Justice for Orphans Radio Show

Sandra Flach's photo.
Here’s the info and link from Sandra Flach, host of Justice for Orphans. Join us today!

Don’t miss my conversation today at 1:30pmEST with WV adoptive mom and author of Positive Adoption-A Memoir – Kathleen Guire. Kathleen and her husband Jerry are parents to 4 children adopted from Poland and are Empowered To Connect parent trainers. Tune in to The New Light WDCD 96.7fm, 1540am or stream it live at: http://www.newlight967.com
#justicefororphans #orphansnomore

Book Release Party- Life Lessons after the Fact

I walked up the hill and out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. A dog. I couldn’t see his head or tail, just a bit of his middle, a golden coat. I instantly began a prayer, something along the lines of God sending his angels to guard over me. My adrenal glands surged a wee bit. Lately, I had some bad experiences with dogs. Two of them had come snarling out of the woods at Ania and me, twice. I chased them with a large stick while yelling, “Go HOME!” So much for “speak softly and carry a big stick”. Turns out the dog loitering between the houses today was just an old, run down, tail-between-his-legs hound. Not much to be worried about.

As I passed the sorry hound, who followed me for a few seconds and then headed off in another direction,  My mind was overflowing with fond memories of the book release party the day before, but those thoughts were quickly hounded out by “What do I need to do next?” And I had this picture in my mind of myself going about my days as if I were being chased by those naughty dogs, constantly. No time to rest. No time to celebrate. Soak in the after glow of a job well done. How many of us women live our lives like that. Worry, haste, perfection, projects, voices that scream “NOT GOOD ENOUGH” snarl at our heels and we keep running. Running. Running. Trying to measure up. Measure up to what?

I heard that still small voice whisper to me, “Enjoy the fruit of your labor.” Rest. Why is that so difficult for us? i continued with my day and writing lists in my head when an email popped up on my phone- the subject line read- Kathleen, rest. Someone knows me well.

So, today, rest. Reflect. Rehearse past victories. What hurdles have you overcome lately? Did you take time to celebrate those victories? Or did you like me, let the canines corner you? Get out your stick and tell those nasties to GO HOME! Rejoice in the fruit of your labor. Thank the Lord for sustaining you. Thank Him for the strength He gave you to overcome. It’s not a new syndrome, this depression, fear of failure after a major victory. Elijah suffered it after He defeated the prophets of Baal. He fled after a threat from Jezebel. One person. And yet, God met Elijah where He was.

As he lay asleep under the broom or juniper tree, behold, an angel touched him and said to him, Arise and eat.

He looked, and behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a bottle of water at his head. And he ate and drank and lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came the second time and touched him and said, Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.

So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and nights to Horeb, the mount of God.- I Kings 19:5-8

God’s encouragement has extra staying power.Elijah went in the strength of that food forty days and nights!

Have you experienced a great victory? Are you feeling vulnerable? Exposed? Afraid? Trying to control what happens next? Are you taking that one negative comment and letting it chase you around all day?

Stop. Rest. Expect the Lord to show up. He wants to minster to you, did you know that? He longs to be gracious to you.

 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]. Isaiah 30: 19

If you skimmed that like I sometimes do, go back and read it again. If you seriously need some encouragement, write it down and hi-light everything that you can expect God the Father to do for you. Earnestly wait for Him. For His:

  • Victory
  • Favor
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Matchless, Unbroken Companionship

This is the promise for those who return to Him and resting in Him, through that you will be saved. In quietness and confidence will be your strength (Is 30:15). But, if you go your own way, chased by dogs or speeding your own course on horses, you will flee until you are left like a beacon on a flagpole (vs 16,17). How many times have I felt like that? Speeding my own course until I felt alone, exposed, a tattered flag on a pole? I’d rather have the rest, wouldn’t you?

Join me in celebrating with some rest and reflection. Wait on the one who is able to meet your needs and give you the strength for the next portion of the journey. Send those noisy dogs home!

And while I am resting and reflecting,here are some photos from the Book Release Celebration!

My Favorite Adoption Books by Category

My Favorite Adoption Books by Category

1. Memoirs

cover

More about my memoir here. 

memoirYou can read an interview with author Aaron Eske here.

2. Educational- the dog- eared books that I pull out often!

51oBlN+J5SL._SS500_Parenting the Hurt Child

Dr. Karyn Purvis (co-author of The Connected Child) has, by far, the best training program for raising children from hard places. Any parent can learn TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) through the videos series. Another great option is finding an Empowered to Connect conference near you.

3.Favorite Adoption Theology book (also dog-eared)

adopted for Life

“Love of any kind brings risk, and, in a fallen world, brings hurt. Simeon tells our Lord’s mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, that a sword would pierce her heart. That’s true, in some sense for every mother, every father. Even beyond that, every adoption, every orphan, represents a tragedy. someone was killed, someone left, someone was impoverished, or someone was diseased. Wrapped up in each situation is some kind of hurt, and all that accompanies that. That’s the reason there really is no adoption that is not “special needs” adoption; you just might not know on the front end what those special needs are.”- Russell Moore

4. My favorite Adoption Children’s book

Bye Bye Baby

The story of a baby who is sad and sets off one day in search of a mummy. He meets many people and animals who refuse to become his mummy, but offer to help him in his search. They find a lady who has no baby and she agrees to be the baby’s mummy. Then the search begins for a daddy

Linking up with Adoption Talk!

adoptiontalkbutton

Everyone Loves a Good Orphan Story

I reworked this post from several years ago just for fun!

Everyone loves a good orphan story.

