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Latest News Tag: Parenting

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 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 7, 2017

How to Be a Remarkable Father Through Adoption

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My first Father’s Day was a doozie. My wife and I were in the early days of being home with our newly adopted son, and my wife was on full bed rest with 1 week to go before delivering our second son. I was in my final weeks of a rigorous seminary program, and I was balancing all of the above with a full-time job. And yet that first Father’s Day stands out in my mind as one of the best days of my life. Though I was terrified of doing it all wrong, I was thankful to finally be a dad. This Father’s Day will be my 5th, and though I still have plenty to learn about parenting, I’ve gained a few lessons from fellow dads who have also adopted and are ahead of me on the journey. Here are 3– 1. Don’t consider adoption “a mom thing.” Make it your interest, too. When my … Continue reading

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June 2, 2017

The Life We Never Imagined | Family Friday

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With each of our three adoptions, we have come to a deeper understanding of the Father’s sovereignty … and the beautiful joy that comes out of the adoption tragedy. One quote, in particular, kept us going in spite of the storms. “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.”  This rang especially true during the adoption of our daughter, Edie from Hungary. We struggled financially, spiritually, and emotionally. Our situation, in the world’s eyes, was telling us we were crazy for going through with this adoption. Many times we were discouraged and scared. We lost a referral. Both of our fathers had surgeries. One of our dads endured cancer treatments. We struggled to meet the emotional, physical, and academic needs of our boys. We faced negativity from people in our lives who did not understand our call to adopt again. And, of course, we felt the … Continue reading

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May 17, 2017

What a Birth Mother Needs You to Know

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I often told my son’s adoptive mother how much I loved her and was thankful she was a part of my life. But, like many things I’ve told her over the years, Kathy would already know. Back in 1985 I chose open adoption for my son. Being a birthmother has changed my life forever, and I know that becoming an adoptive parent changed Kathy’s, too. We’ve traveled the road of adoption together, with respect and honesty. We’ve shared our hopes, our fears, and our dreams for the boy we both love. However, often adoptive parents do not get the chance to build this type of relationship with their child’s birthmother. While most domestic adoptions are open, most children adopted from other countries are not. This disconnect from a child’s beginnings can make it difficult for adoptive parents to provide answers their child will need as they grow and explore the … Continue reading

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