Sunday, January 24, 2010

Info on Haitian Adoption

There will be an informational meeting given by Catholic Charities of TN. See info below....



INFORMATION REGARDING HAITI ADOPTIONS

We are all devastated by the recent earthquake suffered by the Haitian people. Of particular concern are the many orphans already living in Haiti and the children who are now orphaned as a result of this earthquake. We have received many inquiries from families willing to temporarily house children from Haiti as well as families who are interested in adopting a child from Haiti who is orphaned. In reaction to the many inquiries regarding this issue Catholic Charities of Tennessee will be holding an information meeting to discuss the current situation in Haiti and the international adoption process.

This information meeting will take place on: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

at 4:00 p.m.

This information meeting will take place at: Catholic Charities of Tennessee

30 White Bridge Road

Nashville, TN 37205

352-3087

Contact Person: Julie Bolles, MSSW

International Adoption Counselor

552-3087 ext. 266

juliebolles@bellsouth.net

There is no need to RSVP for this meeting. We will look forward to seeing you then and answering any further questions.



Also I wanted to pass on an email I received to give you a look into how some of this is going about.
This is just one person's take on what they have experienced so far.

Kelly,
I followed a couple of contacts regarding haitian kids being transported to Indianapolis. The contact was Safe Families associated with Bethany. I sent an email to the Atl office not expecting to hear anything. The very next morning I got a call from the Atl office of Bethany, the director of the Safe Families program here. She sent me an application & said it was very probable that GA would be "called up" for the next influx of kids & they were expediting the process for families willing to help. We were not on any foster care list, no home study on file etc but told her of of original "plan" to start our adoption within the next year. We immediately filled out the form, have our online class link to take & have an emergency home study scheduled for next week. The same day I also followed something in the local paper & had called the GA dept of human services. Again not thinking they would actually call (the request in the AJC was for creole or french speaking families willing to emergency host). Today I received a call from DFCS. They are forming a list, not doing any training etc just had a brief questionaire & will have the list ready for when GA is "called up."
So just wanted to pass this on. Since Fla is activated the thinking by these agencies is that more movement will be happening & even in the last 72 hours, rules are already being bent in order to facilitate the placement of more children. I knew this was too much for a comment but wanted to let you know of different things happening.
April

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Latest Contacts From Dept of State

Just received this email from Marsha Blackburns office. I wanted to pass along.


Thank you for your e-mail. In response to other inquiries that we have received on this issue, the Department of State provided us with the following links and phone #s for constituents to contact them directly regarding Donations/ Contributions/ Volunteer Opportunities.

Donations/ Contributions: www.cidi.org; 703-276-1914

Volunteer Opportunities: http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/, 703-276-1914

I hope you will find this helpful. If you need anything further, please let me know.

Warm regards,

Stephanie Scott

Caseworker

U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn

109 3rd Avenue South, Suite 117

Franklin, TN 37064

Info For Possible Temporary Placement

Just saw that the info about Indiana could have been a misunderstanding. You can go to the Christian Alliance site to read more. Sorry about that. I hear all this like the rest of you and did call the number listed and got a recording regarding it from Safe Families.


Just got this info from Middle TN Orphan Alliance.


TEMPORARY FOSTER CARE:

It’s still quite possible that many of the Haitian children WILL be provided passage to other countries including the US, knowing that at least temporarily they can be given the basic necessities of water, food, shelter and loving people to help them through this tragedy. No governmental procedures are currently in place so how this will happen and who will be involved are big unknowns currently. The situation is very fluid and can change by the moment.

Because there is a chance that a number of these children will need to come to the US for temporary or permanent care, we want to try to be one step ahead. Organizations such as Lydia Home in Chicago (where Safe Families originated) and 4Kids in South Florida are two of the organizations who have already been asked to help. As you know, we’ve discussed Safe Families many times in our meetings. The concept of providing temporary foster care for these children is the perfect solution if they are brought to the US. Depending on the numbers, they very well could be inundated and not able to provide for all. In that case, churches and regional alliances like ours could possibly be called into action and we want to be ready.

