an alumni publication of Lifeline Childrenâ€™s Services
Multicultural Blessings The Bamberg & Agoston Families honoring their childrens heritage
Fostering Love The Courtney Family
Bringing Home Multiples The Sanjines Family
Back to School Tips For Educators getting the kids ready for another great school year
Why We Go Back when families return to serve
A letter from Herbie... President & Executive Director
elcome to the August issue of Journey. We hope you have had a refreshing summer and were able to take some time to be together as a family.
It goes without saying that there are many unknowns in the process of adopting and fostering. We are privileged to share the stories of several families in this monthâ€™s magazine that have experienced the Lordâ€™s perfect plan for their family, even if it turned out very different from their own plans. There were hard roads in the process. Whether parenting children from multiple countries like the Agostons and the Bambergs, or going from having zero to three children within a matter of days like the Sanjines family, it is refreshing to hear that all of these families encourage their children to find their ultimate identity in Christ before any country or physical family. Our milestones this month include celebrating with the Hurtado family as they have watched all three of their children be baptized over the past few months. Our foster care feature this month includes a powerful poem from the daughter of one of our foster families in South Carolina, as she gives her perspective on sharing her home and her life with two girls for the past several months. As summer comes to a close, we have seen pictures of lots of lemonade being sold through these hot months! We are so thankful that #StandforOrphans has grown and is giving children across the country a way to love their neighbors. As we go to print in mid-July, more than 230 families across 26 states are registered to hold a stand, and so far we have raised more than $87,000. Your kids can still do a stand through August 31st. You can still register at www.standfororphans.org.
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 Lifelineâ€™s ministry, to celebrate along with other families as we include milestones and stories, and to encourage your walk with Christ and the well-being 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!
Thank you for keeping up with our ministry. We pray as a staff each day, and our prayers include your family as you seek to disciple your children in the ways of the Lord. We hope this issue continues to encourage you.
Herbert M. Newell, IV
Meet our cover family! The Bambergs: (left to right) Reece, Ava, Trent, Kristie, Lily, & Mary Ashtyn photography by: Susan Smelley Photography
In this Issue... Milestones from Lifeline families just like you!
Devotion Our worth is in the Lord
Why We Go Back
Families share on going back to serve Bringing Home Multiples
How God led a couple to adopt three siblings Fostering Love
a foster sisters perspective on foster care
Cover Story The Bamberg & Agoston Families share on honoring their childrens heritage Stand For Orphans Check out whats been happening with Stand For Orphans in summer 2016 Tips for Back to School for Educators Enjoy these tips as you prepare your kids for this upcoming school year
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Milestones The Hurtado Family Isaiah, Diana and Rudy Hurtado were adopted from Costa Rica during August of 2014. All three children accepted Christ as their Savior earlier this year, and were baptized before their church family! We are praising the Lord with them and their parents Randy and April! Texas
The Brumfield Family “Celebrating our Braxton becoming a Brumfield was a dream come true! Our joy cannot be described!” They adopted Braxton after being his foster parents. Birmingham, Alabama
Joshua Riddle This is Joshua’s preschool graduation! Joshua has been home for five years and enjoys new opportunites for learning! Chelsea, Alabama
Letters to Lifeline 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 Cruz Family Lifeline Childrenâ€™s Services led Dan and Julie Cruz of Pennsylvania through the first ever adoption in Haiti under the newly implemented Hague Convention procedures for the country. This milestone is monumental for Haiti and families who are seeking to adopt from this country, as it represents the culmination of years of transition to the Hague process for Haiti. The Cruz family is the first family to complete a Hague adoption in Haiti, and Lifeline is the first agency to guide a family through a Hague adoption in Haiti.
Madison Willis Madison Willis, who came home to Alabama from China on February 9, 2012. It is her preschool graduation! Her parents are Ernie and Michelle Willis.
