Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!! :)

I read this devotion a couple weeks ago and the truth's in it have been coming back to my mind frequently.

John 18:33-40
Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? You own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being haded over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "you say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to truth listens to my voice." Pilate asked him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit.

The substitution of Jesus for Barabbas seems like a monstrous tragedy -- a preference for mediocre evil over blazing goodness. But the substitution was not fatal, for God made an act of atonement out of it whereby Barabbas might be saved.

Dear Lord, I pretend indignation at the crowd's choice of Barabbas, but I do it too, choosing dull mediocrities over blazing virtues, the familiar and comfortable ways of the world over the challenging, spirit-stretching way of Christ. Forgive me and train me in better choices.
In your precious name I ask these things. Amen.

This devotion was written by Eugene Peterson.

In this coming year:
*May we Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and act according to God's will and leading in our lives.
*May we not be afraid to say "yes" to what He is putting on our hearts.
*May our lives and actions have eternal purpose in not only our own lives but, in the lives that we come into contact with everyday.
*May we keep our eyes and ears in tune to the needs of the widow, the lonely and the orphan and advocate for them.

Proverbs 31:8
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed.

Happy New Year to you and your families!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fields of the Fatherless Study Starting Soon

Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis: Book Cover
Do you want to know what God's word says about our responsibility as the body of Christ to care for the widow, the lonely and the orphan? The widow, the lonely and the orphan are a broad subject. If you are reading this God is probably already stirring something in your heart. This is a great study to go through with other people to come alongside you and encourage you. I am quite sure it is possible that you will also encourage someone as you attend this study. Some of you may already be in the Fields and want to join this study to confirm what God is already doing and how you can be more effective in what God has already put on your heart.

This class has been approved by Larimer County for training hours available for their families. So if you are a foster family or a prospective foster/adopt family you can use these class hours towards your required training.

Fields of the Fatherless Study is beginning at Timberline Church on Sunday Jan. 17th at 5:00pm
Childcare is available by registration.
Childcare registration must be submitted no later than one week prior to the first meeting.
In the space that asks for the leaders name put: Jeff and Kari Stewart then for the space that asks for Ministry Group Name put: Welcome Child/Fields of the Fatherless

Please RSVP to me also. I want to make sure that we have enough books for everyone!

Please feel free to forward this email!!

I am looking forward to seeing you there. It is always a blessing!!

:) Kari

Monday, December 28, 2009

Adoption Conference

I heard Russell Moore speak last year at Orphan Summit. It was one of my favorite services of the event. I have shared on this blog about his book "Adopted for Life". This would be an excellent conference to attend. :)

I used to hate adoption.

No, I never thought I hated adoption. As a matter of fact I always saw myself as enthusiastically pro-adoption. I was pro-life, after all. I believed that adoption was a better alternative to abortion. And I even talked about adopting children one day after my wife and I had had our “own kids.”

And then God, through infertility, miscarriage, and two little boys in a Russian orphanage, changed my understanding of the gospel, of mission, and of myself.

Here in Louisville we’re going to be hosting a conference on adoption entitled, “Adopting for Life,” to take place February 26-27, 2010. I hope you’ll be joining us.

You may be wondering whether this will be a conference about the doctrine of adoption or “real” adoption. Well, one of the things that we’ll be discussing is the fact that you can’t talk about the one without talking about the other. Also, it is not as though we master one aspect and then move to the other—from the vertical to the horizontal or the other way around. That’s not the picture God has embedded in his creation work.

The Bible tells us that human families are reflective of an eternal fatherhood (Eph. 3:14-15). We know, then, what human fatherhood ought to look like on the basis of how Father God behaves toward us. But the reverse is also true. We see something of the way our God is fatherly toward us through our relationships with our own human fathers. And so Jesus tells us that in our human father’s provision and discipline we get a glimpse of God’s active love for us (Matt. 7:9-11; cf. Heb. 12:5-7). The same is at work in adoption.

So we’ve invited a number of great speakers to “Adopting for Life” who will seek to equip us to create a culture of adoption in our families and churches. We’ll be answering questions such as, “What does adoption have to do with the Great Commission?”, “How can I pay for adoption?”, and “How can we start an adoption ministry in my church?”—along with so many others.

I would love to see you here in Louisville for the “Adopting for Life” conference, as we think together about how God might be leading us to be on mission with Christ for the sake of the orphans of the world.

