How Churches Can Support Women who are Moms in Complex Families such as Adoptive Moms & Step-Moms
Just imagine…You're a mom, and you're not the child's first mom. They don’t automatically look to you as their home base, as “mom”. You feel alone, unsupported, and like you don't quite fit in anywhere, and while your church has been an integral part of your life for years, you’re feeling less and less connected, less and less understood, less and less supported.
But what a difference when you learn – You're not alone! There are other moms out there who are in the same situation as you. And there are churches who want to help bridge the gap and support you in your role as mom.
Perhaps you’re a church leader or small group leader who wants to help second moms in your community, but you don't know where to start. You've tried reaching out to them before, but it never seems to work.
You're a church leader who wants to help second moms in your congregation and community?
Great! I love that!
And I have some tips for ways individuals, small groups and church leadership can take action to help bridge the gap for these women who are in need of support in their roles as mom to a child for whom they aren't the child's first mom.
Also by offering to speak to churches on ways they can help these moms in complex families I believe this is a powerful way that I can bring awareness and
ideas for tangible ways individuals, small groups and church leadership can take action and support this particular group of moms who are in their congregations and communities…to help these second moms recognize that they aren’t “second-best”.
For now, I’ve listed some tips below to get you started:
Intentional Ways Churches can Support Second Moms
Offer Support Groups
One way that churches can help adoptive moms and step-moms is by offering focused support groups. These groups can provide a space for second moms to connect with one another and share their experiences.
One of the best things that churches can do to support adoptive and step-moms is to offer a support group. This can provide a much-needed sense of community for these moms, who may feel isolated in their experiences.
Additionally, a support group can offer practical advice and emotional support.
Provide Practical Resources
Another way that churches can help adoptive moms and step-moms is by providing practical resources such as a list of available babysitters with trauma training specifically for this population; meals, family fun packages, or helping with transportation. By providing these resources, churches can help to ease the burden on adoptive moms and step-moms and make their lives a little bit easier.
Show them you see them
Even before the two previous tips, the first and most important thing churches can do to support adoptive and step-moms is to show them that you see them. Let them know that you recognize the unique challenges they face and that you are here to support them.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as through one-on-one conversations, small group meetings, or even just by sending a card or note of encouragement.
Other options include regular check-ins to see how they’re doing; matching them with an older mentor who’s had similar experiences if possible.
Churches can help adoptive moms and step-moms by offering encouragement. Adoptive moms and step-moms often face unique challenges, and it can help them to know that they are not alone in their journey.
It is also important to provide emotional support, such as being a listening ear or offering words of encouragement.
By offering regular and ongoing encouragement, churches can let adoptive moms and step-moms know that they are loved and supported.
Pray for them
Finally, churches should pray for adoptive and step-moms on a regular basis. Prayer is a powerful way to help to ease the challenges they are facing. Churches can also encourage others to pray for these women, which will provide an even greater level of support.
Offer financial assistance.
One way churches can help adoptive and step-moms is by offering financial assistance. The cost of adoption can be very expensive, and many families struggle to come up with the money. Churches can offer grants or loans to help families with the cost of adoption. The unforeseen financial needs after adoption, however, can be more difficult for families than expected and churches can offer financial assistance to families who are struggling to make ends meet after adopting a child.
Another way churches can help adoptive and step-moms is by providing expert counseling. Step-families and adoptive families can be complex with a great deal of emotional upheaval for all involved, and both adoptive and step-moms often need someone to talk to who understands what they are going through.
Churches can provide counselors who are trained to help with these issues in a way that is aligned with Biblical truth and values.
Offer respite care.
Churches can also help adoptive and step-moms by offering respite care. Respite care is temporary care that is provided to families in order to give them a break from the everyday demands of caring for a child.
Churches can provide respite care through their own programs or by partnering with local organizations that provide respite care services.
Another way that churches can help adoptive and step-moms is by providing childcare. This can be a huge help for these moms, who often have difficulty finding qualified childcare.
Additionally, it can give them some much-needed time to regroup and recover from high need or high stress parenting situations.
Offer Christian Coaching
Christian coaching can help moms to develop a personal plan of action for moving forward in difficult or challenging situations that often come along in these complex family systems. Providing an overwhelmed mom with a few private coaching sessions could help her work out the action steps necessary to move from feeling helpless to hopeful, from overwhelmed to overcoming.
Was this helpful? Do you have other support tips to share?
If you are a
church leader who wants to help second moms in your congregation and community I would be delighted to assist you. Just reach out with an email to email@example.com..
If you’d like me to come speak at one of your meetings or events, please connect so we can work out the details. I’d be delighted to help you help second moms in your congregation and community.