Empowered to Connect

Archive for “Count the Cost”

Closing the Gap


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sue and Ron had three biological children who were healthy, happy and loved the Lord. Life was good and honestly it was fairly simple, at least until they went on a mission trip and visited a Russian orphanage. It was there that they knew in their hearts God was calling them to adopt—and not just adopt any child but a 10-year-old girl named Sasha. They were excited about what God was going to do in and through their family, but they were quite nervous as well.

Sue and Ron knew many families who had already adopted and some of what they knew about these families’ experiences was more than a little scary. Most of them adopted older children from Russian orphanages, some from Sasha’s orphanage, and most had encountered significant challenges not long after they returned home. As they reflected on the struggles that these families faced, Sue and Ron were determined to learn from these families’ experiences.

Practical Help for Families in Crisis


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In this brief video, Dr. Karyn Purvis offers some simple, yet tangible steps that families in crisis can take in order to find the hope and help they need. To see what these steps looked like for one family, read How We Found Help in the Midst of Crisis.

How We Found Help in the Midst of Crisis


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In this short video, Dr. Purvis highlights a number of strategies for helping families, many of which we used when our family was in crisis. The over-arching theme is that we cannot parent children from “hard places” alone. As she says, we need to “pitch our tent” with others who understand and turn to them for help. As we struggled to find our way, we learned that we needed a “team” for our daughter because we could not meet her needs and the needs of our other children at the same time. We were exhausted, emotionally and physically, and we were stressed beyond belief.

But there is hope. This is our story of how we found help in the midst of crisis.

Adoption from the Inside Out

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In this audio presentation Michael & Amy Monroe speak to a group of adoptive and foster parents (and parents-to-be) at a Tapestry event about what it means to approach the adoption and foster care journey from the “inside out.” This process requires that parents be willing to look back and make sense of their own past, look forward and honestly examine their motivations and expectations, in order to be free in each and every moment to be “fully emotionally present” with their children to help them heal and become all that God has created them to be.

In addition to listening to the audio, you can also follow along with the slides and handouts for this presentation.

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The Safest Place on Earth


Monday, January 10, 2011

(ETC Team: This article was originally published on the Tapestry website in 2007. While many churches have made real strides in the area of adoption and foster care ministry, collectively we still have a great deal of important work to do. It is our prayer that many more churches will commit to become truly “safe places” for adoptive and foster families.)

This may not be easy to read; it wasn’t easy to write. But I think this is something we all need to face . . . and then go about praying for and seeking change. I’m speaking of our churches and how they relate to and support (or fail to relate to and support) adoptive and foster families.

If Numbers Could Talk

A 2002 nationwide survey commissioned by The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption revealed many interesting things regarding Americans’ views and attitudes about adoption. One finding was particularly relevant to local churches. When asked “where would you turn for information or advice about how to adopt,” 52% of married couples indicated they would turn to their local church or place of worship. Thus, it is clear that many people at the front-end of the adoption process think of their local church as being a good place to go for information and advice about adoption. Sounds promising, right? Hold that thought.

Counting the Cost: Preparing for the Adoption Journey


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dr. Karyn Purvis was one of the keynote speakers at the 2010 Together for Adoption Conference in Austin, Texas. During her talk, she challenged the nearly 1,000 participants that were gathered to “count the cost” as the consider and prepare for the adoption or foster care journey. This brief 30 minute talk is highly relevant and challenging for all adoptive and foster families as well as for churches wanting to wade into the waters of adoption and foster care ministry.

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He Gives and Takes Away


Friday, December 3, 2010

It was a Tuesday morning in October 2006. Breakfast was winding down and the children gathered their books to begin the school day. My older boys were off to their room to find enough quiet to concentrate on Geometry. Upstairs the girls gathered around the dining room table to begin their work while I started the laundry. Like each school morning since 1991, we studied together as a family, something that we had dedicated ourselves to since our oldest daughter was a curious four year-old.

Fast forward four years to a Tuesday morning in October 2010. My two daughters, neatly dressed in plaid skirts and white blouses, quickly eat breakfast and grab their lunchboxes. With backpacks slung over their shoulders, they run to give me a hug and kiss as they head out the door to Russ’ car. The other children call goodbye as they settle in with their school books. Russ drives the girls to school while I grab my coffee and shift my thoughts to the day at home. Another school day has begun.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough


Thursday, October 7, 2010

It is Sunday afternoon and the back of my tired minivan sits open as we load backpacks, pillows, and fleece blankets. I kiss my other children goodbye and Russ hugs me firmly, imparting a bit of extra strength for the day. My two daughters buckle in their seats and we head west, they watching a movie or sleeping, me with one ear bud in my ear as my iPod plays.

We drive through rolling hills of wheat fields, then range land, followed by orchards. As evening approaches, we finally reach the Columbia River and merge onto I-90 heading toward Snoqualmie Pass where I pray there is no snow. Three hundred miles after we’ve begun, we reach Seattle and our friends’ home, where they will graciously host us yet one more time. In fact, we’ve made this identical trip 24 times this year.

What could possibly make me give up two days every other week, drive 600 miles round trip each time, and spend large sums of money? Hope and help for my children.

Ten Questions for Parents Preparing to Adopt or Foster


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We are often asked what questions parents should consider as they make decisions and prepare to adopt or foster. Below is a list of ten questions that we believe will help parents better assess the journey that lies ahead. You can also download and print a pdf version of these questions.

Walking Humbly


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recently, a friend and I leaned against my kitchen counter, watching our children play in the backyard. As we sipped coffee we chatted about a young couple in our church that is in the process of adopting two children. We reminisced about the time when we were in their shoes, recalling how little we truly knew and understood about the road that lay ahead. My friend and I agreed — we wished we could share all we have learned since that time about adopting children from “hard places.” We wished that someone had done the same for us.

As we talked, I realized that much of what we have learned along the way might be helpful to more than just this couple. They are good lessons and timely reminders for all of us who are on the adoption journey, no matter how far along.