Thursday, August 30, 2012

END OF YOUR ROPE=BEGINNING OF HOPE!

From Susan:

On whom are you depending?

I chuckle each time I remember that audacious prayer uttered with a mixture of sincerity and fear at 30,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean that May, after meeting the three 'other sisters' (Masha-14, Lana-10, Ksusha-7) of our first two adopted kids, Anya and Alex--  "Lord, I promise if You show me your will, I will obey you, but ALL the problems (like having money for education, giving each of them all they need) will be YOURS, not mine!"

You see, we already had 7 kids, and I felt like I was barely making it with all the homework, sports, music and art lessons, social activities, and intentional nurturing.  Yet we had just discovered (in answer to Alex's prayers - but that's another story!) the whereabouts and newly orphaned status of the other three sisters.  Now, in my world view, sisters of my children are also my children.  Yet, this was not so.  Should they be?  Would they be?

As I look back on that prayer, I realize that my mindset was often one of slipping into depending on myself.  Like the verse from Isaiah 36:5, "On whom are you depending?" Maybe Susan Hillis could provide the needed mothering for 7 kids, but oh my ....  if there were 10, God would have to provide all the nurturing and protection and provision and wisdom and love through me that they needed from me!  Honestly, that was ridiculous!  I still wonder if the reason I ended up with 10 kids is that it took that many for me to learn to depend on God more than on myself.  And I tell you, I would not change A THING!  He has been exceedingly faithful in ways as big as providing a private anonymous donor who paid half of the school fees for all our kids to be in a private Christian school, to as small as having a dear friend from work surprise us by knocking on the door with a huge pot of steamy soup on that winter night when, at 6:30 PM, I realized that Brian and I had both totally forgotten to fix supper and we were all starvingly hungry! 


One thing is necessary

This past week I have had wonderful reminders in my early morning times with the Lord about the glorious Joy and Hope that comes from trusting in the Lord for the big and little things of life....I just have to share this list!
  • "One thing is necessary" is how Jesus describes Mary's decision to "sit at the Lord's feet and listen" to Him speak!(Luke 7)  I find when I do this, the Lord often shows me to do less and trust Him to do more.  In other words, to focus on loving over controlling, on caring over curing, as Henry Nouwen so persuasively writes in his essay, "Out of Solitude." 

  • As parents we often get to the end of our ropes when faced with sickness or emotional scars in our children.  In Luke 8, Jesus tells the parents of a sick teenager, "Do not fear; only believe and she will be well."  Then Jesus himself speaks to the ailing girl and says, "Child arise."  The next part I love- "And her parents were amazed."  Over and over and over, I find Jesus just amazes me with what He does for my children.  He has been so repeatedly faithful that I am shifting in my expectations when faced with impossible circumstances.  Instead of wondering about how horrible the problem may become, I am beginning to wonder about how marvelous and story-book-like God's provision will be!

  • Or one other example--what comes next in Luke 9....for a boy who has horrible spiritual or emotional problems, the parents have no part in his recovery other than to talk to Jesus about him.  Jesus then "rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy and gave him back to his father."  I just love this notion of Jesus releasing from my children that very person He created them to be, regardless of how much baggage there is inside.  Often we must wait.  Often in the Scriptures problems went on for years before there was reversal and recovery.  Like the man who sat by that pool for 38 years.  Or the boy born blind from birth.  Or the women who bled for 12 years.  Or Lazarus, who was dead for 4 days before Jesus arrives on the scene.  There are some of our kids who we have prayed over for years.  We are at the point of seeing all of them walking towards becoming who they were intended to be in Christ!  WAIT FOR IT, dear one.  Do not fear!!!  Hope in God!

When the end of our rope is the beginning of our hope!

Finally, dear friends, I invite you to read and reflect on Nehemiah chapter 4!  It is chock-full of what we need!  First there is this realization in verse 6 - they can get half way to their goal of restoration by their own determination - but that's as far as it gets.  They realize in verse 10:  "By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall~!"  Then the reminder, "Do not be afraid...remember the Lord who is great and awesome,"  But the amplified says this, "BE IMPRINTED ONTO GOD!"  In other words, I must, like that little hatchling duck who sees its mama and knows it is a duck and acts like a duck, see my Lord and realize I am created to act like I am His daughter!  From that place of seeing Him and following Him, I am given courage to fight for my family and my home!  MEDITATE on this and it will be soooo encouraging!!! 

