Journey Spring 2016
an alumni publication of Lifeline Childrenâ€™s Services
Is Jesus Enough The Brown Family
Finding hope in the midst of sorrow
Alex & Tristan Limbaugh insight from a new dad
How Country Side Christian Church has partnered with Families Count
Giving Back: Alumni Family Spotlight Joe Powell
Get Creative Floral Letters
a spring craft for kids
A letter from Herbie... Executive Director
elcome to the second issue of our new Alumni family magazine. Thank you for keeping up with what the Lord is doing in families throughout Lifeline’s ministry.
Much of adoption, fostering and serving vulnerable children is about the community that comes around us to encourage us through their own experiences, support us in tangible ways and pray for us. You will see this as a common thread in this issue – the body of Christ in the form of families coming to the aid of their brothers and sisters in need. We are privileged to share the story of the Browns, our first ever family to adopt from the Dominican Republic back in 2013. They share their powerful testimony of the provision of the Lord. Their family is choosing to find hope in the midst of deep sorrow. We highlight families who have used their resources and creativity to raise funds and help relieve the financial burden for families in the adoption process. We acknowledge families who have adopted and are now going back to serve by traveling shortterm with (un)adopted. In addition, we celebrate with Countryside Christian Church and their pastor Nate Bruns, who leads our Families Count parenting curriculum that is bringing Gospelcentered education and mentoring to families in crisis in Topeka, Kansas. He tells of this ministry being the spark that has lit a fire within their church to reach and love their community. And as we arrive at this season of honoring mothers and fathers, we share the joy and wisdom of a new father, Alex Limbaugh, one of our first dads through adoption from Kyrgyzstan. As we head into the summer season, we hope you will engage with us through our second year of Stand for Orphans or find a way to plug in with other families. Find out what’s going on around Lifeline in our calendar of events! If you have prayer needs or would like to be in touch with other families in your area, please know you can contact us. We pray for our families daily, and we are thankful to continue this journey with you.
What is Journey? Journey is an alumni publication dedicated to our families who have been through the adoption or foster care process. This is a way to stay in touch with Lifeline’s ministry, to celebrate along with other families as we include milestones and stories, and to encourage your walk with Christ and the wellbeing of your family in the days ahead!
What would you like to see in your next issue of Journey? We love hearing from you! Send us what you would love to read about in the next issue of journey to milestones@ lifelinechild.org!
-----------------Meet our cover family!
Herbert M. Newell, IV President & Executive Director
The Brown Family
photography by: EB photography and artistry
In this Issue... Milestones from Lifeline families just like you!
Devotion through the lens of Godâ€™s Love.
Giving Back: Alumni Family Spotlight Joe Powell serving as a Church Ambassador
Adoption Alex Limbaugh shares about the role of dads in adoption. Foster Care & Family Education Nate Bruns: Countryside Christian Church and their partnership with Families Count. Cover Story The Brown Family Is Jesus enough?
Families Helping Families The Waltchacks, the Greers, and the Dials are a few families that are helping others in the midst of adoption A Spring Craft Lets Get Crafty with these easy homemade floral letters!
3 5 6 7 9 11 15 19
Milestones JJ Kersey “JJ had his first piano recital on November 7th after only 2 lessons. He has now been in lessons for 5 months and it has completely changed his life. This is the first activity that he is able to do independently and he absolutely loves it. His first recital, of course, was an incredible accomplishment. More than that, piano is a special gift from the Lord that I hope he will continue to pursue throughout his life. JJ came home from China during 2012.” Peterstown, West Virginia
Caldwell Family Josh and Staci Caldwell, Lifeline Haiti family, welcomed home their son, Richardson, during March! Moses is now a big brother! Birmingham, Alabama
Letters to Lifeline Isaac McAllister This is Isaac McAllister, riding a “big boy bike” and doing his best to keep up with his big brothers! Isaac was adopted from Dominican Republic during 2014. He is the son of Harley and Abby McAllister. Spokane, Washington
We love hearing from you! Email your stories to:
milestones@ lifelinechild.org for a chance to be featured in our quarterly publication of Journey!
