Monday, August 30, 2010

Finding Rest in Him

Psalm 62 teaches us about resting in God by waiting on him.

My soul finds rest in God alone;
My salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (1-2)

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
My hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your hearts to him,
For God is our refuge. (5-8)

I just think about the opening statement “My soul finds rest in God alone”. The soul is compromised of the mind, the will, and the emotions. When we are trusting in God, all of these things-mind, will, and our emotions are submitted to him and waiting for his timing. We do not try to make anything happen in our own strength; we wait for God to move on our behalf.

When we wait on God we begin to develop an attitude that reflects Jesus in Luke 22:42, “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” I know in my own life when the waiting is too difficult I want him to take my unrest and make the situation fit how I think best. However, I have found that it is much less frustrating if I ask God to give me the grace to endure it. We are sure to find great peace and enter into a supernatural rest when we are able to surrender. Life becomes much easier when we trust that God is in control and that he has our best interest at heart just like any good father. Whatever it is today that is causing you to not wait on his timing meditate on Psalm 62 and find rest in him.

Laura Armstrong
Foster Care Social Worker

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ephesians 5 - “Living in the Light”

“Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.”
Ephesians 5:1-2

Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:14

Oswald Chambers Devotional for February 16 uses Ephesians 5 to talk about “The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative”.

Not all initiative, the willingness to take the first step, is inspired by God. Someone may say to you, “Get up and get going! Take your reluctance by the throat and throw it overboard – just do what needs to be done!” That is what we mean by ordinary human initiative. But when the Spirit of God comes to us and says, in effect, “Get up and get going,” suddenly we find that the initiative is inspired.

We all have many dreams and aspirations when we are young, but soon or later we realize we have no power to accomplish them. We cannot do the things we long to do, so our tendency is to think of our dreams and aspirations as dead. But God comes and says to us, “Arise from the dead…” When God sends His inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to “arise from the dead” and do the impossible. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we “get up and get going. God does not give us overcoming life – He gives us life as we overcome. When the inspiration of God comes, and He says, “Arise from the dead…” we have to get ourselves up, God will not lift us up. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13). As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed. But he had to take the initiative. If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because he immediately gives us the power of life.

I share this devotional because it makes me think of the thoughts and dreams many of us have to adopt a child. We dream about holding our child in our arms but often times fear or other circumstances seem to stand in the way. I personally know that when the Lord comes in and says, “Get up and get going” that the impossible dream can and does become a reality. I share this devotional in the case that you are reading this right now and are in that place that seems impossible. Seek the Lord and take the initiative. Allow the Lord’s divine and miraculous power to come in and make the dream a reality. I personally know the difficulty of these decisions and the journey, but I also know that the Lord is able and will provide. I needed to take that step and reach out my hand to the Lord and to the child that the Lord had waiting for our family.

As I share these thoughts I also want to share about 4 new children that just arrived on my desk from Bulgaria. They desperately need a family and a home. If you are not their family please pray for them and pray for the Lord to bring their family quickly. They are waiting and I can only imagine how long that wait must feel for these precious children and the many more that long for a family.

Girl S (Age 4)

She is simply lagging behind and has no real neurological diagnosis. The orphanage workers think that if she would have a family to teach her and love her that she would be able to greatly make up for all the lagging behind. She likes contact with others and is so adorable.

Girl Y (Age 8)

She has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome but according to Toni she is doing quite well. She attends a mainstream preschool and is neat and orderly. She is attached to the other children and the staff. She easily forgives and adapts well to new environments.

Boy R (Age 5)

He has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome and really needs a family all his own to help him to progress. He is serious and rarely smiles. He can walk by holding onto a hand or the wall for support.

Boy M (Age 6)

He has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, but seems to be a favorite of the orphanage staff. We have many photos and two videos for this adorable little guy. He loves to go outside for walks and he absolutely loves to cuddle with an adult.

If you have any interest in knowing more about any of these children that need a family or any of the other children listed on Lifeline’s Waiting Children lists please contact our office for more information (205-972-8496). If you just have questions about adoption or seem to be in that place of not knowing what direction to turn please contact us. We will be more than happy to talk with you and to pray with you. The Lord has a plan for your life and if we can help in any way please let us know. It would be an honor and a blessing.

