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Latest News Category: Lifesong News

June 23, 2017

When Staying Alive Depends on Being Adopted | Family Friday

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We adopted Philip and Arthur from China nearly one year ago. Both of our sons have cerebral palsy. Philip, 4 yrs., was unable to self-feed, walk, or speak when we brought him home. He is now doing all three! Only God. Arthur was in serious condition, although we didn’t realize the extent until after many appointments and testing. On gotcha day he could not even hold his head up. He needed to be held and cradled like a newborn even though he was almost 3. The muscle tightness described in his medical file turned out to be spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. He was also silently aspiring everything we fed him. Surgery was done to insert a feeding tube and slowly he is growing stronger. Arthur is now able to stand with support and attempting a few steps. Many doctors have said that because of the shape he was in he … Continue reading

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June 19, 2017

Why Dads Are Vitally Important to Orphan Care

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It’s no secret that the orphan care space is dominated by women. God has created women to be nurturers, and many are doing good work nurturing vulnerable children. But God has called men to a specific task as well–to protect and provide for our families and to help father the fatherless children in our midst. In May, a group of dads gathered at CAFO2017 to discuss their role. Specifically, they answered the who, what, how, and why of men in orphan care. Here are some highlights– The Who “Why are men important in orphan care? You’re the spiritual leader of your home, and this is a spiritual crisis. 340,000 children in foster care is a crisis of epic proportions.” –Scott Lundy, Arrow Child & Family Ministries The What “I had a watershed moment where God dealt with me, saying, ‘J.T. what’s important in life? What’s not going to rust? What’s not going to burn up? And what’s not going to blow away?’ –the life … Continue reading

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June 18, 2017

9 Ways to Encourage Your Families This Summer

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What are your plans this summer? Why not plan to encourage adopting and foster families in your church or community? See how easy and impactful it can be. Here are a few ideas to get started: Host a cookout for adoptive/foster families Hold a special time of prayer during a service for those in process Jot a note of encouragement to each adoptive/foster family in your church Invite adoptive/foster to share a testimony of what God is doing/teaching them Create a date night opportunity for adoptive/foster parents by providing free childcare at church Organize a mission trip for those in your church with a heart for orphans Resource for families in your church: Are you familiar with Both Hands? Both Hands is a unique fundraiser with eternal benefits. Both Hands helps families fundraise for their adoptions by assembling a team a team of volunteers (friends/contacts of the adopting family) and coordinating a service … Continue reading

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June 16, 2017

Adoption and the God Who Moves Mountains | Family Friday

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God taught us through adoption that His heart is for the fatherless; He will move mountains to place the lonely in families. My wife Julie saw Ellis’s picture while I was in Rwanda with Compassion, and she instantly felt like he was our son. She tried to push the feelings away; after all, this boy was already 3 years old and had a special need that would require daily care. Try as she might, she couldn’t get this precious face out of her head. She pictured him with our family everywhere — on walks, at the park, etc. Meanwhile, over in Africa (before Julie told me about Ellis) I was talking to my team about adopting again. But, surely this wasn’t the right time. We had just moved, taken a substantial pay cut, were figuring out some new medical issues with Katee, and I was still learning my new job. Yet, we could not ignore the ways God was revealing His plan for our … Continue reading

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June 14, 2017

My First Father’s Day as a Foster Dad

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I remember the first time I saw my girls. I had butterflies in my stomach. At first it was a picture on my Iphone. Then I remember walking into the agency and I saw them through the window blinds. The youngest had long (and I mean long!) black pigtails and sat next her birth mom quietly. The oldest was energetic and busy. We met our first two foster daughters that day in March 2012. Before we met them, we talked with their birth mother. She was concerned because she knew we didn’t have kids and thought maybe we just wanted to steal hers. She was also concerned we were the sixth home the girls were going to in less than a year. Both April and I made it clear why we were foster parents. We were there to support both her and the children. April graciously let her know that we would probably … Continue reading

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June 13, 2017

How a Farm Turned an Orphan Into a Leader: Meet Kolya

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Kolya knows the powerful impact of being loved while living in an orphanage. And because of it, the future just got brighter for kids in Ukraine. Meet Kolya. He was just 13 years old when he entered the Constant Christian Presence (CCP) program at Loubetin. Looking for acceptance,  Kolya connected with friends who had a reputation for being wild. But what Kolya didn’t know was that God had plans for his life. As Kolya grew, he spent time with volunteers at CCP–listening to them talk about God and the Gospel. They offered him the acceptance he craved, and when it was time for him to age out of the orphanage, he moved into the Lifesong Ukraine transitional program where he was mentored by loving house parents in a Christian home.     “The chance to live in a transitional home gave me strong motivation to change my life for better. I wanted to use this opportunity wisely.” –Kolya He did use the opportunity wisely. He received his college degree to become an … Continue reading

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June 9, 2017

When the Surprise Is a Son by Saturday | Family Friday

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While still living in Guatemala as missionaries, we felt a clear call to return to the U.S. to pursue adoption. After arriving home, we began our home study in June of 2015. I remember asking our worker about the timeline. She commented that no later than October, she would have our study completed. I remember thinking, “Wow! As early as October, we need to be ready.” However, with our first adoption taking about 2 years, I didn’t really think anything would happen that quickly. You can imagine my surprise, getting a call from our worker on a Tuesday, just weeks after the home study was done, asking if we would consider an emergency placement of a 3 year old boy, who needed a home by Saturday! We needed to decide if we wanted our profile to be presented to the birth mom THAT night! Then, if she selected us, we … Continue reading

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