The Stephens Brothers This is a picture of Angelo and Jason visiting the Pentago in Washington, D.C. Angelo and Jason are the sons of Doug and Anna Stephens. They arrived home to Havana, Florida, from Peru during July of 2014. Havana, Florida
9 new families servings as foster parents
This is Lucas Crook, who arrived home from Colombia to Knoxville, Tennessee, in August 2015. He is making progress learning to walk with his walker! Photo sent from his mom and dad, Jennifer and Andy Crook.
Praising the Lord for nine new families were commissioned during March in South Carolina to serve as foster parents! They are surrounded by family and friends here! South Carolina
Journey Spring 2016
Through the Lens of God’s Love Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (ESV)
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (ESV)
his passage in Psalms highlights the blessing of children to a family; the writer affirms that children are a gift from the Lord. However, the author does not eliminate the responsibility of the family in raising children to be the bold witnesses for the Lord that God’s people desired. In fact, the emphasis in this passage is on the children who are grown and standing boldly beside their father as he faithfully addressed the injustice of his enemies. These parents have practiced Deuteronomy 6:4-9, continually discipling their children in the ways of the Lord. The parents stewarded the gift of children well as they raised them to love the Lord; as a result, their children engage strongly for justice. This passage is not meant to bring guilt or shame upon families who struggle with fertility or who have small families. Looking at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Elizabeth and Zechariah, and others in Scripture, we know that God does not cease His blessings when fruitfulness means small numbers. Rather, God blessed their faithfulness to Him for His glory and His purposes. God’s sovereignty over our families is certain; He sees; He loves; and He is working for His glory and your good. Embrace this passage because of what you have learned in relentlessly pursuing your child: children are a blessing and not an inconvenience; they are precious and not unwanted; they are valuable and not a hindrance. As you go about life with your child(ren), remember that some people may be fully supportive of your family and others may not be. In addition, there is no recipe for guaranteed “success” or a confirmation that all of our children will follow Christ wholeheartedly. As others watch you endure the challenges of adoption, they may question your sanity. You may question your sanity. No matter what, though, never forget the truth that your child is a gift from the Lord. He has blessed you with this precious gift and expects you to steward that gift well as parents. Love him; provide for her; pray for him; care for her; lead him in the ways of the Lord. As you do this, you will see your child and others through the lens of God’s love.
Alumni Family Spotlight
Giving Back: Serving as a Church Ambassador The Powell Family Tuscaloosa, Alabama
oe and Mikki Powell never wanted to be “that” family that pushed something they were called to onto their friends. However, after adopting their daughter Mary from China, they, along with a few other adoptive families, were able to celebrate the first ever Orphan Sunday at their church; now, they have continued organizing the event for three years running. From the Powell’s perspective, it has been amazing to see God’s people step up to support the cause of orphans. Also, this year something happened for which they had prayed for a long time: their church hosted a Lifeline informational meeting. This meeting was important to the Powells because another local church hosted a
similar meeting just over four years ago; it was in this meeting that they found out about Lifeline and would soon thereafter begin the process to adopt Mary. Over the last couple years, the Powells have hosted others from their church at the Lifeline annual banquet; introduced their pastor and staff to Lifeline; and put their church family in touch with Lifeline for local support through Lifeline’s maternity home, now located in Tuscaloosa. There are even more ways to get involved with Lifeline’s ministries, as the opportunities to plug in are truly limitless. Joe found that he wanted to continue his involvement by becoming a Church Ambassador—a connecting point between Lifeline and his church.
To Joe, being a Church Ambassador is really just about being available and being a conduit for information and outreach with the local church and pastor. “I’m glad Lifeline feels comfortable knowing they can call on us for a local need,” says Joe. “I learned from a faithful man a while back to simply be available; and if I don’t know how to provide for the need I will let the Lord bless me in figuring it out. Lifeline invested in us as adoptive parents, and we know the ministry of Lifeline is real and makes a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, birth moms, and adoptive and foster parents. And, because we were blessed to see the love expressed by Lifeline staff every step of the way in our adoption, we now are led to help.” To find out more about serving as a Church Ambassador in your community, call Sarah Temple at (205) 967-0811 or email Sarah.Temple@lifelinechild. org.
The Powell Family (left to right): Jack, Mikki, Mary, Joe and Max
“I learned from a faithful man a while back to simply be available; and if I don’t know how to provide for the need I will let the Lord bless me in figuring it out.”