In Christ’s love,

Stephanie Carpenter
International Adoption Specialist

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Note from the Director - It Doesn’t Make Cents (or Sense)

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1:18-20

Earlier this week a 23 year-old young man, a stand-out running back from the University of Alabama, and a current member of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers retired and walked away from the game of professional football. Reportedly, Glen Coffee walked away from a contract set to pay him upwards of $1 million over the next three years, not to mention a lucrative $828,000 signing bonus.

When interviewed by Matt Barrow’s a Reporter for the San Francisco Bee, Coffee said, “It was a struggle for a long time… football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college (and) it changed my views on everything.” reporter Mike Sando commented on Coffee’s sudden retirement, “if he does have regrets years later, he will have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

As believers so much of what we are called to do is seen as radical, crazy, insane, and even demented to the world in which we live. Everyone has an opinion, and most aren’t too shy to share it with you, especially when you’re a making a decision that seems like a radical abandonment.

Reading the Bible, we soon learn that a life devoted to Christ is a life that looks foolish to those who don’t know him. Isaiah was asked to prophesy to a people who would not listen or change their hearts. Hosea was asked to marry a harlot. Moses, slow in speech and despised, was asked to speak for and lead his people to a seemingly impossible task. The disciples were asked to lay down their nets, to leave their jobs and family and follow the Messiah. Jim Elliott was asked to go to Ecuador to a savage people whom later killed him, but received the Gospel in part to the faithfulness of his wife Elizabeth and their children. Glen Coffee was asked to leave football and millions of dollars. Countless numbers of families are called to rearrange their families, to travel to far off lands to graft orphaned children they’ve never seen into their families. Foolishness... Radical…

Meanwhile, the world exclaims, it doesn’t make cents – why throw away money, the American Dream, your life? The opinions and comments come from every direction urging you, pleading with you, to follow the path of the world. It can be deafening… I urge you brothers and sisters, listen to the still small voice of your Savior who pleads I have something so much better.

So the questions you must ask yourself are, “do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for? Do you believe him enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds - and even your church - turn the other way?”

Adoption and orphan care are hard. They are life altering and life changing. Caring for orphans challenges your faith, yet strengthens your resolve and hope in your creator. Parents, friends, co-workers, and even those within your church will challenge you and question you on your commitment. It doesn’t make cents or sense at times, unless God calls you to it and then you have more cents and sense than ever.

In a recent article Dr. Russell Moore, the Dean of Students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, likens adoption and orphan care to spiritual warfare. And the analogy is true. Satan does not want Christian involved in taking care of impressionable foster children who need stability, love, care, and Christ. Satan doesn’t want a radical Christian family impacting an orphan not only for today but for an eternity. Satan detests when Christians organize to spread throughout the world training orphans with life skills and the Gospel. It is a war, but we serve a victorious God.

“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’” Isaiah 25:7-8

So the last question, since we are fighting a war, “Will you join the ranks?” We need families to help us rescue children from literally perishing at home and around the world through adoption and foster care. Any good army enlists many volunteers and we need people to stuff packets, answer phones, recruit families, mentor birthmothers and orphans, etc. And lastly every good army is well funded – can you share the resource of Heaven with Lifeline as we seek to eradicate the word “orphan.”

Partner with Lifeline today. Visit to donate to the cause, to apply to adopt, to sign up for a trip through our (un)adopted ministry and visit orphans in need, to apply to be a foster parents for a child in US foster care, or to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans.

Oh beloved, will you allow God to use you to impact the life of a child? Please do not hesitate to give Lifeline a call because we are here...

On behalf of the orphans.

Herbie Newell
Executive Director
Lifeline Children's Services
giving children a hope and a future
twitter: @hmnewell

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Worth the Wait

Ok, I’m just going to say it. I’m going to be confessional and admit it right here on this Christian blog.. I HATE WAITING!!! I know, I know.. that’s not very spiritual of me but it’s the truth! I mean is there anything more intolerable than having to stand around completely dependant on someone else to get you what you need? Sure, maybe its okay when you are a baby and don’t know any better. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons God allows us not to remember anything in those early years.. to keep us from blowing a gasket from all the waiting (think diapers)! Is anyone with me.. or am I the only one who struggles with waiting? And just so you know, I hate all forms of waiting. I will flat out tell you.. I think when I go to the grocery store there is a conspiracy against me. No matter what line I get into you can bet it will end up being the “slow” line. If you ever see me in a store just pick another register and watch how fast you will move.