To be proactive, MTOA is building a database of families who also have been through some of the process in either the area of foster care, adoption home studies or Safe Families training. We have created a very high-level survey for you to take a look at. If you have an interest at any level in caring for any of these children, please take a moment and fill out the survey. The information will only be stored and used if we are indeed told that children will be coming to the middle TN area. The questions are simply some of your contact info, whether or not you’re already in the approval process for an adoption (this would speed up the process since you would already have some of the background checks completed). Obviously, the agencies involved would have final say on approvals but this is just to be one step ahead in case we as the body of Christ are called to help. This is only a first step. If called upon, the appropriate agencies would be in touch with more information on how to go from here.

You can find the survey here. Please take a moment and fill it out! CLICK HERE or go to the site below.

http://tinyurl.com/MTOAforHaiti


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orphans from Haiti

I just got some information on Haitian orphans that will be placed with adoptive families through the Safe Families organization. For anyone that lives in the Indianapolis area, check out this blog:
Unfortunately, they are not able to place orphans in other states, but this is a great organization that you might want to read more about and get involved with in your community. Their website is:
In Nashville, Safe Families is just getting started, and Bethany Christian Services is helping coordinate home studies and placements.

Keep praying for these precious children.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lord.....We Don't Even Have A Clue

These pictures have just captured and stirred my soul, not only as a photographer, but as a person who just can't even imagine what the people of Haiti must be dealing with every day they open their eyes for the new day to begin.
These pictures are courtesy of Fox News. These are just a few of them. If you would like to see the whole slide show then click here.
All I can say is that as we sit here in America, stirred in our hearts to do something to help the people of Haiti, we just really can't even comprehend how bad it is over there.
I have never seen pictures like this except for the Holocaust. Never have I seen a country so surrounded by death everywhere you turn.

They resulted to putting the bodies in mass graves.


I cannot imagine what the children must be thinking. I pray God can erase what waits as a trap for their little minds.
I mean, can you even imagine seeing dead bodies riding down the road in the back of vehicles? It is just unthinkable, yet this is their reality. They have run out of vehicles to even transport bodies.
Everywhere, someone's father, mother, brother or sister, daughter, son, aunt, uncle who did not make it out alive.


Unimaginable grief rests on this young girl who found the feet of her 14 year old brother under the rubble.
I realize these pictures are graphic but pictures speak a thousand words. All I can say is
"My God, people, WE NEED TO PRAY FOR THEM." There are stories of hope and rescue and those that made it out alive, praise God. But for those left with their worlds shattered, they need to find hope again. Pray God's grace rains down on them and they find peace once again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haitian Orphans as Refugees to the U.S.

Check out the link below. There is info on the US Government giving strong consideration in allowing a large number of Haitian orphans to the US.

This was posted by Christian Alliance for Orphans


Haitian Orphans as Refugees to the U.S.

Adoption in Haiti.....Is it possible??

I recently saw this update on the Rainbow Kids website that I wanted to share. I have been contacted by several of you wanting to know what we can do to help these children. I am looking into all kinds of options but wanted to pass on this info in the meantime. None of us can really understand how difficult it is in every area of what is taking place over there. This article as well as the highlighted articles give some good insight and info.

Helping Haiti 's Most Vulnerable
Orphans in Crisis
January 02,2010 / Martha Osborne

In the midst of this crisis, many readers of RainbowKids have called and emailed, wondering what can be done for Haiti 's orphans. While it is not possible to adopt Haitian children who have been separated from their families (due to their undetermined orphan status), there is still much that may be done to ease the suffering of these children.

While the need to take in additional children is being considered by the orphanage staffs, it must also be noted that the caretakers of the orphanages are primarily Haitian women who have their own families to care for during this time of tragedy. Fortunately, we are hearing reports of local families coming forward in the least damaged areas to offer temporary care for the children of the orphanages. Though poor economically, it should be noted that the people of Haiti are a warm and loving people who recognize the needs of their community. They are reaching out to one another, offering their homes and care whenever possible.