Journey Spring 2016
Ud exeraessisi. MetueraNulla commy nim alit
Ud exeraessisi. MetueraNulla commy nim alit
Alex and his son, Tristan.
Becoming Tristan’s Dad From Alex and Geneva Limbaugh Birmingham, Alabama
miniat. Illa con utet nulput
lex and Geneva Limbaugh began their adoption process in September of 2014 and returned home with their son, Tristan, on February 6, 2016. It was this process that allowed the Limbaughs to become parents, and Alex to become a dad.
As a first-time father, particularly through adoption, Alex could often get lost in the waiting. The days of uncertainty, the lack of information, and the seemingly insurmountable paperwork and details needed to complete the process were weighty. Though there were many times of discouragement, the Limbaughs found a unique way to combat discouragement while also strengthening their marriage. Throughout the adoption process, to keep their minds from falling into the depths negativity and discouragement, they would go out for coffee or dinner a couple times a week and have what they called “parenting meetings.”
Together, they would discuss and brainstorm different issues they may have to face as parents. Alex looks back on these meetings as a tremendous help during the process, “They were not only helpful in discussing real situations that we may face, but they also helped us support each other through not only the difficult times of waiting out the process, but it also helped us both see what kind of great things were to come for us. We often finished these meetings feeling excitement and anticipation about what was to come rather than discouragement over the wait of it all.” While they were waiting, the news came that they would likely be parents to a son. Alex began to envision all of the things he could do with his son, such as athletics, reading, and riding a bike. He realized that these activities were all things that he liked to do but may not necessarily be things his son would enjoy. His wife’s perspective helped Alex to develop an excitement about a multitude of
bonding possibilities—that included an appreciation for a child’s uniqueness. He says of his wife’s influence on him as a new father, “Her perspective really has helped me becoming a father because we have a child with a unique personality. He has unique likes, dislikes, and he may not always want to do the things I want to do with him, but he definitely wants to bond and it has been great to experience this adjustment with my perspective and with the reality of it all.” Alex’s visions of bonding would not be completely altered, though. He tells a story of the first time Tristan kicked a soccer ball: “Tristan told our translator that he wanted to play, but the ball and the boys were too big. I wasn’t going to let that stop Tristan from playing soccer! Geneva and I went to Bishkek Park Mall and bought a miniature soccer ball . . . and though his coordination was not great, he gave it everything he had and kicked the ball to me. He absolutely LOVED it. His little laugh was harder than we had heard it in all 10 days with him.” Though the journey has not been easy for the Limbaughs or Tristan, Alex relishes the role and the weight of being Tristan’s father. He understands all that Tristan has been through and how a young boy whose favorite Christmas present
was clean socks “has every right to be sad, bitter, angry, and upset about everything he has been through.” But, the Limbaughs admire him so much for his overcoming spirit, and Alex states that Tristan’s resiliency “really kind of kicks me in the face when I start to feel negative about things.” As a father, Alex’s two biggest pieces of advice for fellow men follow: • Make sure you are equally present and available for your adopted child, especially right after your child is placed with you. • Most importantly, always have faith in God. The whole process of adoption was the strongest test to my faith I have ever had and I feel that it strengthened my trust in God immensely. God was even in control during our discouragement in the times of waiting because Tristan was not yet available for international adoption until right before we got our match. God knew Tristan was the child for us. As a new dad, Alex enjoys seeing how the adoption process has helped him to truly appreciate what God has done in adopting us and loving us perfectly as His children. He is very excited that Tristan will now have the opportunity come to know this kind of love God has for His children.
The Limbaugh Family meeting Tristan for the first time.
Journey Spring 2016
Foster Care & Family Education
“The Spark” by Nate Bruns Pastor, Countryside Christian Church Topeka, Kansas
ost leaders, especially church pastors, are on the lookout for a spark that would ignite a fire within the hearts of the people inside their organization and those whom they are trying to reach. This is a constant battle between your individual reality and the dreams that are flowing within your heart. Last April, we saw the spark ignite into a fire that is still burning. That spark came after Countryside agreed to launch Families Count, a six-week parenting class that focuses on how God has created each of us specifically for His purposes. During the first class, it came time for us to read from the Bible. The passage to be read was from Genesis 1:31. A young mom in the class spoke up, “I will read. But I have a speech impediment.” I replied, “It is ok. Go ahead and read if you feel comfortable.”