I am going to say something else about waiting. I hope this will not offend anyone but as long as we are being honest I am going to get it all off of my chest. When I have to wait (often), the last thing I want to hear (often) is a spiritual pep talk about the virtues of patience. I know that patience is a virtue. I know that God is working these delays for my good and His Glory. I know God loves me and sees my circumstance. I get it, I really do. I’m even telling these things to myself while I wait three hours to get my car tags. But sometimes I just don’t want to hear the patience sermon from a well meaning friend (that I know suffers with road rage himself).

So, that’s what I have loved about all these “Adoption Reunions” Lifeline has been doing this month (St. Louis two weeks ago, Birmingham this past week, and Spokane, Washington this coming weekend). Wait a second.. What does patience have to do with our Adoption Reunions? Well, since you asked.. Imagine with me an Adoption Reunion in a large banquet room completely packed out with hundreds of adoptive families.. a good number of them are in the adoptive process, but most families have already been through the adoption process and they are home with their child or children. And today, these families have brought by the hundreds, their little joyful (full of energy).. adoptive kiddos. Each of these incredible, beautiful children are a billboard that says, “You will not wait forever” “After the wilderness.. the Promiseland” “I was worth every moment you had to wait” I love it! Because, like most of our families in the process, I need to SEE this truth much more than I need to hear it.

So thank you Lifeline families for bringing your adoptive kids to our Reunions the past two weeks (and for the hundreds who will be in Spokane this weekend). This past weekend I sat in awe watching and listening to your children smile, laugh, sing, shout, giggle, whisper in your ear, tug on your arm, and give you hugs and kisses. But I also realize, while all that was going on, your kids were quietly preaching a message to all of our families still in the process.. You won’t wait forever! After the wilderness.. the Promiseland! Your child will be worth every moment you had to wait! Thanks kids!!!

Rich blessings, peace, and yes.. patience to each of you. Joy is coming in the morning!
Dave Wood
International Director

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Daphne Welcomes Lifeline to the Area!

I am very proud and honored to be serving as Lifeline’s South Alabama Case Worker! Having grown up in the Daphne area, I am anxiously anticipating what God has in store for the people of the Eastern Shore! My family’s own adoption story provided me to opportunity to become acquainted with other adoptive families in the area growing up. I have grown to love and gain such joy from seeing a family built through adoption! It truly is my privilege to serve the Lord as He does His work here.

As the South Alabama Case Worker, I serve adoptive families (both international and domestic), I counsel birth mothers, and I even get to do a little marketing. As I submit to Him and strive to follow His guidance, I trust daily that the Lord is at work here; that this is His work and not my own. It is my heart’s desire to see families embrace our calling to care for orphans (James 1:27) and to proclaim liberty and freedom (Isaiah 61:1).

If you are in the area, I look forward to meeting you and joining you on your own adoption journey.

Be on the lookout for an information meeting at a local church!


Mallory Blackmon, LGSW
South Alabama Case Worker

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beautiful Scars

‘Beautiful Scars” – Waiting Children that are available immediately

Please join me in prayer for children that need a family. There are so many children that are in need that I ask myself how will I choose a few children to specifically advocate for in this post. I just received a new sibling group to advocate for from Bulgaria and also some updated information on a precious little boy in Bulgaria.

I am also listing some information on a sibling group from Taiwan, a precious little boy from Taiwan and also a beautiful little girl that is waiting for her family in Taiwan! I have attached information only about these children. If you would like more information and/or photos please contact me and I will be blessed to provide that. If you would hear of anyone that might be sensing that Lord is calling them to adopt these precious children please pass along my email and/or phone number.

