Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I must start out by saying that I love autumn in Virginia...it is a beautiful time of year with magnificent views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they seem to create a different artistic masterpiece every day with their evolving hues! Our office is nestled at the base of a small mountain and, this week, our windows have become frames for the elaborate scenery of nature signaling that we are almost at the peak of this season.
Every Wednesday, the staff of Family Life Services, the Liberty Godparent Foundation, and the Liberty Godparent Home meets first thing in the morning for devotions and prayer. I was slotted to share this morning and was convinced, yesterday, that I had a great devotional to share with the ladies from a recent daily devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries (as a side note, you need to sign up for these if you haven't already). As I was getting ready this morning, God began to speak to me and let me know that He had something different that I was to share.
I pulled out my Soul Care Bible as I was eating breakfast and a few flips of the page revealed the timely words that I was able to share with our staff this morning about the "Seasons of Life" by Freda Crews (drawn from I Chronicles 23).
In the last year and a half, I have personally experienced a consistent series of transitions: transition to marriage, job transitions for my husband, and a combination of leadership changes within our ministry. If I may have a moment of transparency with you, I must say that I am one who doesn't welcome change with excitement but have come to realize that change can be very positive even in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances.
Life is a series of transitions...that is a reality for all of us. We have a choice to make regarding our response to change: we can resist it with everything that is in us and probably become miserable in the process or we can decide to be aggressively engaged in becoming the people God intended us to be by learning to navigate through the transitions of life.
With God's help, how can we handle life transitions and come out a better person on the other side? Better yet, how can we come through these changes with our joy, faith, and hope still intact? Here are some simple and practical takeaways that I needed to hear more than anyone this morning:
1) Accept the reality that life transitions are inevitable. Although we can prevent or avoid some transitions, other we cannot and are beyond our control. Acceptance allows us to embrace life with its seasons of growth and development.
2) Allow change to work. Transitions help us to become what God wants us to be and He is in control of every situation, manipulating it behind the scenes to accomplish His purpose in our lives.
3) Persevere - Hang in there during the difficult circumstances! God leads us through circumstances that give us the opportunity to grow strong spiritual roots so we can withstand the storms of life. Character can be cultivated when we persevere through the pain of change.
4) Wait for the purposes of God to unfold. Trust that He is faithful and will reveal a purpose to the painful transitions in life.
If this meets you right where you are today, you are not alone. My heart was stirred as I related each of these reminders to my personal life and our organization. I must choose to go "along for the ride" knowing that it's not a chaotic, out-of-control ride with no plan, but rather God is in control of each hour of every day and already knows the end result of my circumstances. Be encouraged, friends, that He loves us and is holding you close in the midst of the storm.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I'm back after a little breather from blogging...I love sharing new ideas and connecting through The Journey of Adoption, and yet, sometimes, I find that daily casework must take precedent over these more innovative branches of our agency. That is where I have been the past couple of weeks - returning phone calls, assisting with searches, processing counseling cases, planning upcoming events, hosting support groups, etc.!
There are two major events in November that we are hosting (2010 Winter Market and the "Celebrate Adoption" Skating Party) and we want to see you! They fall on the same weekend, so it's a wonderful opportunity for those of you who aren't too far away to plan a trip into Lynchburg for the weekend.
1) The 2010 Winter Market will be the melting pot of vendors and merchants...a perfect kick-off for the Christmas Season! Make plans now to come and enjoy the unique items at this show at Liberty University’s Schilling Center in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Friday, November 19th: Show Preview 6-9pm (Admission $7)
Saturday, November 20th: 10-6pm (Admission $5)
Sunday, November 21st: 1-4pm (Admission $5)
*Kids 12 and under are free **Sponsored by WSET & Flavours Catering by Design
All proceeds from admission will benefit the Liberty Godparent Foundation. This year's market will be a shopping extravaganza that you won't want to miss! Visit the Facebook page linked above for a list of vendors that will be updated weekly from now until the event. For further information or to request a vendor information packet, please contact Kris Richard at 434.592.4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) The "Celebrate Adoption" Skating Party is on Saturday, November 20th from 4 - 5:45 p.m. at the LaHaye Ice Center in Lynchburg, VA. FLS would like to invite families touched by domestic or international adoption to join us for our 6th Annual Ice Skating Party! Foster families, birth families, waiting adoptive families, and adoptive families are welcome. There is no admission charge for ice skating, skate rentals are free, and refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Deanne Hamlette at email@example.com or RSVP on the Facebook Events Page linked above.
