Reach Texas Offering: TBHC 'putting the kids first'
September 2nd, 2020 / By: Erin Roach | TEXAN Correspondent / comments
WAXAHACHIE Since its founding in 1910, the Texas Baptist Home for Children has cared for more than 3,500 children, and “none of those kids were cared for in a building all by themselves. They always had loving adults caring for them,” Jason Curry, the ministry’s president, said of God’s people stepping up to serve.
TBHC now supports about 60 foster parents throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, providing a clothing allowance, ongoing training, counseling and sometimes even paying for extracurricular activities and summer camps for the kids.
“Our purpose is to glorify God by caring for children,” Curry told the TEXAN. “We want to do that with excellence and above reproach, always making sure that we’re putting the kids first.”
More than 400 children have been adopted through TBHC since that part of their ministry began in 2004, yet Curry said 3,500 children are awaiting adoption on a given day in Texas. Through a quick online search, he determined about 5,500 churches of various denominations are in the DFW area.
“If just a small portion of Texas stood up and said, ‘We’ll take care of kids,’ they’d make a huge difference,” Curry said.
About 30,000 children enter foster care in Texas each year. “A lot of kids are simply hoping that families will step up and become their mom and dad,” Curry said.
Curry’s own relationship with TBHC began in 2010 when he and his wife were searching for an agency to facilitate foster care and adoption. Even before they were married, both knew they would want to adopt someday.
“I have a journal entry many, many years old from my teens when I said, ‘My wife will want to adopt.’ My wife had a similar moment in her life,” he said.
TBHC initially helped the Currys welcome three little girls, a sibling group, into their home. At one point, their family grew to include nine
“It is the hardest thing we have ever done, and it is the most rewarding thing we have ever done,” Curry said. “Constantly, what I come back to is that the gospel is God reaching down and adding me to his family in a way that I never deserved and I never earned.
“For the church, it’s the best picture of what God did for us. We are stepping into the middle of a child’s circumstances, and we are loving them and we are incorporating them into our family.”
Curry pointed to James 1:27, which says true and undefiled religion is caring for orphans and widows in their distress. Each time a child has been added to his family, Curry has realized the void they filled.
“When they showed up, they were the missing piece that we never knew was missing,” he said.
Amberly Walker and her husband Chris adopted five children through TBHC about four years ago. They began fostering the five, a sibling group, after years of infertility. At first they were overwhelmed by the idea of receiving five children.
“Once we stopped looking at them as five, they were individual people who needed someone to give them a chance,” Walker told the TEXAN.
The children had been split up into three homes at the time the Walkers learned about them, and they knew it was important for them to be together. TBHC walked with them “the whole way,” she said, adding, “We never felt alone working with TBHC.”
TBHC has a campus in Waxahachie with seven cottages where couples are raising about six children each, the maximum allowed by state law. Recently, some donations allowed them to repair a swimming pool and add a splash pad for younger children, something Curry said has blessed the families during the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone interested in fostering or adopting can start by completing a brief inquiry form at tbhc.org, Curry said, and they can attend a general information meeting. One of the biggest myths surrounding adoption is that it is expensive, he said.
“Adoption, if you do that through foster care, is absolutely free,” he said. Some small fees, such as for a CPR class, might arise, but “fostering to adopt is an inexpensive way to help a kid join your family.”
Most people who want to adopt are looking for infants, Curry said, and it can take a long time to find that kind of match. But if people are willing to receive older children, the wait is much shorter.
Curry said it costs TBHC $32 per day per child to support fostering families, and “that’s above any kind of reimbursement we get from the state.”
“As people are considering giving to Reach Texas, we will be recipients of that, and it will make a huge difference in a child’s life,” Curry said.