Please join me in prayer for them to find their forever families and for the Lord to draw their family to these children. I have seen the Lord move in mighty ways for His precious children. The Lord has moved in mighty ways to draw my husband and myself to our precious daughters and I have seen the Lord move in similar ways for many other families. The Lord loves these children more than I could ever know and/or understand.

I keep thinking about the song that Steven Curtis Chapman sings called, “ Beautiful Scars”. If you have never heard the song you need to listen to it and listen to it with a heart and ears focused on the precious orphans that desperately long for a family.

We can save them one child at a time - actually it is the Lord that saves them but He calls us to be the voice for the voiceless. I am humbled and honored to be the voice for these precious children! Join me in being their voice and in being their prayer warriors!

May the Lord bless you and your family!

In Christ,
Stephanie Carpenter
International Social Worker


Sibling group
Girl: N #902, 6 years old
Boy: A #900, 5 years old

This sister and brother are available immediately for adoption from Bulgaria. They must be adopted together. They are a sweet sibling group that so deserves the love of a family all their own. Please pray for them to find their family.

N is six years old and is beautiful. She has dark brown hair and a smile to light up a room. She was born prematurely and was treated with oxygen for two days. She is physically developing normally and only lags behind mildly in her neuro-psychical development. She plays with other children and can understand concepts such as yesterday and tomorrow. She visibly corresponds to her calendar age. She has a well-developed imagination and participates in organized activities. She can care for herself with respect to getting dressed and using the bathroom. Her emotional tonus is positive. She can hold a pencil correctly and supports and helps another child. She is a lovely little girl. Please pray for her.

A is five years old and very adorable. He has dark brown hair and brown eyes. When he was born he had respiratory distress. He has been diagnosed with being prematurely born third degree; ROP (retinopathy of the prematurely born) – Atrophy of the optical nerve and Aberrant cord in the left chamber. He lags behind in his physical development and in his psycho-motor development. He does run well and can go up and down the stairs. He can throw and catch a ball. He can carry out one step instructions and can say his name and the names of the other children. He is able to stop inappropriate behavior with a reminder or two. He can express his emotions with the adequate expressions of the face. He falls asleep easily and his sleep is calm. He can care for himself and get dressed and use the bathroom. He shows interest in his environment. This little boy deserves the love of a family. Please pray for him.


Boy: I # 626, 4 years old

Last updated June 28, 2010 from the Ministry of Justice in Sophia, Bulgaria

He is developing normally for a child his age. He is in good general condition. He was diagnosed in at birth with congenital hydrocephalus but according to his latest update he does not need additional medical care. He has speech that is consistent with his age. He seeks to rejoice in the presence of the adults close to him and he also enters into active connection and relation with them. He has interest in being with other children and this makes him happy. He has built up emotional-social relationship with those who are around him. He regularly goes to kindergarten. He is a sweet little boy that deserves a family to love him.

Taiwan- Waiting Child

Date of birth: November 29, 2004
Lived at the orphanage since November 28, 2005
Special need: hearing loss/ hearing aids

He is receiving speech therapy and it is believed that he will make great progress with teaching and learning. He loves going on outings and is thrilled when the caregiver gives him positive responses. He is potty trained. His favorite toys are blocks, cars and drawing. He sleeps well and likes all kinds of food. He attempts to play with his peer cooperatively.

We have medical records, history, and social history available for interested families.

Date of Birth: October 10, 2002
Six years old and soon turning seven

She is a beautiful little girl that needs a family to love her and cherish her. She is doing well but has a slight developmental delay. We have a short video available of her doing school work and she is just as cute as can be!

Taiwan- Waiting Child

Sibling group
Brothers – must be adopted together
Boy: date of Birth January 1, 2000 – 10 years old
Boy: date of Birth- May 28, 2005 – 5 years old

Special Need: Both brothers have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C

Sibling, older child

Brother 1 has been in a foster family since June 1, 2007. If he can’t fall asleep he plays with stuffed toys or reads to fall asleep. His schoolteachers say he is a trusted child and he is a good helper and responsible. He has a talent for assembling toys and fixing things. He is good at sports and he is good at basketball. The average of his schoolwork for the year was 87.2 out of 100.

