Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care

Lilyfield

Visit us online to read blogs on a variety of issues that are related to adoption, foster care and parenting. Serving the communities of Oklahoma City, Tulsa and all other areas in the state of Oklahoma.

Brian and Nicole

Monday, April 28, 2014
Brian, Nicole and big sister Grace were thrilled with the addition of baby Silas to their family last year. Being blessed with their second child has opened their eyes to God’s love in a way that nothing else could.

Brian and Nicole described the adoption of their Silas as a whirlwind of events with a beautiful and blessed ending. Five years after adopting their daughter, Brian and Nicole decided to commit to the process again. Filling out the paperwork and becoming certified as an adoptive family took awhile, but they only waited 15 days after that to receive the call that they had been matched with a birth mother.


“It’s those types of things you just can’t really explain to anyone else, just to watch God’s blessing and know that beyond a shadow of a doubt this was His will and not ours,” Nicole said.
The best advice Brian and Nicole can give to families considering adoption is to pray.

“Praying, having friends to pray with us and for us really helped a lot, and then when deciding to adopt again, just pray for that clarity,” said Nicole.

The process of adoption can be very emotional and is filled with uncertainty. Brian and Nicole stress that the love for an adopted child is fierce and strong. Adoption creates a unique bond for families who chose to love in a very special way.

Making an Adoption Plan: Brooke's Story

Friday, April 25, 2014
I am writing to tell you about how Lilyfield helped me through a very difficult time in my life.

I had recently moved to Oklahoma when I learned I was pregnant with my third child. I was trying to secure a stable life with my two children. I was in a relationship but it was not going well. He and I were fighting all the time and I knew I needed to get out of that situation fast. He wanted nothing to do with a baby, so he made it easy to get away from him.

When the news of being pregnant sank in, I felt overwhelmed and then drained. This was so unexpected. I knew that being pregnant was not the hard part. The hard part would be the responsibility that would come in nine months. All I wanted for my family was to be settled with a good career, have a good school for my children to attend, have minimal stress and to be happy. A new baby was not something that I could deal with.

I knew that abortion was not an option for me, but I couldn’t parent either. I didn’t want this child to have to grow up without a father and in a family situation like we were in at that time. I knew that I had to find a way for this child to have a better life than I could offer at the current time.

I started talking with my boss about my situation as well. I told him I was considering adoption, but being new to Oklahoma I didn’t know where to turn. He and his wife had adopted through Lilyfield a few years before and highly recommended the agency as a place to start for support and guidance. I contacted the agency and through counseling with my adoption counselor and continuing to talk to friends and to my boss, adoption seemed like the best option for this baby.

Making an adoption plan was interesting. I was not sure what to expect and honestly it went pretty fast. I met with my worker and she helped me through the process and then she showed me families. I had high expectations for the family for this child and thought they would be impossible to find. It was pretty nerve-racking wondering about the family. I didn’t know if they would be willing to accept my expectations and be sensitive to my feelings.

Lilyfield allowed me to meet the family and find out for myself if this was going to be the family for my baby. The agency continued to act as mediators between me and the family until time for this child to be born and through the placement process.

I have no regrets when it comes to my decision to place my child for adoption. I couldn’t be any happier knowing that she has a wonderful family that loves her. We have contact with the family and are able to see her on a regular basis. Her new family has accepted my family with open arms. We get together for holidays, birthdays and barbeques. It is truly amazing.

I am still trying to reach some of my goals that I had laid out for my family, but I am on the right track. I would not be where I am today had I not decided to place my child into a wonderful family through adoption.


Brooke, Lilyfield Birth mother         

The Ministry of a Lifetime

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Terry Laudett, Lilyfield Adoptive Parent

Some ministries last a short time. Some ministries last a long time. The ministry of adoption lasts a lifetime.

Actually, more than one ministry may be involved in adoption.

Adoption may be an international ministry. If you adopt a child from another country, you are engaged in an international ministry.

Adoption may be a pro-life ministry. By adopting a child, you are challenging the cavalier attitude toward the value of a child's life.

Adoption may be a ministry to the disabled. If you adopt a child with disabilities, you are engaged in a ministry to someone with special needs.

Adoption may be a family ministry. By adopting a child, you create a family ministry.

Adoption may be a preaching ministry. When you adopt a child, you will have many opportunities to preach to him or her. (Trust me.)

Adoption may be a ministry to the poor. In many cases, an adopted child will be saved from a life of poverty. In Tulsa, one-third of children in foster care will be homeless when they leave the system (unless they are adopted).