Journey Summer 2016
Our Worth is in the Lord
by Jenny Riddle, Content Coordinator, Lifeline Children’s Services
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (ESV) Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (ESV)
efore sin had entered this world, God perfectly created man and woman in His image. They were His image-bearers, and they were complete in every way. But, then sin infiltrated every piece of God’s creation. Humankind’s hearts, souls, and bodies experienced the effects of the Fall. Today we see many of those effects, as families are broken apart, as bodies struggle with physical challenges, as minds struggle to process the simple and the complex. However, the writer of Psalm 139 expressed his gratitude to God for creating him in a wonderful way. He gave a picture of God intricately and personally creating his person in his mother’s womb. These verses were written after the Fall, indicating that all of our uniqueness or special abilities are still wonderful and are still part of God’s plan in our lives. We may deal with the effects of sin every day, but we can be confident that God created us with His mighty hand for His sovereign purpose and rejoices in us as His image bearers. God values His people.
Your children may have never heard that they are valuable before they walked into your home. They may have special needs that were regarded as cursed, or their status in society may have been regarded as less-than-desirable. Or maybe they are just kids who never grew up hearing about the love of their Creator. Tell them. With your actions. With your words. Tell them. Tell them that God knows them and created them, with all of their uniqueness, in His image. No matter their past, no matter their abilities—He values them and loves them. And, so do you. As school is starting, you may have a child who struggles. You may have a child who excels. You may have a child who is just realizing that his or her own unique needs are different than most. You may have any number of challenges that present this school year. You may have an incredible year. In either circumstance, use your words wisely, to ground your children’s value in the One who endowed them with that value. Their worth is in the Lord, and their recognition of this truth will help them place confidence in the right place—the One who made them wonderfully.
Alumni Family Spotlight
Why We Go Back The Beard Family
Gulf Breeze, Florida
e asked two families to share their experiences going back and serving with (un)adopted in China. Thanks to the Beards and to Shelley Mansfield for sharing with us! What made you decide to go serve with (un)adopted, and take your kids? We took all five of our children (ages ranging from 1 to 12) to China when we adopted our daughter Rachel in 2014. We took a few days to explore and visit all the tourist attractions in Beijing. While in Beijing, we were able to take our children to visit a medical special needs foster home. They were able to hold, love, and play with kids there. Our greatest goal as parents is for our children to really know and experience the gospel of Jesus
Christ in their hearts and minds. After lots of prayer once we were home from adopting, we decided that the additional cost of taking one of our children on an (un) adopted trip was truly an investment in their hearts and future.
est son, Noah, who is 12 traveled with me.
Describe your experiences? We had great experiences on both trips. One thing I would share is the importance of all the roles on the trip. As a “medical trip,” it would seem that One reason I chose to travel with the doctor and nurse would have (un)adopted is because of their the most important role, but I heart for the gospel—providing have found the opposite to be medical care and meeting the true. Each role is so important, needs of ALL the orphans, not from the photographer, who just the select few with adoption can capture the personality of a files. waiting child; to the teacher, who can provide prospective adoptive Where have you gone with (un) parents an accurate portrayal of adopted? a child’s In 2014, six months home from development; to the general our first adoption, we traveled volunteers, who can share the to Chongqing, Fuling, and Love love of Christ with orphanage Manor. Our oldest child, Ashlynn, staff and officials and show the who was age 13 at the time, love of Christ by holding and traveled with me. In 2016, we praying over each orphan we traveled to Lingshan CWI, Beihei encountered. Ashlynn and Noah SWI, and Guilin SWI and our old- both were able to take photos of the kids and to play with them and love on them. They were an essential part of the team, too.