Brother 2 has been in a foster family since November 17, 2006. He is a considerate child and likes to help others. He likes to help the teacher and classmates at school. He likes toy cars and those that make siren sounds. He likes to complete tasks on his own and asks for help if he is unable. His gross motor development is within normal development.

Please contact either myself at the above listed email address or feel free to call the Lifeline Children’s Services main number - 205.972.8479 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 205.972.8479 end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information regarding these precious children or other children that are currently waiting!

Imagine This...

It is a bright and sunny Friday morning, on a hot day in mid-August. You’ve just recently begun the third grade, at the school located in the city where you are from. Today begins like any other day…..

The alarm sounds at 6 am, you hit snooze, and roll over to catch a few more zzzzz’s. Mom comes in and announces that you’ll be late for school if you don’t get up. You look at the clock and notice that it is now 6:30 and the bus will be arriving shortly. You throw on your school clothes, pour a bowl of your favorite cereal, rushing to eat, not even sure if you are chewing before you swallow, brush your teeth, grab your book bag, and run out the door – just in time(!) to see the bus coming down your street. As the bus stops, and you walk up the steps to your regular seat, you see many familiar faces, and hear the noisy chatter. Once the bus arrives at school after completing its route, you walk to your classroom, put your books in the proper cubby hole, find your regular table, and sit in the same, blue, plastic chair. Time ticks away, and as the teacher explains how to do subtraction and how to find the main verb, your mind eagerly anticipates lunch and recess. It’s finally time for lunch – YEA! Pizza day – it’s your favorite! About an hour later, you get to have free day at recess – another favorite! It’s been a great day! As you play on the swings with your two best friends, you discuss the exciting weekend plans – high school football game tonight, then grandma’s house tomorrow. Your teacher calls for everyone to come back inside, same as always. You make your way back to your classroom, only today, the teacher asks that you visit the office instead of going back to class. You walk to the office, not sure what to expect. As you enter the office, you see a lady you’ve never seen before, smiling, waiting to greet you. She knows your name and has some of your belongings with her. The smile is now gone from her face as she begins telling you that she is a social worker, and that you won’t be going home today. You’ll be staying in a new home, with people you’ve never met. No seeing Mommy and Daddy. No football game tonight. No going to Grandma’s house tomorrow. Suddenly this day, which started out so good, and so normal, has just become a nightmare.

……Unfortunately, what you have just imagined, has actually been a reality for many children. Over 6,000 children are currently in foster care in the state of Alabama, and an estimated 600,000 nationwide. Children of all ages and ethnic groups are in great need of a loving, Christian family to provide a stable environment where they can grow and thrive. YOU can help make a difference in the life of a child by volunteering to be a foster parent, or respite relief. For more information, please contact Traci Newell at Lifeline Children’s Services:

“Then the King will say………For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to eat, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:34-36, 40

Only By His Wounds,

Deanna Crist
Financial and Marketing Assistant

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A twenty dollar bill

My Tuesday afternoons this summer have been spent with a co-worker and friend instructing young girls in the basic elements of ballet. Ballet has been our “foot in the door” at the large inner-city housing complex where the classes have been held. Our primary goal has been to interweave our teaching with stories from the Bible – stories that emphasize our value in God’s eyes. My guess is many of the young ladies in the class are devalued and don’t truly understand their significance to their Creator and the world around them.

In an effort to teach the parable of the lost coin (Luke, chapter 15:8-10), I grabbed a $20 bill from my daughter’s “Monopoly” money and tucked it away in my pocket for a later illustration. Following class that day, as we sat to hear God’s word, I revealed the bill to the girls and surveyed their reactions. Upon inspection, they agreed that, if the money were real and lost, they would spend a great deal of time and energy searching for it. I then shared that God feels the same about us, and to Him, we are so much more valuable than a $20 bill (and the woman’s lost coin.) Following the story, we exchanged prayer requests. As we reached one of the last little girls in the circle, she said, “Tonight, tell your daughter that she is more important than a $20 bill.”

I was struck by her statement; how often I fail to tell my own children about their worth in my eyes. Yet as often as I fail my children, and ultimately my Father, He never ceases to gently remind me of His unfailing love for me. With all of my shortcomings, it is easy to lose sight of his overarching love. After all, this is the One who rejoiced with His angels in Glory when I came to know Him as my Savior and Lord (Luke, chapter 15:10).

