When It’s Hard to be Thankful

Holidays Are Hard for Foster Children

I think for most, Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season is a time to spend with family. I know, that’s not always a reason to celebrate. (tongue in cheek) But for many, it’s a reminder that you really don’t have a family.

Photo Credit: andrewbuter via Compfight cc

Here are a few quotes from children in foster care about the holidays:

Continue Reading »

5 Ways We Can Go to the Nations without Leaving Our Community

Do We Really Have an Excuse for Not Taking the Gospel to the Nations?

Often we use excuses for not going to the nations as God’s Word commands us to do. The usual excuses are “not enough money” or “not enough time” or “my kids are too young/too old”.


Those excuses may have worked a generation or two ago here in America, but not any longer. Especially in urban communities where thousands of people from all over the world live, work, and go to school.

Simply, the world is becoming a smaller place.

Just at the University of Texas in Austin about 127 countries are represented. According to VisitHoustonTexas.com over 90 languages are spoken in the Houston area.

I am sure that these numbers reflect the community you live in as well. The question bow do you engage these people groups right at your doorstep?

Here are 5 ways we can go to the nations without leaving our community. I hope that you can add more ways or additional information about these 5:

Continue Reading »

Do You Know What a Safe Family Is?

An Interview with Alison Morriss

In the world of orphan care, we often focus on children who already need a family. We hear about the hundreds of thousands of children living in foster care homes, institutional housing, and orphanages. We hear the call to respond, and thankfully many do.

Morriss Family

-The Morriss Family

But what if we also worked on prevention? What I mean is what if, when we think of orphan care, we also worked with at-risk families to prevent children from ever having to live in foster care or need adoption?

Wholistic Approach

I became open to a wholistic approach when we fostered our son. CPS removed him from his biological family and placed him with us as a foster only child. The goal was for reconciliation with his own family.

Yet Danielle and I were adoption motivated. That caused a tension point to say the least.

It affected the way I interacted with the biological family, how I prayed, etc.

Continue Reading »

Discover and Engage Your Passion

What are you passionate about? I’m not talking about painting your beer gut in Dallas Cowboy blue to convince me that your a fanatic Cowboy supporter.


Nor am I talking about your career, your possessions, maybe not even…gulp…your family. I’m referring to a passion that impacts others. A passion that changes another person’s destiny.

Does any passion like that exist for you?

I know for many of you one or more passion does! So much so that it’s a part of your identity. When others talk about you, your passion comes up in the conversation.

You have a passionate heart, but…

You might be like many that I talk to. You hear a story about an foster kid; about refugee families; about living life on life with your neighbors. Some kind of story that kindles a desire deep within you.

“If I knew how to help.” “If I had the financial means or time.” I hear something like that often.

So you have a passionate heart. You might even have a specific passion. Yet, you don’t know how to engage that passion. You don’t know how to rearrange your priorities or how to get involved.

You’re not alone!

Continue Reading »

Why Will the Church Not Respond to the Call?

Take a look at this graphic from Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). Please look carefully. The top number represents the number of children waiting in foster care in that state that can be adopted. The bottom number represents the number of churches in that state.


-by CAFO

What does it say to you?

One way to please God is to care for orphans.

God shares a few sure-fire ways to please him, and caring for orphans is one of them.

And the way I read His Word where He talks about caring for orphans, it’s not a suggestion. He usually says it as a command. He expects His children to care for those who need a family.

Makes sense to me. Didn’t He seek us out and adopt us into His family? Why would it not please Him when we do the same here on earth?

If I’m right that God’s not simply recommending that we care for orphans in our communities but is commanding that we respond, then why are we not responding? Sure, many are. But this graphic shouts at me that if the churches throughout our country would simply notice and respond, no child in foster care would have to wait for a forever family. Instead, families would have to wait for a child.

Continue Reading »

4 Things that Will Always Fulfill

A need for fulfillment is a strong motivator. We want to feel happy and satisfied. We hope to see our dreams and expectations become reality.


Yet we chase after things that leave us just the opposite. Sometimes we fully expect our pursuit to fill that longing within us to have purpose, to feel content, only to find that not only were we climbing the wrong ladder, but we had it propped against the wrong building.

Other times we foolishly run after things that will not only fall painfully short of fulfillment but also ultimately destroy us. Yet we divulge for the brief escape from our current painful reality.

Does anything exist that will always bring fulfillment?

Yes! How cruel would God be if He created us with a need for fulfillment then left us without anything that will meet that need?

I can think of at least 4 things that will always bring fulfillment.

Continue Reading »

One Thing an Adopted Child Really Needs

November is National Adoption Month. All across the country families will welcome children into their forever families. Excitement. Nerves. Celebrations.

Photo Credit: charamelody via Compfight cc

All good things!

For some children, like our son, they will have already been living with their forever family maybe as a foster kid. So it won’t be too much of an adjustment.

For others, their adjustment is abrupt. One day they are in a foster home, a group home, or an orphanage. The next day they have a forever family of their own! Quite a change.

After the excitement and parties are over, life goes on. House rules. Homework. Hanging with friends.

And dealing with trauma. Adoption doesn’t heal the trauma.

Continue Reading »

5 Reasons to Embrace Pain

I hate pain. I moan, cry, groan, yell, sometimes say bad words. And, that’s when I have a stomach ache. Danielle just rolls her eyes.


As I write this, I am wearing a soft cast boot on my ankle I had surgically repaired about five weeks ago Yeah, just a little painful.

Then to make it more fun, I began rehab two weeks ago. So far that has reminded me of the Thai foot massages I got while living in Thailand. Kind of nice, and kind of not so nice. I know the  real pain is yet to come.

How I Used to Handle Pain

Continue Reading »

Hey Dad! How Present Are You in Your Child’s Life?

Who hasn’t read a study with statistics showing the challenges of fatherless families. Single moms struggling to provide for their kids. Children lacking a positive male role model. Boys and girls growing up many times destined to repeat the cycle.

Photo Credit: Mr Moss via Compfight cc

I am a foster care/adoption advocate and adoptive father. I write about foster care and adoption. I work with families who foster and/or adopt, and I work with orphan care organizations.

So I see firsthand the impact on children when a father is absent or non-existent.

It’s easy to trace back to a fatherless family a lot of the hyper-active, apathetic, rebellious behavior seen in children, especially boys.

A lot has been written about ways to help offset this dilemma ranging from increased governmental support to local community, faith-based support to educating young families about healthy marriage and family life.

Deservingly so, most of the attention goes to these families that are minus a father figure.

What About Dads Who Are “Present”?

Continue Reading »

Is the American Dream Killing Our Passion for Missions?

5 Ways We Can Create Wealth and Still Have a Passion for Missions

Recently the president of the International Mission Board (IMB), David Platt, announced that his organization will soon cut 600-800 missionaries and staff. The IMB is the missionary sending organization for the Southern Baptists.


A study by The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary a few years ago made some interesting calculations about not only the missionaries sent by the U.S. but by all countries around the world.

A couple of statistics caught my attention:

  • When the numbers are calculated by the number of missionaries sent per million church members these are the results
    • Palestine – 3014 per million church members followed by Ireland, Malta, and Samoa.
    • South Korea ranked 5th with 1014 missionaries sent per one million church members.
    • United States ranked 9th with 614 missionaries sent per one million church members.
  • The country that received the most missionaries in 2010? The United States, with 32,400 sent from other nations.
*taken from Christianity Today Article.

Continue Reading »