Jeff and Ashlynn Beard
Jeff and Noah Beard
The Beard Family
Journey Summer 2016
Alumni Family Spotlight (continued)
Shelley Mansfield Annandale, Virginia Married to Shawn, with six children—three biological and three adopted: Avery, 20 yrs; Emily, 18 yrs; Sarah, 15 yrs; Lauren, 12 yrs; AnnaGrace, 8 yrs; and Matthew, 6yrs. When did you travel with (un)adopted, and where did you go? I traveled with (un)adopted in August of 2015. We went to Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China, to work with the nannies at the Lifeline foster center. Did your adoption experience contribute to going back to China to serve? My adoption experience absolutely led me back to China to serve. Our 3rd adoption was a son who lived in Suixi, the orphanage from where most of the children in the foster center come. When given the opportunity to return to work with those children, I was thrilled. Suixi was a difficult place to visit on our adoption trip with Matthew; I left a
part of my heart there. So, it was a tremendous blessing to serve in the foster center and see the miraculous transformations in the children and the commitment that Lifeline has to ALL the children in Suixi, not just the ones being adopted. What did you do during your trip? Our team included therapists who were training the nannies from the foster center, as well as caregivers for the children so the nannies could attend the training. I was on the caregiving team and was able to spend five wonderful days caring for and loving on the children in the foster center. We also had the opportunity to visit the orphanage in Suixi, which was a special visit for me because my son lived there for 4 ½ years. Is there one specific highlight from your trip that stands out? Oh mercy! Not just one! Of course, seeing the foster center—seeing the amazing, life-changing work that Lifeline
is doing in the lives of the children in the foster center. Also, visiting Suixi and seeing nannies from there attend the training sessions that were being offered by Lifeline staff. And seeing those same nannies visit the foster center and see how well the children were doing, and then praying that they would return to Suixi encouraged to love well the children in their care. What would you tell others about your experience overall? Go on an (un)adopted trip!! The blessings you receive will make it worth the expense, the time sacrifice, and being away from your family. We have been a Lifeline family for nine years and, yet, traveling with the (un)adopted team gave me a new appreciation for what a wonderful, Christ-honoring ministry this is. The heart of Lifeline’s ministry is boldly obedient to Scripture and is shining the light of Christ all over the world. I was honored to be a small part of what they are doing.
Kids Camp Recap
! Lifeline Kids Camp n o i t i d only e summer 2016
e had the joy of welcoming 3 girls from Lianyungang and 5 girls from Guilin, China as part of our 2016 Summer Kids Camp in Huntsville, Alabama! Volunteers, staff, and families from all over the country joined together to help show “Southern Hospitality” & share the gospel with these precious children through
memorable, fun experiences. These precious girls range in age from 3 to 12 years old and stayed all together in a home with translators, Lifeline staff and orphanage representatives. One volunteer, Jenny Wright, offered great perspective. “These girls are beautiful children of God who were made in His image. Their experiences in their short lives have been incomprehensible to those of
us who grew up in the States, and these experiences have left scars. Their circumstances and futures would be dismal if not for the fact that Lifeline has obeyed God’s call to love them unconditionally. We can’t know what impact these two weeks will have on these girls – that’s just not for us to know. All we can do is obey when God calls, and be grateful to be allowed to serve Him by serving these girls.”
Journey Summer 2016
Bringing Home Multiples The Sanjines Family Knoxville, Tennessee
hen Nick and Jennifer were leading a high school small group on the book of James a few years ago, something felt different as they read through the passages on orphans and widows. Nick brought up the idea of adoption to Jennifer, and the couple began praying. At that point in their marriage they had not tried to have biological children yet, and many friends and family assumed they were wanting to adopt after trying to have biological children. This was not the case. After months of prayer separately and together, reading books by noted authors and seeking Godly counsel, the couple was at peace that this was not a feeling they were having on a whim. They were called to adopt. Growing up, Jennifer had always loved Spanish speaking people and had multiple opportunities between mission trips and local families to be able to love on people who spoke Spanish. Nick’s family is actually from Bolivia and although he was raised in the United States, he spoke Spanish at a young age as well as English. At first they looked into adopting from Bolivia, but the country’s policies and in-country residence requirement led them to other options. Based on their ages and their length of marriage at that
The Sanjines Family: Nick and Jennifer, Brandon (10), Daniella (8) , And Michelle (6) time, they were led to Colombia. Twins run in Jennifer’s family, so growing up the Lord had always prepared Jennifer for more than one child at a time. But the Lord had a plan for more than twins! On September 19, 2014, Nick and Jennifer flew home from Colombia as a family of five, having adopted Brandon, Daniella and Michelle. They were 8, 6 and 4 years
old at the time. It was exactly one year to the day of when the couple had first seen the children’s files from the waiting child list. Now that they have been home for two years, we asked Jennifer a few questions about bringing home three children: What were the concerns you had about adopting multiple children at
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one time? Honestly I think one of our biggest concerns was that they were completely fluent in Spanish and had never heard a word in English! We knew that with already being 4, 6 and 8 years old, they would have already experienced a lot of life already and would have a lot of learning to do once we got home. We also knew that they each have their own medical special needs as well. This has been a new experience for us working with the school systems and therapists and our entire ‘Village’ here back at home. How have you tackled those concerns? We made a big project out of learning enough Spanish to get by, not only in country for 2 months, but also to feel confident communicating with our kids. Once there we relied a lot on Google translate and remembering what we had studied in Spanish. Having that confidence of knowing the local language, being able to get around town fairly easily, and being able to speak on an elementary level with our kids was truly one of the best things we did for bonding. We talked a lot with our family and friends about what it would look like coming home. We wrote a long letter to them explaining things like food and behavior issues and how they could help by making sure we were looked at as Mom and Dad. All the training that Lifeline did for us was wonderful. Our social workers at Lifeline were very supportive, yet very focused on making sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into.
