Monday, August 30, 2010

Talking to Teachers & Classmates About Adoption

For most families, school is back in full swing and this time of year brings many questions for adoptive families.  Should we talk to the teacher about adoption?  How will the school react to this information?  How can we prepare our child to answer questions from classmates about adoption?  Should we just not say anything at all?  The answers to these questions are going to be different for every family - however, I hope we can give you some guidance for determining the best approach for you at this time.

The majority of adoptive families with young children have embraced the common belief that talking openly with your children about adoption is the best approach.  Adoption is a word and term that is used frequently enough within the family dynamic that young children understand what it means and also have learned that it doesn't have a negative connotation.  I am of the opinion that, if you are comfortable talking about a topic, people are less likely to have an uncomfortable reaction when the topic is introduced.  

The first recommendation is for adoptive parents to become comfortable with the family's adoption story and decide, in advance, what information is going to be "public information" and what information should be kept private.  Remember, being comfortable talking about adoption doesn't mean that you need to share all of the intimate details with complete strangers.

It's a good idea to talk with your child about how they feel about telling his or her teacher that they were adopted at the beginning of each school year.  For some children, they don't understand why you wouldn't share that with the teacher and others feel that it may single them out or make them seem different than their peers.  What might seem appropriate to them this year, might be totally different next year.

Some of the benefits of talking to the teacher about adoption are:  it can help to avoid the awkward situations that arise with some assignments such as the family tree; it can help to build adoption awareness within the classroom and the school; and it can open the dialogue between the family and the teacher for the rest of the school year. 

Here are some tools that might be beneficial to your family as you start the new school year:
Whether your child is in preschool or middle school, have a family conversation about adoption and school to determine how to best prepare your child, the teachers, and classmates for a positive and rewarding year ahead! 

Share your advice about navigating the school years and positive or negative experiences that you have encountered...we can always best learn from each other...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Your Change Can Change Lives!

I just realized that it has been a long time since my last post - that's good, in a way, because I've been busy with people instead of writing.  At any rate, there are great things going on within our organization and we are gearing up for the Baby Bottle Campaign for the Liberty Godparent Foundation

We realize that the economy is tough (we're real people too with real budgets and real financial responsibilities).  That is why I love this fundraiser - it's simple enough for the old and young alike and takes very little effort on your part.  Most of us have that magic spot in our house or car (guilty-mine is the cup holder in my car) where we stash all of the quarters, dimes, nickels and "oh-so-heavy" pennies.  Here's a way to band together and really put that money to great use.

From now through the month of September, we're asking that you collect your loose change in a designated baby bottle like the one above or another container and donate it to the Godparent Foundation at the end of the month.  Of course, we will gratefully accept bills and checks, too!

We have many local churches that have gotten involved and will be passing out bottles within their congregation - we even have a church in Georgia that has gotten on board!  Families from across the United States are finding ways to participate...just this week, we received a check for $1,000 from a family in Chicago who didn't want to miss the blessing of being a part of this campaign.

You might wonder....what exactly is this money used for?  There are two main purposes:  1)  It helps the Liberty Godparent Home to continue to provide free housing, education, and counseling to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and 2)  It helps with the operating expenses and counseling costs for Family Life Services Adoption Agency so we don't have to raise our adoption fees for families.

A baby bottle full of change holds about $20 in coins - stop by FLS and pick up a bottle if you're local to the area and drop it off at the end of the month.  If you're not in close proximity to us, consider sending a donation toward the will change the future of a mother and a child.  Designate any donations not in a baby bottle to "Baby Bottle Campaign" and send them to the Liberty Godparent Foundation, P.O. Box 4199, Lynchburg, Virginia  24502.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rachel's Journey to Thailand - Update

What an amazing time we had in Thailand! After spending a few days at Liberty University in training, getting to know each other, preparing to share our testimonies and perform dramas, learning about the culture and some of what we would be doing to minister in Thailand, our team of 14 boarded a plane for the other side of the world! After close to 20 hours in the air and a few hours at an airport in Korea, we landed in Bangkok! We then drove about 45 minutes to the city where we would be spending most of our time, Nonthaburi.