Red Border Magazine • Issue 285 www.lifelinechild.org
The scripture could not have been taught better than it did when it came out of the mouth of the mom in a broken fashion that evening, “God saw what He had created and it was very good.” The silence that followed in that moment was beautiful. The Holy Spirit knew before anyone had said yes to the class—before the teachers, before the students, before the curriculum was ever written—that mom, on that night, was going to read that passage and begin to understand how perfectly she was crafted by God. The spark started to look more like a flame. One year later, we have had the privilege of facilitating six sessions of Families Count classes. Parents have been taught how God loves them and, in turn, how God’s love is intended to define their love for themselves and their children. Single and married parents have had the opportunity to choose a mentoring relationship, giving
Foster Care & Family Education
them a true example of a friend. Children have come and had the love of Christ lavished on them by faithful servants, who believe God can use them to change the world. Example after example could be written of attendees and servants alike that have been changed by the truth of Scripture. In a nutshell, the beauty of the “spark” can only be ignited by God and fanned by His Spirit. Our role as disciples is not to attempt to start fires but, rather, to be willing to allow the spark to ignite hearts in whatever way possible. This will not always be flashy; this might not be popular, or “look right.” But, without a doubt, the spark that is of God, will turn into a flame, and when flames begin to burn in the hearts and souls of people, no one can deter what is of God.
To get your church involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journey Spring 2016
David and Ryann Brownâ€™s Children (left to right): Asher, Noelle , Rebekah, Lilah and Sarah
Is Jesus Enough From The Brown Family Huntsville, Alabama
doption and foster parenting involve struggles and opportunities for the Lord to show Himself strong in each family’s situation. There are struggles through the prayers that come when a family is led to adopt or to foster, the vulnerability of the home study process, the financial obligations, the waiting, and the lifetime commitment to parent or to be a safe place for a child from hard places. Sometimes adoption or foster parenting seems to be an open invitation to pain. And sometimes you may ask yourself, “Is Jesus enough”? The Brown family began their adoption process for the Dominican Republic during August of 2012, when the CONANI, the governing body of adoption in that country, first put out a waiting children list. Having had four biological children and difficult pregnancies with each, David and Ryann decided to add to their family through adoption. They ultimately chose the Dominican Republic because they had missionaries from their church serving there, and they knew the timeframe to be in country was a long one at 4 to 6 months. They were in a unique situation where they could move their family there. At that time, only about 5 children per year were adopted from the Dominican Republic. Their process went very quickly – they started in August of 2012 and traveled to the Dominican Republic in May of 2013. They came home with Asher and Lilah, who were 4 and 3 years old, during September of 2013, bringing a brother and sister home with their children Sarah, 8, Rebekah, 7, Micah, 4, and Noelle, 2. Arriving home, the real journey began as they discovered Asher was profoundly deaf. They struggled to find services for him. Ryann recalls Asher’s behavior being so volatile at times that she feared taking him out in public. They set out to learn sign language tried to meet the needs of their children with this new set of challenges. Through the support of their church and friends
and family, they began to settle in. On May 12, 2014, Ryann was on the way to pick up Asher and Lilah from school when a truck collided with their SUV. On that day, their son Micah went to be with the Lord, and their two daughters Sarah and Rebekah were hospitalized with critical injuries. Rebekah remained at a Huntsville hospital, while Sarah was taken to a children’s hospital in Birmingham. Eventually, Rebekah was also moved to Birmingham to the children’s hospital there. Their family moved temporarily to Birmingham during the time that Sarah and Rebekah remained hospitalized. On June 5th, Sarah was released from the hospital, and on July 10th, Rebekah was released from the hospital though many doctor’s visits, therapy and life changes were required and continue today. As David has phrased it, at first caring for Rebekah was much like newborn care, except she was a little harder to move around and is WAY stronger than a newborn! There were times the couple was overcome with sadness for Rebekah’s limitations. They knew what she was capable of before the accident, and to see her so confined to her situation was so hard. In the weeks that followed Rebekah’s release from the hospital and no interruptions from doctors or nurses in a hospital room, there was a lot more quiet time to sit and think. Their new reality weighed heavy on their hearts, and at times they felt crushed under that weight and could not see the world in light of anything other than the pain of their situation. In spite of the hard times and the pain, God still showed mercy and put things in front of them to change their perspective. During the weeks immediately following their family’s accident, Ryann and David kept friends and family updated through their posts on a website. One of David Brown’s posts was labeled “Is Jesus Enough?”, from just weeks after the ac-
