How To Create Permanency For Children Who Have Been Disrupted

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 9, Episode 86

While we all wish that every adoption might lead to a healthy, thriving family, the truth is that the challenges can sometimes be more than a family can handle. What happens when a struggling adoptive family comes to the place of deciding it just isn’t going to work? Adoption dissolution, more commonly referred to as adoption disruption, is a topic that is often avoided and one we haven’t covered before on The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

This week, Mike is interviewing Lori Word, a new friend he met at CAFO this year, to talk about adopting from disruption.  Lori and her husband have been married for 29 years and have spent most of that in full time ministry.  Lori and her husband have adopted 7 children from disruptions and now have a passion for helping to equip adoptive families to find resources to help adopted children stay in their homes and avoid disruption if possible.

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Stories Of Transformation And Hope From Oasis!

It’s been a little more than a week since we opened enrollment for Oasis Community and the stories we are hearing have moved us, inspired us, and left us in tears. Here’s a little more about Oasis..

Join Oasis Community Today!

“I can’t thank you enough for Oasis. It showed up at the perfect time. I was drowning with my kids, with my marriage, with my life! I think you guys may have just saved my life!” 

Why The Orphan Crisis Is Everyone’s Problem

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 9, Episode 83

We hear it often: hundreds of thousands of children are without families, and homes, all over the world. Whose problem is this? What does that really have to do with us and what can we do about it?

On today’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we talk openly with Think Orphan’s Phil Darke about why the orphan crisis is everyone’s problem. If you’ve ever wondered how you can be involved, beyond or in addition to foster care and adoption, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!

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Children In Foster Care Are Dearly Loved!

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 9, Episode 82

There is such a big need today for valuable and encouraging resources speaking the truth that children in foster care are dearly loved!

Mike and Kristin are so excited to welcome their good friend, Jamie Kaeb to this 82nd episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast. Jami is the director of The Forgotten Initiative and The Forgotten Podcast. She and her husband have an interracial family with seven children by birth and adoption, both international and from foster-care. Believing that “awareness leads to action,” Jami and the Forgotten Initiative have just written a new book series to encourage children within the foster system to know that they are dearly loved and cared for. She hopes these books will bring awareness into churches and schools so that even more people can be equipped to help provide love and care for vulnerable adults and children.

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How To Transition A Child Home After Residential.

In the unfortunate situation that your child has to live away from your home in a residential treatment facility, there will likely be a time when he or she transitions back home. But how do you do this as smooth as possible? We’ve walked this road a few times. Here’s what we’ve learned.

It’s important to note, right here from the start, that we believe in the preservation of family. And we believe in permanency. Children need forever homes. If that’s not with biological families, then it’s with healthy foster or adoptive families. Children need permanency in order to form healthy attachments and bonds that will last a lifetime. With that said, we never advocate that a child go into residential treatment unless their behavior or choices have reached a point of being unsafe for them or unsafe for you and the rest of your family.

Why Road Trip For Foster And Adoptive Dads Is A Can’t-Miss Event!

Season 9, Episode 81- The Honestly Adoption Podcast

For today’s podcast episode we wanted to throw it back to this past fall when Mike was joined by his Road Trip Co-founders and leaders, Jason Morriss and Andrew Schneidler. You are going to want to listen in to this episode. Early bird registration is now open for 2018 but will be ending on April 30th. Visit our official Road Trip Page here to learn more!

“It was only three days, but it was life-changing.” -adoptive dad and 2017 Road Trip attendee. These are the words we hear all the time from Road Trip alumni. This is simply a can’t miss experience for foster and adoptive dads!

Can just three days truly be life-changing? Find out as Mike reminisces with Andrew Schneidler and Jason Morris about this past fall’s amazing Road Trip for foster and adoptive dads. What makes this event unique and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced?  Listen now to find out!

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What I Learned From My Visit To A Brothel

Sometimes we have to allow our hearts to break over the reality that many children in our world are vulnerable and highly susceptible to abuse, trafficking, and modern-day slavery. May these honest words spur you on and motivate you to love even deeper than you already do…

I saw them. I saw so many girls. Some boys too. I saw them at all ages and stages. I saw the under 21s. I saw the over 60s. I saw the ones who didn’t speak English. I saw the ones who were desirable to groups of people due to their size and even disability.

