In Isaiah 58:7, the faithful are charged to choose a fast wherein they feed the hungry, bring the homeless poor into their house, clothe the naked, and do not hide themselves from their own flesh and blood. The Anglican Chaplains Adoption Fund, a recent addition to the ministries supported by the Matthew 25 Initiative, was formed to put this very concept into action. Founded by the Rev. John Mabus, an Anglican chaplain in the US Navy, this ministry provides support to adoptive families through, prayer, information referral, and financial grants, and seeks to help churches learn how to better support families in the process of fostering or adoption.
When asked why he felt called to begin the ACAF, Chaplain Mabus said, “Care for orphans and life-affirming opportunities for birth-mothers to be able to choose adoption over abortion have always been a passion for our family. We adopted our third son through [a] domestic infant adoption program. It was a great honor to work with his birth-mother and be entrusted with her son…We wanted to help encourage other families who are seeking to adopt and to be a catalyst in the Anglican Church in North America to think about the needs of adoption and orphans.”
How, exactly, does providing resources to adoptive families fulfill the Isaiah 58 charge to care for those in poverty? Who could be said to be more in need of food, clothing, and shelter than an orphan?
“There are over 100,000 children ready for adoption in the United States foster system,” Chaplain Mabus said, “many of [whom] will age out of foster care, never being in a family of their own.” The church, if serious about its pro-life stance, must be willing to step in and care for the lives of children whose parents cannot parent them. Bringing these children into the care of loving families ensures that our little brothers and sisters, our own flesh and blood through adoption in Christ, are not turned away.