Monday, January 25, 2010

Church Adoption Fund Webinar - Jan. 28, 2010

Jan 28 @ 2:00 pm (CST)

Church Adoption Fund Webinar Hosts: Lifesong & Michael Monroe (Tapestry Adoption/Foster Ministry)

(*all churches considering adoption funds encouraged to attend)

To attend webinar, please send an email to

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

National Stakeholder Sessions Tomorrow: Haitian Adoptions Policy & TPS Filing Instructions/Fee Waivers

I received the following email which is from Homeland Security and wanted to share the information regarding Haitian Adoptions. Instructions for the conference call is on the attached scans. Click on them and they should enlarge.

The email read:

Dear Colleague,

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services Office of Public Engagement will be facilitating two stakeholder sessions tomorrow, January 21, to address issues related to the response of USCIS to the situation in Haiti.

The first session will take place at 11am EST and will focus on the topic of Haitian adoptions policy. With this meeting, you have the option of attending in person at the Tomich Center (111 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC) or by teleconference. Further details can be found in the attached invitation.

The second session will take place at 2pm EST and will cover filing instructions for both the Temporary Protected Status form and employment authorization form and guidance on fee waivers. This meeting can only be attended by teleconference and the dialing instructions are included in the invitation.

We welcome your participation and would appreciate if you could share this invitation with any other colleagues or affiliates that may be interested.

Sincere Regards,
US Department of Homeland Security
DHS Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives

Friday, January 15, 2010

How can you help orphans?

Not everyone feels the call to adopt, but all Christians are called to love orphans. Whether it be sponsoring an orphan overseas, giving money to a family that is adopting, being a foster parent, or praying for orphans, we all can be apart of what God is doing in the lives of orphans. I came across this video tonight on The Spirit of Adoption blog.

Adoption from Catalyst on Vimeo.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Meet Sveta: Her parents had enough girls in their family already

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Every 2 minutes, a child is forced into slavery somewhere in the world, robbing them of their childhood forever.

One of the girls we were able to help, Sveta, has grown up to become a veterinarian. But her life started with an unthinkable choice...her parents decided that they had enough girls already and abandoned her to the orphanage.

Read more about Sveta:

Please encourage others to take action against trafficking, and let others know that you are doing something to fight for the millions of children who have lost their childhoods to human trafficking.

For the Fatherless,
CEO, HopeChest

Friday, January 8, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Help Adopted Family in Kemah, Tx.

Congratulations to the Beach family getting brand new home!

Volunteer opportunities: January 7 - 16, 2010 (Episode to air in March)

The home will be completed in 106 hours by a team of vendors and volunteers lead by Blu Shields Construction, and will be designed to fit the needs of the Beach family. In 23 years of marriage, Larry, 40 and Melissa, 40; have fostered over 85 children that other adoption agencies were not able to place. They have four biological children and nine adopted children. They include Chris (23,), Michael (21), Jose (20), Mikala (18), Paul (14), Faith (13), Hope (9), Justin (8), Jacob (4), Grace (4), Jeremiah (23 months), Mercy (22 months) and Cody (19) currently serving in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. During the last 12 years, they have fostered approximately 85 children, but decided to start adopting after seeing that so many were not being placed in homes.

Due to water damage from Hurricane Ike, the Beach family home is unlivable and they are residing in a travel trailer on their property. Therefore, they have been unable to adopt additional children. But all that is about to change!!

Spokesperson Chiquita Taylor says that an amazing number of people have registered as volunteers and donations are still coming in as the community pulls together. Please visit for more information. For a complete list of construction materials and supplies still needed go to and select the Construction Needs page. If you can help with these specific needs please contact the Construction Team at

To Make a Monetary Donation:
Please visit An account has been set up with PayPal to ensure safe, direct donations.

Extreme Blood Drive
On January 14th the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will be in the parking lot of the Kemah Visitor's Center at 603 Bradford in Kemah. The Houston Bay Area is up to the challenge of beating any previous blood donation records associated with EM:HE and encourages everyone to come out and give the gift of life. Additional blood drives will be held at the following locations:

* Monday, January 11th City of Dickinson at 4403 Hwy 3 from 8:00am-6:00pm
* Wednesday, January 13th Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership University of Houston - Clear Lake Delta Building 2700 Bay Area Blvd. from 8:00am-6:00pm.

For further information, please call 281-534-8836.

Extreme Food Drive
Also, Interfaith Caring Ministries will be on hand at the Kemah Visitor's Center at 603 Bradford in Kemah collecting non-perishable items for a food drive Jan. 9 - 14 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Items needed: Canned meat, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, cookies, juices, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, size 5 diapers, and baby wipes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Milestone Class at Houston's First Baptist

Happy New Year to you all!
Our next milestone class is right around the corner on January 10th from 5-6:30 pm in room 264 at Houston's First Baptist. The class will offer pre-adoptive and post-adoptive sessions that you can choose from. Childcare is available, if you need more info on where to take your child please contact us.