And finally, as the believers realize they are separated and far from each other in this challenge of rebuilding ruins, the trumpet sounds and they all come together to see "Our God will fight for us!"  So the end of their rope....when they are unable to rebuild...becomes the beginning of their hope - because the Almighty God is the one who fights for them.  There is just something mysteriously and supernaturally powerful when we come together to worship our Lord and seek Him, for ourselves and for our children.  I am excited about doing this with many of you moms and dads at our Atlanta church the upcoming HOPE AT HOME 2012 Conference on my birthday, (October 6!)-- and later at Created for Care with moms in February and March!! Until then, I invite you to see the end of your rope as the beginning of your hope! And may we all be amazed at the tender care of our heavenly Father for us and for our children. 


To register and for more information about
 Hope at Home 2012 Conference
October 5-6 in Atlanta, GA
click HERE.

Monday, August 27, 2012

THREE TRUTHS FOR TOUGH TIMES


Marriage Monday
We always look forward to hearing from Scott Means from Journey to Surrender marriage blog. When our marriages are strong, our children are blessed, so we at Hope at Home want to encourage you that time spent on your marriage is part of good parenting! We hope you find this post as timely and encouraging as we have.

You will hear more from Scott on this topic at HOPE AT HOME 2012. For more information and to register, click HERE.

At some point we will all have seasons when we aren’t sure we can face the tough challenges in front of us. Such times of great stress are inevitable. I’m sure the adoptive and foster parents reading this blog are nodding their heads in agreement. 

freedigitalphotos.com
The source of my current stress is some especially tough challenges I’m facing at work. I know that difficulties with family and children have a more severe emotional impact than job issues, but the things I want to share with you are universal – they apply no matter the source of your troubles. 

What follows are three truths that have helped me recently. I pray they do the same for you.

We Become What We Behold

I don’t know who coined the phrase, “we become what we behold,” but the principle is clearly a scriptural one. 
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory…” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV) 

The truth is that whatever we keep our focus on has a significant impact on us either positively or negatively. It’s easy to get caught up in our problems. More than once in the past few weeks I’ve found myself completely absorbed by my circumstances, and I’ve discovered that the more I dwell on them, the more of my life they overtake.  

But when I am able to focus on the Lord and on His many amazing and wonderful attributes, my troubles no longer determine my demeanor. When compared to the magnificence of His hugeness, the size of my difficulties is diminished.  When I gaze upon his beauty, the ugliness of the world is dimmed.  When I abide in His presence, I feel the protection of His strength and the warmth of His passionate love for me. When I’m talking to God and listening to His voice, the lies of the enemy are silenced. 

So, as the twelfth chapter Hebrews encourages us, let us determine to “fix our eyes on Jesus,” so that our struggles don’t cause us to “grow weary and lose heart.” 

Keeping our eyes on Jesus isn’t necessarily easy, and that brings me to my next bit of truth.

Together is Always Better

On several occasions over the past few weeks, my wife has been a great source of encouragement to me. More than just a listening ear, which is helpful, she has reminded me to look to Jesus. 

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I am thankful to have a spouse who points me toward the goodness and greatness of the Lord. That is also the kind of spouse I endeavor to be for her. The truth is that together we can face more than either of us can separately.

I’m not talking about preaching at your wife or husband. I’m not talking about making him or her feel guilty for their struggles. I’m talking about being a constant source of little encouragements. 


  • Pray together and pray for each other out loud
  • Let your spouse know you are praying for them individually
  • Send little notes, texts or emails of encouragement with words of truth
  • Find and share scriptures that speak truth into to your spouse’s circumstances
  • Remind each other of past times when God’s goodness has saved the day
One other really important thing about helping each other in times of hardship: love each other unconditionally. It’s easy to let difficulties come between you, as we withdraw into ourselves to deal with our issues. But if you can push past your circumstances and reach for each other with love and intimacy in times of difficulty, it will strengthen your marriage like little else can.  

Celebrate the Good Stuff

On the advice of a friend and ministry mentor, my wife has recently started making little lists of things to celebrate. He wisely advised her that when faced with a difficult relationship or circumstance, to make a short list of things to celebrate about the person or situation. Keep it handy; remind yourself of them often.

The many positives in our lives can easily get swallowed up by the negatives unless we are purposeful about recalling and celebrating the many praiseworthy blessings we have. 

