Friday, May 30, 2014

Safe Families for ChildrenTestimony

The following testimony is from Teri Altpeter, who shared her story at our May 28th "We Need Your Light" Concert and Packing Event.  In case you were unable to attend, I wanted you to hear her powerful testimony of how the church community wrapped around her while she served a family with four kids, through Safe Families for Children.

There was a single mom in my community that had to go to Mayo Clinic for treatment and possible surgery.  It was guesstimated that she would be gone for 2 mos if treatment worked, much longer if surgery was necessary.  These four children were very involved in school and their father lived and worked several miles away from them.  The mom has been putting off going to Mayo for more than a year and her body was breaking down.  She was in so much pain.  Besides how could she leave her children for that long?  Who would care for them for that long? Friends of hers suggested Safe Families and they knew of a local family, mine.

Since we only had one child and plenty of space for more, we said we would consider it.  It was something that had to be thought out thoroughly for logistic reasons.  We were going from a family of three to a family of seven.  There were now four schools to get five children to and they had the same start times on opposite sides of the town.  There was before school activities, after school activities, extra-curricular activities and visitations with their father to coordinate. This required extra help.  (Their father took them every weekend when he wasn't traveling for work.  He also would take one child out one night a week for dinner when he was able.)

Through friends and family of ours, friends of theirs, the Compassion and Justice team at Huntley Willow and God, we were able to provide a safe, loving, all needs met environment for these kids.  We had drivers for the 'to and from' schools, gas and grocery cards provided, delicious meals dropped off, and even money given.  All our needs were met.  Our home was in harmony with all the lives inside of it.  There was a peace that had fallen over the home.  One night my husband looks over at me and says: "Call up that adoption agency, we need to have children in our home on a permanent basis."  As you know, that lead to our adoption of Zane.

We became close with the children and the mom and even their father.  Mom's treatment did work and she did return home within 2 months.  Her health is good, though she does have some challenging days.  She has completed beauty school along with training at a large salon and is working full time for the first time in many, many years.  

The mom also fallen in love and is now married a wonderful Christian man.  They attended marriage classes here at Willow and was married in the Chapel.  I with a couple of the close friends who wrapped the tightest around the family, walked down the isle in order that is in honor of the "Parents of Bride". 

I believe none of this would of happened if it wasn't for Safe Families who gave the mom piece of mind in trusting us and the church friends in our the community supporting us in providing for these children.
Teri Altpeter has been a Safe Families Host for about 7 years, and is on the Vulnerable Children's Ministry Leadership Team at Willow Creek Community Church, where she serves as a Safe Families Church Coordinator. 
For more information about Safe Families for Children, visit

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Safe Families Host Training Event

Safe Families for Children and
Willow Creek Community Church
Present:Host Family Training Day
Prospective Safe Families, you're invited to a live, accelerated Comprehensive Training Session. 
Offered as an alternative to online training, this event is designed to equip you to welcome a child into your home and move you through the training process efficiently. The live Comprehensive Training Session includes everything you need to become a certified Safe Family—all in one place. 
  • Start or submit your application
  • Complete your training hours
  • Meet like-minded families who will support you
Saturday, June 21, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Willow Creek Community Church
67 E. Algonquin Road, So. Barrigton, IL
 Click HERE to register!
Doors open at 8:30 AM for those who need to start an application, start a background check, or ask one-on-one questions.  Training session begins at 9:00 AM sharp.

Childcare is offered for ages up to 11 years old to those who RSVP by Friday, June  13th.  
A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. There will also be a variety of special giveaways throughout the training session you won't want to miss!
Free Parking is available in Lot B.  Please enter the doors marked The Chapel and come to room - B204/6.

The training session will be presented by Tom Maluga and Joyce Moffitt.  Tom is the Director of Safe Families for Children Chicago since the ministry's inception in 2002 and holds two Masters degrees. Joyce is the Area Coordinator for Lake County and a Master Trainer for DCFS.  Both are devoted to helping urban families find God’s healing and redeeming grace.

Reserve your spot today! We look forward to seeing you on June 21st to equip and encourage you in your journey.

Click HERE to register!

If you have further questions please contact Joyce Moffitt at

Monday, May 19, 2014

Webinar: Growing Up Adopted - What Parents Need to Know

Adoption Learning Partners Presents

a Live Webinar

May 22, 2014
7:00PM Central
Q&A: 8:00PM

As your child grows and learns more about her story, she will have more questions, concerns and feelings about adoption.  Understanding those emotions and feelings is essential to helping your child build a healthy identity. But how do you learn how to best support her?  Ask someone who's been there!

We’ve gathered a panel of adopted people – adopted domestically, internationally and from foster care - to reflect back on their own experiences and answer YOUR questions about:
  • Their feelings about adoption including loss, shame and differences
  • Their feelings on talking about adoption - to their parents and others
  • What their parents did right and what they wish they had done differently
Submit your questions for our panel here – we’ll ask our panel the top 10!

Submit your questions for us here or by tweeting them to @adoptiontweet using #ALPIdentity
PLEASE NOTE: If you purchase the certificate option, your certificate will be available upon successful completion of a post test. The post test will be in your Adoption Learning Partners account after the live event.