Currently, the greatest challenge is getting the much needed supplies in and around the country. Most of these orphanages are small, housing from 12 to under 100 children.

CLICK HERE to read the remainder of this article on the Rainbowkids site for info on organizations that are taking donations as well as a list of orphanages in Port-Au- Prince and their situations right now.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Micah Made it Home

I am so thrilled to announce that this precious waiting child made it home to America last night and I got to witness his homecoming. He especially pulls my heartstrings because I personally met him last June while I was in Ethiopia with my sister when she went to pick up her Lucy Lane. I just could not bare the thought of the older children sitting and waiting for adoption so I took pictures of the older children that had not been chosen by a family for adoption yet. I brought the pictures and the story home to America and sent out one simple email with several waiting children on it along with a simple blog post. It circulated and ended up in the inbox of a friend of mine who I have gone to church with for years. She said she took one look at his sweet face and busted into tears. She said she just knew that God was speaking something to her. It was confirmed through her husband, who had been hard to take the adoption leap up to this point. He took one look and listened to his wife and saw her tears and said "Let's go get our son." Their other two children were ecstatic and so the process began. Now seven months later you see one little boy who went from a waiting child in the picture above........

to the sweet picture you see below, waiting for his family to come get him.........


to arriving home safely in the new loving arms of his brand new family that God chose especially for him.
He is just so full of life and sweet I can't even explain. Below you see me with some of the kiddos at the orphanage that Micah is from while on the trip to ET.
You see, Micah knew exactly what I was doing when I took his pictures. He knew I was going to try to find him a family. Boy, did he perform all his tricks for me. He was wanting to make sure I saw everything he could do. It is sad to think that he thought that if just maybe he could do something cool then it would help him get adopted. I breaks my heart.
He absolutely LOVES having his picture taken and then looking at it. He would jump rope, bounce on the big ball, swing on the swing, just whatever he could think of for me to take a picture of him doing.

And he never took the smile off his face. My heart broke as I watched him jump all around in hopes that I could somehow help him find his family. My heart broke at the thought that he did not have one. I looked at his smiling face and thought of my son, who was also an older, waiting child and I knew that God could give this little one a future as well.



Here, below you see him pictured with his best buddies. Well the neatest thing of all, is that at the very same time God was moving the heart of the Worton family to adopt Micah, He also saw to it that the same email got in the inbox of some of their best friends, the Estes family, in another state who were moved to adopt these two little guys......and they didn't even know the other was thinking about it, nor that these kids were best friends. As things would turn out these two families turned in everything together, passed court on the same day, traveled together and showed up to get their little guys all on the same day. They will be best friends forever now. Tell me that God doesn't work in miraculous ways. I hope to post pics of their homecoming as well, soon.
Below are some pictures of his homecoming last night at the airport. I never would have imagined back in June when I was taking pictures of this precious, little waiting child that I would get to welcome him home to our community just 7 months later. I thought he for sure would not remember me but he looked right at me and his eyes got real big with excitement and he ran right up to me and gave me a big hug. Can you believe that he remembered me from 7 months ago. It was so neat. I showed him some of the pictures I took back in June to remind him and he was pointing to everyone in the shots telling me who they all were. God is so awesome!!
I just love how the adoption bug rubs off on others. It is all a part of God's perfect plan. Tracy, below, adopted her son from ET and inspired me and my sister to adopt. She also happens to be neighbors with the Worton family, who I happened to go to church with and who watched us bring our son home. You see how God connects the dots. It is so neat.

Below, Tracy's little guy inspired us all.
This was the cutest thing watching Micah love on Lucy Lane. He remembered her from the orphanage they were in together and was telling her hello.


It is so neat seeing him light up with wonder at all of the "firsts" he will experience. He had never seen balloons float before.
He seems to love his big brother.
And he loves his big sister.
Kristi and Lucy seemed especially happy to see him again.


