty. For those who may be enjoying the holiday season with their foster family, the fun and laughter may cause them to feel like they are betraying their birth parents as they struggle to remain loyal to them. Many feel awkward when observing the holidays with a family with different spiritual beliefs and practices than theirs.
Sadly, many of these children have never celebrated their birthday, have never opened a gift, and may have no Christmas traditions. All of the things going on around them can be new and strange. With all of this, the child in care may act out or prefer to be alone and isolated. Thankfully, God’s personal presence is everywhere throughout His creation. Please pray these children and youth will find peace in the fact that there is nowhere that is beyond God’s view. Would you pray for His PRESENCE to bring peace to their hearts?
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7
- who feel unloved and unwanted.
There are children whose biological parents cannot or will not take them for Christmas. What a terrible emotional blow to these young ones! There are children who have been placed in several different families throughout their time in foster care and feel like every family is a “temporary” family in which they do not belong. Many feel like an outsider when they are unable to participate as the extended members of their foster family reminisce about past holidays in which this child has not participated. Please pray for Jesus’ PRESENCE to bring the assurance of His love.
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9
Also, let’s pray for those who are serving as foster parents to be aware and proactive regarding the holidays. Would you join us in praying for them in these specific ways?
- That they will be sensitive to the child in their care by asking about and addressing some of the issues and feelings that may come with the holidays. This will show the child that they are important and that their feelings matter.
- That they will somehow include some of the child’s traditions into their holiday plans.
- That they will tell the foster child what to expect with the holidays. Let the child know who all of the different family members are that will be a part of the celebrations, and what to expect at those gatherings.
- That they would offer to help the child make a gift or card and send to his/her biological family, if that is a possibility. This is a way for the child to stay connected to them even though they cannot be together.
- That they will discuss the significance of the birth of the Savior with the one or ones for whom they are caring. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the Christmas story with a child who may have never heard it!
Thank you for praying for those in the foster care community.
May your heart will be filled with the love of Christ this Christmas! He came to us. And though the only crown Jesus ever wore on this earth was a crown of thorns, when He comes again, He will wear a crown of praise! Don’t wait to praise Him!
The TFI Team
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