Cassidy Mack is an amazing young lady. I recently had the honor of becoming reacquainted with her almost 10 years after serving as her case manager in a Buckner foster home.
Cassidy was adopted at age 6, and talks about the wonderful gift her adoptive family gave her – a chance. Cassidy is a voice for adoption from foster care. She advocates for foster and adoptive children through her foundation, Love Gives Chances, and she was honored last month in Washington, D.C., as an Angel in Adoption.
“I want to show parents and adults this is what a child from foster care can make for herself, in that she can do some pretty awesome stuff all you have to do is give her a chance.”
Read her full story and watch her video here: http://www.cbs19.tv/story/24016303/children-are-a-gift-cassidy
Callie Reneau is an Adoption Specialist at Buckner Children & Family Services of Longview, Texas.
When asked to wrap up National Adoption Month, I could think of no better way than to share some of our adoption stories from Buckner Children and Family Services in Midland.
We are so very thankful for the 19 adoptions that have been finalized in Midland in 2013. We had seven adoptions alone in November, National Adoption Month, and we have more than 20 foster families in the Midland/Odessa area who have opened their homes to children who so desperately need the love and nurturance our families provide.
We started off November with an adoption of two beautiful children! Caroline and Camden were adopted by Chris and Natalie Nolen on Nov. 1. Chris and Natalie have three biological children and became foster parents with a plan to only foster.
They had no idea how deeply they would fall in love with Caroline’s sweet and sassy personality and Camden’s quiet and shy disposition. When adoption became the option for these two siblings, the Nolens had no option but to make the two an official part of their family. Read More
Nov 26, 2013
Filed in Press Release
DALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a $5,000 grant to be distributed to Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services to support its maternity counseling program. Buckner is one of 12 organizations chosen as a recipient of $46,000 total funds raised from the “Choose Life” specialty license plate sales, authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2011.
The $5,000 awarded to Buckner will go towards providing clothing, housing, prenatal care, food, utilities and transportation to approximately 12 expecting mothers this year who receive assistance through Buckner’s maternity counseling program. Last year, Buckner facilitated 167 domestic and international adoptions, of which 10 were domestic infant adoption placements. In total, Buckner and provided adoption support services to 789 individuals.
“Every day across Texas, children are adopted into loving families who provide for their needs and raise them to be healthy and happy adults,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Choose Life grants will enable recipient organizations to build on the good work they are already doing and help adoption become a reality for even more children and families in the Lone Star State.” Read More
Our friends at Empowered to Connect have a video series on their website entitled “What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know.” We have been highlighting one of these videos each month here on the Be A Family blog. We hope you and your family have benefitted from these valuable resources.
This month’s video is the final video in the series. It is entitled “The IDEAL Response for Parents.” Listen in as Dr. Karyn Purvis unpacks an acronym to guide parents in disciplining their children, specifically children from hard places.
Don’t miss past videos: Children from Hard Places, The Impact of Fear, Giving Voice, Looking at Ourselves to Help our Children Heal, Focusing on the Whole Child, Understanding Sensory Processing, and Parenting Strategies that Connect.
November is National Adoption Month, a time set aside for us to celebrate our children and the families who welcomed them into their homes and hearts.
Perhaps you are considering adoption and contemplating whether your family is prepared to take the next step. This prospect may seem exciting, scary, or everything in between! You may be questioning your ability to care for children from hard places who have experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma.
So, what does it take to be an adoptive parent?
In our training with families, we like to say that adoptive parenting is “Parenting Plus.” You need to be prepared to face the same joys, responsibilities, and challenges that you would when parenting your biological children, plus:
• Develop an understanding of your child’s trauma.
A child who has experienced trauma may physically look like any other child, but the fact is, the very make up of their brain has been changed by their experiences. Read More
We are mere days away from this year’s Orphan Sunday. Is your church planning to participate in this day of celebrating God’s love for the orphan?
