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.

Ryne & Kate

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


We talked about adopting before we were ever married. It was a “someday” dream. We never thought about fostering because that was way too scary. But then we moved to Tulsa in 2012 for Ryne to become the Community Pastor at The Crossing South Tulsa. That’s when we begin to hear about the 111 Project and the need for foster families in Tulsa. We realized this wasn’t just something we should tell others to do, but something we needed to dive into ourselves. We were officially approved as foster parents in May of 2015 and have had 4 placements and 5 amazing kids.

Caleb & Julie

Tuesday, May 03, 2016





Being a foster family has been difficult, but it has helped us grow in many areas of our lives. Each of us are learning to be more giving, selfless and adaptable. 

Super Bowl Michael Oher

Friday, February 05, 2016

Adoption touches almost every family in one way or another. Adoption provides a priceless gift, both to children and to families. When we make adoption placements, we don’t have an idea what the true impact on the life of the child will be.  We can easily look at people and wonder where they will be in 15-20 years or what they will accomplish in that timeframe.

 

Here are some influential individuals who were either fostered or adopted:

Steve Jobs - founder of  Apple – Adopted  

Dante Culpepper - Football player - Fostered

Dave Thomas - founder of Wendys - Adopted

Faith Hill - singer - Adopted

Michael Oher - football player - Fostered

 

The movie Blindside was based off Michael Oher’s childhood. It is an amazing story of how one mom had deep compassion for Michael Oher regardless of the differences in their worlds. She looked at Michael and saw something special in him. This weekend Michael will be playing in Super Bowl on the main stage in front of millions world-wide. His mother could have never imagined him playing in the Super Bowl when she encountered him at a time of such great need. It wasn’t an idea of his future success that prompted her to love him.  She felt compelled that she wanted to make her life count and in turn make a difference in a complete stranger.

 

As we see needs right in front of us, I pray that we respond. That allow our hearts to be touched and that we move to help children to have hope and a future. Saying yes to loving children gives us the chance to develop qualities in them that will last forever. 

Under Construction: Our Foster Care Road

Friday, May 23, 2014
May is National Foster Care Month. Our blog will feature different foster perspectives throughout the month. Today’s post is written by Lilyfield foster mother Kathy.

The verse that has defined our foster care experience so far is, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God,” Micah 6:8.
 
“Act justly” I would say acting justly is living with a sense of right and wrong, and protecting the innocent. Fostering has challenged my sense of right and wrong. I’ve realized that our way of parenting is not the only way. We are doing the best we know how based on our life experience, our family upbringing, education, etc. So was our little guy’s biological family. Yes, choices were made that caused him to be removed, and sometimes families make choices that are so horrendous the child will never be returned to their biological family. But OKDHS encourages “bridging” between the foster and bio families. This is something that has been important to my husband and me, especially since we are dealing with a case that seems to be headed towards reunification. It hasn’t always been easy and sometimes I feel like our bridge is always under major construction. But we are 2 totally different families with 2 different walks of life united by our love for one adorable little boy. Bridging will always be a goal we work towards.

“Love mercy” I’m so thankful God is merciful. Foster care allows us to love with mercy on a daily basis…to love as He loves us. We love this little guy with all our hearts. We love him with a fierce love, knowing he may not always be with us. 

“Walk humbly with your God” Foster care keeps you humble because you know your life is about to be changed, but you don’t exactly know how. For us, it meant going from our family of 4 (have to mention our other 2 loves that were adopted from China and Rwanda) to a family of 5. This was a huge step because as parents, we were suddenly outnumbered. We realize that at any given moment a coup could be forming against us. But the love we get to share with these kids makes it all worth it. Some of our humbling moments have included a weekend where we were so overwhelmed and exhausted that we didn’t attend our church small group on a Sunday evening. Then our group showed up with encouraging words and a bunch of food. It is humbling to see our 2 kiddos that have become very close over the past couple years, allow another “sibling” to come in and love him unconditionally. They protect him, pray for him and have genuine concern for his parents that often humbles me when I realize my attitude isn’t in the right place. It is humbling when I realize we have been trusted and allowed to take care of a child that isn’t even ours. Walking humbly with God means we have to continually rely on Him.
 
