Embrace connects willing hands with opportunities to serve children in foster, adoptive and kinship care.
Embrace the vision: A safe and stable home for every child. We provide direct services to children and families in Collin County, Texas. In addition to our local efforts, we create best practices for programs solving issues in child welfare, then equip individuals, churches and organizations across the United States to develop and sustain ministries of their own.
In 2006, a handful of passionate volunteers gathered in McKinney, TX to brainstorm ways to support and encourage foster and adoptive families in their church and community. After a year of prayer and research this group began meeting practical needs for local foster families by delivering meals, starting a support group, and creating a “clothes closet”. In 2007 the ministry was officially launched and named “Embrace Texas”. New programs were added including respite care nights, additional support groups, ongoing training opportunities, family events, and a moms retreat. Churches and individuals from the DFW area and across the state took notice of Embrace’s efforts and the organization grew to become a resource to others who wanted to start ministries at their churches.
In 2010, Embrace became a non-profit organization continuing to provide direct services to children and families in Collin County and equipping churches across the United States to develop ministries of their own. Family Support, Recruitment and Transition Services for youth aging-out of foster care were the initial focus areas of the organization. In 2012, Embrace’s founders were honored as Child Advocates of the Year by the North American Council on Adoptable Children in Washington, DC. The ministry continued to grow when it was asked to facilitate the DFW Alliance of Foster Care & Adoption Ministries consisting of more than 40 churches across North Texas engaged in the care of neglected and abused children. Embrace was invited to join the Texas Child Protection Roundtable and the Texas Supreme Court Children’s Commission in 2013 as a voice for the Church to advocate for children and families.
In 2014, Embrace brought together church ministry leaders from Collin County to form a collaborative effort asking the question, “What can churches do together we cannot do separately?” The Second Story initiative was developed from this group as an initial pilot for church collaboration with the goal of ensuring every child had a family in Collin County. Each participating church was paired with a child waiting to be adopted in order to advocate for them and support them into a permanent, loving family.
By 2015, Embrace had grown as had the Kendrick Family. Bruce and Denise are the proud parents of nine children and three grandchildren and set off on the Hometown Tour with their children traveling the United States to equip churches across the country to launch foster/adoption ministries while the Embrace staff and volunteers remained in North Texas to continue serving children and families. During the tour, the Kendrick’s were honored as Angels in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington, DC by Congressman Sam Johnson.
As the ministry has connected and organized more church ministries, the necessary bandwidth to quantifiably change the outcomes of children in Collin County has developed. So in 2016, Embrace launched the Embrace Church Network to leverage its non-profit platform providing a framework for churches to provide more direct services to children and families. In the Fall of 2016, Embrace’s Program Coordinator, Mary Wells, and her husband, Collin, were also honored as Angels in Adoption by CCAI in the nation’s capital, and Bruce was appointed to the Collin County Child Welfare Board.
Today, Embrace continues to innovate foster care and adoption ministry efforts by incubating programs in Collin County through local churches and multiplying those efforts to other areas of Texas and the rest of the country. The Embrace office is located on the Historic Square of McKinney, Texas, and you will find the Embrace Staff hard at work connecting willing hands with opportunities to serve children in foster, adoptive and kinship care.