Friday, October 31, 2014

Korean Pastor Receives Award for Work with Orphans

Hope for Orphans Presents George Muller Award!

This Orphan Sunday, Hope for Orphans is honored to announce that Pastor Lee, Jong-Rak is the recipient of the first annual Hope for Orphans Georg Muller Award. This award is presented to a Gospel driven leader who has displayed great courage and faith in promoting justice and love for orphans. Pastor Lee was presented the award on October 10th, 2014 at a Hope for Orphans Justice for Korea event in Seoul. HFO President and Co-Founder Paul Pennington gave the crystal bell award to Pastor Lee, who then addressed the assembly of pastors and leaders present.

Who is Pastor Lee, Jong-Rak?

In 2009, Pastor Lee became aware of the increased rate of abandonment of Korean children, and immediately responded by creating a "baby-box" at his home. The "baby-box," equipped with a motion sensor and an alarm, is a safe place for mothers to leave their babies knowing that these children would be loved and cared for. Since its installation, Pastor Lee and his staff have received over 570 children. Amidst significant opposition, he has demonstrated extraordinary courage in his defense of the fatherless. This spring, Pastor Lee's story will be introduced through HFO partner Focus on the Family's presentation of Brian Ivie's film, The Drop Box.

Click Here to watch The Drop box Trailer >>

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stephanie Fast to Speak at Park Community Church

Come to hear the incredible story of love, rescue, adoption, and redemption from Stephanie Fast on Saturday November 8th at 9 a.m. at Park Community Church, Near North campus. She has a dynamic story that will inspire us all that we can make a difference in the life of a child.
You can also learn from the Loving Shepherd Ministries team about the multiple ways for to get involved, from adoption, to fostering, to respite care, to Safe Families, to serving as a CASA!
Cost is free. Childcare is provided. You can REGISTER HERE!
What: No Longer Alone: Kids in Need
When: Saturday November 8th from 9 a.m.- 12 noon
Where: Park Community Church, Near North campus. 1001 N. Crosby St., Chicago, IL 60610
Who: Anyone who desires to hear God’s heart to serve vulnerable children. Anyone seeking ways to get involved.
Cost: Time and an open heart.
****Childcare is provided****

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Church as a Partner in Biological Family Reunification in Foster Care

 While it is true that a number of children entering foster care will not be able to return home, the goal for the majority of them is to reunify with their birth families.  In this webinar we will explore how foster families, churches and organizations can play a vital role in the reunification process.

Presenters: Herbie Newell, Lifeline Children’s Services; Erin Kim, Mariner’s Church; Lesli Reece, North Point Ministries and Johnston Moore, Home Forever

Date:    Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Time:    1:00 PM (Central)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cradle Book Club for Adoptive Parents

A book club is a great way to have some fun, gain some insight and find and give support to parents in similar situations.

The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family--and addressing their special needs--requires care, consideration, and compassion.
Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you:
  • Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child
  • Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders
  • Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened
Thursday, November 20, 2014
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
The Chapel25270 Illinois Route 60, Grayslake, IL 60030
Registration is limited.  Click HERE to register.  $20.00

Please read the book prior to our discussion. Those that have not read the book are still welcome to join the discussion as well. 

Liesl Einerson, LCSW, Cradle Counselor:  
Cradle Adoption Therapist Liesl Einerson, LCSW will lead a great session discussing The Connected Child and the role adoption plays in parenting. Liesl is trained in Dr. Karyn Purvis' Trust-Based Relational Intervention Therapy which teaches parents how to connect with their child to build trusting relationships. The therapy helps to allieviate fears children may have surrounding having trusting relationships with adults. These fears often exist in children from hard beginnings, like adoption or foster care. TBRI therapy also helps parents teach children to make good choices and empowers parents to shape children's behaviors.
Before joining the Cradle, Liesl worked with foster care & adoptions, teen mothers, and post adoption therapy. Liesl is passionate about helping women & children and enjoys learning about new people and cultures. Liesl received her Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  Liesl works with adoptive families through The Cradle's Center for Lifelong Adoption Support and meets with expectant parents in the Chicagoland area.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Safe Families "Family Coach Training"

Safe Families for Children
Coaching is a vital role within the outreach ministry of Safe Families for Children. 
While assisting children & families is a rewarding experience for all those involved, the challenges of hosting children and connecting with their parent(s) are difficult at times and can be offset when a coach can stand in the gap and help reduce the stress.
Please pray and consider this opportunity to step into a volunteer coaching position; your service will make a positive impact in both the caregivers and those we serve.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the FC Training Coordinator: Anita Hughes: 