We have especially loved that they encouraged us to go to Empowered to Connect and the work that we learned of there by Dr. Karyn Purvis has proved helpful on a daily basis, for our family and being able to impart knowledge on other families as well. We also love that Colombia works very hard to keep siblings together and although at one point they had tried to split our 3 apart because of some medical conditions, we’re so
thankful they kept them together and that we were able to adopt them all. What would you share with a family that is praying about adopting multiples, or that has just returned home? If you’re praying about multiples I would encourage you to: 1. Keep praying; 2. Don’t take it personal when you tell your friends and family you are thinking about adopting more than one child. They will probably
overreact. A wise friend of ours once told us that unlike announcing that you’re having a baby, the news of adopting multiple children is shocking to their system at first. It’s not their calling, it’s yours, so you might be one of the few to understand it. However long it took you to decide that you were okay with adopting multiple children, it’s going to take your friends and family, about double that amount of time to accept it. We found that this was an exact formula for us and as we had prayed over our children for multiple months. It took our friends and family about double that time to really embrace the idea and to seem happy for us. They were really concerned for our best interest, but it was still frustrating. We just wanted them to be happy for us! 3. Give yourself double the amount of grace that you already are giving yourself. Make sure that you have friends and family around you who support you. Don’t worry about the ones that don’t. They will come around eventually! 4. Stick to the things you have decided are important for your family, whether it’s related to food, bedtime, clothing, or other issues. Make sure you are sticking to your plan until you feel they are ready for a change. Don’t let the fun of something make you change your mind on it in the moment. Your children will appreciate your consistency and you will build much more trust and love than you ever would in trying to be a fun parent. Journey Summer 2016
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Ud exeraessisi. MetueraNulla commy nim alit
The Courtney Family: Jason, Carrie, Tiernan, and Aubryn
Fostering Love The Courtney Family Hanahan, South Carolina
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ur fostering ministry serves in Alabama, Kansas and South Carolina. One common question when families are considering fostering is, “what impact will this have on the children we already have?”
The Courtney family lives in South Carolina, and over the past several months they have cared for two sisters. These girls have joined their two biological daughters, Tiernan and Aubryn. We asked their 12-year-old daughter, Tiernan, her perspective on becoming a foster sister. Her perspective is powerful, and our hope is that these words encourage you. What did you think when your parents were praying about being foster parents? When my parents were praying about being foster parents, my first thought was, “Wow this is going
to be an amazing experience.” I was really excited to see how this would change my life but to be completely honest, I was also very nervous. Were there things you wondered about how it would be to have new sisters or brothers in your home for a while? I wondered if they would like my family and me. I wondered if we would get along, become close to each other, and what it would be like to have another sibling in my house. How has it been having the girls in your home? Having the girls in my home has forever changed my life. I feel as though God knew he was ready to do something big in our family, and he did that through foster care. Having the girls has been a very big eye-opener. I always knew that there were different types of people in this world, but having girls in my home that I had never met before and seeing the way they previously lived
has really changed the way I view things. Other than being an eye-opener, it has been very good. Sometimes I really have to stop and breathe because I never had to share my parents or my house with anyone else for a period of time.
way you view the world because of things you come to know. I would say to just be open-hearted and ready for any difficulties that come your way. God has all of this in His hands so you know that everything will work out.