For the Kingdom of Christ,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

SCC - All I really want for Christmas

Waiting for a Family

Name: Alfred B
Child ID: 8762
State: CO
Birthday: 4/2006
Grade in school: P
Special Interests: Trains, animals, outdoors
Ethnicity: Hispanic
Listed On: 12/2009

Name: Alfred B
Profile: Little engines can do big things, according to Thomas the Tank Engine, and train-loving Alfred is a little guy who may surprise you with the big things he'll accomplish in life! In addition to being a huge fan of Thomas, this 3-year-old also loves playing outside, and on a recent trip to the zoo was able to name most of the animals. Alfred is in preschool and loves it. He is good at remembering games and gets along well with the other children. Alfred has a chromosome deletion and is waiting on a developmental evaluation to see the extent of his delays and to determine if he will be able to live independently as an adult. He can have a great life. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you!!!
God sending His son Jesus to us was THE greatest gift ever. In Jesus we find grace, mercy, forgiveness and adoption into our forever family in Heaven.
I find it very interesting that Jesus' earthly life began and ends with adoption. His adoption of us is for eternity there is no beginning and there is no end. While Jesus was on earth he had an adoptive father - Joseph, who I am sure had many days of asking "what have I signed up for?". Then as Jesus hung dying on the cross in:
John 19: 26 - 27
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
Eugene Peterson wrote the following about this scripture: Even while doing the cosmic work of atonement, Jesus attended to domestic details; he gave his mother another son, and his disciple a new mother. The gospel creates new family ties, both of affection and responsibility, for us.
Dear Lord, whom do you want me to love? Whom do you want me to care for? Enlarge my sense of family beyond the walls of this house; increase my capacity for affectionate responsibility beyond this immediate family. I ask these things for your glory dear Lord, Amen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Praises from the Adoption Exchange

Rejoicing over all of these kids who have found their forever families!!! :)

♥ Four brothers and sisters, ages 3 to 12, are spending Christmas together with their new family this week. No longer will they worry that they will grow up separated from each other!

Another sibling group of three will hang their stockings together in their own living room with a new mom and a new dad!

An 18-year-old boy is being adopted! He will now have a family to help send him to college and to be there when he comes home for the holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009


To Sneha!!
What an answer to prayer that you are home.
Brent and Holly were part of Welcome Child from the beginning and have moved. We miss them but, wanted to rejoice and celebrate with them.
Congratulations to your family and Merry Christmas!!! :)


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Classes available for Adoptive Families

Here is some infomation that was sent to me by the Education Center at The Adoption Exchange for classes coming to Northern Colorado. :)

Helping Children Cope:
Reducing Trauma During Placement Moves
Fort Collins, CO
April 30, 2010

Promoting Placement Stability:

Using Home Visits to Prevent Foster Care and Adoption Disruption
Fort Collins, CO
May 28, 2010

Contact Denise Leffingwell at 303.755.4756, ext. 264

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Tradition Idea

Christmas Gift Box Stock Image
A friend of mine shared this tradition that they have in their family. I love the idea and thought you would be blessed too:

Each card that we get goes into our prayer box. It is a box I bought from a party store during the holiday season. Ours has little snowmen all over it :)
Anyway, after Christmas - we begin to draw one card a day from the prayer box. We pray over this family several times that day. If we pull out a card with a photo of an elected official we pray over them. This year I'm going to add countries to pray over too. You can add family and friends photos too that did not send you a Christmas card.
Each day the children beg to pick the card for the day. They love praying over your families and our family too!
They learn about the needs of each family as I pray over them too -then as time goes on they will often ask me if and how God answered their prayers.

Isn't that a great idea????
Thanks Jill for sharing this tradition - you can check out Jill's blog at:


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Family Traditions

Family Traditions are very important. Traditions take years to become established. Traditions carry on in our lives even when we leave home. Some of those traditions become a generational heritage.
Sometimes we don't know when we do an activity for the first time that it will become a tradition.
Like the year we decided to save all of our loose change in a pickle jar to have a family fun day in Estes Park. It can be expensive to have a day where everyone goes out to breakfast together followed by the big slide, go-carts, the candy shop and a Pizza lunch with pool, pinball and other arcade games for our entire family. We have saved our loose change in that same pickle jar for 14 years now. It is a big deal that no one wants to miss.
Or like when my dad would set 3 chairs in front of the Christmas Tree on Christmas morning. A place for each of his daughters - myself and my two sisters. Christmas morning is such a wonder filled time. We would come out of our bedrooms and find our chair, then my mom would read the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20. My dad would then lead of family in prayer - thanking God for the gift of his son Jesus to us and for the gifts we were about to receive.
My dad didn't know that this would be carried on now for 45+ years. A tradition now carried on by not only his daughters but, his grandchildren.
I pray that more than anything else for all of our children is that they will love and seek the Lord with all of their hearts.
I think it is through the love of family that our children will feel and accept the love of their Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I would love to hear about some of your family traditions and how they came to be. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Colorado Siblings need a Family