Journey Spring 2016
cident happened. It is below. “Is Jesus Enough?” I have been wrestling through this question today as I think about our past three and a half weeks. In my head, I have always thought “sure... Jesus is enough”, and at some level believed that. Still, there was this underlying Americanized view that is more like “Jesus and the American dream is enough”. A few years back, God started chipping away at this view. He allowed us to go through some hard times with health issues, hard times with the adoption of Asher and Lilah, and hard times in our marriage. Each of these exposed a little more of my warped view of God being enough. Each time I had to wrestle with whether, by taking something away, God would no longer be enough. Each time God has been faithful and has carried me through those hard things. Each time God has shown that he truly is enough even if everything else falls apart around me. In our current situation, God continues to give us the strength to carry on. So often, that strength is applied to us through the prayers and ministering of others to us. To be upheld by God is a wonderful thing and so often He uses the body of Christ to do it.” Today, the Brown family is a continual picture of perseverance and grace. Their family has transitioned back to Huntsville, and Rebekah continues to progress. They have seen small and joyful milestones like Rebekah laughing for the first time, sitting up for the first time, and most recently being able to bend her knee in order to stand and practice walking! In times of immense sorrow, David and Ryann find that looking to Jesus breathes life back into them, and not because they have new circumstances, but new perspective. “Looking back, I see how much we thought we could meet the needs our children, that we could do all these things ourselves,” says Ryann. “Though I would not have asked God for these circumstances, I see how He has provided for our family in the midst of such pain. Asher has benefitted hugely from attending his school, he has a language now, and we have a rock solid bond. Our children are learning that our hope cannot be in physical things – our hope is complete in what Jesus did on the cross for
us. I have seen people in my life that were not Believers come to know Christ through our situation. We learn to search for the good, and it is there.” Sarah is now in 5th grade, Rebekah is in 4th grade and attends school, Lilah is in Kindergarten and Noelle is in Preschool. Asher, now 7 years old, attends the Alabama School for the Deaf. One of the scriptures on the wall of the facebook page that has been used by family and friends as a tool for updates includes this verse: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert,” Isaiah 43:19. We are thankful to David and Ryann for sharing their story with us, and sharing their sorrows and joys with a community that is watching the Lord work through them day by day.
If you would like to join us as we continue to pray with the Brown family and their community of family and friends, here are a few specific ways to pray: •For the family’s continued journey, and especially as the children ask hard questions, that their hope would not be in physical or visual healing for their sister, but that they would have assurance that their hope is already complete in Jesus. •That Rebekah’s cognitive improvement would catch up with her physical improvements! •That in time, Ryann and David would see that Rebekah understands and that they see the good come from this situation for her sake.
Remember Micah on his birthday: The Browns and their circle of friends celebrate Micah’s life each year around his birthday. In memory of his life, a scholarship fund was started to help other adopting families. For information on the Micah Brown Scholarship Fund contact Krisha Yanko at (205) 967-0811.
Noelle and Lilah, the two youngest children in the family signing “ I love you”.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year Many of our families who have adopted from the same country share a close bond with one another. We have seen this displayed through various reunions throughout the year!
Georgia Chinese New Year February 6th, at Crossroads Church in Newnan, Georgia.
Birmingham Chinese New Year February 27th at the Chinese Christian Church in Birmingham.
Journey Spring 2016
Families Helping Families
Families Helping Families From The Waltchacks, Greers, and the Dials Families Helping Families: One of the biggest hurdles for families who are considering adoption is the cost of this process. During the past few years, adoption costs have increased and can seem overwhelming for families who struggle to think of how they can chip away at these expenses. We wanted to highlight a few families that have been through this experience themselves and, in turn, have been led to help other adopting families in creative ways— from kettle corn to pumpkins to pictures with Santa! We are thankful for these families and others who are helping bring children home to their forever families.