That little girl in class did me a huge favor. In a poignant moment, she reminded me of how our own children need to hear of their worth. Foster care and adoption, at the very root of their existence, send a message to the birth parents in crisis and the children who are victimized or living in orphanages out of sight and mind - that they are of great worth. For those willing to invest their lives in a child and possibly his birth parents, the lost begin to understand their value. And it is from there that Christian parents can share the vast and unfailing love of their Creator, who searches for them with great diligence and rejoices when they are found.

Traci Newell
Education Coordinator

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lessons learned as an international social worker.

1. God’s timing. God’s plan will trump our own. Every time. What a relief that is; we can rest easy that there is nothing that will mess His plan up. He never said it would be easy; only that it would be worth it!

2. Hopefulness. God promises us hope for the future and he promises to execute justice for the fatherless. That truth can never leave us discouraged!

3. God’s love for his children. While you wonder about the welfare of your child while you wait for your opportunity to be with them, you can be assured that He loves your child with a love that passes our understanding. In the palm of His hand is the best place for your child; whether that means a longer separation or a shorter one, He is giving the ones He loves His very best.

4. Preparation. Every day is a gift! Every single day in between today and the day that your child enters your family is a day to prepare your heart, mind, and home for a great change. Pray for your family and yourself that the Lord uses this day to make you more ready; a better mother or father for the child that will soon enter your home. Teach yourself and others that will be involved with your child about adoption. Prepare them to be the best big brother, big sister, aunt, uncle, or grandparent that they can be to their new family member!

5. Trusting Him. Will you choose to worry and fret and live in anxiety? God does not wonder what will come of your family and your children. Trusting Him is a much more peaceful option.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than good and the body more important than clothes? Look at the bird of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:25-27

Claire Davis
International Social Worker

Monday, August 9, 2010

Honesty, Openness, Acceptance

At some point in my adult life I realized these qualities were somewhat lacking within my family as I grew up. Because of this- other issues resulted. There were many reasons for this lacking, struggles within my parent’s family, their lack of a relationship with the One who is most open and accepting, their fears that kept them from seeking help to learn and grow, etc. It all boils down to the ultimate problem-sin. Adam and Eve both made choices that brought sin into the world from the beginning.

So, the good news for me, I’m happy to report: the Lord- the Lord is amazing in His openness, honesty, and acceptance. He is open. As the ultimate communicator, He communicated with us His plan (from before creation to the final ending), His person (Father, Lover, Healer, Provider, King, Counselor, Consuming Fire…), His abilities (creating, sustaining, healing, cleansing, teaching, correcting...), His character (kind, gentle, loving, powerful, holy, mighty, sovereign…), everything- EVERYTHING! He lets us know HIM. He is open with us. He is honest (sometimes painfully so) - Jesus (who is God) is the Truth… (John 14:6)- and God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). I’m so thankful He is honest! He is accepting or approachable. When we acknowledge He alone is God and that we have blown it (one time/many times) and need to be made right from our wrongs, and believe Jesus is the only way. We put our trust in Him, we love Him, obeying His commands. He accepts us as we approach His throne of grace. We can freely ask questions, share our fears, and ask for help. David expressed himself- anger, sadness, fear, etc. Abraham talked to God and even kept asking for God to change His stipulations regarding Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord accepted them- even though He knows they have their own imperfections (and they did have imperfections for sure). Then, Jesus accepted the Samaritan woman (John 4) and initiated a conversation with her. He accepted her where she was (so that He engaged in a conversation and did not ignore her) and did not leave her there. He accepted Mary who poured perfume on Jesus when she repented- and defended her. He didn't leave her there but forgave her (Luke 7:36-48).

Thankfully, although I may not have experienced the openness, honesty, and acceptance within my family, I have hope because my God, God almighty, all powerful, who made me, is open and honest with me. He warmly welcomes me to be open and honest with Him about my feelings, fears, questions, etc. By doing this, I show He is trustworthy to handle them and will not ignore me or mock me. Trusting fully isn’t always easy to do when you didn’t learn this from family. BUT, He IS trustworthy, personable and gentle, mighty and powerful at the same time. I hope you trust Him fully with all of you.

