November 30, 2007

Celebrating Adoption: Special Music

Adoptive Music brings you the best in Adoption themed music & songs specifically related to the adoptive family experience, created by artists whose lives have been touched by the miracle of adoption.

Thanks, Chuck and Lynette Giacinto.

November 26, 2007

Celebrating Adoption: Literary Artist

Colleen D. C. Marquez is a literary artist. She creates 'You in the Word.' Here's more about it from her Web site:

"YOU IN THE WORD™ offers unique, personalized Literary Art that highlights your name within a Scripture verse in contemporary acrostic design, on your choice of available backdrops and professionally matted and framed in a 14 x 16 inch frame with cherry finish."

Visit Colleen and find out more about You in the Word at

Celebrating Adoption: Author/Speaker Spotlight

"A safe haven for exploring adoption.
Thinking about exploring adoption? Whether you're exploring the possibility or you're already an adoptive parent or adopted person, you've come to the right place. At, you'll find a wealth of information and encouragement to assist you through your adoption journey."

That's the introduction from Laura Christianson's Web site. Cruise on over and check out her books (she's a writer too) and speaking schedule.

Laura and I are part of, a network she created. Thanks, Laura, for all you do. May God continue to bless your work.

Laura's Web Site
Laura's Blog
Laura's Amazon Store

Celebrating Adoption:

Here's another online adoption source: It offers books and so much more. You can find greeting cards, apparel, artwork, jewelry, software.

Looks like your quintessential one-stop-adoption-shop!

Celebrating Adoption: Books

With just one week left in National Adoption Month, I'd like to feature Web sites with great adoption information and resources. I'm not endorsing them per se, just presenting them for your consideration.

The first Web site this week is Tapestry Books. It's an online bookstore with books (mostly nonfiction) on domestic and international adoption. They have books for kids, teens, and adults.

Here's the link:

Giving Thanks. Making Memories.

Last week was Thanksgiving Week. The kids were out most of the week AND I had a writing deadline (which I met, thank you). So you can imagine how thankful I am to be sitting at the keyboard this morning knowing that I will finally have a one day of leisure and quiet. Can you hear my heels clicking?

But seriously, I am thankful to be a mom and a writer. It's always a tricky balancing act trying to pull both off successfully. I find I have to redefine success. And I have to depend on others to pitch in. Some things have to go undone (at least for a while). And some things might not need to be done at all. I sometimes wonder what my kids will remember.

Last Thursday, the kids helped me make cookies. We usually do a good deal of baking this time of year. Muffins. Cookies. Nut breads. So getting all covered with flour and licking sugar crystals off the table is normal for me and my boys. My oldest (9 yo) helped out the most. I let him roll the dough and use cookie cutters. He's got a long way to go in the gentle department, though. *grin*

After Thanksgiving dinner we decorated our cookies with frosting, sprinkles, and little candies. My four-year-old looked up and said 'this is the best Thanksgiving ever.' I smiled and gave him a hug. It well worth the mess we made. We made a memory together. That's what holidays together is all about.

November 17, 2007

Happy Adoption Day

Today is National Adoption Day. In many town halls, court rooms, homes, and libraries around the U.S., you'll find adoption celebrations.

My home will be one of those that pause for a moment to celebrate 'forever family' with adopted children (three little boys, in fact). Since my kids are young (the oldest is nine; the youngest is four), I'll be doing some hands adoption celebrating (See below). And some celebrating that tastes good too.

Adoption Activities
Reading the book Forever Fingerprints (by Sherrie Eldridge)
This picture book 'deftly guides children to two essential concepts: sadness over missing birthparents is normal, and adoptive parents can be sensitive supporters for their children's grief.'

Braided Ribbons Coloring Project (by Sherrie Eldridge)
This activity was inspired by Psalm 139:16b. In Ms. Eldridge's words, “Every single day of my life was planned before any one of them ever came to be.”

