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Monday, January 4, 2010

Ask Me Monday ... This ain't no "DR. PHIL SHOW" but I will do my best ...

ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS ...


1. HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE YOUR CHURCH AS YOU START AN ORPHAN CARE / ADOPTION MINISTRY ... I feel the key to this is truly promoting both avenues equally ... I know many people feel they are not called to adoption therefore when they hear the word ORPHAN they run because they think you are going to beat them over the head w/ adoption ... Be very upfront on ways they can get involved w/ the orphan crisis ... sponsoring a child, feeding a child, helping someone fund their adoption,  aid a local children's home in supplies, bible studies or volunteer help ... Paint them a picture they can see as real ... WE ARE ALL CALLED TO CARE FOR THE LEAST OF THESE IN SOME WAY ... So give them many choices to choose from and I think you will be really blessed ...  I also think that many are called to adopt that don't ... Create many opportunities for these families to seek information and have a forum to work through their fears ... I pray this helps and I pray God uses your ministry in a mighty way ...


2. View about single mothers ???  Well, since I am huge supporter of Katie ( and she is mom to 14 sweet girls in Uganda and she is single) then I would have to say that if God brings children to your heart then you should be their mother ... I do think a child benefits and is blessed to have a mother and a father, but welcoming a child into your home, who would otherwise have nothing has to be a good thing ...


3.  Help w/ sleep issues ... I would highly recommend Melatonin (from Whole Foods store) ... Maggie truly struggled w/ sleep for over a year ... She experienced many issues in China that made sleep difficult ... It has just been over a month that she has been sleeping better w/ the Melatonin, clear schedule of sleep, and the same routine ... I would check the book SOLVE YOUR CHILD'S SLEEP PROBLEMS BY  Richard Ferber ... 


4. How do you tell your family about your adoption ?  This is an easy one ... My family consists of my husband, myself, and our children ... If God calls us to adopt then our extended family is either on board or not ... It really doesn't affect us .... I honestly think people put way to much effort and energy trying to get everyone as excited as they are ... This journey is a calling and there are going to be people who just don't get it ... Give them scripture and share your heart, but save your energy for the adoption process it will certainly have its ups and downs ... Now, I will say we have had nothing, but encouragement from our family (they truly get it and love what God is doing in our life), but I think that is because we tell them about our plans, we don't ask them for permission or acceptance ...


5.  Husbands ??? on board or how to explain your heart ... I love that God created men and women differently ... Women by nature are emotional and think with our hearts where as God created men to be the protectors and providers which requires another part of the brain ... You need to have healthy dialogue about adoption ... You need to listen to one another and understand both sides .... For many men it is the financial fear, the fear of not enough time in the day to love on all of his children, the fear of losing time w/ you the spouse or the lack of understanding about how to love a child that is not biologically his own ... These are real fears and you should understand them and then come up with a plan to walk through this together (ex. plan a budget, affirm him in how he spends his time w/ his children, plan date nights etc) ...I just don't believe God calls one parent to adopt and then doesn't have a way for the other one's heart to be prepared ... It does take time and seeking God's words daily ... 


6. Criminal Record questions ... I can sort of explain this, but my friend, who used to be a social worker is much better (ondreaharrison@gmail.com) ... she said please contact her and she can totally help you ... don't lose heart !!!


HAVE A BLESSED NIGHT !!!




I thought I would try something new each Monday ... I get a lot of sweet emails about adoption or how to get involved with orphan care, so I thought I would try an experiment ... This is your day to ask me any question you have and at the end of the day I will post my answers (remember I am mom, no educated in the field of social work, but I have lots of experience, love, and an AMAZING HEAVENLY FATHER TO GUIDE ME) ... I may even add this section to the book, which is coming together very nicely (I know it is taking a long time, but I have turned it over to God and He is working it out in His time) ....

Many times the hesitation to get involved with adoption or some type of orphan care ministry is FEAR ...  I am here to share how NOTHING should hold you back once called to care for the LEAST OF THESE ...

"View events from MY perspective - through the Light of My presence- fear loses its grip on you."  JC  ... He will walk with us through the entire journey  ... Up the glorious hills and down in the treacherous valleys ... HE is constantly with us ... Walking in dark with the SAVIOR is better than walking in the light ALONE ...

17 kind words.:

Jim and April said...

love the new blog header! cute! for once, i dont think i have any questions today but love your idea!

the overtons said...

Gwen,
We are the Overton's, we live in Spring Hill and are waiting on a little girl from Ethiopia (we are currently#23 on the list). It is so nice to read your blog, you always have such encuoraging truths about adoption and caring for the orphan. Such a good reminder to not let fear get us down...because it is real and it can very quickly. Anyway, we have been to some of the fellowship get togethers, so maybe we will meet you soon. We go to CPA, and have met some other adoptive families there. So blessed to be on this journey. Thanks again for the encouraging words...just what I needed today:)
Rachel

Jessi said...