We are so thankful for the way fostering has changed our lives. It has strengthened our family and our walk with God.

The Joy of Foster Care

Friday, May 16, 2014
May is National Foster Care Month. Our blog will feature different foster perspectives throughout the month. Today’s post is written by Lilyfield foster family Brian and Haley Padgham.

Our story begins with a love for children that knows no boundaries. After we married in 2003, our family began to grow with the birth of our first biological son in 2005. We continued to dream of growing and blending our family with a desire to adopt. As we prayed over and explored the many avenues of adoption, we discovered a great need and call from the Lord to help children in foster care. God tells us in the Bible to “care for the orphans” (James 1:27) and we decided to obey His command!

We have journeyed through foster care for six years now, serving many children and families during their time of need. Loving these children is a joy! By fully bringing them into our lives, each little blessing has changed our lives in an amazing and wonderful way.

We have presently grown into a family of seven, with two biological sons ages 8 and 5, a 4 year old son adopted through foster, a 3 year old daughter adopted through foster care, and a 1 year old daughter whose adoption through foster care should be finalized this year.
Building our family in this way has truly allowed us to grow in our walk with Christ, not only to lean on Him for the daily needs of these children, but also outreach to their birth families. We have been blessed with being able to interact with birth families, by putting them at ease knowing their children have two families that love them.

When we got the call for our oldest daughter, she was a tiny, one-week-old baby. She continued to live in the NICU for many more weeks, due to heavy exposure to illegal drugs and alcohol. From the moment we saw her, our hearts were smitten with her sweet little face! For three more weeks we went to the hospital daily to feed her and cuddle her tiny body, always praying that God would continue to help her grow and protect her. We were her only visitors while she was in the NICU. She is a true miracle and we are so thankful that God has given us this sweet blessing through adoption.

Many people ask us how we can let children go that have been in our homes. Our reply is that God uses us to do His work. There is no humanly possible way that we could do this on our own. The Lord guides us through every step of the journey, with His promise that we can “do ALL things through Him who gives us strength.” All of the children in our home are God’s, and He has given us the honor of raising each of these blessings!

It is wonderful to know that we can obediently serve foster children and show them a life changing love. Whether it is for a short time spent in our home, or we become their forever family, we are truly blessed by this journey and experience. Changing one child’s live changes a whole generation.

Foster Care: Mission and Ministry

Friday, May 09, 2014
May is National Foster Care Month. Our blog will feature different foster perspectives throughout the month. Today’s post is written by Lilyfield Foster Care Specialist, Keisha Golden.

James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Three powerful words sandwiched between two major ideas, "look after orphans".

James, claims that to practice pure religion is to support children. In fact, in Matthew 19:14, Jesus clearly asked for children to come to Him, for heaven belongs to them. I believe James’ words are applicable to all children, to those whose parents have abandoned them, but especially to those children who parents simply cannot care for them at the moment. These are foster children. 

As a foster care social worker, it is my goal to provide homes for children who are in need of either short term or long term care. I chose this ministry because I am able to prepare, encourage, and support families who directly exemplify the verses above. Foster care is a journey that in many ways can be difficult, but also very rewarding. I love that my mission is to help equip families with the skills and knowledge to nurture and care for children coming from difficult situations.

It is invigorating to not only fulfill this command personally, but to help my fellow Christians fulfill it as well. The compassion shown for the children in Lilyfield homes is something I witness daily and is spiritually encouraging. I chose to make foster care my mission because it is my responsibility to live out James 1:27, to be an active part of the church, and to provide safe and loving foster home for children in care. To look after foster children is not the job of one person, but many, and I am happy to be a part of this mission field.

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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