Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our first Project 1.27 Family Finalizes their Adoption

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Last week I had the honor of joining one of our families in court as the judge finalized their adoption of 3 and 5 year old half-siblings.

As I sat there and watched the judge sign the adoption decrees, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that these children are no longer wards of the state. They have been given a name. That name entitles them to privileges they wouldn't otherwise have.
Jeff and Kerri were obedient to respond to God's call on their heart to adopt. They didn't know where there "yes" answer would lead, but they went forward anyway.
Sometimes we don't know where God will lead when we say "yes". That is part of the faith journey that God is calling us on. Moving forward without being able to see the end of the road.
I once heard that faith is spelled, R-I-S-K.
Thank you to their family for allowing me to be there on your special day - It blessed my heart and reminded me that I too have been given a new name. When I accepted Jesus as my personal savior I too was given a new name "child of God" and with that comes privileges only the child of the most high can receive. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One Person at a Time

It just takes one person at a time touching the life of a child. Jelani's story has been featured in the Washington Post and on several blogs. It is a great reminder that we need to be obedient with our part. You can make an eternal difference in the life of a child. :)

When Jelani Freeman came home after school one day, his mother was gone. Eight years old, he waited, realizing as the hours passed that she would not be back. She was mentally ill and in need of treatment. His father was in prison. “I just knew that was it,” he recalled…. In foster care, he was first placed with a woman who barely talked to him. “Dinner is ready,” she would announce, without using his name. His next foster family left him home when they went to the circus, the movies or Chuck E. Cheese’s…. He lived in one group home, then another. His final placement, for a year and a half, was with an older sister who took him on a foster-care basis, he said, and told him he would have to leave when he turned 18.

Where Jelani is today, however, is a tribute to the profound difference personal involvement from caring adults can make in the life of a foster youth. Just this week, he graduated from law school. (A quarter of former foster youth who aged out of the system like Jelani have no high school degree, and just 6 percent even acquire a 2-year AA degree). The elements that Jelani believes were key for him are worth noting:

For Freeman, what’s made the difference has been a kind of makeshift family of those who have cared along the way. Some cooked him dinner. Some steered him toward opportunities. One couple paid for a year and a half of his law school tuition. Many gave him the kind of advice a parent might bestow.

Alongside the many smaller involvements, one woman played a particularly significant role as a mentor:

“There were so many things going on, I sort of didn’t care about school,” he says. But that began to change when he met Jackie Booker, a Xerox manager and mother of three who became his mentor in the 11th grade through a community program….After school, he worked in her office at Xerox, and a few times a month they went out: to church, the bowling alley, the mall. They talked a lot by phone….Said Booker: “He needed to know somebody was around who cared. He needed to know I was there and if he had problems, I was going to help him resolve those issues.”

Looking towards his Law School graduation, Jelani concluded about Booker and the many others who opened their lives to him:

“This didn’t magically happen,” he said. “People encouraged me. People supported me….”One person at a time, he has pieced together something akin to family, and as he prepares to cross the stage once more, he says, “that’s more important to me than the degree.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Foster Care as a Ministry :)

*A Backpack of My Own sign-ups start this weekend (5/15-5/16) at Timberline Church. Sign up to fill a backpack or two as we partner with Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County to give backpacks to foster and adoptive families in Larimer County. It was a blessing to see all the participants bringing their filled backpacks last year to help support our cause. It was also a blessing to see the faces of the kids as they came on distribution day to pick out their very own backpack. The kids treasured the personal notes that many participants attached to their backpacks more than words could express.

*We will also be hosting Larimer County, Weld County and Lutheran Family Services to advocate for their need of Foster Families. They will be hosting a table in our mall area before and after each service this weekend. On Sunday evening we will be having an event where people can get more information about how they can step into the life of a child in foster care and make an eternal difference in their life. Beginning at 5:00pm in the Main Sanctuary we will hear from foster parents, foster care alumni, Larimer and Weld County representatives and from Dr. Sharen Ford from Denver county as she shares her heart and passion for each and every child that comes into care in our State. What if families started seeing foster care as a ministry? A ministry that God is putting on their hearts to not only minister to the child coming into care, but into the lives of their families. You could be the answer!!

