Friday, December 3, 2010
DATE: Monday, December 13, 2010 (note: this is the second Monday)
PLACE: Monica's home, 1111 W. Burnside Dr. Peoria
To help us get in the Christmas spirit please bring an appetizer to share. We will encourage one another as we take this journey into fostering and/or adoption.
Any questions please contact Monica or Amy. No need to RSVP.
Focused Fellowship exists to bring ladies together that are anywhere in the process of fostering or adoption. We desire to spur one another on as we journey with the Lord through this amazing and at times challenging experience. We normally meet the third Monday of each month at 7pm at the home of Monica Lonergan. If you have any questions about Focused Fellowship please feel free to contact one of us mentioned above.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Realistically you know the actual moment may not go the way you dream, but a mom can hope, right?
On our gotcha day, I was handed a scared 2 1/2 year old who wanted anything but a new mommy, especially one with blond hair, blue eyes and who spoke no Chinese. She cried hard, desperate for her foster momma, and eventually cried herself to sleep in my arms.
The days that followed were more of the same. While my husband made progress with Suhn, she continued to reject me. She would laugh with her daddy but if I attempted to join in, the wall would go up and the light would leave her eyes.
Logically I could understand her resistance. Through my reading and conversations with other adoptive moms I knew I was not alone, but rejection hurts, even when it is not personal. I wish I could say I only responded with patience and love, but instead my own wall started to go up.
The weeks and months that followed were hard. When we returned home our daughter warmed up to me, but the wall I had started to build did not evaporate overnight. I learned firsthand that attachment and bonding are processes that take time.
During our first dark week in China, a friend and fellow adoptive mom left a comment on my blog that has stuck with me, “In the darkest moments I once in a while remember that I would still do this all over because it is right.” I cannot tell you how many times I reminded myself of this truth during our first months with Suhn. When I didn’t feel love for my daughter and wondered if our relationship would ever be normal, remembering that adopting her was right helped me through. My feelings could not be trusted, but God could. He had called us to Suhn. Regardless of how I felt, I was 100% committed. She was my daughter.
Little by little, the walls came down and the love I pretended at some days became real. I cannot put into words how blessed I am to parent Suhn. You hear about the “miracle of adoption,” and it’s true. Adoption is miraculous and allows humans to experience a piece of God’s love like nothing else.
But it is also hard, and messy and gut-wrenching. If you experience the hard-side of adoption, know you are not alone. Show yourself grace, look for moms who have been there, and lean into the arms of God.
He understands. After all, He is an adoptive parent too.
This article taken from http://www.momlifetoday.com/2010/11/when-gotcha-day-isn%e2%80%99t-a-dream-come-true/
Family Life: Mom Life Today - Check our this site for more great articles related to National Adoption Awareness Month
Friday, November 12, 2010
When: Monday, November 15, 2010
Time: 7:00pm - until we are asked to leave or your husband needs you home. (just kidding - sort of)
Place: Monica's home @ 1111 W. Burnside Drive, Peoria
If you are attending and would like to bring a snack to share just let Monica know. There is no RSVP needed.
Any questions you can contact Monica or Amy, or simply leave a comment on this page and we will get back to you.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
• Sign up for Bethany’s Orphan Care Prayer Ministry at: www.bethanycentral.org/ministries (orphan care)
• May is National Foster Care month. Bethany hosts an annual prayer vigil.
PROVIDE for their needs
• Sew a quilt or security blanket for area foster children- due December 1.
Contact Charlotte Beck at 444-7071.
SUPPORT those who support them
• Mow, baby sit, or take meals to foster parents. Pray with them and tell them you appreciate what they do.
• Encourage a family adopting an older child by hosting a shower for them.
• Sign up for Bethany’s Meal Team to assist foster and adoptive families when child(ren) come home. Contact Michelle Hahn at 444-5161.
PROTECT them from harm
• Become a foster parent or emergency foster parent. Contact Amy Park
at 266-1635 or Monica Lonergan at 303-7965 for more information.
VISIT them where they are
• Go on a mission trip to an orphanage. Look for details when Bethany
lists 2011 mission trips.
GIVE sacrificially to them
• Contribute to an adoptive family to help offset their costs. Families with
Adoption Funds at Bethany Baptist are: Marvin & Sara Streitmatter,
Steve & Jennell Dietz, Gregg & Kris McClelland. At Bethany Community: Philip & Charisa Ausfahl, Mark & Michelle Hahn, Brian & Jennifer Entner. Contributions are tax deductible- and can be sent to Bethany Baptist.
• Contribute to Bethany’s adoption ministry general fund, used to give
grants to Bethany families that have been through a screening process. Contributions are tax deductible- and can be sent to Bethany Baptist.
Contact Lisa Schwarz at 383-4270 for more information.