Congratulations to this special little guy and his family. Let this all stir our hearts toward adoption and the waiting children that pray for their families to find them all over this world. All they long for is the love of a family. And trust me, if they had the opportunity and they thought someone was watching, they would jump rope, stand on their head, turn back flips if they thought it would help them get adopted. But they don't need to do any of that. They just need to be found. They need to be found by loving families who will simply say "Yes".
Has God laid anything on YOUR heart lately???

BLESSINGS TO YOU!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missionaries Living in Haiti Need Our Help



The picture above is of a missionary named Leslie, who lives in Haiti right now with her husband and adopted daughter, Olivia(pictured with her) . I was contacted by Renea, a faithful Ordinary Hero supporter, of about this missionary family that lives in Haiti right now with their adopted daughter. I encourage you to visit Renea's blog where she tells of her experience in Haiti herself with pictures of her sponsored child and her friends, Chris and Leslie with their daughter, Olivia. At the bottom of her post there is a donate link which will all go directly to supporting Chris and Leslie and their unbelievable efforts to bring relief in so many areas in Haiti right now.

I also encourage you to visit Chris and Leslie's blog. Chris tells the story of having just left Port-Au-Prince when the earthquake hit. He witnessed a school collapsing on teen girls who were then trapped as he struggled to try to help free them. It is heartwrenching to say the least.

I know I have sat and stared at the horror on tv, just wanting to be able to do something. Now we have a direct connection to people living there in the middle of it, doing the best they can now to help in every way they can. They need funds now more than ever. Let's all rally together and support them any way we can.

Thank you so much.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Miracle of Love.....an Adoption Story


I just had a blogger inquire about the outcome of three children I have been helping in a foster type situation. These children were featured on a Fox 17 News broadcast this past year. I thought I would take this opportunity to tell this miraculous story.

There is so much to this story that I don't have time or room for on this blog post but I will do my best to sum it up in a few words in order for you to see the miracle work that God stepped in and did for three beautiful children I met at a homeless shelter.

At the end of 2006 I met a young girl living in the homeless shelter. She had two small children and was pregnant with the third. My heart went out to her and I rallied everyone I knew to come together to help get her out of the shelter and into a place of her own.....which we did. I helped her get a couple of jobs and childcare and things seemed to be looking good for her. The father of the children was in prison therefore this young girl was completely on her own with no help from family or anyone.
I thought this was a divine appointment to help this mom and her children get back on their feet. After about a year things started going down hill for this young mom once more. An old boyfriend popped up in the picture and this mom became pregnant again. Once she had this baby she could not find childcare, therefore lost her job and her apartment and was back to square one. She was looking at having to go back to the homeless shelter, except this time with 4 children. She and I had a relationship at this point and we were friends. I stepped up to try to help her with her children so that they would not have to live in a shelter and so that she could go look for work to try to get back on her feet. Three families stepped up to help with the children for what was only supposed to be a month or so and then return to their mother with things hopefully in order and looking better. Well, months went by and the mother still could not support herself, much less 4 children. The father and grandmother to the youngest child ended up stepping up to help with that baby. But the other three children, ages 4, 3, and 2, were still with the families that had stepped up to help. It came to a point that we had to sit down with the birth mom and dad and discuss the future of their children. The children were getting more and more settled with their new lives and needed stability of knowing where "home" was. The birth mom and dad were still in no position to take the children to raise so everyone agreed on adoption as the best solution. All of the families that had been caring for these children ended up adopting them except for the little girl that was in my home. We had just completed our Ethiopian adoption and have 5 biological children as well. We just did not feel the peace about adopting her, although we loved her tremendously. It turned out to completely be the Lord's work as He laid a couple on my heart who had never been able to have children and had two failed adoptions. I presented the situation to them and they immediately stepped up to the call and met the birth mom and dad for their final approval. It could not have been a more perfect situation for this little girl to get all the undivided attention that she so desperately needed. I cannot say enough about these families that now have these sweet children added to their home and family. They were all handpicked by God and He just used me as the vessel to get them settled, which I am so honored and grateful for.