WHEN:   Saturday, October 18, 2014
(8:30-9:00 a.m.Time of Fellowship)

                  WHERE:  First Church of the Nazarene
      4503 Charles Street
     Rockford, IL  61108
Learn how to support host Safe Families during a placement, coordinate resources for the placing parent; and Connect with other Safe Families volunteers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Orphan Saturday Event

Replanted invites you to a day of prayer, worship, and practical workshops to engage our call to "defend the cause of the fatherless" (Isaiah 1:17). Join us as we gather with area churches and organizations to be a unified voice as we lift up our vulnerable children.  All are welcome to attend!

Free childcare will be provided during the workshops. Workshops will count towards any DCFS training hours families require.


   1:15  DOORS OPEN
   1:30  PLENARY
   2:00  WORKSHOP
   3:00  WORKSHOP

   4:00  WORKSHOP
   5:00  DINNER



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Orphan Sunday at Willow Creek Community Church

Orphan Sunday 2014

"Justice for the Orphan"

Willow Creek Community Church

November 2nd, 2014   5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Justice for the Orphan is the theme for this year's Orphan Sunday event hosted by Compassion & Justice's Vulnerable Children's Ministry. 

Guest speakers Eric Nelson, Executive Director of Administer Justice, Sgt. Ken Nicolai from the Salvation Army, and Pastor Steve and Sarah Carter from Willow Creek Church share powerful and heart-warming stories of how their voice and actions on behalf of the voiceless changed the trajectory of many lives.

Join us for a light dinner, a display of the Heart Gallery of Illinois and an exposition of exhibitors impassioned about the plight of the vulnerable child.  Learn about ways you can participate in our upcoming book study and make a difference in the life of a child.

5:00 p.m.         Exhibitors display, Heart Gallery & Dinner
5:30 – 7 p.m.   Program &; Next Steps

67 E. Algonquin Road, South Barrington

Room B100 (under the chapel)

Childcare will not be available.

Registration is not required.

What is Orphan Sunday?
On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan. We are a people called to defend the fatherless…to care for the child that has no family…to visit orphans in their distress. Each event is locally-led. Sermons and small groups, concerts and prayer gatherings, shared meals and youth activities—each rousing believers with God’s call to care for the orphan, and what we can do in response. From many sources, one voice. Each November, thousands of events will echo across America and around the globe, all sharing a single goal: that God’s great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well. Orphan Sunday is your opportunity to rouse church, community and friends to God’s call to care for the orphan. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Adoption Struggles

Adoption Struggles:
Why Isn't Love Enough?
by Amy Tanner, LCSW, Cherry Hill Center

"She was adopted at birth and taken straight home from the hospital.   She didn't experience any trauma or neglect.  How is it possible that she is such a terror at home?  How can she be diagnosed with an attachment disorder?"

"We thought love would be enough to overcome all the years of hurt and pain he experienced.  He was finally in a home where he wasn't being abused.  How come he seems to push us away and provokes us to the point of rejecting him?"

"How could that mother do such a thing?  When things got rough, she just gave up?  She put her adopted son on a plane back to Russia all by himself?  That's terrible!"

Chances are, you've had these thoughts or heard others voice these concerns when confronted with news stories or personal accounts related to adoptions gone wrong.  Most of us know people who have been involved in the adoption "triad" (adoptive parent, adopted child, birth parent).  While only 2% of Americans are adopted, several studies have revealed that compared to the general population, adoptees are over-represented in the mental health field, criminal justice system, and substance abuse programs.  Why is that?  What's going on here?

While this is a question that requires a complex set of answers, I’d like to take time to explain one main reason that is often overlooked.  Most people can understand that an adopted child who experienced severe trauma and/or neglect before adoption will have a difficult journey.  Love may not truly be enough to heal those wounds.  However, what we may struggle to understand is why children adopted at birth have any residual issues and exhibit behaviors that could be quite severe (such as lying, stealing, hoarding, gorging, and aggression).

We all like to think of adoption on the optimistic side of things: a child in need is given a home with a couple that has been longing to have a family.  And while this is certainly true, let’s take a moment to look at things from the adoptee’s point of view. Maybe then we can begin to understand what’s going on.  At the very heart of the matter, adoption is loss.  Adoptees have lost the opportunity to grow up in their biological family, know their birth parents/siblings, and sometimes, to be raised within their own culture and race.