For the next two weeks we taught English to over 1,000 different students, from at least 10 different schools. Some days we traveled to government schools, other days to universities, some days the students came to us at the school we were staying at, and one afternoon we got to volunteer at an orphanage. My husband, Marc, and I thoroughly enjoyed the 12 students that were part of our team and saw God work in and through them in wonderful ways.

Some highlights of the trip:

o Seeing our team’s hearts break as we sat with a group of 60 university students and saw only two of them raise their hands when asked how many knew who Jesus was. It still blows my mind that there are people who do not even know who Jesus is, let alone believe in Him.

o A teacher asking why our team was so happy. (That morning we had prayed for the joy of the Lord to shine out of us!)

o Having dinner at the top of the tallest building in Bangkok and afterward spending time outside on a special floor of the tower that revolved around the city. Our team sung God of this City as we prayed for the people of Thailand.

o For many team members riding on elephants was notable! And even though I’ve ridden a number of times, it’s still fun to climb up and ride atop these huge creatures!

o Getting to minister to a group of university students who had just lost a friend to suicide. Some of our students were able to give them Bibles and tell them about the hope that Jesus offers.

o Seeing some of the students on our team have confirmed to them that they are to go into full-time, overseas missions when they graduate.

o Getting to speak Thai and eat delicious Thai food again! I think the most interesting thing anyone ate was a fish eyeball!

o Loving on a group of children with special needs at an orphanage in the area. There was a precious little girl there that stole my heart!

o I got to take a quick day trip up to Chiang Mai where I use to live and see many of the people that were part of my life up there: the staff at the orphanage, the pediatrician who cared for my foster children, and many dear friends. So many that I have relationships with up there still do not know Jesus as their personal Savior and my heart continues to be burdened for them. It was good to be able to hug them and let them know that I still care about them!

o Worshipping with Thai believers and realizing that our God hears and understands every language!

o Performing a drama that told the story of creation, fall, and redemption at a two day English camp. And later finding out that one of the students at the camp accepted the Lord as her Savior!

Before we left, I wrote that I wanted our team to be able to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:14) and truly, I believe, we did that. Our prayer is that doors were opened for future ministry and that students we taught will come to future English activities hosted by believers in the area, that they will check out the local church and come to know for themselves what, or rather Who it is that makes this group of American English teachers so full of life and joy!

~Rachel Curley, FLS Adoption Caseworker

Friday, August 6, 2010

God's Heart: Adoption

I have no words this morning to tell you how moved I am after taking just 4 minutes to watch this slideshow that "popped up" on a blog that I follow.  It will touch you, and change you, if you listen to the message and take in the images.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflecting on "The Wait"


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the master so gently said, “Child, you must wait!"

"Wait?” you say, "Wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming your word.

"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a "yes", a go ahead sign
Or even a "no", to which I can resign.

"And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and his eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heaves, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want...but you wouldn't know

You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and save...for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for thee"
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would
come true, but oh, the LOSS!
If I lost what I'm doing in you!

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."

—Author Unknown
I can think of so many seasons of my life where a "wait" was uncomfortable and unpleasant.  We can all relate to "wanting what we want, when we want it".  This poem is going to launch the discussion for our upcoming Adoption Support Group on August 10th.  If you are planning to attend, think about how this might apply to your own situation (perhaps as an expectant parent, birth parent, or adoptive parent) and also think about what has been an encouragement to you during times of waiting for an answer to come.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Adoptive Family Pool Party!

The Lynchburg Adoptive Family Support Group is planning a family day at the pool on Saturday, August 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The pool party will be held at a private home in Goode, Virginia, and each family should bring a picnic lunch to enjoy poolside.

Two FLS adoptive couples, Clayton & Robyn and Dean & Kathy, organize this group and open the events up to waiting adoptive couples as well as a means for providing a network of friendship and support during the adoption process.  To RSVP and get directions to the pool, email Kathy at
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