Heart for Adoption video

Another great video shown at Together for Adoption...

The Miller family's adoption story - Heart for Adoption

Our Adoption Story video

A video shown at Together for Adoption last weekend...

This is the story of how God is working in the Stewart family's adoption journey.


Defending the cause of the fatherless

orphan sunday
Sunday, November 6 2011 is Orphan Sunday

“Orphan Sunday is your opportunity to rouse church, community and friends to God’s call to care for the orphan.”

In the comments below, please share what’s happening at your church on Nov. 6th for Orphan Sunday.


Below are several thought-provoking and convicting articles well worth your time and consideration. 

“In larger churches orphan care can simply become one ministry among many, many others. But in smaller churches orphan care is much more easily seen as an essential part of who they are and what they do. It's not as easily obscured by a forest of other ministries. As a result, smaller churches have the opportunity to lead the way by more visibly demonstrating that orphan care is not a missional add-on.”

“There are a number of challenges within the evangelical church that would be greatly helped if our churches recovered afresh the beautiful truth of our adoption in Christ.”

“Last night Yabi and I spent the night sleeping on the street here in Addis Ababa, we have been talking about the life that many of the kids who are going to be coming into our orphanage came from and it became clear that neither of us really fully understand what its like to live as a homeless person in this city. We felt that the only way we would be able to even begin to grasp what it is like is if we were to go and get down in the dirt with them for a night.”


A great weekend at T4A!

How to recap an amazing weekend spent at Together for Adoption?  Well, it won’t be with amazing photos because almost all of mine are blurry - wrong camera setting??  Sorry about these!

Liane, Miles, Debi and I flew to Phoenix on last Thursday.  We left changing leaves and brisk air for desert cactus and temps in the 90’s.  It really felt like we had landed in a foreign land!  But we soon joined hundreds of other ministry-minded folks who love adoption and are passionate about orphan care around the world.

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We got our exhibit set up that afternoon and met our partners at Into the Streets of Ethiopia, Tulio and Kara Portilla, who were also setting up a display table where they sold lots of jewelry, t-shirts and scarves with the proceeds going toward formula for the babies in our orphanages. 

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Bright and early on Friday morning we began meeting so many people – some who are also ministering in Ethiopia, some who work in other countries and many who are or have adopted internationally or through the foster-care system.  I even met a woman who told me she was born in Dembidollo (a town in western Ethiopia near the Sudanese border where YWAM has an orphanage)!  Her parents were missionaries in Ethiopia and she spent most of her young life there.  Another young Ethiopian man working with Food for the Hungry told me his father lives in Dembidollo.  A small world indeed!

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We heard really insightful messages in the general sessions.  The main thing I came away with from these times was that God’s incredible grace has been given to us for the purpose of extending it lavishly to others.  There is no patting ourselves on the back for this obedience – any trace of self or ‘works’ in our motivation must be dealt with.  It’s all His work – the resources, the strength to obey, the motivation and the glory.

298872_2079631190457_1235347405_31882097_1724704191_nBecky and Kristen Tober-Halvorson
We had the opportunity to meet face to face for the first time with several of our YWAM families who live in Arizona – what a blessing that was for me!  (Hi Dane and Lori, Ryan and Tracy, Dawn and Kristen!)  I talk to our families from all over the United States on the phone and via email but believe me when I say it’s a treat to give a hug in person!  A few even brought their kids adopted from Ethiopia.  To see those little faces in 3D was amazing.  Thanks to all of you who visited us!

We're heading to the desert...


Becky, Liane, Miles and Debi are heading to Phoenix to take part in the

We are SO excited!
Be sure to stop by and say hello if you're there!




Resources on the Web


@Center for Adoption Medicine
Travelling half-way around the world with a shell-shocked child who's rarely been outside of the orphanage, let alone the country, is understandably a source of anxiety for most adoptive parents; it ranks high up on the top 10 list of things to obsess about while waiting.

@Spoon Foundation
"The go-to nutrition & feeding resource for adoptive & foster families" 

@sharidragovich
What if it’s a battle–this struggle to bond fully with my adoptive children? Two years after bringing them home from Ethiopia, mournful thoughts of pre-five children still attack my mind. A moment of all is well, followed by hot flashes of frustration and questioning.

@RainbowKids
There is a crisis of epidemic proportion within the International Adoption Community. It has the potential to compromise the health and well-being of many adoptive families. It affects over 65 percent of adopting mothers according to a recent survey... The public and medical attitudes toward Post Partum Depression are a far cry from the silence and secrecy that surround a much more pervasive problem - Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS).
@Tapestry.org
Sensory processing issues often play a significant role in some of the challenges that adoptive and foster families face. And yet, parents are often completely unaware that sensory processing is in fact the issue.


 

Confessions

Today I want to share an excellent article written by Michael Monroe for Empowered to Connect.  Michael is an adoptive dad who, with his wife Amy, leads the Tapestry Adoption and Foster Care Ministry at Irving Bible Church.   

I want to be a good father. I even like to think I work pretty hard at it – certainly much harder than I ever imagined I would. But despite my best intentions and in spite of all of my efforts, I am still a pretty sorry father at times. Sorry as in bad, rotten and no good. I can think of some other ways to say it, but I think you get the picture...



Click here to read the rest of the article Confessions of a Sorry Father.




Together for Adoption Conference 2011



"To live missionally means that the Gospel is increasingly moving and empowering us to care for those who live on the razor-sharp edge of our world’s brokenness."

From the Together for Adoption website:

Join us October 21-22 in Phoenix for Together for Adoption Conference 2011Over 1,200 people will gather together at Redemption Church to explore the theme Missional Living, the Gospel and Orphan Care. One of our primary objectives for this year’s conference is to create a forum to consider the good news of the Gospel, explore its implications for how we think about and implement orphan care strategies, and discuss how we can move toward greater collaboration as the people of God for the sake of orphans worldwide.

Adoption Ministry of YWAM Ethiopia will be there, sharing about our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program.  Our partners at Into the Streets of Ethiopia will also be there.  If you come, be sure to stop by our exhibitors table and say hello!

Let's Make A Deal

One of our wonderful adoptive dads, Brandon Monahan, told us a story that's just too good not to share with you.   I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of so many people!

Kassandra and her husband have been facilitating a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class.  Because they were in a leadership role, they felt they should carefully follow the guidelines suggested in the class.  One of the foundational steps is to pay for your purchases with cash, using an envelope system to divide it into spending categories.  Kassandra was a little nervous about carrying cash but did it anyway.




One night when they were out to dinner, she accidentally left her purse at the restaurant - with $800 cash in an envelope inside.  By the time she realized what she'd done, the restaurant was closed. 

After what I'm assuming was a fitful sleep, she got up at 4:00 am and traveled 45 minutes to the restaurant.  I imagine prayers were being said during that whole drive!  The purse was there, all right, but the cash was gone.

Kassandra was understandably upset but she went to God with her feelings and, although she said she knows you shouldn't make deals with God, told Him that if He brought back the $800, she would give it to help provide formula for orphaned babies (which she'd heard about through the Clothing is Optional - Formula is Life program via Heritage House).  And God decided to take her up on her offer!  The money was found.

Kassandra called Brandon who works for Heritage House, to help her place an order for 10 cases of Parent's Choice milk-based formula.  Heritage House has helped raise money for formula for YWAM's four orphanages in Ethiopia.  The formula will be taken to Ethiopia with one of our families hoping to travel soon for their Embassy appointment.

Here it is, all ready to go!



We're so grateful for the giving hearts of God's people.  Thank you Kassandra!!