While they are too young to have any explicit memories (visual images they can recall in their mind) of their birth mother, neuroscientists have now discovered that even before we are born, we are storing memories in our brains in what is called implicit memory.  So even if adoptees are never told they are adopted or are told when they are older, at the most primal, innate level, many adoptees know it and experience it as a loss and a feeling of abandonment.  In her book, The Primal Wound, Nancy Verrier, states, “The adoptee was there.  The child actually experienced being left alone by the biological mother and being handed over to strangers.  That he may have been only a few days or a few minutes old makes no difference.  He shared a 40-week experience with a person with whom he probably bonded in utero, a person to whom he is biologically, genetically, historically and, perhaps even more importantly, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually connected.”

As a result of adoptees experiencing such a profound loss, many report lifelong struggles with feelings of rejection and abandonment.  They may often fear that their adoptive parents or others will eventually leave them.  These fears can also lead to feelings of shame.  Adoptees conclude that they are no good and not worthy of being loved.  As you can imagine, living with these thoughts and beliefs make it difficult to attach and bond to anyone.  They may subconsciously engage in behaviors that encourage others to reject them, which then confirms what they believe about themselves that they are no good and unlovable.

Given this background, parenting adopted children can be very challenging.  When parents discipline by threatening to remove rewards or giving consequences (both of which are necessary and important parenting tools), it often backfires with adoptees.  They tend to feel more shame and rejection, which just leads to more misbehavior. However, with the help of adoption professionals and counselors, many have learned how to parent in such a way that the adoptees grow and heal from their wounds, resulting in true attachment and bonding within the families.  I have been privileged to walk alongside many adoptive parents over the years.  The course I teach has been a catalyst for change for both parents and adoptees, bringing them further along on their journeys toward happiness and healing.

Eldridge, Sherri, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wished Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Forbes, Heather T., Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors

Siegel, Daniel J. and Tina Payne Bryson, The Whole-Brain Child

Smith, Susan Livingston & Dr. Jeanne Howard, Promoting Successful Adoptions: Practice with Troubled Families

Verrier, Nancy, The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

LifeSong's Advent for Orphans

This year, make Advent about more than just eating chocolate.

The Advent for Orphans Calendar is a special way to celebrate not only the anticipation of the birth of our Savior, but also a unique and creative opportunity to show love to orphans. **Great for families with kids! Read the impact Advent for Orphans had on families in past years.

How it works:

  1. Order your Advent for Orphans Calendar(s) HERE.
  2. Starting December 1st, read the daily scriptures listed on the back of tab, collect money for the daily gift (example: Today, give $0.20 for every coat you own), and pray for orphans using the daily prayer guide. 
  3. Collect donations late December/early January and send to Lifesong (donate online or send check to PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744 with memo: Advent).
Need some help spreading the word to your church, community or small group? Feel free to use our Advent for Orphans promo video!

Also, be sure to follow Lifesong for Orphans on Facebook & Twitter during Advent for day-to-day updates!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Discipline Strategies Workshop for Parents

The Vulnerable Children’s Ministry at Willow Creek

Presents a Workshop for Parents…

“Positive Discipline Strategies”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Willow Creek Community Church

67 E. Algonquin Road, So. Barrington, IL


ü  Learn the importance of teaching life lessons, rather than punishment.

ü  Compare today's family dynamics compared to those in previous year.

ü  Learn strategies to give positive consequences for positive behavior.

     ü  Explore who and what may influence behavior in our children.

ü  Learn what the Bible says about disciplining our children.

     ü  At the conclusion, everyone should leave with an understanding that discipline is necessary for the growth and development of children and youth and it’s about teaching, setting boundaries, being consistent, and showing respect.

Guest Speaker: Jerry Harris

 Jerry Harris has worked with troubled families and youth for more than 25 years. He has held past positions as house parent, case manager, consultant, and director over residential placements, foster care, adoptions, and independent living programs in the city of Chicago and surrounding areas. Jerry has also been a teacher in several school districts. He has been a coach and mentor for youth in the Rockford area. Jerry currently is an Assistant Principal for the Harlem School District.


5:30 Dinner together (Atrium, near the Lakeside lobby)

7:00 Worship service (Lakeside Auditorium)

7:30 Workshop (Room B205/207 near the chapel)


Please register for the event at

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


D.C.F.S. Training hours offered for licensed foster parents.

Free childcare available at Midweek for Kids (