Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 8, A Call to Action

Today I’m going to focus on something other than our visits to see the boys.  Although, I do have to mention that Conner took his first steps, independently, today!!!  We captured some of his steps on video, along with our usual daily videos, which you can view HERE.


Today I’m going to focus on how YOU can do something about the orphan crisis.  How YOU can make a difference.  How YOU can help bring a smile to a lonely, forgotten, neglected orphan.


Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 026


Lots of people will say that we should just give up because we can’t save the world.  That would be the easy way out.  We CAN change the world, one life at a time.  It’s not easy, but every single one of us can play a role in helping orphans, some way, some how.


Adopt.  Help another family adopt.  Sponsor an orphan.  Sponsor an orphanage.  Pray for orphans to find forever families and to be lovingly cared for and provided for until then.  Start an orphan ministry at your church.  Educate others about the orphan crisis.  Become a foster parent.  Volunteer with children in your community who are at shelters or have aged out of the foster system.  Contact a Christian foster care agency and ask how you can help if you aren’t able to become a foster parent.  Go on a mission trip to visit orphans and serve at an orphanage.  Advocate for orphans.  Support orphan care.  Volunteer to help a family who has adopted.  Spread the word.  Ask God to open your eyes, to break your heart for what breaks His, to show you the role He wants you to take in living out James 1:27.


There are so many organizations out there that help orphans.  Pray about which one you’d like to get involved with.  Research.  Ask for references.  Check references.  Make sure the agencies are accountable and have high integrity.  Find the place where God wants to use you and dive in.


If you feel called to adopt, ask God to lead you to the agency and/or child He wants you to adopt.  He will show you.  He will lead you.  He WILL provide.  There are so many excuses for not adopting, but most of those are just that:  excuses.  Stop making excuses and start taking action.  Little lives, precious treasures, are waiting for you.


In Texas, it is free to adopt via the Texas foster care system.  They also provide free in-state college tuition, as well as Medicaid for all children adopted through the foster system.  And, if the child has special needs or fits into a special category defined by the Texas foster care system, the state will pay you a monthly stipend, even after you’ve adopted from state care, as long as you negotiate this prior to the adoption finalization.  (We’ve never adopted via the foster system, simply because God hasn’t arranged this for our family, but there are many successful adoptions from state foster systems.)


Foster parenting is an amazing way to live out James 1:27.  Children in foster care desperately need loving, stable, Christian families to love on them, guide them, and train them up in their foster journey to a forever family.  It takes a very special person to foster parent.  Could this be you?


Many of you have asked about Sasha.  From what I can find, he is not yet available for international adoption.  I am going to make it a mission of mine to find him a forever family, but first, he must be available for international adoption.  That’s something that must happen here in Ukraine, and it usually involves someone persevering through the paperwork.  I’m praying for God to provide that someone who is willing and able to get Sasha listed for international adoption.  Once he’s available, I will share more info about him.  He has the longest eyelashes and the most bubbly personality of any child in our boys’ groupa.  He’s a gem, that’s for sure.


On our blog, we have a link that lists a variety of ways you can help orphans.  It’s under the tab “Adoption Resources”.  Click HERE to access it.  There are FAR more ways to help, this is just a collection of resources I can personally vouch for.  I’m going to copy and paste that page here, so you don’t even have to click to view the contents of our resource page.  I’m making it as easy as I can to help you find a place/way to plug in.


Don’t give up on saving the world.  Just start one child at a time.  Your investment of prayer, time, and resources will make a difference.  I promise.


Here’s my cut/paste version of our adoption resources page, followed by some photos of today’s visit to the boys. Smile

Adoption Resources

Here are a few of my favorite resources for adoption.

(Click on each title to visit the website for each resource.)

Please add your favorite resources in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

Helpful Literature Before You Adopt:

(or once you're in it and need some help!)

  • The Connected Child (book by Dr. Karyn Purvis), a MUST-READ for ANY family wanting to adopt or for those who have already adopted and want/need some help! This is THE BEST adoption book out there!!!
  • Empowered to Connect (Dr. Karyn Purvis, Michael and Amy Monroe join forces to give parents a TON of resources and helpful info about adoption/fostering, attachment, what to expect, how to handle things, etc.). Extremely helpful info and support for adoptive families!
  • Institute of Child Development at TCU (Dr. Karyn Purvis), Lots of info for helping kids from hard places/adopted kiddos.

Click HERE to learn the rules and requirements to adopt from ANY country. This is an AWESOME site, sponsored by the US government, so the information found here is accurate.

Sites that Might Lead You to Your Kiddo(s):

  • Eli Project
  • Reece's Rainbow Home Page (Non-Profit Special Needs and Down Syndrome Adoption Advocacy)
  • Rainbow Kids (you can sign up to receive email updates, newsletters, and you can even specify which ages/types of kiddos you're willing to adopt and receive emails about kids who fit into your criteria)
  • CHASK (special needs adoption of babies in the US, plus disrupted adoption re-homing)
  • Hope for Orphans (Love the founders of HFO, lots of great info, particularly helpful for those wanting to start an adoption ministry in their church)
  • Together for Adoption (T4A) (lots of helpful all-around adoption info)
  • Domestic Adoption Info (info from a bloggy friend)

Adoption Gear/Fundraising:

Adoption Grants/Funding:


Help for Families Parenting Seriously RAD

(and other diagnoses) Kiddos:

  • Families by Design, Nancy Thomas with Attachment Parenting. Tons of helpful info for MAJORLY challenging kids (RAD, ODD, Bipolar, Tourette's, ADHD, etc.). Life-saving help and encouragement for those who are seriously considering disrupting an adoption!
  • Empowered to Connect (stay connected, don't lose heart, there's a community of support here for you!)
  • Institute of Child Development at TCU (Dr. Karyn Purvis), Lots of info for help with "challenging" kids
  • The Connected Child (book by Dr. Karyn Purvis), This is THE BEST adoption book out there and it will help you understand your child's actions. It's not the child; it's their history that they had no control over. They didn't choose to be abused, neglected, abandoned. Help them heal.

Other Ways to Help Orphans (without adopting):

  • Just click HERE to read a list compiled by another blogger
  • Back the Blocks, support a big adoptive family serving in Guatemala:



And now, I’ll share a few photos from Day 8 in Kremenchuk:

Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 004

Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 003

Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 012

Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 028

Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 029

Day 8, Kremenchuk morning visit 002

Day 8, Kremenchuk, evening visit 031

Day 8, Kremenchuk morning visit 013

Day 8, Kremenchuk morning visit 016

Day 8, Kremenchuk morning visit 019

Day 8, Kremenchuk morning visit 020

BTW, Ukrainian hot chocolate is melted chocolate with an almond or two in it.  Didn’t know that. Smile

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