Applying this idea to my work stress, I can celebrate the fact that I have a steady, good-paying job when so many are facing unemployment. I can celebrate that I’ve had the rare privilege of working for the same company for 28 years. In the face of the craziness, I can celebrate the fact that management is choosing to invest in my product lines in an unprecedented manner.

This “celebration list” is actually an extrapolation of the principle of becoming what you behold. By choosing purposefully to celebrate the good, the bad is naturally diminished. Amplifying your blessings has a way of shrinking your problems. 

Since I’m a marriage blogger at heart, I want to close by encouraging you to celebrate your marriage as well. I have a short series on my blog, Journey to Surrender, entitled The Power of Positive. It includes suggestions on ways you can transform your marriage by positive Thinking, Speaking and Doing


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

REAL FAMILIES. REAL HELP. REAL HOPE.


We think once you read about our breakouts for Hope at Home 2012 that you are going to want to be there. Each breakout session will end with an opportunity for you to receive faith-filled prayer with our Hope at Home Team. The problem will be in deciding which 3 to choose! Click HERE to find out more about our Conference, to read speaker bio's, and to REGISTER. Mark your calendars now to be in Atlanta October 5-6! 
Would you help us get the word out by sharing this on Facebook, email and good old-fashioned word of mouth? Thank you!

HOPE AT HOME 2012 BREAKOUTS



When Love Changes the Brain

  

Dr. Susan Hillis

 

New scientific evidence demonstrates the positive influence of a parent's love on a child's brain architectures;  this is in stark contrast with the detrimental impact of toxic stress.  Together with what we know about God's steadfast love and faithfulness, these discoveries have Implications for positive parenting, patience, and Hope in God.

A Marriage Made in Heaven: Pursuing a Kingdom Culture at Home

 

  Scott and Jenni Means, Brad and Kate Aldrich

 

God designed marriage to be a reflection of His love relationship with us. It is through Jesus our Bridegroom, who came to make us His bride both now and forever, that we have intimacy with God. So, it makes sense that if we want intimacy in our marriages we should endeavor for them reflect the culture of His Kingdom.  See your marriage transformed and refreshed as the power of God's Kingdom infuses your relationship. This is the real way to have a marriage made in heaven!


Hope at Home with Teens  

 

Stephen and Beth Templeton with Adam Braund

 

Looking for Answers? This breakout is for those with teens and those wanting to prepare for this exciting and often challenging season of parenting. These years are full of opportunities for growth and increased wholeness as our children face the primary task of adolescence-- answering the question “Who Am I?” The realities of our children’s past relinquishment, and even their adoption, contribute to a greater degree of complexity as we navigate this delicate time in their lives. We will share some of our successes and failures with the more common issues parents face. We won’t be giving formulas, but we are confident that we each have unhindered access to The Answer, found in our relationship with our Lord.

Thriving as a Single Mother 

 

Renee Johnson

 

This session will take a personal look at multiple strategies for not only surviving, but also thriving as a single adoptive mom. Renee will explore these practical topics; studying your child, identifying and prioritizing needs, eliminating the unnecessary, matching resources with needs, survival tips, finding fellowship, and defining our family.

Discovering the Unique Treasure in Your Child

 

    Greg and Michelle Haswell

 

Each of our children has been fearfully and wonderfully made. God knitted them together in the womb and graced them with distinct abilities and gifts. He has many good things planned for them, to prosper and not to harm them. In this session we will discuss how we can discover, support and launch the children in our homes into the unique and distinct callings on their lives. 


Education, Learning, and Your Child’s Identity

 

Adam Braund (LMSW)

 

In this session Adam Braund will take parents through an interactive discussion of some of the education and learning issues adoptive parents face. He will help us better understand our role in the often complicated process of our adopted child’s education and learning as we partner with God to see our child live in the fullness and joy of their God-given identity. 



God’s Special Heart for Special Needs 

Bill and Giselle Brown

Have you ever considered that of the 37-recorded miracles Jesus performed, twenty were performed on adults and children with special needs?  This would certainly indicate that our Creator has a special heart and concern for those with physical and mental challenges.  In this session, Bill and Gisele will share their personal experience as adoptive parents of a special needs child as well as share practical suggestions and resources.  A portion of the session will be interactive, giving time for networking and praying for one another. You are not alone!

Speaking LIFE into our Children

Greg Haswell

Parents have been assigned by God a place of authority in their children's lives. What we say therefore has more power than most to frame their worlds. Our tongues carry the power of life and death and this session will remind us how to harness their power for the good of our children. Come discover how to leave a legacy of life giving speech for your children.