The pre-adoptive topic will be 'Myths and Realities of Adoption' and the post-adoption topic will be 'Parenting Your Adopted Children.'

We will have a Home Coming Celebration for children that have come into their forever families. This is an amazing time to celebrate with these families how God has moved and worked in bringing their child home. There will be a brief time for these families to share about their adoption, and a pastor from our church will come to pray for these families. Cake and drinks will be served.

We hope you can plan to come as our ministry provides opportunity to connect with other adoptive families and their life journey whether you are at the point of just considering adoption to having had your child home for several years. We have found great encouragement in developing relationships with families that have adopted as they truly understand what we are walking through or have walked through in the adoption process, they understand our passion for the fatherless, and they understand some of the unique joys and challenges are we parent our adoptive children. Mary and I just recently read that a huge factor for adoptive teens is having connection with other adopted children. We have even seen how important adoptive friends are to our 8 year old and almost 5 year old and of course to ourselves too. Our desire is that you find connection too and that you can find the support and education that can empower you to move through your adoption and the tools that can help you be successful as you parent.

Please send forward this email to anyone you know that might be interested in coming. You do not have to be a member of our church to be a part of Legacy 685 - Adoption and Orphan Care at Houston's First.

Steve Klein
Psalm 68:5-6a - A father to the fatherless, a defender of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the lonely in families.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Legacy685 Adoption Assistance Fund

Adoption & Orphan Care Ministry

Adoption Assistance Fund

Approximately 143 million orphans world-wide are trapped in a cycle of hopelessness, without anyone to love them…protect them…care for them…

Adoption costs sometimes as much as $20,000 - $30,000 or more and can seem “financially impossible” to many Christian couples. That feeling results in thousands of children remaining in orphanages or being adopted by unbelievers instead of learning the gospel of Jesus Christ in a forever family.

God has commanded His people (the Church) to care for those in need. When God calls a couple to adopt, the financial hurdles provide places to see God’s provision in ways we never imagined. We believe God wants to use His church as a part of a couple’s “financial provision” in adoption.

Our desire is to embrace the beliefs and values revealed in the Bible. As the Church becomes obedient to God’s commands concerning the fatherless, the community will see Jesus Christ is alive and working in the lives of His people to care for those children who can’t care for themselves.

Our vision is to be a community that provides a place to be authentic and involved. The Adoption Assistance Fund challenges, encourages, and enables Believers to put their faith in action, by stepping out in faith to adopt and fulfilling God’s commands in scripture. The process also provides an opportunity for couples to develop relationships with other Christians as they seek prayer and financial support.

Adoption and Orphan Care are evangelism at its core. Both international and domestic adoption brings the mission field home, where children are loved, cared for, and discipled to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. There are millions of children waiting for forever families who would like to adopt them, but just can’t because of the financial barrier. By helping to reduce that barrier, we are helping to provide a safe place for those children who are trapped in the orphan life.

As a community of people who have been touched by the miracle of adoption, Legacy685 is called to play an active role in helping others who desire to pursue adoption. In response, we established the Legacy685 Adoption Assistance Fund with a simple goal – to help as many children and families experience the blessing of adoption as our collective resources will allow.

Overview of the Legacy685 Fund

The Legacy685 Adoption Assistance Fund provides matching grants and/or interest-free covenant loans to applicants who meet certain established parameters. Legacy685 has partnered with LifeSong for Orphans, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt orphan care and adoption ministry. Their purpose is to help churches across the country establish and administer adoption assistance funds. In this partnership, Legacy685 is responsible for establishing the vision and direction for the Legacy685 Fund as well as making known the opportunity for people to contribute financially to the fund. LIfeSong, on the other hand, exclusively handles the request for funding in the application process, including all of the confidential information involved in the application process. LifeSong also provides all of the administrative and operational support needed to evaluate applicants, to make decisions regarding grants and loans, and to document all contributions and disbursements involving the Legacy685 Fund.

In connection with the Legacy685 Fund, LIfeSong manages all aspects of the application process, including evaluation and verification of all financial and other confidential information. No one from Legacy685 or Houston’s First Baptist Church has access to any confidential information, and all decisions regarding the award of any matching grant and/or interest-free covenant loans are made solely by LifeSong. In addition, LifeSong makes all decisions regarding whether qualified applicants are given funds for matching grants and/or interest-free covenant loans based on various factors, including the amount of money in the Legacy685 Fund at the time of application, the applicant’s financial situation and adoption-related needs, and the way in which to best maximize the resources of the Legacy685 Fund. Following approval by LifeSong, all disbursements of matching grants and/or interest-free covenant loans are made by LifeSong directly to the applicant’s adoption agency(or in some cases to the adoptive family as reimbursement for documented adoption expenses).

