Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stewart Family Goes to Washington DC

Our Family has been asked to be one of two families representing the State of CO for National Adoption Month - Voice for Adoption.

Our picture will be on display in Washington DC for the month of November and then will go to Senator Udall's office for 2 months before it makes its way back to CO.

Voice for Adoption makes a book of profile pictures and a brief bio on each family that is featured. The below information was taken from an interview and will appear along with our picture in the book.

The Stewart Family

“Please assure that adoptive families have the needed tools and resources.”

“Our family is a beautiful blend of nationalities,” write Jeff and Kari Stewart, parents to three biological children (Jeremiah, age 30; Sarah, age 25; Hannah, age 24), and six adopted children (Elisabeth, 17, born in China; Abigail, 15, born in Korea; Logan, 13, born in Florida; Luke, 11, born in Haiti; Jillian, 10, born in Tennessee; and Zinnia, 8, born in Hong Kong). The children were each adopted at various ages between infancy and toddlerhood.

The Stewart family bustles with activity; the children are all active with music, sports, school, and clubs. A week in the Stewart household might include Elisabeth working on college applications, Abigail running in her cross country meets, Logan practicing his drums, Luke fundraising for a Haitian orphanage, Jill practicing new recipes in the kitchen, and Zinnia playing with her friends and listening to music.

When asked what motivated them to adopt, the Stewarts reply unequivocally, “God put that desire on our hearts.” The Stewarts enjoy putting their faith into action in the way they care for each of their children’s needs. In discussing the difficulties they have faced in raising adopted children, Jeff and Kari explain, “Most children who have been placed for adoption have experienced trauma. That trauma can bring challenging behaviors into the family. The hardest part early on was educating our friends and families on these challenges and how we needed support.” Their youngest, Zinnia, has Down Syndrome, and benefits from Kari and Jeff’s extensive parenting experience.

Kari and Jeff were grateful for the Adoption Tax Credit, which allowed them to pay off expenses for their expanding family. The Stewarts are able to enjoy each other’s company on a monthly “night out” thanks to the organization Kids At Heart/Fundango, which serves foster and adoptive families. Jeff and Kari have also taken advantage of adoption support groups, where they found encouragement for the challenges they faced as adoptive parents. Clearly, this family also has much wisdom to offer others who are on the adoption journey.

Kari and Jeff Stewart would like members of Congress to know how crucial that post-adoption support is for adoptive families. They urge Congress, “Please ensure that adoptive parents have the necessary tools, resources and respite to raise a healthy, whole family.”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kristin Orphan and The Finally Home Band in Concert!!

Mark your calendars - Do not miss this concert!!! Kristin and her band have an amazing ability to bless and inspire you as they perform and share from their hearts. This is a great night for a date, or a family night. You will be blessed!!

Sunday - November 6th - Everyday Joe's in Old Town, Fort Collins - Doors open at 6pm - Concert begins at 6:30.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 each (kids 10 and younger are free).

All proceeds benefit Finally Home Foundation serving families in California, Colorado and Arizona.
Finally Home Foundation serves families is a powerful way!

Through a one-day family wellness event adoptive, foster and kinship families receive the tools they need to be successful in parenting children who have experienced trauma, grief and loss in their lives. There is a realization that hits parents at an event like this - they are not alone.

Invite your friends, co-workers, family and neighbors to attend.
Tickets will be available at the Welcome Child Table this weekend. If you are not going to be at Timberline and would like to purchase tickets, please call me at 430-1568 and we can make arrangements for you to get your tickets.

The facebook event page to share in your email or facebook page is:!/event.php?eid=133801556719731

Thank you!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Orphan Care Weekend at Timberline Church

Welcome Child would like you to join us on Orphan Care weekend November 5th and 6th.

Our theme this year is "Going Near".