However large or small your plans may be, I hope you will join with churches from literally all over the world in recognizing this special day.
As November 3rd approaches, here are some of the prayers on my heart:
- For preachers to communicate faithfully the message of God’s love for the orphan.
- For the Holy Spirit to use the message of God’s love to save the hearts of those who do not yet know Christ.
- For believers to see our God as the Father of the fatherless and understand our opportunity to reflect His character to the world. Read More
In order for everyone in your family – including your foster / adoptive children – to have the greatest opportunity for enjoyable holidays, it is beneficial to be proactive. This involves good planning beforehand and a certain approach and response during the holidays.
Prepare Yourself: Keep your own emotional and physical energy reserves up. Plan ahead so you can get adequate sleep and not become overwhelmed. Holidays are stressful for parents, and if you slip into being frustrated, irritable and reactive, then the children will follow. If you can maintain a positive, playful outlook, children will more likely respond the same way to the holiday season.
Realistic Expectations: Even with the best planning and preparation, there will be some ups and downs and unexpected developments. A child will have a meltdown at the least opportune time. Something will break, something will flop, something will be late, someone won’t follow through. Learn to be adaptable and laugh at yourself and the situation. The goal is not a perfect day, but a relational day with quality interactions and memorable moments.
Organize the Holiday time: A child with a bored or idle mind can create a chaotic situation. Plan engaging and fulfilling activities for each child. Balance activities to be stimulating but not overwhelming. Be aware of each child’s energy levels and plan the day so they can get rest or sleep or food before they get cranky and act out. Read More
Oct 18, 2013
Filed in Domestic Adoption
Our friends at Empowered to Connect have a video series on their website entitled “What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know.” We are highlighting one of these videos each month here on the Be A Family blog. We hope you and your family will benefit from this valuable resource.
This month’s video is entitled “Parenting Strategies that Connect.” Listen in as Dr. Karyn Purvis discusses the difference between disconnected parenting and connected parenting. She also talks through consequences, choices, and compromises.
Don’t miss past videos: Children from Hard Places, The Impact of Fear, Giving Voice, Looking at Ourselves to Help our Children Heal, Focusing on the Whole Child, and Understanding Sensory Processing.
On November 3rd, churches all over the world will gather to celebrate Orphan Sunday. The goal is simple: that God’s great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well. It is an opportunity for Christians to be a voice for the voiceless by rousing churches and communities to God’s call to care for the orphan.
As David Platt explains in the video below, Orphan Sunday is about worshipping God as the Father of the fatherless, and then, as His church, committing to being a reflection of His character in the world around us.
As followers of Jesus, we ourselves have been adopted as sons and daughters. How can we not be compelled to love the orphan as we have been loved by God the Father? It should be our joy to “look after orphans in their distress,” as James commands us to do.
Does your church celebrate Orphan Sunday? Would you consider speaking up about it and asking your church leadership to participate? It is only one month away, so make plans now!
If you or anyone from your church is interested in caring for the orphan through Buckner foster care and adoption, please call 1-855-264-8783.
Discover some of the eight most common misconceptions of foster care and foster/adoption, and read about the reality behind each.
Myth: You don’t have control over or choice of the types of children who get placed in your home whether they are perfectly healthy or have a disability or emotional disturbance.
Reality: You have control over which children are placed in your home; however, the broader your parameters are, the more quickly you will receive a placement. Buckner staff will work with you to develop a profile of the type of child your family is best suited to serve based on your experience and capabilities.
Myth: I would have to provide medical insurance for a foster child in my home.
Reality: Foster parents do not pay for any of a child’s medical expenses other than over the counter medications and supplies. Each child in foster care receives Medicaid that covers their medical, dental, and mental health care needs.
Myth: Once I take a foster child, I am on my own without help.
Reality: Buckner staff offer foster parents plenty of support to help maintain placements, including “on call” telephone numbers where they can be reached 24/7. They will also help you find respite care for those times when you need a break. Read More