Monday, May 30, 2011

Foster Parents are Heroes :)

As National Foster Care Month comes to an end, I have been reflecting on how grateful I am to the families in our community who are dedicated, loving parents to children in crisis. They are the unsung heroes of our community. They would not see themselves as heroes; in fact they would prefer to remain in the background in quiet service.

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to go to court with one of our foster families. The courtroom was full of people who thought they knew what was best for the child in care, even to the point of discrediting the abilities of the foster family. The foster family responded with quiet confidence and advocated with an authority that could only come from those who were walking in obedience to God and seeking Him for the best interest of the child.

I asked foster parents for the following suggestions of how you could support and encourage them:

*Help with house cleaning (professional or not) - Just to have someone come run a vacuum and dust the furniture could be a huge blessing.
*Lend your handyman services - Repairing simple things in their home that have been broken.
*Take the foster family's biological kids with you for some fun time. The first few days and weeks that a child comes into care can be stressful on the entire family.
*PRAY!! The children who come to foster parents are bearing things that children should never have to see/experience. They need our prayers for healing/wholeness and the foster parents need prayers for how to deal with the bio-parents, case managers, and in court processes.
*Offer to bring over a meal for the family, when a new child come into their home.
*Pray for the birth families.
*Drop by the foster parents' home with their favorite snack/candy bar, beverage, when they are have an especially tough day -- to give them a little encouragement
*Consider becoming a CASA to advocate for the children in the foster care
*Respect the child's story as just that...the CHILD'S story. Do not pry for information about why they are in care or details of their case. Foster parents are limited in what they can share.
*Send an encouraging note/phone call/email to let the foster parents know you care, when a child leaves their home.
*Consider becoming a respite provider for foster families.
*Take a foster child who has aged-out of the system under your wing. Invite them over for dinner, take interest in their lives and show them support and genuine care.

I am praying for those of you whose heart may be stirred to become a foster parents. You could bring hope and healing into a child's life. For more information about becoming a foster parent, contact your local county Children's Services Dept.

If you live in Larimer County, CO, contact Carla Felts at:

Bethany Christian Services created the below video about foster care.

If not you, who?
If not now, when?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Colorado Siblings need a family

8 year old Talia, 5 year old Aiden and 3 year old Zachary need a family - could it be your family?
Here is a brief profile that was written by their caseworker:

This sibling trio will capture your heart. First in line is Talia the soft spoken older sister. This endearing lass draws others to her. Reading, coloring and playing with dolls is where she finds joy. As a friend of animals, this sweet gal loves all critters. Listening to music while playing dress-up is the best activity. In the second grade Talia does very well. With her pleasant personality she is well liked by her teachers and peers. She currently benefits from counseling, which will need to continue after placement. Here comes Aiden, the sweet and loving middle child. Very active, this fellow enjoys playing with animals and his toy cars. With his mellow demeanor this kiddo helps out wherever he is. Though shy at first, Aiden opens up and is very friendly; he gets along well with other children. He is not in school yet. Little Zachary is sweet and even-tempered. Even though he has asthma, he doesn't let it keep him from being active and climbing. Building tools or playing with blocks are on the top of his list. This tyke loves animals, but is allergic to most. Very helpful, delightful Zachary has fun with other children and gets along with adults too. He is allergic to peanuts, eggs and powder cheese, but this doesn't hinder his growing love of food. These children would like to maintain contact with their grandmother. Their caseworker prefers a two-parent family; however, all family types will be considered. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. We only accept inquiries on the entire sibling group, who will be placed together. For Colorado children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Colorado families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.

For additional information contact The Adoption Exchange at 303-755-4756. Their case #'s are: 9570, 9571,9572

Please pray for them as they wait to meet their forever family!! Prayer changes things and it will definitely have an impact in the lives of these siblings. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heart for Orphans Island Party

This is truly Fort Collins best kept secret!! You will be escorted by boat to this private island where your family will make some of your best summer memories together. :)

Tickets are available now for this FUNdraiser that will benefit orphans in Haiti and Guatemala. This is about the most fun way that you, your friends and your family could support orphans.

Tickets are $25 and include a catered dinner, live music by Who Brought Larry. The Island Fun includes water trampolines, boats, canoes, swimming, beach volleyball and bonfires. By your tickets today!! :)

You can purchase your tickets at:

Fit Families on the Move

Poudre Valley Health Systems offer free and reduced fees for family activities this summer!!

Fit Families on the Move offers reduced cost on family activities during the summer.
The registration form is available at:

13th Annual Healthy Kids Club Run Series!! All runs are free, non-competitive 1 mile fun runs.
For dates and registration go to:

Teens ages 13-18 can participate in nine area 5K races for $10 each. They have a chance to win some great prizes while they run!!!
You can register on-line at:

Orphan Sunday - November 6th, 2011

This video was shown for the first time at Orphan Summit VII last week. Plan now to be a voice in your church and in your community on Orphan Sunday this year!

