Published July 31, 2008
GARLAND, Texas (BP) — Russell Rogers is a pastor with a passion for encouraging church families to adopt or provide foster care for displaced children.
Rogers’ congregation, Trinity Life Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, hosts an annual celebration of foster and adoptive families, and Rogers serves as a spokesman for a faith-based program called CHILD – Congregations Helping in Love and Dedication.
Even before they were married, Rogers and his wife Shelly had planned to adopt children. After marriage, news that they could not have children of their own prompted the couple to seek licensing by the state in 1996 as foster parents. Over the course of 11 years, they fostered nearly 20 children and adopted three. Also during that time, the couple was surprised with two biological children.
Before becoming foster parents, Rogers and his wife had inquired about adoption through private agencies. The $26,000 price tag – on a pastor’s salary – put adoption out of reach. That was until they began speaking with a couple at their church who arrived one Sunday with a baby placed in their care by the state of Texas.
Rogers now hopes he can be “that person from church” who introduces others to the idea of state foster care and adoption. From the 23 informational meetings he hosted last year, more than 35 families indicated an interest in becoming foster families.
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