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Launching Foster and Adoptive Families

Interview with Domingo and Irene Garcia, laypeople at Paradise (California) Alliance Church

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AL: Briefly describe the ministry you launched.

FAMS (Foster, Adopt, Mentor, Support) recruits and supports foster/adoptive parents. It helps to build a community around these families.

families
Domingo and Irene Garcia have fostered more than 32 kids and adopted 16. (Photo courtesy of the Garcias)

The five areas of support include:

  1. Date Night Child Care: Gives couples time to spend alone to keep their marriages strong
  2. Mentor and Support Group: Reminds families they are not alone by providing prayer, encouragement, and child care
  3. Transportation: Takes children to their many activities, court dates, and appointments
  4. Sponsorship: Funds expenses the state does not cover, such as sports, tutoring, dance, voice, and any need that arises
  5. Home Prep: Helps families meet state requirements to get their homes ready to receive foster-parent licenses

How did God uniquely prepare you for this ministry?

God gave us the passion and desire to care for orphans 35 years ago. Since then we have fostered more than 32 kids and adopted 16. We are still in the trenches, and we know the difficulties of not having people surround you during times of extreme stress and heartache.

What’s one risk you took to launch this work?

In our 50s we sold our business in Simi, California (one of the safest cities in the country), and moved to Butte County (the no. 1 county for meth in 2002). We had no jobs lined up, but we both knew this was where God wanted us. Many of our friends tried to talk us out of leaving, and we were called “radical.”

Share an example of what God’s done through FAMS to build His Kingdom.

What better way for Christian families to build God’s Kingdom than to reach out and put fear and self aside to meet orphans’ needs (James 1:27)? Each time a family takes in a child, they invest in that child’s spiritual training and growth when they teach all their children what it means to live like Jesus. The family becomes the “living gospel to the world.”

We watch families from FAMS care for and adopt orphans. People from our church and community give their money, time, and talents to help these families, including ours. Paradise Alliance Church added three rooms to our home when we ran out of space. By this act of love, we were able to adopt nine kids from Butte County.

families-book
Read more of the Garcias’ story in their book, Rich in Love.

What’s your advice for someone desiring to step out as you did?

To do something like FAMS, start with a support group of parents who foster/adopt or who want to. Share your needs and burdens with one another; then make them known to your church. Invite pastors and leaders over for dinner, and inform them of the needs. Many times they are uninformed.

Remember to completely depend on God and His Word. Go to a quiet chamber, and together pray daily for God’s direction. When you go to God, ask Him for wisdom; He will give it to you. God will grow you and your ministry, but you have to be patient and wait on Him.

2 responses to Launching Foster and Adoptive Families

  1. I love what y’all are doing. We are looking for a speaker at our church for orphan Sunday November 12. At First Christian Church in Kernersville NC. Would you be available to speak, share your story and encourage other to get involved with foster care?

  2. WOW! What a beautiful example of God’s love demonstrated here! Thank you for your example to the world of what it looks like to live for Jesus!

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