The Dial Family Beau and Wendy Dial Hayden, Alabama Mallory (8), Ada (5), and Ames (1)
When God is in the midst, even crazy ideas become tools for His work! When Beau and Wendy Dial realized the adoption of their son was suddenly very close, they needed to get creative about ways to raise funds and use the talents of friends that had offered to help. With the holidays coming, they had the idea to do mini photo sessions with Santa at their farm and use that money for their adoption costs. Beau knew of a “Santa” that attended his sister’s church. He tracked down his number, and convinced him to come for a few photo shoots. Beau thought they would hire him for just a few hours. As soon as he got off the phone, he called their friend Deidre of Deidre Ruth Photography that had offered her help. She agreed to take the photos, and they sprang into action with a quick Facebook campaign. Their friend Jada offered to handle the scheduling and bookkeeping. They calculated that they would do one photo shoot every 15 minutes. In less than 30 minutes, they had filled up all the spots. After calling Santa and their friend back multiple times to ask for more time because they kept filling the photo spots up after extending to Saturday morning, and then to the following Sunday afternoon, and then in to the next weekend, they had their first event. Santa wouldn’t let them pay him a dime, and neither would their friends who helped. “We suddenly knew this was only beginning of this,” says Beau. That was 2014, and during this past year there were 165 families that came through their farm for photos shoots with Santa to support adoption! They raised nearly $11,000, and all of that money went to two Lifeline families in the adoption process. Because of the generosity of businesses, the time and work invested by family and friends, there are no expenses from the event. They now transport families in a covered wagon to and from the barn, have baby farm animals on hand for viewing, have hot chocolate and cookies, and Christmas ornaments for purchase made by the adoptive families they are partnering with. It takes about 30 volunteers to pull off the event, but family and friends are always eager to help. They have come up with an application process to ensure the families are truly in need of assistance, and are committed to their adoption process. “God is good,” says Beau, “we smile thinking about what He has done through our crazy idea!”
Families Helping Families
The Greer Family Brandon and Meredith Greer Rainbow City, Alabama
Cooper (10), Avery (7), Ella (5) Brandon Greer and his family have a heart for orphans and for families who are adopting. They understand the process and the stress that financing an adoption can bring, as they walked the same journey a few years ago to adopt their daughter Ella from China. Greer and his brother started Kettle Brothers Gourmet Kettle Corn, a gourmet kettle corn business, in October of 2015. As they were developing the business plan, they wanted to build in ways to help other families, with profits and opportunities. “We know first-hand how it feels when you are trying to raise funds to bring home your child, and that’s why we wanted to be able to bless others,” Brandon reveals. They came up with a plan to help families fundraise by selling kettle corn and also made provisions to give to families who need assistance throughout the year. The Kettle Brothers Gourmet Kettle Corn is in its beginning phase but is gearing up for growth. The product is already in a few stores, with several other grocery stores in line for product sales throughout this year. The company is also prepared to start fundraising for families who are looking for a fun and easy fundraiser. “We have a heart for the unadopted and for families who are in the process. We want to help as many families as possible to experience adoption without having the feeling of a large financial burden,” Brandon says. You may contact Kettle Brothers Gourmet Kettle Corn at www.kettlebros.com.