Have a good day of adoption discovery, acceptance, healing, and CELEBRATION.

Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Speaker and Author with an amazing story
Adoption Lifebooks
National Adoption Day

November 14, 2007

Fostering Hope

Today, as guest blogger for National Adoption Month, we have Cynthia Hickey. Here's her story.

"The book of Deuteronomy tells us to train up a child in the way they should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. My husband and I hold this truth as God’s promise to us.

In 1992, my husband and I felt led to open our home to foster children. Our four biological children opened their arms and hearts wholeheartedly to the idea. One week after we completed our certification, we received a call from the foster agency asking whether we had a problem with fostering black children. We emphatically stated no and they went on to inform us they were bringing us a six-week old baby girl. Imagine our surprise when they showed up with a three-week old baby boy! It was love at first sight.

Over the nine years we fostered children, we adopted three of the twenty-three children who passed through our doors. One Caucasian girl we received at the age of six years old and two African/American boys both received as infants.

The years since have been filled with joy and sorrow. The first time our adopted daughter decided she couldn’t live by our rules, she was sixteen. She moved out only to be brought home three weeks later. Before she turned eighteen, she was gone again, having turned her back on the entire family. She is in God’s hands now and my husband and I have faith He will draw her back into the fold someday.

We have raised our sons to be proud of their heritage, letting them know the world would be a boring place if God had created everyone to look the same. They are very comfortable in their multi-cultural families. We could not have done this without God’s grace.

Both boys struggle some with learning and attention deficit due to circumstances surrounding their birth mothers, but both have overcome insurmountable obstacles. The oldest is in high school now and star of the football team. The youngest is the joy of our hearts.

God is good. As we struggle with the challenges of raising adoptive children who have questions about why their birth parents gave them up, my husband and I are comfortable with the knowledge that God will see our family through. Our teenager is a trial at this point in his life, but as an infant someone spoke a word over him saying that God was going to use him as a bridge between the white man and the black.

God keeps his promises whether this side or the other of heaven."

Cynthia Hickey

Thanks, Cynthia for helping me celebrate National Adoption month with your story.

November 12, 2007

Soldiers with Shoulders

In celebration of National Adoption Month (and Veteran's Day) ...

Yesterday, my two youngest boys came to me with their shoulders squared and their hands pressed firmly against the sides of their legs.

"We're shoulders," the five-year-old announced.

I knew what he meant to say ('we're soldiers') but what he said ('shoulders') made me think.

As adoptive mom, I have felt like a soldier and a shoulder over the past nine years. For the better part of the first two years of our youngest son's life, my husband and I (and our lawyer) were in court, seeking the termination of rights of a 16 year old high school drop out father. In that sense we were fighting for him. We were soldiers--quiet and steadfast, always hopeful for peace but ready for battle.

We have also been shoulders, of course. In the same sense that all parents find themselves. Shoulders to cry on. Shoulders to break down the barriers in life. Shoulders to stand on to see what lies ahead. But event beyond that, I think adoptive and foster parents are shoulders for our children in that we offer them a chance that they would not have had otherwise.

I'll be honest. The phrase, 'giving them a better life' disturbs me. Particularly when it is spoken in the context of a trans-racial or trans-cultural adoption. Who's to say what a 'better life' is? Does a better life only involve private schools, swimming pools in the backyard, and trips abroad?

Can a better life mean having a father with a GED, being on foodstamps for a few years, or having to work your way through college? That was my experience. And I deep down, I can't imagine how being given nicer things could have made my life light years better. That sounds too much like handouts. (Handouts can come in many forms, you know.) But don't get me going on the subject of handouts.

So in reference to adoption and foster care, I rather prefer the phrase 'a chance to a better life.' Because that's all we offer them: A CHANCE. There's no guarantee that the adoptive or fostered child will succeed because he came into our home, because we gave them our best.