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to
visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
James 1:27


*Leading worship in all weekend services:
Kristin Orphan and The Finally Home Band

*Orphan Ministry Information Tables in the mall area

November 6th at 11:30am
- "Going Near" Break-out sessions on: -Adoption -Foster Care -Orphan Ministry -Project 1.27 -Safe Families for Children

Timberline's Youth and Children's Ministries will be packing meals with Kids Against Hunger. Kids Blast (children's ministry) will pack meals at every service and our youth ministry will be packing meals on Sunday morning. Our goal is 17,000 meals packed! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Something is Wrong with Me

Me with Wendy - He is a treasure! :)

I adore all of the kids at Son of God. They are beautiful, precious and priceless children of God. Three boys there hold a special place in my heart. As soon as we arrived last Monday - Osnel, Ronjmmy and Wendy were by my side. Osnel and Ronjmmy are happy to receive any attention I give them and will just stand by me quietly. Wendy is more persistent and will grab my hand and insist that we make eye contact and talk.

Shortly after we arrived Wendy told us, "Something is wrong with me. I am getting smaller." He indicated by pulling on his clothes that everything was too big. What do you say to that? I was speechless. I gave him a big hug and told him that I loved him.

Due to the effects of malnutrition the kids are getting smaller. The food that we provide is sufficient, it is just being misappriopriated by those who care for the kids. For those of you who sponsor these kids financially I want to assure you that we are working hard at making contacts in Haiti that will hold the adults in this situation accountable in caring for the kids. I don't know what would happen to the kids if they weren't even getting a portion of the food that we provide.

Osnel is quiet. He will just stand by me and when I turn to him or put my arm around him, he looks up into my face with the most tender, genuine smile. Osnel has a terrible fungus that is all over his scalp. He had a deep sore that was on one of his ears that was filled with pus. The pus was oozing out of the sore, down his neck and onto his chest. I so wanted to take him somewhere and clean him up, put medicine on him and just hold him. I took his face in my hands and looked him in the eyes and told him how precious he was and how much I loved him. I didn't have an interpreter with me, but by the smile that lit up his face he seemed to understand what I was saying.

I have noticed the last couple of times that we have been to Haiti that Osnel and Ronjmmy are friends. They stand side by side - watching the activity that happens around them. Ronjmmy likes to stand by me and will lightly wrap him hand around my upper arm and then lay his face against my arm. He will smile shyly at me and then turn away when I smile back.

The power of touch is amazing! We all need to be touched by someone who loves us. The power of touch brings hope and healing. The power of touch commands loneliness to flee. The power of touch allows the body to relax. I am always amazed how the little ones beg to be picked up and how quickly they fall asleep on the shoulder of an adult who is holding them so lovingly and securely.

Jesus didn't have to touch people to heal them, but he did. Even the woman who risked touching the hem of Jesus' garment knew that there was power not only flowing through Jesus, but through touch (Matthew 9:19-22).

As we were getting ready to leave the orphanage Wendy grabbed our interpreter Samuel and brought him to me. His earnest, sincere eyes grabbed my attention, he said "I am little and I can't do much to help myself, but if you adopt me my life would be better". Tiffany and I could hardly control our emotions hearing those words come out of his mouth so seriously. I picked him up and hugged him tightly and told him how much I loved him and would be praying for him. Then he looked at me and said in english "God Bless You".

Those are sweet tender words that are forever etched on my heart.

There is a song that Sara Groves sings "I saw what I saw". It speaks the words that I feel about how the children at Son of God have touched my life. Their pain has changed me.

God has allowed us to feel a portion of how His heart grieves at the acts that are committed against His children. What should our response be?

God's mandate for those who follow him is that we are to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves". Proverbs 31:8

That act will look different for each of us. Here are some ways that you can speak up on behalf of these kids:
*Share their story with anyone who will listen - you never know who in your spere of influence has deep enough ties to Haiti that could open the door to freedom for these kids.
*Sign a petition to get CNN's attention that is linked to Tom Davis' blog post about Son of God -

Your act of obedience will have an effect on their lives!!