Several of us ladies at church are starting an orphan care/adoption/foster care ministry.

My question is how do we share our enthusiasm about our new mission with those in our church and community without alienating them to our cause? We are very zealous about what we are doing but dont' want to turn ppl off in our zeal.

What is the best way to share our goals and opportunities to ignite others to want to do the same?

Holli said...

thank you for this last part!!! so glad He is before me and I can just hold on!!!
(stole this and put it on my FB- thank you!)

Jerry and Christy said...

Hi Gwen,
We adopted our second daughter (second adoption) in Sept. 08. She has always done very well. She never even seemed to grieve. i know she got a lot of attention and was attached to her ayi ( caregiver). Just recently she has been struggling with sleeping and wants me to be in the room until she falls asleep. We did this with her for the first six months being home. Then she was ok with us leaving when she fell asleep.
Today a friend of mine told me she knows some who was taught in her pre-adoption classes what to expect at different ages or maybe stages after being adopted. I guess her child has followed these stages to a T. Do you know where I could find this information?
We have been praying and asking God for help. We think we have some idea as to what is causing her difficulty. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.
Thank you and God bless,
Christy

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

AHHHHHHHHH love the new color scheme and header. You are not a dark person - WAY TOO MUCH LIGHT SHINING from you!

Hugs and love - praying over your two blessings! Just found out Lilly will be coming home February 12th! Just in time to celebrate my birthday with her!

Jill

A.S.H. said...

So...I'm just kind of wondering what your take is on singles adopting/doing foster care...as a young, single woman, do you think it is feasible? (I'm not asking about the legalities...I've already researched all of that) I believe a dad is very, very important, but at the same time...some of these kids are in such BAD situations...wouldn't it at least be BETTER for them to be with a loving, Christian, single adoptive/foster mom...maybe not BEST, but BETTER? Maybe I'm just very naive. I don't know...got any words of wisdom?

A.S.H. said...

So...I'm just kind of wondering what your take is on singles adopting/doing foster care...as a young, single woman, do you think it is feasible? (I'm not asking about the legalities...I've already researched all of that) I believe a dad is very, very important, but at the same time...some of these kids are in such BAD situations...wouldn't it at least be BETTER for them to be with a loving, Christian, single adoptive/foster mom...maybe not BEST, but BETTER? Maybe I'm just very naive. I don't know...got any words of wisdom?

redmaryjanes said...

When are you coming back to Michigan to hang out with your cool friends there?

Kim said...

LOVE the new header and blog colors!!!
Gave Pastor Brett and Shannon their 147 shirt and beads on Sunday! Your message is being spread in Hong Kong!
Love & Blessings,
Kim

Anonymous said...

hmm..well my question is how did you introduce the idea of adoption to your family? Was your husband immediately on board? How did you explain it to your older sons and how did they respond? Thanks! Be blessed!

Beth

Anonymous said...

Gwen
Thank you so much for sharing your heart and being such an encouragement. My husband and I feel we have been called to adopt -however he made some mistakes when he was younger and has a criminal record. He was never found guilty for anything but nonetheless it is on the record for the times he was arrested and held until release. Is there ANY hope for us at all??? My heart is hurting so bad and I dont know where to turn.

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

I would add, Gwen, that family may not be on board with adoption until AFTER the adoption occurs. Babies have a way of melting hearts of stone! We have a mutual friend whose family was against certain aspects of adoption. That person has ended up with the exact thing they thought they couldn't take and it seems to me that no one has protested what they once thought was a big deal. I think you're right, we didn't have all the support we would have liked in the beginning, but we didn't ask our parents, we asked God and as much as we'd love our families approval, what we really wanted was His blessing. Your advice was spot on!

PegS said...

My question is whether we are too old to adopt. I'm turning 54 and my hubby is 56. Would it be a disservie to a child to bring them to parents of our age?

Rachel said...

Hi,
I am wondering if you have any advice on how to get involved w/orphans, advocating for orphans, and types of fundraising. I am 23 and single and really want to help. I plan on adopting when God calls me to if I am married or not. I have one sister my parents adopted through the foster care system, and trying on adopting another precious little girl as well! Trying to accept God's will whatever it is! God Bless

Anonymous said...

I have a question for next week...we have adopted once and we have bio children..the bio children do not want us to adopt again because as one of them put it...we paid ALL of our attention to the adopted child for at least a year. Which as you know any child adopted into a family needs more in the beginning. They have real fears about there not being enough attention for them. Would this cause resentment? Can there be too many children?

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing all of your answers. I learned from each of them!