The audio for the live webinar can be heard over the phone or through your computer speakers. If you choose to listen through your computer, we recommend external speakers or headphones. If you call in by phone, it is a toll call. There are no refunds or exchanges for the webinar once you have purchased it. If you purchase, but are unable to attend the live webinar, a recorded version will be available in your account after the event. The recorded version broadcasts over your computer speakers.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

International Justice Mission Addresses Child Slaves in Ghana

Tens of thousands of children—some as young as four—are being forced to work 12-hour days in the fishing industry on Ghana’s Lake Volta. During a recent investigation, boat masters told us they go to far-off villages and buy very young boys, because the youngest are easiest to control. One man personally showed us six boys for sale at 150 dollars each.
The IJM team met boys wearing dirty ragged clothing. Most of them had distended stomachs, skin diseases, hair falling out, and open sores and wounds. Their arms and bodies are left deeply scarred from pulling up massive nets full of fish with sharp teeth or spikes.
IJM will be opening an office in Ghana later this year. Please give to IJM today, so we can send rescue where it’s urgently needed.
Click HERE to donate.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bethany Christian Services Workshop

Bethany Christian Services is pleased to offer insight and training for adoptive parents on how to respond to sexual behavior as it relates to their adopted child(ren). Join us as presenter Julie Glass looks at The Do's and Don'ts in Caring for Children with Sexual Behavior.

May 14, 2014 • 8:00-9:30 p.m. EST
Registration: $10 (limited to first 100 registrants)
To register, please visit

Monday, May 12, 2014

Free Adoption and Foster Care Workshop

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." - Isaiah 61:3b

Join us as Replanted & Bethany Christian Services host

Free Workshops

Saturday May 31, 2014 3:00 pm

Church of the Resurrection
935 Union Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187

Replanted and Bethany Christian Services present an afternoon dedicated to adoption and foster care with a series of workshops. Each workshop begins at 3:00 p.m. and will be offered twice so you can attend multiple workshops based on your interest. 

Event concludes with a Family Fun Potluck at 5:15.
Free childcare will be provided. 

Please RSVP below to attend this event.
**Foster parents: you will receive credit for the workshops you attend.. A sign-in sheet will be present

Workshop Details

Adoption / Foster Care 101

There are children in Illinois and all over the world who are waiting for a safe and loving home. Come to this orientation meeting to learn about the domestic and international adoption process as well as the great need for foster parents.

School Advocacy for Your Child
Learn tips for partnering with your public school to help meet your child’s needs. Topics covered will include: English Language Learners, Special Education, School Roles, and Parent Roles.

Occupational Therapy: Sensory Issues
Learn about developmental markers, red flags, when intervention should be pursued, and possible strategies to help.

Speech Therapy
Learn about strategies to help with speech development and possible indications for when follow-up therapy is needed.


Learn More

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Webinar: Sharing Tough Birth History Stories with Adopted Children

Presented by: Krista (McCoy) Woods, M.S.W., LCSW  
Who Should Attend?  Adoptive, foster parents, therapists, social workers, CASA workers,  and anyone working with adopted/foster children and youth.

Krista Woods, M.S.W., LCSW is the Founder of Integrity Clinical Consulting & Training, is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist, coach and trainer for individuals, groups and agencies for over 20 years.  She serves on the Board of the American Adoption Congress, as the IL State Rep and Professional Liaison. She is biracial (African-American/Caucasian), transracial adoptee from foster care. She has met several members of her birth family. She also has several family members who joined her family by adoption. For the past 16 years, she has also been a presenter/trainer for Bridge Communications in Illinois; which trains prospective transracial adoptive parents on multicultural issues.

In this webinar, Krista will discuss how to share with children of various ages and stages in developmentally appropriate ways their adoption story as well as sharing information about their birth parents and families.
Another objective of this webinar is to learn how to share with children and answer questions when their birth history is unknown or in circumstances of parental drug abuse, criminal history/incarceration, or child abuse leading to the removal of children from their birth parents.  There will be time for live questions and answers.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
8:00-9:00pm (central standard time)
COST: $35.00     Payable with PayPal®
How to register:  Follow the link below
**Once you complete and click submit on the registration page, you will be redirected automatically to the PayPal website to pay for the webinar.  You will need to complete the payment before your will be given the login information to attend the webinar

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Seeking Families for 400 Children

Four hundred children with special placement needs are waiting for a loving home. Can you help?
Nina (7) loves listening to music. Teddy (9) enjoys interacting with his caregivers. And Isaac (5) likes to play on the playground. They’re among the 400 children who come from different countries, speak different languages, and have different needs, but who all share the hope of a loving family.
We have committed to finding families for 7 of these children as part of Bethany’s campaign called “These 400.” There are unique challenges in adopting a child with special placement needs, but also unique and everlasting rewards!
Adoptive families may be eligible for assistance through our Caring Connection ministry, which offers financial support and ongoing access to counseling and resources.
For more information please contact a representative at Bethany Christian Services:
6600 West College Drive, Suite 207
Palos Heights, IL 60463-3406
Phone 708.385.4889

Monday, May 5, 2014

Concert of Prayer at Willow Creek Community Church

The Vulnerable Children's Ministry

Invites you to a Special Concert……

The We Need Your Light Project:  Vulnerable Children in Our Community

Willow artists Dell Washington, Shawn Christopher and others lead a concert of prayer/worship night to raise awareness about the most vulnerable in our community—at-risk children.  Guest speaker Dr. David Anderson, Executive Director of Lydia Home/ Safe Families helps us understand what we can do.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Willow Creek Community Church
67 E. Algonquin Road, So. Barrington, IL

5:30 Dinner together (Atrium: look for the tables with our signs)

7:00 Worship service (Lakeside Auditorium)

7:30 - 9:00  Concert (Chapel)


Please register for the event at

(You will need to create a user name & password that you can use each month.)