Lessons for Fathers from Exodus

      

Brian Hillis

 

Encouragement will be drawn from the book of Exodus for dads who have adopted children.  Moses led a journey through the desert towards the promised land, similar to the journey many of us are living.  Brian Hillis will take a look at the book of Exodus to draw encouragement and see evidence of God's active hand in the life of Moses, as well as in our own lives.
    

Adoption Through the Eyes of Marriage

 

     Brad and Kate Aldrich, Scott and Jenni Means

 

Adoption is a journey that can either strengthen or pull apart your marriage. Having the common goal of bringing a new child home easily becomes life's focus. Brad and Kate share how their adoption pulled them in different directions, and how they eventually refocused on their marriage journey, keeping God's amazing design for marriage first. 

Fathering with Authority and Grace

 

    Dionne van Zyl and Stephen Templeton

 

In this session we will be discussing some foundational principals of fathering, including the biblical authority of a father and the practical outworking of this spiritual mantle God has put on our lives. As such we will address the problem of passivity and the need to parent forward rather than backward. We will discuss some of the unique challenges of fathering adopted children with an emphasis on practical application. Finally there will be opportunity for prayer and ministry at the end of the session. Fathers are encouraged to attend.


Helping Your Child Hear and Experience God

 

    Jenni Means 

 

Our heart's desire as parents is to see our children walking full of faith in a love relationship with God.  We will explore ways to help us hear God as parents and to help our children hear the voice of God for themselves. This is a real key to breakthrough from an orphan spirit to walking in our full identity as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.


Connecting with Your Child; Helping Your Child Connect with You

    

Renee Johnson


In this session Renee will take a practical, experiential-based and hands-on look at several aspects of bonding.  Included in the discussion will be the basic areas of connection, tools and strategies that have easy implementation, setting bonding goals, measuring one’s success and finding encouragement in the small steps.

Real Moms Connecting with a Real and Present God

 Michelle Haswell and Michele Borsic

All mothers have seasons when our circumstances, and even the people we love most, place intense demands on our strengths and test our weaknesses. How do we stay strong? How do we get refreshed and strengthened so that there is an overflow available to meet the needs around us? In this breakout we will look at real ways that real moms connect with a real and present God. 

The Joys of Godly Diversity - Reflections from a Transracial Family

    

 Brad and Kate Aldrich


Becoming a transracial family opens cultural realities and challenges many families have never before experienced. Yet, God's definition of "neighbor" challenges how we understand and respond to difficult looks and questions. Moving beyond color blind and using the tools the Holy Spirit has equipped us with to confront racism, celebrate friendships, and find the joys of true Godly diversity. 

Register Now for HOPE AT HOME 2012!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FOREVER FAMILY


When we read this post from our friend Kate at One Flesh Marriage we asked if we could share it here. She and her husband, Brad, will be at Hope at Home 2012 sharing on marriage and transracial adoption. Can't wait!!
Today we want to share a little different side of our story! The story of a journey. A journey to find our son!
1 year of waiting, and 16-hours of traveling, and 1/2 way around the world on a plane . . . we were finally here at the start of our Forever Family!
We enter the locked, guarded compound and our eyes were immediately drawn to a group of precious children playing in a circle with a ball. 
Was he there? Would we see him for the first time? 
It was incredibly over stimulating and made me light-headed. Brad and I looked, hand in hand, searching--and yet no one quite looked like him. Then a nanny called to us and said “Come, your son is inside.”
My heart sped up, tears pooled in my eyes; he was close and we were going to get to see him. Would he be shy? Happy? Or completely confused and upset at these new people wanting to hold and love on him? We were ready to give him the time he needed to warm up to us. His Daddy had a pocket full of race cars for that purpose. What little boy doesn’t love cars?
We followed the nanny down a dark hallway leading to a bunch of rooms lined with bunk beds. The next thing we heard was the nanny saying,
 “This is your Mommy and Daddy!” 
Around the corner bounded a huge pair of brown eyes and the most brilliant smile--belonging to our son!  He leapt from the nanny’s arms into mine, shouting “MOMMY!” and embracing me with all this tiny might! Not all first meetings are this way, but for us this is how it happened and it will forever be a treasured memory.
Words cannot express that moment. Even now as I sit here sharing with you all, tears are running down my face. It was just like the first moment we held our biological son and daughter in our arms. This little boy was our son. He is also the son of a beautiful family in Ethiopia. We don’t take that lightly. We are proud to share this little boy with his biological family. They are a part of our family as well. We have been given this time with our son as a precious gift.