Adoption may be an evangelistic ministry. When you adopt a child, you will be able to share the good news of Christ with him or her (possibly for the first time in the child's life).

Of course, adoption is much more than a ministry. But it is not less. In some manner, you will serve the child that you love for a lifetime.


 

Adoption Works

Friday, April 18, 2014
Each birth mother who walks through our doors has her own unique story. An unplanned pregnancy is a life altering reality for the women that we serve. At Lilyfield we understand that there are a variety of factors that lead women to consider adoption and we take the time to get to know the women we serve so that we can help them come to the very best decision for their life and for their child.

We know that adoption works for many women and their children. Many women in unplanned pregnancies struggle with the decision they are facing about their pregnancy and the child they are carrying. Adoption is a loving and courageous choice for women. Choosing an adoption plan is not easy, but it is a loving way to give a child the gift of life.
 
Adoption allows women who are not ready to parent to give life their child while still pursuing their own dreams and goals. Women who make private adoption plans get to customize their adoption journey. They are able to chose and meet the adoptive family, and work with Lilyfield on what their relationship with the adoptive family and their child will look like following the birth.

Adoption is not easy, but it works for many women and children. We are available to provide free counseling and support to any woman facing an unplanned pregnancy. For more information about our birth parent counseling services, email Brittany Eck and beck@lilyfield.org or call us at 866-397-7202.


Penny's Story

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Will and Amy recently went to court to finalize their adoption of baby Penny.

“He is writing a story for our family that we could never have penned ourselves, and we are overwhelmingly blessed to be living this chapter with our sweet Penny.”

When Will and Amy stop to think of all the connections God had to make to bring their daughter into their lives, they are amazed.

“Words won’t do justice for how much we love her and love being her parents. She makes every day sweeter, brighter, and louder than we ever could have imagined,” says Will.


Kid's Camp

Friday, April 11, 2014
Lilyfield is launching a day camp for children ages six to twelve who have been adopted domestically, internationally, or through the child welfare system. 

The camp is based on Dr. Karen Purvis’ Trust-Based Relational Intervention and the camps that are run by Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development. Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is an attachment-centered and trauma-informed intervention that is designed for children who have experienced maltreatment, abuse, neglect, trauma, multiple home placements, and violence. The activities will include play, arts and crafts, games, and nurture groups. 

For the camp, each child will be partnered with a “buddy.” Lilyfield will need volunteers willing to be a child’s “buddy” for the week, and volunteers willing to donate food and items for the camp. We will be holding an orientation on July 20, 2014 for volunteers who are willing to be a child’s “buddy” for the week.

The camp will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 21-24 in the Summit building at the Memorial Road Church of Christ

We have space for ten children this year. There is a registration fee of $50 for each child that attends the camp, which includes meals, snacks and all camp supplies. 

If you are interested in more information regarding the camp or you are willing to volunteer to be a “buddy,” you can contact us at 1-405-216-5240 or info@lilyfield.org. 



Open Adoption-A Healthy Option

Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Many birth mothers that we work with come to us worried that they might not know how their child is doing as they grow. Because the love a mother feels for her child is powerful, it is important for her to know that her decision for adoption blessed her child’s life.

Contact following adoption is healthy and is encouraged by most adoption professionals. Not all contact is frequent or even direct. Birth mothers can pick an open adoption, a semi-open adoption or a closed adoption.

In a fully open adoption, birth and adoptive parents have direct contact with one another.

In a semi-open adoption, the agency facilities contact between birth and adoptive parents. At Lilyfield, our adoptions generally start as semi-open. Some move to more open adoptions with direct contact but for others contact continues through the agency. Contact can range from several times a year to less frequently.

Closed adoptions are the rarest and mean that there is no contact between the birth and adoptive families.

At Lilyfield, we believe that some form of contact is beneficial for all parties. In some cases that contact is limited to before the placement and in others it may continue throughout the child’s life.

Some sort of contact between families gives a birth family confidence in their decision as they see their child experience a happy childhood. It allows an adoptive family to have information to share with their child about their birth family, and open adoption gives a child some connection to their birth family.


Supplies needed for Gateway Home

Friday, April 04, 2014
Lilyfield is excited to announce that the Gateway Independent Living Program is officially off the ground and running! All of the young women we serve have aged out of the foster care system, and are pursuing further education. Many of them struggle to afford some of life’s basic necessities. As we work to serve these young women there are a few things we need.

• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Laundry detergent
• Dish Soap
• Basic cleaning supplies (all-purpose cleaner, sponges, etc.)
• Feminine products

We need individuals and small groups to help us meet these needs. Please help us make a difference in the lives of these young women by donating an item or two, or by hosting a donation drive to collect these important supplies.
For more information about Gateway, contact Melody Jones at 405-216-5240 or mjones@lilyfield.org.

A Family for Joel

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

One afternoon I received a phone call from a birth mother contacted asking if Lilyfield could assist her in making an adoption plan for her seven year old little boy. That week I was blessed with the opportunity to meet a very special little boy named Joel. Joel is an energetic and loving little boy who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Joel is very affectionate and loves to give hugs.

 

All of our staff had the opportunity to spend a fun filled afternoon with Joel while we waited for his transitional foster family to pick him up. Joel ate goldfish crackers, played with toys, and loved playing in front of the mirror in our office bathroom. I would say that has been one of the best and most memorable afternoons I have had working with this agency. Joel spent three weeks with his transitional foster family while we worked to find the family that God prepared for Joel. He was able to play with his foster brother and spent the holidays with this very special family. During that time, Joel grew to love the band Journey and loved showing off his dance moves. Joel was nurtured and loved in the three weeks that he spent with his transitional family. Right before the New Year, Joel was placed with his forever family. He has thrived since being placed with his family.

 

Joel is a very special little boy and our agency was blessed to have had the opportunity to help him find his forever family. Joel became a special part of several people’s lives in those three short weeks that he was with his transitional foster family and this agency. We thank God that he is now surrounded by a loving Christian family! They made a courageous decision to open their home through an older child adoption. Through their action, we see the Gospel being lived out.

 

 

 

Brittany Eck

Adoption Coordinator

Fostering – Two Generations Deep

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gary and Janell embarked on a journey that would forever change their life and the lives of their children. Their journey began when they accepted the challenge of becoming foster parents. At that time two of their biological daughters were grown and the other was in high school. Gary and Janell were well on their way to being empty nesters. Little did they know other plans were in store for them. They say that they “simply felt a calling” to become foster parents. There was no other way to describe it.


Gary and Janell have opened their arms to 10 babies over the last 5 years, their stays ranging from 2 days to 17 months.

“We can’t remember what our family was like before foster babies. We must have been boring,” Gary and Janell joke. Their lives with foster children are anything but boring. They go to Disney World, take family trips, and have numerous family gatherings. Their foster children have certainly felt the love and support from their foster family.

Foster parenting comes with joy, but it can also be challenging. Gary and Janell have felt the heartache of babies leaving their home to uncertain futures. They have endured sleepless nights and walking the floors with infants.

Amidst the challenges, they have experienced numerous blessings. Both Gary and Janell agree that when a child runs to them with open arms, their hearts swell. They feel the pride when a child recites a Bible story for the first time. They know the joy from comforting a scared child. Rewards far outnumber the challenges.

“It hurts sometimes, but in the big picture, the blessings outweigh the hurt.” states Janell.

When two of their foster children became eligible for adoption, they felt it was in the best interest of the children for younger parents to adopt them. Bailey and Avery, the Smiths’ older biological daughters, stepped forward to open their homes to the children. Having already gone through the foster care training, Bailey and Avery were well equipped to become foster parents themselves. Without much delay, the two foster children were able to remain in the family, with their older daughters.


Now that their older daughters are foster parents, Gary and Janell feel extremely proud of them for the decision they have made to provide homes for children who would otherwise be placed in shelters. Bailey and Avery joke about how easy their parents made fostering look.

Avery is now married and has a biological daughter of her own. Her foster child and biological daughter are only ten months apart. They hope their foster child will soon become a permanent member of their family. At first Avery was a little nervous that her love would be different for her biological child. Her anxiety was quickly overcome. When asked what it was like to have a foster baby and a biological baby, she expressed, “There is no difference [in love] in adopting a child and having a child.”
The family has been asked frequently how they can cope with difficulties of fostering, such as having to let a child go. Their outlook is “You take care of the physical and let God do the rest. It’s not about you.”

When Gary and Janell decided to become foster parents, they immediately turned to Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care agency located in Edmond, Oklahoma. They knew the agency to be a reputable, Christian organization specializing in adoption and foster care.

Understanding the need for foster families and having a heart for the most vulnerable in our community is originally what led Gary and Janell to step forward on this journey. Five years later they have still felt overwhelming peace with their decision and have now passed their legacy of fostering to their own children.

Through all the joys and heartaches Gary and Janell have endured through fostering, they know it’s not over for their family. Their hearts and arms are open wide for children who need love and support.


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