“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” - Psalm 82:3
Help Us Know You
If you are a Foster Family please help us identify your family. Please click the link below and submit your family information to help us know our Foster Core here at Oakwood.
If you are a family that has adopted outside of the foster system please help us identify your family. Please click the link below and submit your family information to help us know our Adoption Core here at Oakwood.
If you have already submitted either foster or adopted family info but have a family dynamic change you would like us to know about, please fill out the Famiy Update form below.
Our world is full of problems. Things that break the heart of God that the Christian is called to step into with the love and grace of God. But with all the wars, hunger, homelessness, divorce, abuse, addictions and diseases there is one problem that the church can actually eradicate – the orphan crisis.
Take the state of Texas for example. There are approximately 16,000 children in foster care in Texas, 3,000 of which are ready to be adopted. There are approximately 25,000 churches in the state of Texas. If one family from every church opened there home to a child with a network of families within that church supported them in their journey, we would have 9,000 families waiting to receive a child! More than enough – that’s our goal.
In what is known as region 8 (26 counties including Comal, Guadalupe and Bexar) there are over 4,000 children in the care of the Department of Family and Protective Services. Only half are actually in foster homes. The rest are either living in state run facilities (orphanages) or have been shipped out of our region to other homes or facilities. (For more statistical information go to www.alliance4orphans.org)
Watch the videos below to gain insight into the life of a child in the foster system.
Whether it is taking a child into your home or supporting a family who is, there are a myriad of ways that we can defend the weak and fatherless. Here are some ways you can get involved right here at Oakwood.
Support Your Family
Adoptive/Foster Parent (AFP) Support Group – Whether you have adopted internationally or domestically or you are a foster parent you can come on the 1st Sunday of the month* (subject to change during holidays and summers) to meet with other parents who are walking the same path as you. Find support and equipping in this close-knit community. We meet in room 101 of the Adult Education Building from 1:30-3:00. Childcare is included. Contact Angie & Jason Thompson to register at . You can also follow us on Facebook to keep update on future meetings and events at @oakwoodorphanministry
Foster Closet – When families receive a child into their home from fostering or adopting it is like a biological baby being born but with some extra challenges. Adopting, whether international or domestic, is expensive. Foster placements come at a moment’s notice and often with no more than an hour’s time of a knowing the sex or the age of the child. Both situations make it difficult to have all the clothes or baby accessories needed to care for a child that comes into your home with nothing but the clothes on their back (if that). At the Foster Closet, we collect new and gently used baby and children’s clothes as well as strollers, car seats and cribs to give away to families when they received a child. We deliver it to their home so they can focus on loving their new child(ren). To donate or be a part of the Closet team contact Angie Thompson at .
Foster Closet hours of operation:
- Mondays: 11:00am - 12:30pm
- Wednesdays: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
- Thursdays: 10:30am - 11:30am
- Saturdays (some): 11:00am - 12:00pm
*please message to make an appointment to ensure volunteers are there.
You can also follow us on Facebook at @fosterclosetnb
Parenting Classes - Providence Place is a child placing agency that offers free services (Parenting with a Purpose) to families that have adopted within the past 2 years (or have taken the steps to adopt) children through DFPS or through private adoption. They provide free classes and material assistance such as diapers, hygiene products, and clothing. They also offer Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) and other parenting support classes in the community. They are located in San Antonio, but are offering their services to families in New Braunfels as well. Contact them at 210-696-2410 or see their website at www.provplace.org.
Support Another Family
Respite – Foster families need a break whether it is a date night, weekend getaway, or just time away from a difficult child, but they can’t leave their child with just anyone. Another care giver must have proper certification to watch their child. There are 3 levels of care.
- Babysitter – they can watch a child for up to 8 hours but not overnight.
- Short-Term Care – up to 72 hours consecutively (over the weekend)
- Respite – up to 2 weeks of consecutive care
Support a family by getting certified for one of these levels through their agency.
Foster Closet – See information on the Foster Closet in the above section. In additions to donations we also need volunteers to organize and distribute items. We are also currently looking for another larger, more central and more accessible location. If you would be interested in helping make that happen please contact Angie Thompson at .
We currently have a big need of new underwear and socks to be donated. You can bring them by the church and give to Pastor Jeff Epley or email our Foster Closet director Angie Thompson at .
NB Angels - Get paired with a local foster family in order to support them. Primarily through something called a Love Box. Check out their website at https://www.nationalangels.org/ or contact our chapter director Marissa Van Bibber at .
Become A Forever Family
Adoption/Fostering - If God is leading you to bring a child into your home there are many different avenues that you can walk down to achieve this. It is truly a matter of where God is directing your heart which often is rooted in your own background and experiences. We would love to process that with and give you what suggestions we can. Oakwood is not affiliated with any one child placing agency nor do we have an exhaustive knowledge of everyone that is out there. However, we will give you whatever guidance we can from our own experience. Contact Pastor Jeff Epley for help in this area at .
Informal Care - We often have families contact us looking to provide a home for a child in our community who is not currently under the care of CPS but easily could be. If you would like to be on the email blast we send out looking for homes for these kids, then please email Pastor Jeff Epley at .
4KIDS of South Texas (http://www.4kidsofstx.org)
Strawberry Creek Services (https://strawberrycreekservices.com)
The Gladney Center for Adoption (http://adoptionsbygladney.com)
TruLight 127 Ministries (http://www.trulight127.org)
New Braunfels Foster Closet (Facebook @fosterclosetnb)
Chosen Care (http://www.chosen.care)
NB Angels (https://www.nationalangels.org)
South Texas Alliance for Orphans (www.alliance4orphans.org)
The Vault (https://www.vaultfosteringcommunity.org)
Parenting with a Purpose (www.provplace.org)
The Forgotten Initiative (http://www.theforgotteninitiative.org)
All in Family Ministries (http://www.allinfamily.org)
Empowered to Connect (http://empoweredtoconnect.org)
Jason Johnson (http://jasonjohnsonblog.com)
The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis
Ready or Not by Pam Parish