Both organizations, Legacy685 and LifeSong for Orphans, recognize that the money in the funds belong to God, and these organizations are mere stewards thereof. Legacy685 requests that, to the maximum extent allowed by law, the first priority in use of the funds will be for approved Legacy685 families. LifeSong for Orphans understands and appreciates the reasons for this request.

Each organization recognizes that LifeSong for Orphans are many times turning away qualified Christian couples because of a lack of resources, so we understand that this fund could also be used for non-Legacy685 families who may otherwise qualify. This will ensure the funds will not be idle, but would be invested in the Kingdom.

Matching Grants

The key strategy of matching grants is to mobilize the Body of Christ and leverage funds to help bridge the financial gap in an adoption. With Matching Grants, LifeSong matches the funds raised on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a specified amount. LifeSong also provides a “support raising kit” process to the family that helps them gather prayer and financial support for their adoption.

Interest-Free Loans

The key strategy for interest-free loans is that the funds become “self-perpetuating”, where the loan repayments each month can begin to meet the current needs of new adopting families. Couples will sign a covenant agreement to repay the loan through monthly payments.

Eligibility Requirements

The requirements to be eligible for a matching grant or interest-free covenant loan from the Legacy685 Fund as follows:

* Applicants need to provide a statement of their personal faith in Jesus Christ.
* Applicants must establish their need for financial assistance in connection with an adoption by fully completing the application process.
* Applicants need to have an approved home study conducted by a licensed social worker.
* Applicants must have a letter of recommendation from a member of the Legacy685 leadership team or, if not connected with Legacy685, a pastor in their home church.

To apply for assistance, submit the above documentation to:

LifeSong for Orphans
Attention: Legacy685 Fund – HFBC
P.O. Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Once completed applications have been received, applicants can typically expect a response within 4 weeks.

In addition, the funds in the Legacy685 Fund will be available to be allocated to qualified applicants according to the following priorities: first, to members of Houston’s First Baptist Church; second, to those who are a member of another local church and are connected with Legacy685 and third, to those who are believers in Christ who are not connected with Houston’s First Baptist Church or Legacy685 through LifeSong’s Beyond the Walls.


The Legacy685 Fund is funded by individuals led by God to give for the purpose of assisting families in their adoption. The fund is not supported financially by Houston’s First Baptist Church and is not supported by the budget of Houston’s First Baptist Church.

Legacy685 depends solely on gifts through individuals who desire to come alongside families and support them through financial gifts. Adoption and Orphan Care are evangelism at its core. Bringing the mission field home, where children are loved, cared for, and discipled to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. There are millions of children waiting for forever families who would like to adopt them, but just can’t because of the financial barrier. By helping to reduce that barrier we are helping to bring home those children who are trapped in the cycle of orphan life. Legacy685 is very grateful for any and all financial gifts that are given for families waiting to adopt.

Since the financial barrier can seem insurmountable to families open to the idea of adoption, it is a tremendous blessing to see God provide through the financial giving of others. If you feel led to give to families who are waiting to adopt a child, will you consider giving to the Legacy685 Adoption Assistance Fund?

Ways to Give

All contributions to the Legacy685 Fund are made directly to LifeSong for Orphans and are fully tax deductible, with 100% of all contributions being used to fund matching grants and interest-free covenant loans to approved families. LIfeSong for Orphans has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all US-based administrative costs (TMG Foundation). That means that 100% of your donation will go directly to the need – helping families adopt.

If you would like to make a donation to a specific family please note that on your donation and the money you donate will be used for that families adoption.

Giving money to the Legacy685 Fund* can be done by a check, cash or a credit card directly to LifeSong for Orphans. Legacy685 or Houston’s First Baptist Church will not recieve any of the funds. You may give either a one-time gift or you can give regularly such as a monthly basis.

If giving by a check or cash then mail your gift to:

LifeSong for Orphans
Attention: Legacy685 Fund – HFBC
P.O.Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

If giving by credit card please go to

For a one-time gift click on ‘Make A Donation’. To give monthly or on a more regular basis

click on ‘Monthly Giving Form’. On the ‘Monthly Giving Form’ you can either give by a check or Automatic Draft Debit.

*Please note: The LifeSong Legacy Fund is NOT the same as Legacy685 Fund. Please designate Legacy685 Fund – HFBC for each donation made. On-line donations should indicate “Other”, and write in Legacy685 Fund – HFBC.

If you would like to give a non-cash gift then go to and click on Creative Giving. Through the LifeSong Giving Fund, LifeSong has innovative ways for you to donate non-cash gifts and put them to work in the Kingdom. You may either email ( or call Andy Lehman at 309-747-4515 for more information on how this may apply to your assets. There is also more information regarding this in our ‘Operating Guidelines’.

LifeSong for Orphans is a member of the ECFA – Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability.

If you would like to know more about LifeSong’s finances you can go to and find their 2008 LifeSong Audited Financial Statement and their 2008 IRS Form 990 for you to view."