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Introducing Blessed Blankets! Blessed Blankets will have a table in the mall this weekend. Check it out - it will be a blessing to many children coming into foster care.
Please share this information with anyone you know that would be interested in knowing more about this event. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

This little boy needs a Family!! :)

This is Nathan. Nathan is 2 years old and is legally an orphan in Eastern Europe. He's available for adoption and his social worker is actively seeking a family for this precious little boy. But Nathan's story is different than most orphans with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe. It started out the same.....baby is born, baby is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, birth parents declare that they can not parent baby due to the fact that he has Down syndrome and refuse to take him home. Now, here's where Nathan's story is different: This baby was NOT sent to an orphanage to live. Instead, he was placed with a foster family immediately after birth. He has NEVER stepped foot in an orphanage. This is VERY unusual in Eastern Europe. But that's not the end of Nathan's unusual story. Nathan's birth family stayed involved in his life. Sadly, his birth parents marriage did not survive the stress and changes that happened after Nathan's birth, but his birth mother has stayed an active part of his life. She visits him twice a month to spend time with him.

Nathan's birth mother is not in a position to raise Nathan. She has been given encouragement and support, but does not feel that her situation is one that is conducive to raising a child with a disability in her country. However, she DOES want Nathan to have a permanent family. She is aware that this won't happen in her country. She has given permission for Nathan to be adopted internationally and ensured that all of the paper work is legally in order so that Nathan can immediately be adopted by a family that submits a dossier requesting to adopt him.

She didn't just stop there. In an effort to help her son find a forever family, she took over 10 photos of Nathan and gave them to us ("us" being Reece's Rainbow), in an effort to help find a family for her son. We even have a photo of Nathan with his birth mother.

Today, I look at these photos and think about this mother. A mother who loves her son so much that she would take photos to be given to a stranger on the other side of the world, in the hopes that another mother will see them and step forward to also be a mother to her little boy. I can't even begin to imagine the enormity of that decision. Nathan's birth mother has indicated that she'd love to receive updates on Nathan as he grows and it is possible that the adopting family can meet her during the adoption process. This is a very unique opportunity in international adoption and I am praying that a family will step forward for this precious little boy very soon!

*If you are interested in learning more about adopting Nathan you can contact Reeces Rainbow at: http://www.reecesrainbow.com/newsite/index.php

Saturday, May 8, 2010


A mother is likened unto a mountain spring that nourishes the tree at its root, but one who mothers another's child is likened unto a water that rises into a cloud and goes a long distance to nourish a lone tree in the desert. - Talmud

The talmud is a vast collection of Jewish laws and traditions.

Happy Mothers Day!!! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What a difference -----

"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me."
Matthew 18:15

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Look at these two pictures!! What a difference love and acceptance of a forever family make. This is my friend Jennifer's daughter (thank you Jenn!). The picture on the left is the day they came home to the US and the picture of the right was taken exactly one year later. These pictures blessed my heart. They really show the power of God's love through adoption.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I need a Family!! :)

Kaneesha needs a family!!!! Her DOB of birth is 7/1994. She wants to become a lawyer, she enjoys basketball and music. Please contact the Adoption Exchange at 800-451-5246, her ID number is 9068.
Most importantly please pray for her as she waits - Thank you!! :)

Kaneesha G
Profile: Outgoing, fun, energetic and likeable are just a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe Kaneesha! With great insight and a splendid sense of humor, she is sure to go far in life with a little help and support. Her plan after school is to go to college and become a lawyer. Kaneesha likes playing sports, especially basketball and football. Listening to music, shopping, and spending time with friends are some of her favorite pastimes. She is moving on up the academic ladder and is in the ninth grade. Kaneesha benefits from counseling, which will need to continue after placement. Kaneesha has relationships with her siblings which she would like to maintain. All family types will be considered by her caseworker. She really wants to be adopted and prefers a family of color if possible. She would do best in an active, attentive, and loving family who has clear expectations. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. This is a LEGAL RISK ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT. In a legal risk placement, it is expected that the family will eventually adopt the child, even though the birth parents' rights have not been fully terminated at the time of placement. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

Birthmother Ministry Training Coming Soon!!