ENCOURAGE them to press on
• Become a mentor or tutor to a teenager in a foster group-home.
ADOPT them into your family
• Give a child a home through international, domestic, or foster care adoption.
• Adopt a young adult who has aged out of the foster care system.
• Every Spring and Fall, Bethany offers an Orphan Care Bible Study to help you discover what God says about adoption and caring for orphans.
Contact Jerry Sanderson at 692-1755 for more information.
• Bethany’s Focused Fellowship provides encouragement for those walking through the journey of fostering and/or adoption. Ladies meet the third Monday of each month at 7pm. Contact Monica Lonergan at 303-7965.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
After a short devotion on II Timothy 2 we introduced ourselves and the conversation took off from there. There was much laughter, a few tears, and each one received encouragement. What a great way to support each person's family.
I have heard that the mom sets the tone for the family. So as we spur one another on we are ministering to an entire family. As a mom as I am refreshed I am better able to love on and serve my family.
We would love to encourage each of you on your journey. To pray for these ladies is a priviledge and to get to know each one a delight.
Join us on the third Monday of each month at 7pm. For now we will continue to meet at Monica's home as it's location seems to work for many. No need to RSVP, just come.
A time of worshipping God and praying for the orphan crisis in the world. A opportunity to support projects in ZIway.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Please note the location is the same as last month. If you would be willing to host a Focused Fellowship at your home, east or west side of river, please contact Monica or Amy.
Date: Monday, October 18
Place: Monica Lonergan's home, 1111 W. Burnside Dr., Peoria, IL
No need to RSVP just show up.
Format - Adoptive/foster mom will share a short devotion on what the Lord is teaching her lately. Followed by a time of sharing and prayer. Of course there is always a sweet dessert.
Any questions call Amy @ 266-1635 or Monica @ 303-7965.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Place: Mark and Michelle's home in Washington, IL
. 26625 Liberty Lane
What to bring: A dish to share and lawn chairs. We will be serving hot dogs and have a fire to roast marshmallows. We will be outside.
Any questions or to RSVP : contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note other dates of interest in the post prior to this one.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Date: Monday, Sept. 20th
Location: Monica Lonergan's home @ 1111 W. Burnside Dr., Peoria, IL
No RSVP needed. Questions contact Amy @ email@example.com
For Husbands and Wives together:
For those of you who have not had the opportunity to go through the Orphan Care Bible Study now is your chance.
Orphan Care Bible Study
Place: Bethany Baptist Church
Dates: October 10- Nov. 14
Time: During the 2nd church service (starting at 11:00am)
Any questions contact Jerry @ firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy @ email@example.com
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010 at Monica Lonergan's home at 7pm
Address: 1111 W. Burnside Dr., Peoria
Ladies, no matter where you are in the area of fostering and/or adopting Focused Fellowship could be for you! We have made some changes to what we have tried in the past and are excited about the prospect of encouraging one another.
Format: We plan to have a special woman share a short testimony each month about, "What God is teaching me through the experience of fostering/adopting." We will have a short time of sharing and finish with a time of prayer for each other. We'll top it off with a sweet dessert!
Place: Open Hearts, Open Homes is a ministry of the Bethany Fellowship of Churches so we plan to rotate our meeting place between east and west of the river, (2-3 homes). This lessens the burden of the drive for each person. Our plan is to have a schedule for the next few months at our first meeting.
Any questions feel free to email:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
There will be a picnic on Sunday, July 18 at 4:00pm. This picnic will take place at Idlewood Park in Morton. They will meet at the shelter off E. Greenwood St. (This park is right next to the new Morton pool.)
We will begin with supper, followed by a short time of sharing and testimony, playground time for the kids, and finally one hour of swimming at the brand new Morton Pool beginning at 7:00 pm.
For our testimony, Nicole Heid, birth mother of the host family's adopted child Analea, has agreed to share about her experiences from the "other side" of the foster care system. As a mother who had two children placed in the foster care system, eventually regaining custody of one and giving up rights to the other, it should provide a really powerful insight into some of the feelings and struggles that birth parents experience when their children are taken.
Dinner: Grilled Chicken!! For those who were at the last get-together, Nathan Eichorn who gave his testimony, has offered to come from Indiana and grill chicken! Each family should bring a covered dish and dessert to add to it. Paper products and drink will be provided.
Cost: A donation will be taken to help cover the cost of the chicken, paper products, and for renting the pool for an hour.
To help us figure how much chicken to buy, we would really appreciate getting a good count, so please RSVP if you plan on attending to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, June 25, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Please be in prayer for them as they travel for many hours with a toddler.
They would love for you to meet them at the airport. If you are not on the OHOH email list please leave a comment here and we will get you their flight information.
