A viral Instagram post is offering a different perspective on the Starbucks red cup controversy.
While many have complained that the simple red holiday cup design represents an offensive attack in the so-called “War on Christmas,” foster mom Kate Rallis shifted the conversation with an Instagram post comparing the Starbucks controversy to an issue that is very close to her heart.
“If one family in one out of every three churches adopted a child from foster care, there would be no more orphans in the United States,” she wrote in the text next to a image of the infamous red cup. “But please, tell me more about how offensive this red cup is.”
According to the U.S. Children’s Bureau project AdoptUSKids, there are currently around 108,000 kids in foster care who are eligible for adoption. That’s almost a third of the number of Christian congregations in the United States, which the Hartford Institute for Religion Research estimates is around 338,000.
Rallis’ friend and fellow foster mom Alisha Palmer shared the image with a larger audience on her Instagram account, @fosterloveforeverhome.
“I decided to share the red cup graphic because it hit home so hard,” Palmer told The Huffington Post, adding that she thought it might similarly resonate with the other parents in her large foster care and adoption community on Instagram. “In society there are so many other things that we, Christian or not, should be concerned with. Finding homes for orphans, feeding the hungry, cleaning the environment, supporting veterans, and many, many more things could use our energy rather than arguing moot points over a cup.”
Palmer was adopted by her parents, adopted her own children and is also a therapeutic foster parent along with her husband. She writes about the subject for the foster care blog Dropping Anchors.
“We see children in the trenches of the war that is foster care. It’s heartbreaking,” the mom told HuffPost. “They need someone to love them completely, whether they are in that home for a short time, or permanently. We hear ‘I could never do that (foster or adopt) because…’ statements. I want to change how the world views foster care and adoption. I know how adoption can change one’s life. Mine is complete because someone loved me unconditionally when they didn’t have to.”
Palmer emphasized that the main takeaway of Rallis’ image isn’t necessarily about religion or adoption specifically.
“The main message to me isn’t that all Christians should foster or adopt,” she said. “It’s not even about adoption in the end. It’s that people should find actual needs in society to be so passionate about. Take that passion and make a difference in this world. Leave your mark.”
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