What would you tell other kids around your age whose parents are praying about being a foster family? Honestly you just have to turn to God for advice. Being a foster family can be very hard sometimes, especially for kids that have never had to share anything with anyone, including your parents. Being a foster family will most likely change the
During this spring, Tiernan wrote a poem for a school writing project, shedding light on the viewpoint of a child in foster care. We are thankful for the hope found in gospel centered families like the Courtneys who share the love of Christ with children in their care.
By Tiernan Courtney, Age 12
Taken in a flash, Saying goodbye was not an option. Not knowing how long I would be gone or where I was going. Soon to be in a new life of mine. Better than this life I have been living? The “people movers” came to take me away. In that moment I started processing, Processing the fact that I was not going home, Processing the notion that I did not have a clue where I would end up. Overwhelmed with fear, worried. Feeling my hea rt skipping a beat, Anticipating what was taking place. Buried in my feelings, Closing my heart. A new door opened, A new place to call homE.
Journey Summer 2016
The Bamberg Family: Trent & Kristie Mary Ashtyn, 17, Reece, 15, Lily, 12, and Ava, 11
The Bamberg Family Centreville, Alabama
od’s perfect plan for the Bamberg family was adoption, and it turns out that plan included four children from three countries! Trent and Kristie Bamberg began researching adoption after 5 years of infertility. After first gathering facts and looking at domestic and international a doption, they felt the Lord leading them to Russia. Nine months after they applied to adopt, they saw Mary Ashtyn’s sweet face in a video. They were looking at their daughter. Mary Ashtyn was 7 months old when they brought her home. Two years later, the couple had planned to return to Russia to adopt again. The Russian adoption process was changing at that time, and they were apprehensive about those changes. It turned out that Reece was waiting for them in Kazakhstan. They adopted Reece when he was 6 months old.
diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. They advocated for her for a few months before realizing God was leading them to adopt Ava. She has been home with them now for 2 years. The Bamberg’s have always done their best to teach their kids about their birth countries, introducing books, documentaries, pictures, and talking with them about it as much as possible. Open communication lines have been key with their children, especially as they get older. They always enjoy watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and cheering for all of their countries! Mary Ashtyn is beginning to talk about a birth country tour, and they plan to take her as soon as possible. Because Lily and Ava were older when they were adopted from China, they continue to celebrate Chinese holidays, especially the Moon Festival and Chinese New Year.The couple shares that their children’s birth countries gave them four of their greatest treasures!
Once home and settled in with Reece, Trent and Kristie thought their family was complete. But then one of Kristie’s co-workers told her about a Birmingham agency she had not heard of before. Later that night, she found the Waiting Child list for Lifeline. As she clicked on one video and watched this beautiful little girl scoot across the floor, God whispered to Kristie that this was her child. They did not plan this adoption or “choose” China, but God led them straight to Lily. Lily has Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, and has opened their lives and hearts in ways they never imagined. She has taught them how to live a joy-filled life and never take anything for granted. Two years after bringing Lily home, the Bamberg’s saw another little girl on the Lifeline China Special Focus list who was also
Journey Summer 2016
The Agoston Family Fayette, Alabama
The Lord stirred Brad and Jill Agoston’s hearts for Guatemala when they went there on a short term mission trip. That trip turned into more trips, and ultimately led them to adopt Jonah, their first child. Through many long roads walked alone since they went through a private adoption process, the couple brought Jonah home during May of 2007. They brought their next child, Isaac, home through domestic adoption during February of 2010. The Lord then led them to China to Elaina, and they brought her home during January of 2012. And just this past month, they brought home their daughter Mercy, also from China! With each child, Jill and Brad have tried to be intentional about connections with their children’s backgrounds. When they just had Jonah, they were able to visit Guatemala a few times. Many discouraged them, but it was the best decision they made. Each time they took him there, the wheels would spin in his head and more closure to his identity was made. It helped him put some pieces together! While seasons have changed since then and their family has grown, the Agoston’s are always hopeful they can travel back to Guatemala. The couple had an open domestic adoption with Isaac, and they stay in contact with his birthmom on a regular basis. The couple admits that at first those waters were unnatural to wade through, but now they see the amazing birthmother they are all able to have a relationship with. They visit with Isaac’s birthmom and her family 2 to 3 times a year. God has done such a work in all of their hearts to move them from awkwardness, to an extended family. God revealed through this adoption that “their” children are really ultimately not “theirs”, but His. With the adoption of Elaina from China, time became limited as she is their third child! She loves books, so they have purchased fun books like Tikki Tikki Tembo that are make believe, and