There are many resources available at:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Guest Post by Dr. Sharen Ford

May is Foster Care Month
Today I had the awesome opportunity to spend a portion of my day honoring six phenomenal foster parents from across the state. Our very own Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha hosted the first ever lunch appreciation for Foster Care Month. I must say, I've been at the state for over 26 years and this is the first time I've had a governor's office and the executive director reach out in this manner to honor those who give and give and give of themselves. These families came with their foster children of all ages to receive our appreciation for the wonderful job that they do.
We were there to say "Thank You". One foster parent said, "I get my 'thank you' every day by seeing the little differences in the children in my home." I know that the families present at today's event are a sample of the wonderful individuals all over the state that step up to make the difference not only in a child's life but in the lives of their families. Many of the stories shared how these families had worked with the birth parents to support their journey of regaining custody of their children. As Executive Director Bicha shared information about each family a recurring themes of serving, caring, sacrifice and commitment. I was most impressed to see that two of the six foster families served adolescents.
As I sat in the back of the room I thought about the children/youth coming into foster care for the first time and wondered who would be there for them? As though I spoke my thoughts out loud, I heard Executive Director Bicha's parting comments to the foster families ... it was a plea for help. He shared that CO needs more foster homes like yours. He asked each family to share with their families, neighbors, faith community and with whosoever would listen about our need for more good foster homes. Colorado's 64 county departments of human/social services work to help prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting families and providing needed services to them when they are in need. When services aren't sufficient children/youth come into foster care.
Today was Mother's and Father' Day wrapped into one. These foster families were appreciated by us but more importantly by the children/youth they poured themselves into as they clapped and gave hugs to each of the recipients. Their efforts aren't being wasted. Consider becoming a foster mother. You can join the ranks of women and men all over the state who dared to make a difference in the life of another person's child.

Thank you Dr. Sharen Ford for sharing this with us today. Your words always encourage me to continue to press on in the area of advocating for new foster families and supporting the foster families in our community.
You are a blessing to all of us who serve in adoption/orphan ministry in Colorado and across the US. :)

Sharen Ford, Ph.D., is a nationally-recognized child welfare consultant and the Manager for Permanency Services for the Colorado Department of Human Services in the Division of Child Welfare Services.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


He is Mine

I tiptoed into your room one night.
I watched you sleeping there.
Your tiny body looked so snug
Wrapped in peaceful slumber's care.

I thought of how you came to be
The child we'd longed to know.
I wondered at the sight of you:
"How could she let you go?"

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I
Felt the pain she must have known.
For I will have to let you go
Some day when you are grown.

A mother I might never meet
Had given me her son.
Yet, surely as you've filled my heart,
A piece of hers you'd won.

"How could she let you go?"
The question kept returning.
And in the depths of my own heart
A question kept burning.

"How can I ever let you go
When years have come and gone?"
I stod there by your crib until
The nighttime turned to dawn.

And as the sun peeked through the shades,
The voice of God broke through.
"I trusted her to give him life
And now I'm trusting you."

"To show him what is right and wrong,
To love him and to be
The one who teaches him the way
To come back home to me.

"He wasn't hers to give, you know.
And he's not yours to own.
I've placed him in your life to love
But he is mine...on loan."
-Valerie Kay Gwin

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Colorado Heart Gallery

Heart Gallery Vision: Picture a family for every child

Since 2005 Colorado Heart Gallery has featured the children who have waited the longest for a family. Each picture is taken by a professional photographer who has donated their time to produce photos that will reflect the personality and style of each child. Timberline Church is proud to host the Heart Gallery for the month of May. The display is set up near the South Auditorium entrance and on the north wall of the main floor. Please take time to stop and look at their pictures and pray for these children as they wait to be matched with their forever family. :)

Heart Gallery website:

U Count Benefit Concert

U COUNT new header

Sunday, May 15

Ralph Carmichael U COUNT Campaign Benefit

Timberline Church, South Auditorium at 2pm

Join us for an outstanding musical experience with gospel singer Dave Boyer and the music icon and legend Ralph Carmichael! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dress a Girl

Imagine a World where every little girl owned at least one dress!

Dress a Girl Around the World kick-off sewing party Saturday, May 21st from 9-1 at Timberline Church

What to bring:

* 1 colorful pillowcase - no white or see through

* 1 pkg. of 1/2 inch wide double fold bias tape

* 1 pair of girls underpants size 6-14 (no cartoon, Disney or wording)
* 1 gallon zip lock bag

* portable sewing matching, scissors, straight pins

If you don't sew or are not able to attend this event, but would like to help. Donations of any of the above items are appreciated. :)

For more information contact: Mary Brinkman at

Find out more about Dress a Girl and Hope 4 kids International: