Go2Bat4LIFE Coming to Dodger Stadium

Imagine Dodger Stadium as a huge pro-life rally. That’s Go 2 Bat 4 Life. We expect 20,000 southern California residents to gather this Sunday, November 18, at Dodger Stadium. Dozens of pro-life groups will be running carnival games and showcasing their ministries. Lincoln Brewster headlines the music stage, along with other guests. We have an all-star line-up of pro-life speakers as well, including Lila Rose, and Shea, a Nightlight birthmother. She will be talking about why she chose adoption. A variety of gourmet food trucks are offering lunch, and there will be a climbing wall, zip line, and batting cages. Visit www.go2bat4life.com to learn more.

ATO | Birth Moms from Adopt: The Option on Vimeo.

Sasha’s Thoughts: Family – Семья

Family is such a strong theme in today’s society. Has been for centuries. I for one do not wholeheartedly agree with the statement that Family are the people that gave birth to you. In reality, it is the people who have been there for you through thick and thin, pain and joy, success and failure. Nothing in this world can compare to the feeling of sharing your life with the people you care most about.

Let me tell you a little bit the word adopted in reference to families. It means to take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child. What a wonderful word! Yet, there is a negative connotation associated with adoptees like you and me. Throughout the ages, if one was not biologically related or partially biological there was no room in the home for them. Think of Cinderella. When the evil stepmother came into the picture, Cinderella was out. What a shame. The larger shame is that this stigma is still a very real concern for thousands upon thousands of orphans left in Russia as well as the rest of the world.

I want to tell you a different story about adoption. The story of two people who were so in love with God that they decided to take FIVE little Russian kids into their home out of the kindness of their hearts! So perhaps you can call me the trash and left overs of the people that gave birth to me, it is true, but the bigger brighter truth is that I was a gift from God to the couple I now call Pa and Ma. And they are my Family!

Humbly yours
Саша

Sasha’s Thoughts: The Beach – На пляже!

What a beautiful day! I cannot imagine living in a more beautiful place than the South Bay, California for the past 16 years. As I was sitting at the beach today, soaking in sunshine and ocean mist, I noticed these little kids next to me. They were with their mothers having a grand old time! I recalled a story from my past. My family (Pa, Ma and three little kids!) used to go to Virginia every year for a few weeks in the summer. Our relatives had a small property on the lake over there so each time we came the lake was the number 1 place to go! I remember the first time as clear as if it were yesterday. We were little pipsqueaks: 5, 10 and 13. Our grandpa took us out on a BIG boat. My aunt cooked hamburgers (probably 1st time eating one!) And we got presents: a little beach towel rolled into a tote filled with t-shirts, water toys and a big sun with sunglasses on everything! What sweet memories…

As I sat on the beach, I could not help but smile at the little kids with their little sand buckets making castles and chasing birds. This same smile floats across my face as I remember a similar beach with little Russian kids running around in the sand playing tag and swimming in the water. The funny thing is, I still feel like that little girl inside sometimes…

As I sat mesmerized by the scene that unfolded in front of my eyes the warmth of the breeze lulled me to sleep with the thought of how sweet it is to share this earth with family no matter who they are or where they are. So to bring to this story a small thought, next time you or your “adopted” family are at odds, remember how sweet it is to have a family to go to the beach with and spend hours together because at one point, me and/or you have been without family and that is a very sad and lonely place to be indeed.

Cheerfully yours,

Саша

Join us for the Second Annual Vivian’s Hope Fund Raiser

In March 2011 a Nightlight couple was matched with a beautiful baby named Vivian. She was living at our Tender Hearts orphanage in Uganda. Soon afterwards, we got a report that Vivian had contracted meningitis and was very ill. She was taken to the hospital, but sadly she passed away. An organization was formed by volunteers who met Vivian during our mission trip to Uganda, and they set out to raise funds for medial needs at Tender Hearts. This effort is called Vivian’s Hope.

Join friends who are passionate about orphan medical care at the Temecula Olive Oil Company Ranch
5:30 pm- Olive Oil Tasting
6:00 pm- Silent Auction
7:00 pm- Dinner, socializing and a live band. Wear ranch attire and come prepared for some outdoor fun, great food and a unique olive oil tasting experience. All proceeds will support medical needs of children at Tender Hearts Baby Home in Uganda.

Vivian’s Hope Fundraiser
Sept. 29, 2012
Temecula Olive Oil Company
5:30 PM
Register Now

Our journey to embryo adoption

The following was written by Heather Hanna, a Nightlight adoptive mother.

We are a full time ministry family blessed with six children (three teens born to us and three younger children born in our hearts from South Korea). The beautiful picture in Scripture of God adopting us into His family has been made more precious since our adoption journeys began in 2005. God moved in our hearts to consider South Korea and then moved us out of comfort zone into special needs adoption from that country; suddenly, we found ourselves going from a family with three kids to six in just 2 ½ years. We made very little money at the time, but God in His amazing heart for orphans always answered and took care of our every need through three different back-to-back adoptions. It’s been almost four years since our youngest came home from Korea and all of this time we prayed that God would open more doors for us to adopt again. Our family size as well as restrictions in our new state seemed to make adoption closed to us and our hearts ached as we waited for God to move.

We’ve known about Nightlight for many years and have known many families who have used them for their agency. What we were about to find out was that Nightlight was more than an agency, it was a family of believers who would pray for you, cheer for you and rejoice when God answered your prayers. In March of this year, we received an email about special case embryos from Nightlight. I have to admit I don’t always open these emails for fear my heart will be torn when God wasn’t yet opening doors, but that day I read. When I began reading it surprised me to hear of genetic families who were open to older moms (I am currently 40) and many children being in a family already. The idea of special case embryos (at risk for a possible genetic issue) thrilled my heart in a way that can only be explained as God moving. What happened next was amazing too. I sent my husband a message through Instant Messenger, and we chatted back and forth. We agreed that we are pro-life and being pro-life means defending life from it’s very beginning, so surprisingly he agreed to have me call and ask questions (one way we know God is moving in our hearts is when we both agree on a direction He is taking us!). I first talked to someone from Nightlight and instantly felt at peace with their friendliness as well as their resourcefulness. The next days were a whirlwind of activity as God supernaturally opened up a homestudy agency in our state that would help us with regulations against large families and we found a clinic a few hours from our home that we felt was the right place. Still, we thought is this crazy? What will our church say? What will our families say? How can we know this is God moving? We prayed and a few days later we received an email from Nightlight telling us that a genetic family had come forward and their embryos were special case embryos and they were Korean-American. We couldn’t believe that a loving God would so care for us and our heart that He would give us a potential match that would fit beautifully with the family He had given us. Continue reading

Adopting the HIV Positive Child, Part II

Because HIV infection is so serious, and children and adults alike are more prone to other infections, keeping a child strong and healthy is very important. And because children do not have the same reserves as adults, good nutrition is especially important for them.  In poorer countries and in orphanages, where children oftentimes receive less than optimum nutrition, their bodies are further compromised and more prone to infection.

That is why in other countries, orphanages dedicated to the care of HIV positive children receive extra funding  and attention so that the children can receive the extra medical and nutritional care that they need.

If you are considering adopting an HIV positive child, most likely you are adopting a child who is a true orphan and you will truly be giving a child the gift of life. We at Nightlight will be featuring children from Eastern Europe and Africa who are HIV positive. There are certainly considerations that need be taken before you and your family decide to adopt a child who is HIV positive and you will want to be well educated regarding HIV and AIDS in general and the issues you and a and HIV-positive child will face. Continue reading

Clubfoot: A Special Need of Children from China – Part I

This is part one in a 4-part series on clubfoot.  Next week we will discuss the treatment for clubfoot, the prognosis and what you can expect as a parent of a child with clubfoot.  In addition, we will discuss the types of children who are available and what you can do if you are interested in adopting one of these children who are members of the In His Image program.
clubfeet - infantMany of the more than 2,000 children who are on the China special needs list have clubfoot.  In general, it is condition that can be readily treated and treatment may begin while the child is still in China.

What is Clubfoot?

It is called congenital talipes equinovarus,  and is one of the most common deformities of the lower limbs [reference 1].  It involves the bone and soft tissue, usually causing one or both feet to be turned sideways or upward. In most cases, a club foot twists the top of the child’s foot downward and inward. If it is severe, the foot will look like it is upside down.

This is congenital malformation, which means the child is born with the condition. Talipes equinovarus (TEV) is a type of clubfoot that occurs in 95% of children with the condition. Continue reading

Interview with Sue Hill: Ethiopia Adoption

Ken and Sue Hill have 6 children, ages 11, 9, 7, 7, 2, and 11 months old. Their first five children are biological. Their youngest was adopted from Ethiopia this past February. Those of you who have already adopted or are currently pursuing adoption know the financial challenges involved in adoption. It might encourage you to know that the Hills received a check from Shaohannah’s Hope at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert this past September.

The Hill family is currently in the process of adopting a 3 1/2 yr orphan from Africa named Arama. You can visit their adoption donation website here.

1. What initially motivated you to adopt?

In the winter of 2004, I decided to start asking God in my prayers what I could do for Him. I did not know what it would be. But, I wanted to be a vessel for Him in this world. Being a stay-at-home mother of 5, I did not have a lot of extra time. But I kept praying that prayer, hoping God would reveal to me how He wants to use me in this world.

In the spring of 2005, I received an issue of a magazine called “Above Rubies.” It is a Christian magazine written by Nancy Campbell. She encourages mothers in their walk with Christ and teaches them how to have Godly homes. In this particular issue, she wrote about her mission trip to Liberia, West Africa. She wrote about the 14 year long war that took place there. This war and its atrocities left behind many orphans. She wrote about these children and the need for adoptive families. After reading this, I knew God was calling us to the ministry of adoption.

So, I approached my husband. Our youngest at the time was only 4 months old. I asked him to think and pray about it. At first he thought I was a little crazy. He said “Sue, we already have 5 children.” I again asked him to pray about it and he said he would. We also attended a Kingdom Kids adoption conference. At the conference, Steve and Michelle Gardener, who are adoptive parents, spoke about adoption from a Biblical perspective. This really changed my husband’s perspective on things. After 1 year of much prayer and consideration, we stepped out in faith and decided to adopt. There were a lot of unknowns. We knew, however, that our child was in Africa. We did not know how we could afford it financially, but we went ahead and started the process.

2. What kind of responses have you received from extended family and friends about your decision to adopt? Continue reading

Bella, the movie: abortion, adoption, and love

There’s a new independent film out that compassionately deals with abortion and adoption: Bella, winner of the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Awards. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read good things about it. Below is an excerpt from the movie review at Focus on the Family’s Plugged In Online. You can also find information at the review about the movie’s (apparently minimal) objectionable elements.

Bella the movieEduardo Verástegui [the lead actor] knows his little film (he also co-produced it) won’t dominate the box office. But he doesn’t mind. “I was caught up in the stardom and money of this business, like so many actors,” he told us, “But I was drawn to do this. To just do something worthwhile.” Thus, he and his fellow producers stepped away from successful careers to pursue an independent film with no guarantees. He said with emotion, “What I’d love to see happen with this film is to someday have this 12-year-old knock on my door and say that her mother was going to have an abortion. But she saw this film. That would be my Oscar.” Continue reading