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Latest News Tag: Parenting

April 26, 2017

Life Touching Life: How to Create a Culture of Commitment

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The statistics are sobering. 75% of foster parents no longer foster after their first placement, and as many as 1 out of 4 adoptions dissolve or disrupt. Fostering and adopting is hard work, plain and simply. But our relational God made us to be relational, and created a way for families to be encouraged while doing the hard, daily work of loving the fatherless and vulnerable. His solution?–the Church. When a church family wholeheartedly commits to its fostering and adoptive families for the long haul, children are best positioned to succeed. But it often begins with an organized, committed adoption/foster care ministry within the church. Here are 3 specific guidelines for creating a culture of commitment in your adoption/foster care ministry– 1. Connect. Foster and adoptive parents cannot thrive in isolation. Goal: Create an environment where families feel connected–connected to the adoption/foster care ministry, yes, but more importantly, connected to each other. The only thing that grows well in the dark … Continue reading

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April 19, 2017

We Needed Our Church | Mission Moment

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  Andy and Abby Huette know first-hand the powerful impact of being loved and supported by their church family during and after an adoption. In 2008 the couple joined a short-term mission team to Lifesong School in Zambia where God broke their hearts for the orphan. Leaving the children of Zambia to return home was hard, and Andy and Abby felt confident they would someday pursue adoption. How It All Began Abby was ready to start the adoption process when their only child was 9 months old. And while Andy–a pastor–felt it was critically important to lead his church family by example to love the fatherless, he thought maybe adoption was something they should pursue later–when they didn’t already have a new baby in the home. But God had different plans. While sitting at a McDonald’s one morning, Andy began reading in Deuteronomy while listening to music through his earbuds. He arrived at Deuteronomy 6:6-7: And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall … Continue reading

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April 5, 2017

How to Breathe Life into Your Church Adoption Culture

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Adoptive families crave authentic, supportive community, and there should be no better place to find it than in the local church. Plain and simply, when families step into foster care and adoption, they enter the pain and suffering of another human being. In doing so, they often become the brokenhearted. In taking on the burdens once belonging solely to the child in their care, parents become the weary, discouraged, and overwhelmed in need of a timely word or helping hand. The church, by its very definition, exists for hurting people and should be the safest place for families to find the hope that exists in Christ. Here are 3 ways to breathe life into your church’s adoption culture– 1. Encourage truth. The “How are you? —Fine” scenario is cliche in our culture, but it shouldn’t be the pattern in our church family. As foster/adoptive parents bring wounded children into the church assembly–some of whom … Continue reading

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March 29, 2017

Growing Closer: 7 Practical Considerations for Bonding

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A family formed by choice inherently comes with questions, fears, and challenges regarding bonding. Here are 7 things to consider– 1. Keep things simple. “One of the most powerful parenting strategies we have used with the greatest amount of immediate and visible, long lasting healing has also been one of the easiest: Holding. Although we naturally did this with our biological son, we intentionally do this with our adopted children. Holding your adopted child is nurturing and gentle, and it’s powerful, because the holding increases and mobilizes development within a child.” –Amy, adoptive mom and blogger @tinygreenelephants.com 2. Remind yourself that you and your child ultimately want many of the same things–love, acceptance, family, familiarity. It is not you against this child. It is you and this child against this child’s history. –Dr. Karyn Purvis, The Connected Child 3. Acknowledge the loss(es). “Our children want what they have lost, and so do we. They … Continue reading

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March 15, 2017

ROOTED: Hope for Struggling Parents (+ an exciting giveaway!)

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Sometimes we need wisdom and counsel on how to parent our children well who come with unique or difficult pasts. If you are a parent who is: 1) facing challenges, 2) struggling to parent or love your child well, or 3) looking to develop a gospel-driven focus to the way you raise your child, ROOTED is for you. ROOTED is an online training course featuring 14 videos and a printed study guide that provide gospel-centered support for adoptive and foster families—designed specifically for families, orphan ministries, counselors, and adoption agencies. This online course includes teaching from Dr. Paul David Tripp, Dr. Voddie Baucham, and a host of Christian doctors, psychologists, therapy experts, and foster/adoptive parents. Endorsement “As an adoptee and an adoptive parent, I viewed each video through both lenses, marveling how each lesson could so accurately identify pain points and introduce solutions through the iron grid of grace-saturated Scriptural truth. This team doesn’t hold back–either in speaking to great needs or … Continue reading

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March 8, 2017

A Word to the Weary Mom

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Dear weary mom, Today is International Women’s Day, but I don’t expect you to know that since you spent your morning rushing around trying to prod your children to eat their breakfast or get ready for school. (Whoever invented the phrase “herding cats” never had children. “Herding children” needs no fancy idiom.) After a drive across town–in which you answered a dozen questions on deep subjects requiring more than simple soundbites–you sent your kids into the clutches of their familiar morning routine, breathing out a prayer for their safety. You smell faintly of peanut butter or tears, depending on the day (or hour!), but no matter. You worry, instead, about your sensitive child who wears his global development delays on his sleeve, and you hope the other kids in his life tread lightly today. You’re tired, and I understand.   So, about today. Today is supposed to be a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural, … Continue reading

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February 13, 2017

How to Strengthen Your Marriage on the Fostering or Adoption Journey

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Dennis and Barbara Rainey know a thing or two about how to preserve and even strengthen a marriage while doing the hard work of caring for the world’s most vulnerable. They’ve been married over 40 years and have 6 grown children, one of whom is adopted. Additionally, they lead Family Life, a multi-faceted ministry to families. So when they shared their tips for cultivating a healthy marriage while fostering or adopting, we listened. Here are 2 points to keep in mind, as well as 4 practical suggestions– 1. Your marriage must be built to outlast your children. Whether our children are biological, fostered, or adopted, they will challenge us, and our marriage must be built to withstand the challenges. Why? If our relationship with God or our spouse suffers, it negatively impacts our marriage as well as the children we are trying to care for and love. Stepping into the foster … Continue reading

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