5 Things I Want My Mentee to Know Before Entering High School, by Heather Lei

GirlwithBookIt seems so long ago that I was walking around the bustling halls of my high school. My hair was platinum blonde, I had a ballet-slipper pink backpack, and I walked around with a sense of determination. I was known as “the singer”. It was a fitting name since I spent nearly all of my time either in choir, singing lessons, singing competitions, or shows. I would also go around campus singing everywhere—in classrooms, in bathrooms, in the halls—it didn’t matter. I was most happy when I was singing, and so, I sang everywhere!

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How Adopting My Son Inspired My Faith, by Rebekah McGee

baby-shoes-1814348_1280In 2010, my husband and I were still newlyweds, but we firmly believed God had called us to adopt our first child. We were very young—only 23 and 25—so our options for adoption were limited. Through prayer and guidance from others, we found our adoption agency and decided to pursue an Ethiopian adoption.

When I look back on our adoption journey, I laugh at how much my faith was stretched and how—at the time—I felt that the adoption process would be one of the most difficult journeys I would encounter as a parent. If only I had known what was ahead! We anticipated a nine-month adoption timeline but a variety of factors stretched the process over two years. There were so many details to see to: the paperwork, the revisions of our home study parameters, and the losses and matches of families ahead of us on an agency waitlist. I marvel at how our son was matched to us—it is a miracle that a little boy born in Gambella, Ethiopia, now resides in our home in Brooklyn, NY.

Fostering: A Calling from God, by Laurie Tomascik

shoesI’ve been thinking a lot about our story, and all the other stories that need to be told. As foster and adoptive families, we often walk a lonely, isolated path. It’s been almost a year since the adoption of our son was finalized. He was our first placement and had been with us for three and a half years.

We had only been licensed for a couple of months when the call came. With the help of our three bio children—a son and two daughters—we prepared the extra bedroom in a gender neutral fashion. Our kids had picked the paint color, a shade of orange that I definitely was not in love with, but it had a hidden meaning that would show itself later.

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7 Inspiring Adoption Blogs, by Heather Lei

Mom2moMEach of the following blogs brings a unique perspective to the topic of adoption. In addition, each blog shares some of the challenges that adoptees and adoptive families face. The stories are raw and real—told by people who have been touched by adoption in a variety of ways. Reading these blogs will leave you with a deeper understanding of the complexities of adoption, and leave you feeling uplifted
and inspired.

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My Motherhood, by Tyler Koch

View More: http://jenmenard.pass.us/isabelgraceMy journey to motherhood started with brokenness, heartache and grief. It has become a story of redemption, love and joy.

I always assumed motherhood would come quickly & easily for me. I dreamed about seeing those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, watching my belly grow month after month, rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night and—after many long hours of labor—resting with my newborn baby snuggled to my chest. As it turned out, my journey to the life-changing experience of motherhood ended up looking a whole lot different.

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Adoption: Our Story Is Bigger Than Us, by Natalie Brenner

double-blessingIt was a cold January morning when we sat across the Starbucks table from a local pregnancy-adoption counselor. This meeting was the culmination of an adoption-dream first conceived together via a skype date while dating, a couple years of trying to conceive biologically without success, and an eagerness to grow our family.

The counselor’s talk of openness in adoption frightened us and made our nerves tingly in an uncomfortable sort of way. We didn’t know that we agreed with her. How could that be best for our child? Wouldn’t he or she be confused? 

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National Adoption Awareness Month 2016: Adopted and Winning

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-12-24-12-pmNovember is National Adoption Awareness Month. In honor of this month, Jasmine Sanders, co-host of The DL Hughley Show, is on a mission to raise awareness for the 415,000 children in foster care throughout the country. Earlier this month, Sanders launched her #AdoptedandWinning campaign to give hope and encouragement to the children in foster care. The goal of her campaign is to help foster children know that, regardless of their circumstances, they can rise up and succeed in their lives.

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The Power of Forgiveness, by Heather Lei

forgiveness_image1A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you.”  ~Dalai Lama

When someone hurts you, feelings of anger and resentment may begin to surface. These feelings can become life consuming, and sometimes, they make forgiveness seem impossible. You might think that a particular person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness—or you may believe yourself incapable of providing it. However, forgiveness isn’t something you do for the person who wronged you; it’s something you do for yourself And it can be difficult—so difficult that forgiving someone who has brought you deep pain, can be one of the hardest things in your life to do.

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Fostering: The Child’s View, by Nadean Ollech

girl-with-flowerBefore I was ten years old, a stream of children—whose stories ranged from simple to down right horrifying—came through our home.  I was taught to be open, accepting, and to not ask questions as bruises and broken bones are a natural curiosity for youngsters.

There were simple cases such as the overnighter, like the young boy who got lost from his father at the local fair. Since he wasn’t from Canada, the father didn’t know he could go to the police for help. It took a neighbor to convince him that getting separated from a child was not punishable and that we had a system to keep the kids safe until they could be reunited with their families. There were also more complex cases, like the little girl who came to us with a broken nose which was delivered by a hammer from her mother’s boyfriend.

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3 Things My Adoption Has Taught Me, by Merrisa Milliner

baby-girlAfter years of struggling with infertility, my husband and I adopted our first child, a newborn baby girl, a little more than a year ago. The decision was not a “last resort” for us. Interestingly, the topic of adopting came up fleetingly during our premarital counseling five years ago, and we quickly agreed we were open to the idea, not thinking too much of it, because we all tend to assume we will start a family like most people do, right? We made the decision after our second miscarriage, not because we were out of embryos, or the doctor was out of hope, or our bank account was completely out of funds, but because we ran out of heart for it. We were ready to put our energy into something more positive, so we plunged into the process of adoption and never looked back.

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