Read: Luke 1:35-49

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. (v. 45)

Two women. Both pregnant with children promised by God and both waiting with elated anticipation for the birth of their sons. This is not true for all mothers. While Mary and Elizabeth were able to keep, feed, love, and care for their newborns, poverty, addiction, violence, and a host of other debilitating issues force many parents, every day, to give up their children into the foster care system for their own protection.

In the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services well over 437,000 children (and rising) are currently waiting in foster care. Each of them are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and each of them hopes for safety, stability, and permanence. Many are waiting to return to their parents. But others are waiting for a new family. Each year, more than 50,000 of those children are adopted. Adoption gives these kids a new start and a new hope. Their average wait time? Two-and-a-half years. That is a long time for an adult, but a lifetime for a child.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing my own family’s experience of our son’s adoption. We began to sense that adopting an older child from foster care was the “what next” in our faith journey. Just as Elizabeth and Mary experienced a season of waiting, we entered a season of anticipation as we started the adoption process. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, ask God to show you the “what next” in your own journey of faith.