AMP S1E11: Heidi and Charlie Loften - Creating a Church Environment where Adoptive Families Can Thrive
Adoption is weird. It's hard, messy, and definitely outside of "the norm." I feel like it should be "the norm" among Christians, but even within a church setting, adoptive families are almost always in the minority. The Grove Church, where Charlie Loften is the lead pastor, is fighting this status quo. The ratio of "normal" families to adoptive ones is leveling out by the month. This is no accident.
Charlie and Heidi opened their home to adopt in 2011, completed their family a few months later, and many others around them have followed their lead. As adoptive families, we know that we cannot do this alone or without support, and the church is among the biggest support systems for many of us. The Loftens have helped turn The Grove Church into a massive support system for families like theirs and ours. It's amazing, it's encouraging, and more churches should follow suit.
I'm so excited to share their story with you guys, and I'm even more excited to share their advice and encouragement to other pastors and church leaders on creating an environment of support and connection for adoptive families. This is SUCH an important episode that I am so honored to release. Church leaders: take notes!
- The Grove Church is local to Northwest Arkansas, but the Loftens love to connect with people wherever they are. You can find contact info and other resources for The Grove here, and you can fine them on Facebook and Instagram to reach out directly.
- Grace Haven Ministries offers support and services for adoptive families in the trenches. I can say this from personal experience. We were at the end of our rope with this business and Grace Haven's director of counseling services was at our house within an hour... FO FREE. She talked us off the ledge and provided us with some great resources for moving forward. Seriously, reach out to them with your concerns and struggles TODAY. Visit their website here and their Facebook page here.
- The CALL trains, equips, and supports foster and adoptive families. You heard from the director in NWA, Ann in the first episode of this podcast. They are great and you should check them out. They have no-commitment info-meeting regularly if you just want to gather more information about adopting from the foster care system, and they provide the complete training you need to become an open home. Check out their website here and their Facebook page here.
- Project Zero puts the real live faces of children who are available for adoption in front of the families looking to provide forever homes for them. They travel around the state promoting their dream of having Zero waiting children in Arkansas. You can check out their website here and their Facebook here.