We started The Sparrow Fund with the specific purpose of encouraging and supporting families in the adventure of adoption. We did that exclusively through a grant program for families adopting internationally that covered their cost to enroll in programs that would give them preadoption support, counsel, and medical reviews of referrals. Those grants allowed us to meet a real need for families who might not get this type of support otherwise.
For nearly 7 years, we’ve been pressing on, continuing that original vision and growing as we’ve been led. We started offering training and connecting opportunities for foster and adoptive families including a marriage retreat Together Called to care for and fill up husbands and wives so that they can keep pouring themselves out and loving well. We also started leading teams to serve in orphanages in China with the primarily goal of building relationships and helping both children and staff more deeply experience relationships.
As our team grew in 2017, it was the right time to pause and ask if all we’re doing is consistent and reflects who we are and where we believe we should be. As we considered the grant program and our retreats and trainings both here and in China, the words caring for caregivers were imprinted on our hearts. That’s what we want to be about. We want to care for caregivers–caregivers who have committed to caring for life and caregivers who stand in the gap for a season. While the 101 grants we gave to families absolutely met a need and did real good for children and families, our team agreed that we could do a better job aligning those grants with the vision of caring for caregivers.
And, that’s how we arrived at our new Sparrow Services grants. We’re still going to help families pay the cost for those programs that will give them access to specialized medical professionals who will review their referral with them. But, we’re going to offer our grant families more than just that. We’re going to walk with them, cheer them on, offer individualized support including but not limited to marriage support, coaching to line up resources they may need once home, personalized suggestions for building attachment. There’s no itemized list of all that Sparrow Services grants will or could include because we don’t want there to be a list; we want to be more personal than that; we want to care for caregivers and help them become the caregivers they are meant to be.
We’ve updated our website and are ready to run with this. Do us a favor and spread the word. Our team and our Board can’t wait to see who we get to serve in 2018.