BETHANY — James Hunt said he has experienced the joy of adoption since he and his wife, Ali, adopted a son and then a sibling group of three several years later.
Johnny Carr and his wife, Meg, also have reaped the rewards of expanding their family through adoption.
The men, one a local minister and the other a Pennsylvania author and pastoral leader, said more and more Christian families are deciding to adopt children or open their home to children in the foster care system.
Others, however, are finding ways other than actual adoption or foster care to aid orphans as they seek to obey Christ's command to “defend the cause of the fatherless” as instructed in Isaiah 1:17.
“Orphan Sunday,” a national initiative focusing on foster care and adoption, aims to do just that, Hunt and Carr said.
Hunt said Council Road Baptist Church is one of several metro-area churches participating in the campaign that typically occurs on the first Sunday in November.
Hunt, pastor of the church's blended families ministry and the Kairos adoption and foster care ministry, said the highlight of Council Road's “Orphan Sunday” activities will be a keynote presentation by Carr, author of the book “Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting.”
Hunt said Council Road has hosted or been involved with several activities designed to focus attention on foster care and adoption. Some of the church's activities have been through the 111 Project, a collaborative effort between the faith community and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to recruit families from church congregations to foster or adopt a child, he said. The project also aims to raise awareness among churches about the ways people can help families that foster and adopt children.
The church partnered with the faith-based adoption recruiting organization One Church One Child to sponsor an adoption fair at a local high school in 2012 and earlier this year, he said. The church also hosted an adoption event focused on finding “forever families” for older children awaiting adoption.
“There are a lot of people throwing stones at government, at DHS, but we are asking people to come alongside and help them,” Hunt said.
Hunt, 44, said his family recently celebrated their oldest son's “Gotcha Day,” marking the date he became a part of their family.
Hunt said his son prayed for a long time for siblings, and he and his wife eventually decided to add their three younger children to the family.