picture books with informative captions about China. Elaina also likes to see pictures and talk about the couple’s travel there to get her. When Brad and Jill travel to China this July, they are taking Elaina with them on the journey to bring Mercy home. They are praying this visit will mold her identity positively, like it did with her brother when they took him back to Guatemala. One thing the Agoston’s do often is shoot fireworks! In Guatemala, they would shoot fireworks at Christmas and other holidays or random times. They buy fireworks that can tie into the countries creatively, like a “dancing dragon” for China and a “laying hen” for Guatemala thinking of the “chicken buses” that are used for public transportation. They eat things at home and in specific restaurants with a cultural connection. They also look at how their countries celebrate special holidays, and how they celebrate “American” holidays differently. While Brad and Jill try hard to do these things to keep their children connected to their beginnings, this is just one piece of the puzzle that makes up who they are. Ultimately their children know that they will always be Agoston’s, so they do things that only their family would do too! It is Jill’s prayer that families don’t lose the order of their child’s identity. “First, teach and pray that your child’s foundation of identity is Christ and if not saved, keep praying that they will be found in Him first and foremost,” she says. “Second, give your child love, care, a voice, and unique experiences that give them a strong sense of ‘this is MY people’ in your family. Third, don’t neglect where they came from. While their beginnings are not all of their identity, the fact is your child’s beginnings and where they came from will always be a part of them and their story. So be there, be willing to listen, don’t shut them down or put off when it gets uncomfortable to you. Cry with them, laugh with them, figure it out with them. A child doesn’t put all the pieces together when you come home, a few months after, or even a few years after. They put pieces together about their story for the rest of their lives, so be there when each piece falls into place.”
Interested in connecting with other adoptive families in your area? To know 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 to other families that are newly home or who may be going through a challenging time. Contact Regina Maiden on our post-adoption team at Regina.Maiden@lifelinechild.org.
The Agoston Family: Jill and Brad Jonah, Isaac, Elaina, and soon-to-be Mercy (adopting from China July 2016)
JourneySummer Spring 2016 Journey 2016
Stand For Orphans
Stand For Orphans
every $1 matched up to $50,000 5 Characteristics of a Meaningful Stand Stand for Orphans is an initiative started by kids, for kids, and continues to be a way to engage kids of all ages in making a difference with their summer (and beyond). We asked parents who participated in Stand for Orphans what tips they had for a successful Stand, and a meaningful impact on their kiddos hearts! Here’s what they had to say: 1. Kid Involvement: Of course parents or other adults will need to be involved, but let your kids do as much as they are able. Allow them to take ownership, even if it means your color scheme clashes! Let them see how they can make a difference by letting them do the work. 2. Communicating the “Why”: Of course you will want to communicate the purpose of your stand to your customers, and our families found that, aside from advertising, educating their children about orphan care was one of the best ways to not only generate excitement (and less complaining) among the stand insiders but also motivated children to educate customers! 3. Donations: You may choose to charge a minimum fee for your goods or to simply ask for donations. However, many families find that donations are easier and may raise more money. Donations mean that kids don’t have to make change or add totals. Just provide a collection bucket on the table. When minimum fees are not charged, customers are able to give as the Lord leads them. Most customers give above and beyond what would normally be charged. (Added Bonus! Customers who write checks payable to Lifeline will receive a tax-deductible receipt from us.) 4. Collaborative Effort: Involve others as much as possible, from your neighbors and friends, to your church or community. One family said, “We gathered around 10 children of various ages from our church and community and invited them to help us put on a stand. We then planned an evening where we invited all the kids to come into our home to help decorate and prepare for the stand. During that evening we also did a little devotion and teaching on who an orphan is and how God calls His people to care for the orphan.” 5. Options: Consider offering more than a drink. Feel free to be creative! Popsicles, baked goods, dogtreats, or handmade items are all great ideas. Your stand can be as unique as you! While Stand for Orphans is an opportunity to raise much-needed (and appreciated) funds for Lifeline –it is so much more! It is an outlet for creativity, entrepreneurship, and purpose for kids. It is the beginning of opening little hearts to God’s call on their life. So, will you take a stand?
standfororphans.org Journey Summer 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 for you and your family to get engaged over the next few months, and connect with other familes.