People sometimes feel sad that the children could not have all stayed together. I will tell you that no one set out for adoption with this situation. It just turned into that. These children are thriving with the family settings they are in and the attention that is pouring into them because of it. God knew exactly what these children needed and set it up just as He did in order for it to happen. I had no idea when I met this family over 3 years ago that everyone's lives would change as they have. All three families have a great relationship with the birth mom and dad and with each other. The siblings see each other quite often. The birth mom and dad are not together but they have jobs now and are striving to get back on their feet. The way it turned out for these children is that instead of having two parents that struggle and cannot provide for their needs, they have their needs met now and they have many, many people in their lives who love them dearly and consider them family....including their Aunt Kelly :)

I hosted them all to my house over the holidays for them to have a big Christmas together with all the families. It was just so amazing to watch the love pour out from everyone to these children. I am still amazed at all of it. I am thankful for everyone who stepped up to help this family and I am thankful for the birthmom and birthdad, who made their sacrifice of love to do everything in their power to make sure that their children will have all their needs met and all their dreams come true.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE STORY ON FOX NEWS.

God bless

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Children in Sierra Leone Need Our Help

The Covering in Sierra Leone, which is the children's home that I traveled to Sierra Leone to be a part of getting off the ground, has taken in several new children. All of these children have heart breaking stories and are in need of sponsorship. They are just absolutely precious. These two siblings were rescued by their uncle. Their birth father abandoned them, leaving them with their mother who was was later given in marriage by the father's family to a man who abused her terribly until an uncle came in and rescued her and the children but was not able to then provide for them. TRS and The Covering are now caring for the children and making sure they have schooling and a place to call home. To read more about these children and to inquire about sponsorship CLICK HERE.


Joseph, pictured above, has a heartbreaking story of being born to a Sierra Leonian mother and a Nigerian father. His father was killed by the rebels during the war for being Nigerian and his mother was abducted for being married to a Nigerian, which left the child being cared for by his grandmother who survived on petty cash while trying to care for 5 other children as well that had been left to her. After his case was proved genuine he was moved to The Covering where he now has proper care and a place to call home. To read more about Joseph and to inquire about sponsorship CLICK HERE.

These two siblings, Abdul and Mabinty, have experienced more poverty in their little lives then anyone should. Their father died from food poisoning which left their mother unable to care for them. Out of desperation she would leave them in an unfinished house at night while she resulted to prostitution to provide for them. A case worker found them and confirmed their situation and arranged for them to be moved to The Covering where they are now in need of sponsorship. To read more about these children and to inquire about sponsorship CLICK HERE.


Above you will find this set of adorable twins which you will see with their father and family below. These twins are just two months old. Their mother died in child birth with them which then left the father to care for their 8 children. This resulted in him not being able to farm anymore due to trying to care for the children. TRS confirmed that this family needed assistance and arranged for transportation where the father and an aunt and two siblings brought the twins themselves. When the father walked in he said "My children have a future now." To read more of their story and find out info on sponsoring these children CLICK HERE.



Below you will see some pictures of Christmas for the children at The Covering. They were so blessed this Christmas with a wonderful meal and a TV that was brought in for them to watch a movie and have popcorn. For most, this was the first movie they had ever seen and couldn't quit talking about it afterwards. To read all about their Christmas Click Here and thank you to those who donated to help provide the meal for the children.







Take a minute to watch this video where you can meet some of these children at The Covering.
Also take a minute to pray about how you can make a difference in the life of one or more of these children. We can all do our part and to help care for those who can't care for themselves. Thank you for your support and prayers for all of the children who reside at The Covering. It was such a privilege to be a part of getting this children's home off the ground during my travels to Sierra Leone. Let me tell you .......these conditions are severe and REAL. They need our help. I encourage you to not only support a child financially but plan to join the TRS team on one of their many trips in the future to Sierra Leone, where you can meet your sponsored child in person.

GOD BLESS,


YEAR END Accomplishments! from The Raining Season on Vimeo.