Biological families are an integral part of our children’s stories. They gave life to our precious children. They gave them their beautiful smiles, their unique personalities, and their individual characteristics. Adoptees and children in foster care have an innate desire to know and love their biological parents and families. When we choose to foster or adopt, we are choosing to honor, respect, and love our children’s biological families. In doing so, we show the love of Christ to biological families in simple, tangible ways. This not only shows them love, it also includes them in the raising of their children, offering them the opportunity to have a relationship with their children.
Here are seven simple, tangible ways that you can love your child’s biological family. Keep in mind that every situation is different, and you may need to modify these suggestions based on your unique situation, depending on the level of involvement the biological families can have.
1. Invite parents to important events and milestones, such as birthdays and graduations. When this is not possible or safe, invite them symbolically, and include them in conversations with your children.
2. Communicate with and send pictures to them as much as you can. A really simple way you can do this is by creating a photo book each year, half-year, or quarter and send it to their biological family.
3. Pray for them and talk positively and truthfully about them often in your home.
4. Keep a journal of notable or funny things that the children say and do and share moments with the parents. As a foster parent, you could even make the notebook a back-and-forth notebook for parent visits.
5. Always respect boundaries. Some biological parents and/or adoptees might find a high level of communication difficult, so be mindful of your communication and be willing to take a step back if necessary.
6. Make handmade, meaningful ornaments, crafts, and drawings to bring to visits (foster care) or to send in the mail (adoption).
7. Establish a regular time for your children to visit or call with siblings and/or extended family. When this isn’t possible, consider keeping a journal or notebook where your child can write down things they wish they could say.
Biological families are an extension of our families, and we should treat them as such. You don’t have to love them in big, extravagant ways. Simple, small, consistent acts of love add up. How we love biological family matters immensely to our children, and it matters to God.