We will also attempt to keep you up-to-date with any delays, though we are praying there will be none.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
****This Saturday, June 12 from 5-7 pm. Open Hearts, Open Homes Social. Potluck - bring a dish from your country of interest or a favorite of your family. See post below for details.
****Christian Adoptive Families Picnic - this is a group of adoptive families from Central Illinois Sunday, July 18 at 4:00 pm at Idlewood Park in Morton. More details will be coming - stay tuned!
**** Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit VII - Louisville, KY - May 12-13, 2011
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
invites your family to join us for a potluck!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
At: Bethany Baptist Church, 7422 N. Heinz Lane, Edwards
(driving directions available @ bethanycentral.org)
Please bring: a dish to share that correlates to the country you have an interest in or your favorite dish.
We will provide: Cake to celebrate with the families that have brought children into their homes over the past year!, drinks, and table service.
Please RSVP (or if you have any questions?) to:
Ken and Amy : email@example.com
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15
Place: 316 North Creek Court, Princeville (Saturday is the Town Wide Sale)
Lost of clothes - boys, girls, baby, men, women, and maternity. Some other items available include: infant swing, train table, exersaucer, bouncey seat, furniture, and household items.
The Streitmatters are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia and the Dietz family from Korea.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The last speaker of the conference was John Piper. The following is the video of his talk for your listening pleasure. If you are currently serving orphans in any capacity, or have a heart for serving orphans you will find this to be of great interest.
Watch the video at : http://www.desiringgod.org/conference-messages/what-does-it-mean-to-live-by-faith-in-the-service-of-the-fatherless?lang=en
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Open Hearts, Open Homes Orphan ministry it pleased to announce that Bethany Baptist Church will be a host site for a National Foster Care Prayer Vigil. These vigils will be held through out the country during the week of May 16th-23rd. Information regarding the vigils and ministry can be found at www.cryoftheorphan.org. On the right of their home page is a link for Prayer Vigil information.
Bethany's prayer vigil is scheduled for May 18th at 6:00 p.m. We will begin with a short devotion and spend time in prayer commited to the plight of the child in foster care, agency workers, foster parents and birth parents. A time of refreshments and fellowship will follow at 7:00 p.m. This event is open to the community and will be advertised locally.
Praying for children in foster care is a very tangible way that we as a church family can demonstrate our commitment to orphans. We hope to see you there. If childcare would be beneficial please contact Monica and arrangements will be made (you could leave a comment here).
Below is the link where you can read the article:
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We have had a request for some needed Focused Fellowship so...
Consider joining us tonight, April 6 at 6:30pm at the North Knoxville Ave. Panera's to give and receive encouragement to other moms on this crazy journey of fostering and/or adoption!
We'd love to see you all!
Sorry for the last minute decision, but sometimes we have to seize the day!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Dates: Sundays, March 21 - April 25
Place: Bethany Community Church (meeting at Five Points in Washington, IL)
Pastor Daniel will be teaching.
This study is open to anyone interested in hearing about God's heart for the orphan. For more information or questions you can contact Daniel via email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Open Hearts, Open Homes Ministry is a shared ministry of the Bethany Fellowship of Churches.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Hams are getting close to being on their way home from Ethiopia with their oldest son and their newest two children. Please be in prayer for them as they travel a long distance while building new relationships.
Thank you for your interceding on their behalf.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Did you wrestle with God until your faith in Him took over? Did you step out in obedience, if not complete willingness, because you recognized His voice in the calling? for many, the first fleeting thoughts towards the orphan are not often met with an overwhleming desire to respond immediately. We push the thoughts away and attempt to continue with life as we know it. Be as we see in the story of Jonah, God is a pursuing God. Not just for the benefit of the Ninevites but to teach Jonah something about the condition of his heart. God uses the orphan to reveal layers of our hearts that we might wish were not there. How do we respond when our "ideal" situation is not the one that God presents to us? How do we interact with birth parents that might challenge us in ways we were not anticipating? Do we reflect God's love when dealing with children that were not born to us? We might like to believe that pursuing adoption and fostering is all about the need of a child. In reality, it might just as importantly be about our need to be "revealed." The story of Jonah is a bit of a cliffhanger. We don't know if Jonah sought forgiveness for his attitude towards the Ninevites. What we do know is that God is the Ultimate Multi-Tasker. He is more than capable of using the need of some to reveal the heart of one. He pursued and provided for both. And in the end, they both were better for it!
-Monica (Broadcaster Jan. 2010)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
What will become of the orphans in Haiti and how will adoption be affected by all that has happened? We have posted two links for you to look at that will help you understand better how to pray for those in Haiti.
Here is a link to a conference in the Bloomington/Normal area. A few of us attended this conference last year and found it to be interesting. I am doing some checking and will post more later but last year it was especially helpful for those in the earlier stages of adoption.
Check it out! http://www.connectingheartsconference.org/