Gina Linden
Birthmother Counselor

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

God is blessing Lifeline

When I think of Lifeline I smile. I smile because we are growing. I smile because we have been blessed with an incredible, experienced, dedicated staff of professional social workers. I smile because we have an army of volunteers just wanting to assist us in assisting our families. I smile because we are aggressively developing ministries to address the plight of the orphan. I smile because I have been looking at pictures today.. pictures of children who have hope and a future, children who have someone to comfort them when they skin a knee or have a tummy ache, children who now live in Christian homes! Sometimes I just want to say a thousand thanks!

There is so much to be grateful for.. Lifeline is effectively bringing more and more orphaned and fostered children home every year and our footprint in the adoption community continues to grow. We now offer nine International Programs and we are close to adding several more, giving qualified families greater opportunity and flexibility to grow their families and put a dent in the orphan population. But there is still so much more that could and should be done. For instance, I know that 83.7657% of statistics are irrelevant, but one stat that does get my attention is that over 60% of American families consider adoption, but less than 2% actually adopt a precious child. That is a tragedy! Why do so few interested couples complete an adoption? There are two primary reasons.. One, families do not get their questions answered (and adoption is full of unknowns). Second, families cannot handle the financial obligation of the actual cost of the adoption (adoptions can cost between $20,000 and $30,000). Lifeline is committed to the process of answering all the questions that prospective adoptive parents may have and also giving families the tools and resources to financially complete their adoption.

In coming days look for our agency to become more aggressive in our communication with families open to adoption. We want to exhaust every means to inform and educate families, to get their questions answered. We want to utilize every communication tool Steve Jobs can create (Co-founder of Apple and chief designer of the ipad.. but did you know he was adopted?). This past week we pulled off our first of hundreds of adoption webinars. With a goal to both inform and inspire we want to connect to more and more prospective adoptive families. We also want to creatively expand the way families can cover the cost of their adoption. Please check out our website at to see the coming webinar schedule. Also be looking for a 24/7 Online Informational Meeting we will have on the web shortly, we want the information families need when they need it.

Blessings to all of you!

Dave Wood
International Director

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Remembering Haiti

Even before the devastating earthquake in January 2010, Haiti was considered one of the poorest countries in the world, and the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Slavery, prostitution, abandonment to the street, malnutrition, and early death due to poor medical care, abuse, and prenatal neglect are among some of the horrifying conditions affecting the children of Haiti.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the region on January 12, 2010 further devastated the condition of the island nation. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. The Haitian Government reports that approximately 230,000 people were killed, 300,000 were injured, and 1,000,000 were made homeless. Millions were left in desperate need of basic physical necessities, and thousands of children were orphaned or abandoned.

July 2010 marked the 6 month anniversary of the devastating earthquake, and unfortunately, little has changed in Haiti. As much as 98% of the rubble from the quake remains un-cleared. Thousands of bodies still remain in the debris. The number of people in relief camps and tent cities remains approximately 1.6 million. Most of these camps have no electricity, running water, or sewage disposal. Crime in the camps is widespread, especially against women and girls. CNN recently reported, “it looks like the quake just happened yesterday,” and Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti, predicts that six months from now Haiti may unfortunately look the same.

In light of this, I implore families not to forget Haiti, especially those considering international adoption. Precise qualifications and length of process time often deter prospective adoptive families from considering Haiti as a viable option. However, as program coordinator, I want to reiterate the feasibility of pursuing a Haitian adoption, especially for couples over the age of 35. I strongly encourage families to research this program, whether by checking out our website at, emailing me at or calling me at (205) 972-8480. Haiti is, now more than ever, in such great need of loving families willing to accept orphaned and abandoned children into their homes.

Ultimately, my purpose in writing this is to remind readers of the seriousness of Haiti’s condition and the urgency we should still feel as believers to aid in this cause. My simple request is to please remember Haiti. Remember Haiti in your minds, hearts, and prayers. Remember Haiti in the giving of your time, money, and other resources. And please remember Haiti if you are a family looking to adopt a precious child in immense need of a loving Christian home.

Laura Hausen
International Social Worker