The Waltchack Family Derek and Rushton Waltchack Birmingham, Alabama Rollins (11), Anne Rainey (9), Henry (6), Mei Sims (5), Colley (3)
During 2014, Derek and Rushton Waltchack were in the midst of their second adoption from China. They were feeling the weight of the money needed to complete the adoption. Then, they had a fun idea: they would grow pumpkins on their family farm and then sell them in a “pumpkin patch” in their front yard in suburban Birmingham, Alabama. “Everyone buys at least one pumpkin in the fall, so we figured why not give people the chance to shop with a purpose, rather than trying to get them to buy something they do not need,” Rushton explained. They thought that “if” they made any money on that first pumpkin sale they would use it to help fund their adoption. Well, that first sale was so much of a success that they were able to complete the funding for their own adoption and give a donation to another family! “We’ve been surprised at how much people love the pumpkins and love knowing their money does so much more than simply decorate their house for the fall,” Rushton reflects. While planning the second year of the sale, the Waltchacks picked families to receive financial help, and everyone worked together with their kids planting pumpkin seeds, harvesting, setting up for the sale, spreading the word, and then working at the sale. Sales doubled from the first year, and they allowed local vendors Steel City Pops and The Salsa Lady to come and sell their goods if they would make a donation toward the sale. Each year over 1,000 pumpkins have sold out! So far, there have been four “pumpkin babies,” three of which are home, and one will be coming home soon. “We love our China babies and would never want finances to be the reason for a family to say they couldn’t adopt. We know adoption is super expensive. So this is our way of continuing to help children find their homes. Plus, its really fun,” says Rushton. “It is a lot of work but it is mind-blowing how much God has blessed this venture,” Rushton says with a smile. And word travels fast about pumpkin patches! Rushton has heard from a family in Tennessee that they will be trying their hand at a pumpkin sale this coming fall, also to raise money for more families. The Powell Family Children: Jack (16), Max (13), Mary (4)
Journey Spring 2016
How to Plug-in
How can we plug in? Go to lifelinechild.org/events to see how you can get involved! Over the years, youâ€™ve told us you want to help but sometimes wonder how you can! Here is a heads up on some things happening later this year and some specific ways you can help over the next few months, and connect with other familes.
RUN FOR ONE + Birmingham Family Reunion: August 20th Runforone5k.org
GOLF TOURNAMENT: MAY 23rd
KIDS CAMP HUNTSVILLE: June 29th
Birmingham, Alabama lifelinechild.org/events
Calendar of Events
STAND FOR ORPHANS Standfororphans.org
Participate in VBS Missionkid.org
ted Sponsorsh p o d a ) ip (un
SPONSOR A CHILD THROUGH (UN)ADOPTED Lifelinechild.org/Sponsor Holistic care for orphaned and vulnerable children
Calendar of Events Name:
Stand for 12 Huntsville Annual Mailing Address: Orphans Fundraising Event
14 Kickin’ it for Kids:
(all summer long)
20 Run for One
(Birmingham, GA, NC, RWYA) + Birmingham family reunion
Interested in connecting with other adoptive families in your area?
To know that a community of families that have faced similar challenges and are now on the other side can be so encouraging. If this is you, we would love to connect you
Family Kickball Is there a specific country in which you’re intersted in sponsoring? to other families that are newly home or Tournament who may be going through a challenging o China o Uganda
time. Contact Regina Maiden on our 17 Men’s LunchIf you’re interested in child sponsorship, is there a certain child you post-adoption team at Stand for are interested in sponsoring? (If not, simply leave blank) 23 Lifeline’s 11th Regina.Maiden@lifelinechild.org. Orphans
Annual Celebrity Child’s Name: (all summer long) Classic
A SPRING CRAFT pesonalized floral letters
Resources Our post-adoption and foster care team recommends these online articles for foster or adoptive parents needing wisdom and encouragement!
WEB Empowered to Connect: “Precious in His Sight” – a 20-minute video link where Dr. Karen Purvis shares insights on how we are created by God to connect with others. http://empoweredtoconnect.org/precious-
what you need: paper mache letters (there are 8’’ and 12’’) exacto knife floral foam glue gun wire cutters or strong scissors silk flowers
4 easy steps to making floral letters How To Make : 1] Using an exacto knife, cut off the front of the letters and hollow out carefully.
in-his-sight/ Online Article: “To the Parents of Foster Parents” http://herviewfromhome.com/to-the-parents-of-foster-parents/ Jason Johnson Blog: “To Adoptive and Foster Parents: Reframing Your Season of Struggle” http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/blog/reframing-your-season-of-struggle The Gospel Coalition: “Wanted: Parents Willing to Get Too Attached” http://www.thegospelcoalition. org/article/wanted-parents-willing-to-gettoo-attached
2] Cut floral foam into shapes that fit letter and secure with glue
3] Trim the silk blooms off, leaving a short stem, and position into the foam. You can reinforce with glue, if necessary.
BOOKS Parenting the Hurt Child by
4] Arrange happily!front (and back) any way you’d like.
tial tool for anyone struggling to walk with
Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky. “The best hope for parenting a hurt child is knowledge. Get started here.” Ready or Not (30 Day Discovery for Battle Weary Parents) by Pam Parish. “An essentheir kids through difficulties.”
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