We can only hope and pray that our shoulders were quiet and steadfast, always hopeful for peace but ready for right battle.

November 9, 2007

A Path to God

Today, as guest blogger for National Adoption Month, we have Ane Mulligan. Here's her story.

"God blessed me with an adoptive father who pointed me to the Lord by showing me what a loving father was like. I’ve never really struggled with faith; Daddy set an example before my brother and me. He was a father who disciplined yet loved unconditionally.

He was slightly indulgent but firm. And we never once doubted that we were loved and wanted. I was able to understand and trust God as my Heavenly Father through Daddy, living his faith out in actions and not just words.

Mama believed in me from day one. She encouraged me in all that I did, and she taught me by her life what a being a Christian wife is all about. She and Daddy never raised their voices to one another in all their 62 years of marriage.

When Mama went to be with Jesus, Daddy followed her within 4 months. Both were 89. They set before me a path to God that was easy to follow. I’ve been married to my beloved husband for 37 years and trusting God all my life."

Thanks, Ane for your story.

Ane Mulligan
American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Zone Officer
May you be covered in the dust of the Rabbi

November 8, 2007

An atypical family

Today, as guest blogger for National Adoption Month, we have Nicole Baart. Here's her story.

November is a special month for my family because it marks both the birthday of my biological son and the homecoming of my adopted son. Sometimes I feel like I could write forever on the nuances of our life and why we believe God chose to weave our family together as He did. But mostly I just love watching everything unfold and learning more about what it means to be a godly mother every day.

Often, I learn more from my children than from the numerous books I devour on the topic of adoption. My favorite “lesson” came from my three-year-old only weeks before we brought our new baby home from Africa.

My husband and I are both Caucasian and our youngest son is Ethiopian. When we received his referral, we ecstatically printed off copies of his picture and hung them all over our house. Our three-year-old fell immediately in love with his baby brother and took to carrying around a picture that quickly became dog-eared and tattered; he’d proudly whip out his precious photo and introduce total strangers to his new brother.

One woman saw our son’s beloved photo and commented, “What a beautiful brother you have! Look how handsome he is.”

It was a perfectly innocent and loving comment, but it made me wonder how much my oldest son understood about the complexities of our soon to be biracial family. Later, when we were alone, I probed a little bit.

“Honey, your baby brother is different from you, isn’t he? What’s different about him?”

“He came from ‘opia (our son’s toddler version of Ethiopia) and I came from mommy’s tummy.”

“You’re right,” I smiled. “What else is different?”

“He’s little and I’m big.”

Right again. “Anything else?”

“Ummm… he has curly hair and I don’t.”

At this point I was laughing out loud. “Is there anything else that’s different between you and your brother?”

My son screwed up his face for a moment and then grabbed the nearest toy. “Nope!” he yelled. Conversation over.

Nowadays, our baby is a fun-loving and energetic sixteen-month-old, and his very best friend is a four-year-old that still doesn’t get that the rest of the world thinks they’re different. My husband and I are so proud of both of our sons (and their respective Dutch and Ethiopian heritages), and we do everything we can think of to encourage them to embrace their diverse roots while developing a profound respect for each other. But they’re kids. And the bottom line for them is: they’re brothers. That’s all that matters to them.

I love the fact that in this crazy world of sharply drawn lines and distinct colors, my boys just plain don’t care. It’s not that they’re color blind--in fact, my oldest son is downright crazy about his brother’s gorgeous chocolate skin--nor do I want them to be; their diversity is one of the many things that makes them so beautiful. But I do think that they intrinsically accept something that we could all stand to learn: we are one in Christ. Forget black and white, biological or adopted, we are one just as “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). I love what my kids are teaching me about unity in the wonderfully distinctive and extraordinarily atypical family of God!

Thanks, Nicole for your wonderful adoption story.
Nicole Baart, author of After the Leaves Fall

November 7, 2007

Just Like My Daddy

Today, as guest blogger for National Adoption Month, we have Linda Rondeau.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15 NIV).