ScreenHunter_187.jpgOur next Birthmother Ministries Friend Training Day, training volunteers to help pregnant women and women who have recently delivered is right around the corner! It is Saturday, May 22, 2010, 9:00a.m -2:30p.m. at Timberline Church in Room 202.

Feel free to come a few minutes early so we can say hello/ meet you. We will start promptly at 9:00a.m., as it is a very busy day planned.

Lunch, snacks and drinks are provided, but if you would like your “morning cup of coffee”, please bring it with you in the morning. I will be bringing mine. :)

When you have a few moments, please review the info sheet by clicking on "Birthmothers Ministry" on the right side of the Welcome Child Blog, which discusses the ministry model as well as the time commitment involved. Also I suggest you check out the web sites, www.birthmothers.org directed toward the women we serve who are pregnant, and www.birthmotherministries.org, about the ministry itself.

A $10.00 donation is requested on the training day, May 22, which helps defray a portion of the costs for your lunch, training manual, DMV and background checks.

Please let me know if you are attending, by R.S.V.P.., either by calling me at (970) 481-4787 or emailing me no later than Wednesday, May 18, so I can make sure you have a manual and lunch. Thank you!

The cost for your background and DMV checks will be covered.

Feel free to call Lorraine with any questions you have at (970) 481-4787.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peder Eide - Why Wouldn't I?

We had the pleasure of hearing from Peder Eide in person at Orphan Summit last week. This song "Why Wouldn't I?" was released last year. It a beautiful song about adoption! Peder Eide also reminded us that this is how our Heavenly Father feels about us when we wonder why God would adopt us when we are so full of imperfections and struggles. God's response would be "Why wouldn't I?" Thank you Lord for adopting us all as your own! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Family Fun - Making Memories Together

Notes from our Adoption/Foster Care Support Group

May 2, 2010


Guest Speaker from Northern Colorado Kids - Kristin Stephens

Notes from Kari:

How do we do it? Sometimes when we are in survival mode it is hard to think of fun things to do.

- Put a date on the calendar for family activities. If we don’t plan ahead they won’t happen.

- The kids like to look at the calendar and see what is coming up.


- A hike

- Picnic in the park

- Smores and Stargazing

- A trip to the zoo – a yearly family pass is pretty inexpensive, for foster families it is free

- Swimming

- Centerra Family Movie night

Suggestions on not only surviving your family outing, but making it a success:

- Pray together before you leave. This does not need to be formal.

- Depending on your kids abilities, you might need to keep it short and sweet.

- Be aware of what can trigger negative behaviors.

- EAT! Take snacks that you can sit and enjoy together.

- When going to a restaurant, go early before it gets crowded.

Poudre Valley Health System Family Activities:

- www.pvhs.org (choose “Health and Wellness” then “Healthy Kids Club”) 970-495-7511

- Fit Families on the Move is designed to keep families moving and active during the summer months. Registered families get T-shirts, a Fit Family activity calendar, and an all-access pass for over 50 free/low cost summer activities!!! Healthy Kids Run Series is for kids 5-12 years old. It includes 9 free 1 mile kids fun runs. Prizes can earn awesome prizes after they have completed 4 runs. Teens ages 13-18 can sign up for 9 5K runs (individual race registrations and fees required).

Check out: http://www.northerncoloradokids.com/ for family activities, coupons, kids eat free restaurant lists!

You will notice that there is plenty of room to add ideas. I am sure families attending tonight will have some great ideas to share too!!!! Please send me your ideas and suggestions also!! We all have different experiences that can be a support and encouragement to other families.