William J. Blacquiere is President of Bethany Christian Services
Posted 11/18/14 at 10:46 AM | Bill Blacquiere
When a child is removed from a home because of neglect, you think “bad parent,” right? According to Darrell “DJ” Jordan, that’s not always the case. DJ, a senior congressional aide to U.S. Representative Sam Graves (R-Missouri), explains that neglect is seldom intentional, especially in the African American community.
According to DJ, poverty forces many parents to make choices that on the surface seem neglectful. A single mom buying shoes for her kids instead of paying the electric bill, for example. So when her power is shut off, local authorities remove the children and place them with a foster family. Bad parent?
“Wherever there is a higher concentration of poverty, you have a higher foster care population, and in the African American community, 1 in 4 live in poverty—nearly double the rest of the population. They love their children as much as anyone but don’t have the resources to adequately care for them.” FULL POST
Posted 11/13/14 at 9:25 PM | Bill Blacquiere
Today’s blog is contributed by Sarah McCarthy, film director of The Dark Matter of Love.
I didn’t know much about adoption before I started making my film, The Dark Matter of Love. It’s about three Russian children learning to love their adoptive American parents through a scientific intervention. I hadn’t really given adoption much thought, to be honest.
Over the course of making the film, I saw what an incredible difference the love of a family can make to children in a relatively short space of time, and I—for the first time—began to consider adoption as a way to build my own family. I’ve still got a few years before it’s time to start thinking about children, but if I had the chance to adopt a little girl as special as Masha (the main character in the film, with whom I fell completely in love), I’d jump at it. So I learned that adoption is extraordinary and that by adopting someone and loving them every day, you change their biology, making you biologically related even if your genetics are different. FULL POST
Posted 11/11/14 at 3:07 PM | Bill Blacquiere
Andy and Lisa lived in New Jersey and had a thriving family with three children. Through their ministry and outreach as children’s pastors at their local church, however, they knew their family was not complete and decided to grow their family through domestic adoption. Yet, after more than 18 months of prayerfully reviewing profiles of waiting children available for adoption, they had not decided to move forward to adopt any one of those children. They were conscientious of their children’s birth order and were being taught to rely on God’s timing.
Posted 11/6/14 at 1:04 PM | Bill Blacquiere
Little Miss Anonymous
Today, Amy Scott, an adoption specialist, shares her personal adoption story.
Almost 40 years ago, immediately after my birth, I was placed in a garbage bag and left in a trash compactor at an apartment complex in West Texas. One can assume I was supposed to suffocate and be crushed into pieces, and thus erased from existence forever. The fact that I am writing this bears witness to a different outcome.
Proverbs 16:9 reads, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” The people who left me there had purposed murder in their hearts, but God had different steps in mind for my life. According to newspaper reports, I let out a newborn scream at the moment a maintenance man at the complex was in the vicinity of the trash compactor, and he was compelled to climb in and retrieve me. Reports state that I arrived at the hospital within an hour of my birth, with the placenta still attached. The attending physician clamped my umbilical cord and declared me an 8-pound, healthy girl. Criminal detectives sought leads in the case with hopes of charging the person who placed me in the trash compactor with attempted murder. To the best of my knowledge, no charges were ever filed. FULL POST
Posted 11/4/14 at 11:11 AM | Bill Blacquiere
What does it take to adopt a troubled older child?
According to Scott Roley, it takes a lot of love and generous assistance from family, friends, and the church. Scott and his wife, Linda, have opened their home to 14 foster children. In the process of applying for one of those children, Linda was deeply moved as she read the child’s case history. Brenda was 10 years old, had been in 4 separate foster homes, and was sexually abused in each. The couple immediately changed their application to include adoption, and when she moved in the next weekend, Scott greeted her with, “Hi, I’m your dad.”
The organization I am privileged to lead, Bethany Christian Services, placed more than 600 children from foster care into adoptive families last year, but I can tell you from experience that children like Brenda are hard to place. They present a wonderful opportunity, however, for Christians to demonstrate the love of Christ to “the least of these.” FULL POST
Posted 10/30/14 at 3:49 PM | Bill Blacquiere
N.O.W. exists because of the thousands of children in foster care who need to be adopted before they age out of the system and are sent out on their own. Without a loving family to nurture and support them as they navigate the uncertain waters of young adulthood, they are much more vulnerable to challenges such as addiction, incarceration, and early parenthood. We know this because the statistics tell us.
This November, we’re inviting everyone to help raise awareness for foster care adoption while participating in a fun, educational, and heartwarming activity. Simply visit Bethany.org/foreverfamily and follow the quick and easy instructions. FULL POST
Posted 10/29/14 at 1:20 PM | Bill Blacquiere
Kris Faasse is Vice President of Clinical Services for Bethany Christian Services, a prominent leader in social services around the globe.
Theories abound—America’s teen birth rate has been in significant decline for the past five years. According to the research firm Demographic Intelligence, the number of babies born to teen moms each year dropped by 38.4 percent between 2007 and 2013. And no one knows for sure why. Experts point to everything from greater access to effective contraception, to increased efforts in sex education, to popular television programs such as MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. One theory even suggests that lower levels of lead have contributed to the decline.
Regardless of the reasons, I am encouraged by the fact that fewer teenagers are becoming parents. A pregnant 15-year-old faces the same decisions any other woman faces with an unplanned pregnancy, but without the same level of emotional development. Anecdotally and from research, we know that teens are less likely to choose adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy than older women, who are often also parenting other children. The statistics are sobering—teens who parent are less likely to complete their high school education, more likely to have difficulty finding employment, and more likely to live in poverty. They can successfully parent but face significant challenges. A teen who does not have the responsibility of caring for a child is statistically more likely to achieve their goals. FULL POST
Posted 10/23/14 at 10:35 AM | Bill Blacquiere
How does an independent, non-profit community organization less than 30 years old have 450 volunteers and hundreds more waiting for an opening to volunteer? Perhaps it is the single mission such as this:
to show love.
What started out as a humble beginning 1987 has now become an extensive ministry in Hong Kong with four key services and affiliate programs in mainland China, India and Cambodia. Two couples, expatriates of North America, co-founded Mother’s Choice in response to rising crisis pregnancies in Hong Kong. Their desire was to provide a safe and loving place for young girls facing crisis pregnancy, by providing much-need counseling services and a hostel. Along with their Child Care Home for babies and special needs children awaiting a forever family, they also provide counseling to young girls facing crisis pregnancy, foster care services to children who require a temporary home, and local and inter-country adoption services. FULL POST