The Real Journey Begins

As we left this beautiful land and embarked on our journey home we knew we would face tough times, but we were overjoyed and on cloud nine. Not long after arriving home and uniting all of our family, difficult times came. Unique challenges of introducing a new member into the family who already has a personality, but doesn't speak a word of English. Not unlike the first night a newborn screams ALL night long, we recognized that as parents we don’t always know what to do. Even with all the books, education and training, we didn't know how to handle these challenges. There has been an immeasurable joy, but also great confusion and frustration.
Many times families going through the journey of adoption feel lost. They don't know where to turn, where to go for help or guidance!

What If...

What if there was an adoption conference that sought to share wisdom and experiences with adoptive parents? But what if it didn’t stop there? What if the conference also took time for parents to seek out the Holy Spirit so that He can lead them in their journey? What if there was a place that parents still waiting for children or who already have them home could come together to seek God's will for their families?
Hope at Home 2012 is just that place! An adoption conference where parents can not only find information, but find comfort in time with the Holy Spirit, learning to seek God in new ways as they lay their burdens and troubles on Him, and find His abundant guidance as they make this journey together.

Hope At Home

Good information as well as seeking the Holy Spirit? I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome to me! Brad and I are so excited to share with you the Hope at Home Conference 2012. We were excited to be attending this conference, and thrilled that they asked us to present two of the break-out sessions. 
We are honored to be presenting session on marriage. Adoption Through the Eyes of Marriage, and one on transracial adoption, The Joys of Godly Diversity. Good friends, Scott and Jenni Means from Journey to Surrender ,will be presenting A Marriage Made in Heaven and Helping Your Child Hear and Experience God. These are just 4 of the many awesome seminars planned for October 5th & 6th, 2012. To read more of the details, including the other breakout topics and speakers, click HERE.

God Has A Plan!

God has a plan and a purpose for our time with our kids. We need to remember that God has given us all we need for parenting in His Word and His Spirit! We only need to ask and draw near to Him. Is it always that easy? Well it certainly is the best place to start. Books, experts--we often try them first and then go to God only in desperation. Seeking Him is the place to start!
Children, adopted or biological, are a gift and a product of our marriage relationship. They are to add to it (yes, they add stress too!) and then we allow and encourage them to take flight on their own, pursuing God with all of their hearts. Children are not our hope in life, no matter how much we desire them--God is our hope. Brad and I have learned some of these lessons the hard way. That is why we are so thankful for God’s renewing our hearts.

Join Us!

Watch the conference video below and if you are an adoptive or waiting parent, please consider joining us. I am excited to see what God has in store. When we draw near to God, he draws near to us. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Spread The Word

Would you help us spread the word about Hope at Home 2012 by sharing on your Facebook page, Twitter, email and word of mouth? If you know adoptive parents, please share with them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

HOLDING ON TO GOOD HABITS

Quick reminder: 

Early Bird Rate for HOPE AT HOME 2012 ends on Wednesday. Register early and save some money! Click 

HERE

From Susan Hillis:


The unexpected text from a trusted friend left a clear message: "you are totally missing one of your children's biggest needs."  All of us have our insecurities and for me, one of those circumstances that makes me feel insecure is when it seems that others I respect think I am failing as a mom -- which in fact, I and most moms I know, do from time to time, if we are honest!  After I recovered from knee-jerk defensiveness, it became clear to me I needed to talk with my child (and with the Lord) about this.  In fact, I needed to ask my child two questions that used to be included among my habitual practices as a mom. (Keep reading and I will explain the questions soon.)

I Had Let Go of a Good Habit

As I did not grow up in a Christian home, I have spent a lot of my parenting years copying those whom I respect as being excellent parents -- this includes folks I know, books I read, and talks I hear on the radio.  Years ago I heard a dad sharing on some radio talk-show about the two questions he asked each of his kids privately, about once a month:

1) How am I doing as a dad (which I changed to 'MOM!)?  AND
2) What do you need from me that you are not getting?

I have great memories of some the our kids answers....like when one of our sons was 5 and he said:
1) You're doing pretty good as a mom
2) BUT I need some more legos and my monkey (stuffed, not real!) needs a birthday cake!  
So I explained that the question was about character traits not toys, but that I would be happy to help  him love his toy monkey well and we could make a cake for him together, then help eat it!  

