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If my husband and I were to foster a child in hopes of adopting them, how can we introduce them to our religion with out pressuring them to accept our beliefs? If we were able to foster a young child, the process may be easier, but we are concerned about adopting an older child (teenager). Our religion is very important to us and we want to share it with everyone that enters our home. How can we do this in a way that is not forceful?
Wow Alexsa - great question! It's wonderful that you feel so deeply about your religion. It's also wonderful that you have a desire to adopt through foster care. We adopted through foster care, but our child was very young. For an older child, I imagine that the greatest way to share what you believe is to love the child unconditionally, live your religion the best you can, and invite without expectation. Already traumatized to various degrees, if your foster/adopted child feels pressure, you may push him/her the other way. Especially if it's a teenager. When a child or youth feels loved, they will automatically want to emulate your. If you truly love the child whether they accept your religion or not, you will be doing as God wants you to do, and your chances of them eventually choosing to follow your path of belief is greater. Of course, all of this is my opinion. Good luck with your exciting future!
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I guess then you need to select child starting from religion. For me religion is a very important factor, also you are doing a great job by adopting a child.
I think it's important to love and accept the child either way. Just as with a biological teen child, your foster child may be resistant to religion. All you can do is continue to love them and pray for the best. Pressuring them in any way, however unintentional, will likely push them in the opposite direction. Feel free to practice your religion and invite them to join you, but requiring it may not work.
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I see this was posted some time ago! Did you go through with adopting? My husband and I have the same concerns as hoping to adopt an older child. we did notice that some children's profiles mention church or looking for christian parents. So thats one thing we are looking into. We have found about ten kids that mention christian faith in some way on their profiles <3 I have also discussed and been very open with our case worker that faith is an important part of our life and while a kid we get matched with doesn't have to identify as christian, they should be made aware that we are, and be comfortable with that. Its a very big change in a kids life so a huge "change in religion" (as far as their environment ) could really compound stress for an older kid who identifies with a different faith or no faith. We have a lot of the same thoughts and concerns. If you did adopt an older child I would be glad to hear your experience!
Last update on August 8, 9:01 am by megera39.
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I see this was posted some time ago! Did you go through with adopting? My husband and I have the same concerns as hoping to adopt an older child. we did notice that some children's profiles mention church or looking for christian parents. So thats one thing we are looking into. We have found about ten kids that mention christian faith in some way on their profiles <3 I have also discussed and been very open with our case worker that faith is an important part of our life and while a kid we get matched with doesn't have to identify as christian, they should be made aware that we are, and be comfortable with that. Its a very big change in a kids life so a huge "change in religion" (as far as their environment ) could really compound stress for an older kid who identifies with a different faith or no faith. We have a lot of the same thoughts and concerns. If you did adopt an older child I would be glad to hear your experience!
: : Toris - I'm in the middle of foster adoption and understand the challenge. I have a very strong personal faith that I'd love to share with my child but also understand that child has been through trauma already and doesn't need any other triggers. I say this because sometimes when religion is "forced" on a child who is very impressionable (especially if they aren't exposed to anything else), then they will feel like it is taking away their ability to think for themselves about what is right for them as adults. This might result in some form of "spiritual trauma" or leave a bad taste when they are older. Not saying that would necessarily be the case ... but to avoid that happening, I plan on being a living example of my faith, answer questions about spirituality from my personal faith, but also explain to my child that other people believe different things, and educate them about it. My thought is that if my faith or religion is solid, then teaching them about other paths people take to religion or faith won't be a threat but instead, help them make informed decisions about what is right and healthy for them as adults. I know it's tricky to navigate. Best of luck. : :
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