Tis the season for fun, food, family & friends!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Last night, we hosted our monthly Birth Mother Support Group at the Liberty Godparent Home. It was a different kind of group - no discussion plans, no gut-wrenching poems to read, no expectations for each person to share something with the group about her adoption journey...instead, we painted pottery!
To some, this may sound like a silly and frivolous plan and yet we wanted to provide an activity for women with similar experiences to connect on another level...a real-life, everyday kind of level where we can appreciate each person for their style, creativity, zest for life, imagination, etc. So, they came in jeans & pj's and indulged in chocolate, cookies, chips, and soda while settling in for an evening of relaxation.
Many of the 15 ladies in attendance have been coming to the group for years (some as many as 8 years) and others were newly acquainted to the group. As the evening progressed, we found 3 groups of ladies gathered around tables talking about life, love, family, school, work, and adoption.
Several of the women chose to create something as a gift to the child whom they placed with an adoptive family. This gift will be priceless, unique, and encompasses the eternal love that a birth mother feels for her child.
Was this group complicated or counseling-oriented? No. Was it therapeutic? Absolutely. We're learning that sometimes the best plan comes when you think outside the box!
Monday, October 4, 2010
The Lifetime Adoption Foundation has been an organization that we have often referred birth parents to when looking at pursuing educational opportunities. They believe that birth parents who have chosen adoption for their children deserve the opportunity for a future after adoption in the same way that they have made decisions to provide their child with a healthy future. Birth mothers or birth fathers may apply for scholarship funds and they award 80-90% of applicants with a scholarship of $50 - $500. Here is the criteria for scholarship and information about the application process. Although the funding is limited, every little bit helps!
We have the scholarship packet available on PDF at our office as well. If you would like us to send you the information, we can forward it via email.
Friday, October 1, 2010
One of the most thrilling parts of this week has been learning about the life-saving efforts of two little girls, Eliana (5) and Eden (3), who wanted to do something to make a difference. These girls not only wanted to participate in our Baby Bottle Campaign, they wanted to get their neighborhood and community involved as well. They set up a lemonade stand and worked 7 hours.....raising over $100 for the Liberty Godparent Foundation! These girls really "got it" and totally rocked the Baby Bottle Campaign!
Lemonade 4 Life
We have all heard the term when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That stems from the thought that lemons themselves are sour and bad. Actually they have a great flavor; they’re just concentrated and need to be blended with other ingredients to create a wonderful finished product. Lemons are great in things like cakes, pies, and lemonade, but not so good in coffee or mashed potatoes. Sometime life throws us things that we think are less than ideal, like for instance an unplanned pregnancy.
The addition of a baby is often the fulfillment of a desire, although in other cases the timing or circumstances may not be suitable to give a child what they need. In such cases, pregnancy resource centers and adoption agencies such as The Liberty Godparent Home & Family Life Services are there to help young ladies with the resources they need or the option of placing their child in a loving home through adoption.
As humans we can many times focus on the inconvenient circumstances without searching for the beauty in a finished product. Sometimes the sweetest things come in small concentrated packages.
Many adults wouldn't stick at something for 7 hours and could certainly learn a lot from Eliana & Eden's hard work, dedication, and motivation to volunteer their time and get involved in a cause they believe in. Their parents, Bev & Brooke, have obviously planted seeds of kindness, love, and care for others at an early age and the whole family is very supportive of our ministry.
Eliana & Eden - you have excited our whole ministry with your love for people and desire to do something to help others. Thank you for volunteering your time to tell others about the Liberty Godparent Home & Family Life Services and your selfless gift of money to help young women and babies!