On another occasion as our kids were adjusting to sharing me, their mommy, with newly adopted kids, one of our daughters answered like this:
1) Daddy is doing better at being a daddy than you are at being a mommy, because you are so busy with work and the new kids that I don't get much attention.
2) I need for us to spend some regular time together doing something special.
So we decided to go out for a Dairy Queen Blizzard (her favorite) from time to time, as needed.  She would just need to mention the idea to me privately and I would get the message that she needed some time.

Repentance

But as our kids grew up and we got busy with sports, music lessons, college applications for some, studying, and teen social life, I let go of this good habit.  That text I mentioned helped me realize that I could 'repent.'  I could repent, not by groveling in guilt and engaging in deep introspective analysis about my sin, but by thanking the Lord for His love and forgiveness of me, and engaging in the fuller meaning of the New Testament idea of repentance:  to have a change of mind and heart that often is manifested in our attitudes and actions.  So I have been realizing I need the Lord to help me hold on to this good habit.  For this child, and for all of them.  So I had the conversation and asked the two questions, and realized that, once again, the main thing my child needed from me was time and attention and encouragement and understanding.  Basically, they need me to LISTEN to them!  

I recently asked this child the same two questions, after a number of weeks of being intentional in our relationship.  The answers were something like this:
1) You are doing a lot better at being a mom since we talked.
2) I just need you to keep taking initiative in talking with me.

I urge you, dear reader, if you are not already doing so, to ask your kids these questions and see what they say - I would love to hear how it goes!! As a matter of fact, would you share what you hear in the comment section below?

Jesus asked the same question!

I will close with encouraging you to let Jesus ask you His version of my second question.  It is the question that the Lord asks 3 times - twice to a blind man and once to His disciples:  
"What do you want me to do for  you?"  
So I close, dear reader, with this encouragement:  
Ask your children the questions they long to answer, and let our Lord ask you the question you long to answer! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

OH HOW HE LOVES.....

It has been an amazing thing to watch over the years how Father God is opening the eyes, hearts and homes of His people to the Fatherless children around the world. So many of us are increasingly aware of His heart of love and His great passion to see orphans become Sons and Daughters. And what a glorious thing to see so many believers rise up to advocate for and defend these treasures! 

For us at Hope at Home, we have been experiencing another closely related awakening-- the increasing awareness of Father God's great and effective love for the parents He is calling to co-labor with Him in this process of transforming orphans into Sons and Daughters. Oh how He LOVES each mother and each father! His heart for you, dear parent, is no less passionate and no less mighty than His love for your children and for the treasures who are still without a family. Just as He has plans of rescue, healing, provision, goodness, and peace for each orphan, so does He have plans for you as a parent. Jeremiah 29:11 is for you and me as much as it is for our children!
 I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

HOPE AT HOME  was birthed a few years ago out of this awareness of God's desire to pour out His love and provision for each mother and father, and others who He is calling to come alongside adoptive and foster families. We desire to be an expression of this Great Love of Father God for you. So if you are able to take a few days, October 5-6, we invite you to join us as we receive the Help and Hope that God is pouring out. (click on Hope at Home 2012 to register)


To end this post, we'd like to share with you some photos taken by our friend Laura (Jenni and Scott Means' daughter) at H@HKids. This was an evening created for children from adoptive and foster families. You can read more about it here. It was pure joy for us to partner with older adopted and bio teens and college students, and others who God called to minister His love that night. A night of encounter with Father God and good fun for us all! For us it was part of the expression of God's heart of love for these parents-- we set up a Date with God for the children, giving the parents a chance to have a date with each other. In our planning we noted whether the child was a foster, adopted or biological sibling by using the letter F, A, and B. FAB! They were FABULOUS for sure! We will definitely do this again! 
Enjoy these shots of some of God's favorites.





Praying for the nations.


Watching a skit about hearing from God.



Drawing what God likes best about you.


Some old friends!






Great to have older children from adoptive families to
lead the younger!


Each child was prayed for while
their hands were washed.



Worship!!!


Prayer and love from one adopted child to another.


Hearing from God through the Word.






Writing out prayer requests, knowing
others will pray for it!


Just spending time resting and soaking in
Father God's Love.

So cool to see what comes out when you
give children a chance to express what they
are hearing from God!

FUN!

Painting what God is saying.




It is exciting to hear what children say about their
sculptures as they express what is in their
spirits.
Worship team and testimonies from older adopted
sons and daughters-- how cool is that?!