At one time they were children who didn’t have a family to fight for them and ended up in the sex industry. And dare I say, I saw my children in the future, except for the grace of God. Statistically, this is what the future would hold for children like yours and mine if they had stayed in the system and were only known as blurred out faces.

 

Most Americans who are victims of sex trafficking come from our foster care system. It’s a system that leaves vulnerable children to be preyed upon by pimps. Internationally it happens too. Orphans are prime targets to be trafficked. They have no one. No skills. No one to fight for them. Children have been known to vanish from orphanages. It’s easy for them to go unnoticed when there are no records. It’s as if they never existed.

This is who I saw at the clubs, porn convention and legalized brothels of Nevada.

I’m not saying all these women were trafficked. But 20% of the clients we served were. And that’s just the ones we knew about. Even if this was a path they chose of their own free will, not one child wakes up one day and says, “I want to become a sex worker when I grow up.” For various reasons, they have all been desensitized to this life.

The first time I visited a brothel, I scratched my head in terrified and horrified disbelief. What is a girl like me doing here? Then, what is a girl like that doing here? But the more I visited, the more I looked forward to it. What I found is that they really were very much like me. They were women. Moms. Some had custody. Some didn’t. Some of them were wives. We shared stories about our kids. There’s always a story to share there. And I felt like I was getting a break from my daily trauma momma life, yet still engaged with the population my heart ached for.

This organization I volunteered with exists solely to give value to these women. That’s it. We didn’t preach to them. We didn’t encourage them to get out. But we did let them know if they needed a dentist, a doctor, counseling or anything else, we could help get them those services. Regardless of what the world tells them, these women have value. We took our usual cupcakes, makeup and hair supplies and helped them get ready for their day.

One day, there was a lot of whispering and gathering of the girls as they anxiously talked with the social worker. Another worker’s boyfriend beat her up badly. And since she was beat up, she couldn’t work. Since she couldn’t work, she couldn’t stay there. She had no where to go. So she went back to stay at her boyfriend’s place. They knew she was in danger. They asked us to help. Several attempts were made to reach her, but she never returned the calls.

A couple months passed and I received a text. She died and it was being investigated as a homicide. I was shocked. I knew of many families with tragic circumstances surrounding the loss of their loved ones. But none because of murder.

So we made another trip, but this time, it was to give honor and value in a different way. We took pink balloons and our usual cupcakes and attended the memorial service for a precious life cut short. They shared stories, displayed pictures of her and planted a tree on the brothel property in her memory. There were 12 people who attended the funeral. The smallest funeral I’ve ever been to. The saddest funeral I’ve ever been to. No family. Only workers and other associates of the brothel.

At the end, one of the girls walked up to sing a song. I remember thinking, “I wonder what song she will sing?” I was thinking something secular or even unusual. And then these words rolled out of her mouth:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me. 

I once was lost but now I’m found,

Was blind, but now, I see.

And then the tears came. To me. It was the most beautiful version of that song I have ever heard. And not because she had a professionally trained musician’s voice. It was the song.

We’ve all heard the song. But you’ve never heard that song until you’ve heard a sex worker sing it at a sex worker’s funeral.

In that moment, under the big Nevada sky with the snowcapped mountains in the background, I was standing in an unlikely match, and yet here we were, all the same. We weren’t there to provide makeup or hair services or resources. We were just a group of people, all in need of grace. What started as the saddest funeral I have ever been to, ended up being the most beautiful funeral I have ever been to and one of the most memorable moments in my life.

We are ALL in need of grace. We are all considered wretched at one time or another in our lives. We have all been lost at some point in our journey. We all have been blind and can’t see through our circumstances. We all want this grace that is sweet, this grace that saves, this grace that finds us, this grace that makes us see. We All need that kind of grace.

So let’s continue to fight this fight and love big. Not as saviors. But as those who have received grace and now want to give grace.

Question: What are your thoughts or feelings after reading this story? Share with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed Of Your Wounds!

We desire to hide our deepest wounds. And rightfully so. We’ve been taught that wounds equal failure. As parents we fear the words “I told you so,” if we revealed our struggles on this journey. But what if our wounds didn’t equal failure? What if they did something bigger than we could imagine?

I know what you want to do, dear parent.

I know because I’ve sustained the same cold blows from this journey.

You want to hide.