“…twenty-five of the fifty all-time highest-grossing movies…feature an orphaned protagonist.” -Aaron Eske

Aaron begins his adoption memoir with a powerful prologue listing the movie characters we are so drawn to.

“Ever since baby Moses drifted along the banks of the Nile and into Pharoah’s palace, countless fantastical orphans have grown so intertwined in our collective heritage that we know their stories by heart.”

Why are we so enamored with these stories? Because God is the author and finisher of the greatest story ever told. He is the story-maker and we are living in his story. Often people are afraid to share their stories because they are laced with pain, disappointment, rejection and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But what is a great story? It must contain some tension, something for the main character to overcome, choices and obstacles that cause character change. Who does love some cliff hangers? Some character change?

So, we watch or read the stories of orphans because we identify with them. We watch or read hurriedly through the text until we get to the rescue.

Clark Kent found by adoptive parents-the first interplanetary adoption.

Product Details
Anne with an ‘e’ finds acceptance at Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables
Annie ends her hard knock life by being adopted by Daddy Warbucks.

Product Details or  the newer version Product Details
Oliver never wants for more in his new home

Product Details

Each of us has suffered, felt pain, rejection, been abandoned by someone we love (through death or choice) and what wells up within us is an innate longing to be part of a family that offers acceptance and security. So, we wait breathlessly for that moment when the main character receives acceptance because that is what we have longed for since the beginning.

When it comes to having a heart for orphans, God understands completely. “I will not leave you orphaned,” He tells us. Being an orphan is painful beyond description. “God sets the solitary in families.” He desires for us to be in His family and He supplies us with the “Spirit of Adoption by which we cry ‘Abba, Father'”.

So curl up on the couch and watch or read a great orphan story or write down your own and share it!

*Quotes from My Family, A Symphony, A Memoir of Global Adoption by Aaron Eske

Linking up here today-adoptiontalkbutton Join us!

Blogging for Show Hope- “What is one of your favorite stories of adoption?”

.ShowHope-Button One of my favorite adoption stories

“”You can make an A like this, ” Jerry inserted the pencil in her hand and guided her tracing effort. Her nose grazed the page, her ponytails painted the paper as she strained to focus on and control her chunky hand. A wobbly letter ‘A’ remained on the paper when she raised her head.”- Positive Adoption: A Memoir

We had been staying in the orphanage(in Poland) for less than a week and Jerry was teaching Ania the basics of the alphabet. This was all new to her. The letters. The time. The attention. We would stay there for four weeks in total before returning to the states and waiting on our second trip when we could bring a sibling group of four home.

Every adoption has a beginning. A seed. A thought. A thought-seed once buried in the fertile soil becomes a plant. And that plant of adoption continues to grow until it produces the fruit of adoption. The meeting. The court date. The papers signed. The flight (or drive) home.

15305726353_75668889b2_o

Then the story of adoption begins a new chapter. It’s the life of the child after adoption. What happens next? What are the new fruits after adoption? The fruits after an old life left behind?

We all have a story. We all have chapters in our lives of our childhood, our growing up years. Chapters of finding our bent, following our dreams, falling on our face and getting back up again. Those are my favorite sorts of stories. The cliff hangers. Those that leave you wanting more. Adoption stories are like that.

Many adoption stories seem to have a pseudo ending. It’s abrupt. The child is home. The end. It’s not the end. The story is still in its infancy. What does chapter two look like in an adoption story, or three, four or five?

I’m sure adoptive parents want to know. What does adoption look like in chapter ten? Will I make it that far?

When Ania came ‘home’, she had an intense fear of everything. At the top of the list was the great outdoors. With patience and tiny bits of progress, creek walking, hiking through the woods, swimming, skiing and tow eye surgeries- Ania’s perspective began to change.

15308275083_1855f0ecea_o

One afternoon, Ania and I watched the Temple Grandin movie, an amazing woman with autism who sees the world in pictures. When the movie ended, Ania declared, “I see the world in pictures, don’t you mom?”

Adoption is a story that can lead to security. Security bashes survival mode over the head and allows the child to relax and pursue their bent, discover their gifts and discover themselves.

Ania had never been comfortable on the receiving end of the camera so we bought her one so she could see life through the other side of the lens. Amazing things began to happen. Two of the things that had been at the top of Ania’s fear factor list became her favorite pastimes: the camera and the outdoors.

15859733216_c8535d2150_o

She began to spend hours outside with her camera in tow, wandering further and further into the woods, slithering on her belly for a good shot, waiting for hours for the right light, chasing her brother down stream while he kayaked, aiming for that perfect action shot- water suspended in the air, his face all focus, arm muscles bulging, his paddles -wings, riding the air.

Adoption stories are like that. They give children the chance to soar. The future of adoption gives children a chapter of security, a chance to overcome and then to build upon a new foundation of health, healing and discovery.

This isn’t to say that every adopted child will discover (in chapter ten) that they have some remarkable gift that they will discover (miraculously) overnight. No, Ania had years of trial and error. Art Classes. Science fairs. Public speaking (yikes-no!). Writing courses.

The  point is- adoption gave Ania a future that she wouldn’t otherwise have. What does chapter ten in the adoption story look like? A hope. A future. A plot change.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.- Jeremiah 29:11

15739400359_32f9491a79_o

When a child has been freed from the captivity of neglect, abuse and abandonment he has a hope of a future. He has a an awesome chapter coming. When a birth mother chooses adoption, that child has-not the evil of abortion- plans for welfare and peace in a family. And these are my favorite sorts of adoption stories.

You can read more about Ania’s future here.

*All photos taken by Ania