Not able to have children of their own, my son and daughter-in-law have adopted several children through the foster care system. Each addition to the family has been considered a blessing—especially so with Joshua. Nearly a year before, Joshua, who had been in foster care since early infancy, was free to be adopted. When the agency called my son and daughter-in-law who already had one adopted son and another whom they hoped to adopt, they opened their hearts to welcome the youngster into their burgeoning nest. It was love at first sight when the affectionate youngster moved in. Finally, all the legal work was over, and the family accompanied Joshua for his day in court.

The courtroom was silent, waiting for the judge to make a decision—a decision to determine not only where little Joshua would live, but also what his name would be. The judge motioned Joshua to approach the bench. From his austere heights, the magistrate pointed to someone in the room. Each time, Joshua was asked, “Who is this?”

“Those are my brothers,” Joshua said, referring to the other adopted children. “That’s Mommy,” he explained as he pointed to my daughter-in-law.

Then the judge’s attention focused on my son who positioned Joshua in his arms, allowing the child to see the judge at eye level. “And who is this man holding you?”
Joshua’s eyes widened. He took his little hand and touched his father’s face as he squealed in delight, “THAT’S MY DADDY!”

The judge, assured of Joshua’s placement in a loving family, told John and Melissa that Joshua was now their legal son. Then the judge asked Joshua, “Do you know what your new name is?”

Joshua blurted out in excitement as he hugged his new father, “Joshua John Barringer, just like my daddy!”

Joshua takes great pleasure in imitating his father in just about everything. But, his greatest thrill is to bear his father’s name. For months after the adoption, Joshua said his name in a complete phrase: “I’m Joshua John Barringer, just like my Daddy!”

Joshua’s unabashed enthusiasm to become one with the family he loved, made me think of my spiritual relationship to God. He holds me in His arms so that I can touch His face. He has given me the privilege to call him “Daddy, God.”

He asks me to be holy as He is holy. He wants me to emulate His example. Joshua’s delight at his new name, made my heart say to God, “I want to be just like You.”

Thanks, Linda R., for sending me your adoption story.
Linda Rondeau's Critique Services

November 5, 2007

Let's Celebrate Adoption

November is National Adoption Month. So as an adoptive mom and an advocate for adoption, I'd like to take a break from my regular posting on race and faith to blog on adopting, being adopted, and thoughts about adoption. The main focus will be how adoption/adopting affects the believers' faith journey and the relationship with a loving Adoptive Father in heaven.

Just so you'll be warned, I won't be doing all the 'talking' this month. But since I am an adoptive mom and it's my blog, I thought it would be okay if I go first.

I have so many 'instant mom' stories to relate but one stands out this month. It involves my grandmother. I think it fitting that I should relate this one since my grandmother, Mary Honablew, died on November 2, the day I meant to post this originally.

At any rate, my husband and I were anxious to have the family meet our sweet little baby boy. My mom knew about my struggles with infertility and our decision to adopt but I hadn't talked to my grandmother. How can you explain not being able to conceive with a woman who had given birth to 12 children?

Our little one was just over a month old when we took him home to meet the folks that first time. No one had seen pictures of him and by their reactions I think it was a surprise to them to see how much he resembled my very dark-skinned husband.

No one dared say anything about the resemblance until my grandmother leaned in close, looked my husband in the eye and said, 'You sure you didn't have anything to do with this baby?'

Yes, my grandmother was one to speak her mind. She's be greatly missed. In a way, though, I see a lot of her in the adopted great grandson she took under her wing. God is funny that way, sometimes. He has not ceased with His little adoption surprises, replacing my fears with faith (and a laugh or two), reminding me that I can trust Him, even when I can't understand. I've stopped asking 'why me.' He's turned it into 'why not me?'

Have a great month. Feel free to email your stories of adoption and faith to linda[at]