RUN FOR ONE + Birmingham Family Reunion: August 20th Runforone5k.org
Share the Story 14th Annual Fundraising Dinner: October 25th
STAND FOR ORPHANS: through August 31st
Calendar of Events
Orphan Sunday: November 13th
ted Sponsorsh p o d a ) ip (un
BECOME A lifelineorphansunday.com
SPONSOR A CHILD THROUGH (UN)ADOPTED Lifelinechild.org/Sponsor Holistic care for orphaned and vulnerable children
Calendar of Events Name:
August Email: Date:
Take 15 Minutes to Pray with Lifeline
15 Lifeline Prayer 10 Lifeline Charity 18 Lifeline Prayer Call Address: 3rd Thursday of the month Mailing Call Skeet Shoot 11:00am CT/12:00pm EST 20 Run for One Call (712) 432-1212 13 Orphan (Birmingham, GA, Enter Meeting ID #: 762-608-199 NC, KS, RWYA) + a specific country in which you’re Is there intersted in sponsoring? Sunday or join us on Periscope at @LifelineChild Birmingham family o China o Uganda Email David.Wooten@lifelinechild.org to be 17 South Carolina reunion
placed you on the Prayer Partner email list! If you’re interested in child sponsorship, is there a certain child Woven Dinner Event *Stand for are interested sponsoring? 20inLifeline Prayer (If not, simply leave blank)
Orphans (all summer Child’s long) Name:
Fundraising Dinner in Birmingham
For more information log on to lifelinechild.org/events/
Back to School Tips for Educators As parents, teachers, and children are beginning the new school year, we know there is much excitement. This time of the year also provides many opportunities for uncertainty and anxiety, particularly for parents of children from challenging backgrounds. Share these tips with you kids’ teachers and caretakers to set yourselves up for a great school year! Involve parents:There are so many intricacies that make parenting these
children unique, and it is important that other individuals who are deeply involved in the child’s life are on the same page. Parents need to be the primary change agents in their child’s life, so working together may assist both the goals of the teacher and the goals of the parents.
Maintain a safe environment: Children do not learn unless they feel safe.
Children who have experienced much pain in their lives are very easily stressed. When they feel threatened, they immediately begin functioning in survival mode. When this occurs, they lose all opportunity for learning. When they feel safe, calm, and relaxed, they are able to utilize the higher functioning part of the brain, where true learning occurs.
Resources CROSSINGS Our Crossings department is excited to share our new Adoptive Parent Support Group Guide, available free to our families! The guide provides all the components needed to start an adoption support group. Included are suggestions for group format, supplies needed, facilitator outlines and other information. Find the downloadable kit at: http:// lifelinechild.org/adoption-supportgroup-guide/
Provide predictability: All children clearly benefit from a structured and
predictable environment, but a child who has come from an environment filled with chaos needs it even more desperately. You will be doing the children and yourself a favor by maintaining a highly predictable classroom. Last minute “surprises” may lead to some unpleasant behavioral surprises for you.
Provide patience: Children may have delays in processing due to language
BLOG Jasonjohnsonblog.com: “Five Powerful Truths in Scripture Every Foster Parent Must Know”
and cultural differences as well as cognitive delays. It may take longer for these children to process what is being told to them. They need to be shown patience as they attempt to make necessary connections for learning & toward their behavior. Many children who have been adopted or who are in care have difficulty self-regulating. They may exhibit a number of challenging behaviors that have developed over time due to the circumstances they have been accustomed.
Mama Knows Best: Adoptive and foster parents, keep in mind that it is your
responsibility to be your child’s largest advocates. No one knows your child as well as you do, so help your child’s teacher learn how to work most effectively with him or her. want to share this article with your child’s educators? You can find a link to this a
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