Could you be their family? Or maybe you know someone to share their information with. Please pray that they find their forever family soon!!! :)

Contact The Adoption Exchange for more information at 303-755-4756

Name: Brianna F
Child ID: 8749
State: CO
Birthday: 12/1998
Grade in school: 4
Special Interests: Music, sports
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Listed On: 11/2009

Sibling Name: Deja B
Child ID: 8750
State: CO
Birthday: 5/1996
Grade in school: 7
Special Interests: Sports, hanging out with friends
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Listed On: 11/2009

Sibling Name: Elijah F
Child ID: 8751
State: CO
Birthday: 4/2000
Grade in school: 3
Special Interests: Playing outside, sports
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Listed On: 11/2009

Name: Brianna F
Profile: Need some action and excitement in your life? This sibling group of three is just your answer! Deja, Brianna, and Elijah are fun and full of energy. They are looking for a forever family who will keep them together and support them into adulthood! Do you think beautiful fingernails and sports can't mix? You haven't met Deja. She enjoys doing her hair and nails and spending time with others. She also stays active by playing sports. With so many interests, it is no wonder she is social and gets along with others beautifully! Deja is in the seventh grade and doing well in school. She is close with her current foster parents and would like to get to know potential adoptive parents before deciding that they are the family for her. Brianna is an energetic girl who describes herself as a tomboy. She relishes playing sports and being outside. Listening to music and spending time with her foster parents are two other things you can find Brianna enjoying. In the fourth grade, Brianna benefits from an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and does well when interacting with others. The only boy of the group, Elijah, is very active and likes to spend time outdoors and playing sports. He is affectionate and thrives on individual attention and love. In the third grade, Elijah will soon be tested to determine if he currently has a need for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). All three children benefit from counseling, which will need to continue after placement. Each of the children have relationships, especially with their siblings, that they want to maintain in the future. The caseworker only accepts inquiries on the entire sibling group, who will be placed together. All family types will be considered. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

God's Word

Product Details

God's Word

I read the following statement written by Eugene Peterson
and it resonated in my heart and I wanted to share it with you:

"We would learn not to interpret God's word by our feelings but that out feelings would be interpreted by God's word"

I recommend many books on this blog to encourage you on this journey that God has called you. God's word is by far the first and foremost book that we should refer to when we are seeking His will.

God's word is certain, steady and true.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.

Our feelings come and go. We need God's word to become heart knowledge not just head knowledge.
The only way we can let that knowledge move from our head to our heart is to act on the truth in God's word. Be obedient to what God puts on our hearts. Then as things get challenging in what he has called us to do, make sure that we go back to his promises and his counsel in His word. If you have trouble remembering them I suggest that you write the scripture on an index card and carry it around with you for quick reference.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Veggie Tales and Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child has touched so many lives - those giving and those receiving. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spend Less, Give More

What is an Advocate?

Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.

Advocate: One who pleads another's cause

This morning a friend shared with me how God had presented an opportunity for them to open their hearts and home to a 7 year old girl who needed an immediate placement. The Holy Spirit spoke to this moms' heart and said: "ADVOCATE for my child. Who will love the child that I love?"

That is a powerful, powerful request and question.

We are the best and sometimes the only advocate our children will have. Being an advocate brings personal sacrifice and personal discomfort. We may have to step into areas that we normally would shy away from. We may need to stand up to or confront someone who opposes what God has put on our hearts for our children.

I want you to know that you have an advocate and his name is the Holy Spirit.

John 16:5-7
"But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, "Where are you going?" But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you."

We are not alone in this journey. The Holy Spirit is ready and willing to lead us every step of the way. We need to come to him in prayer - lay down our burdens - ask for help - wait and receive.

John 14:18
"I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you."

Whew - that is good news to my heart for sure!! I have an advocate - and so do you. Rest in this promise today. :)