God is in the business of preserving families. It is His heart. It's my heart too. And, I'll unabashedly say here that I believe it should be everyone's heart.
Everyone likes good news and I've got some for you today. If you are in doubt that God still speaks today and that He uses people to accomplish His work, I pray this will speak to you.
Last night I was sitting in service at Celebration Church where we are pastors, and my husband was preaching. His message was about what we want to be remembered for in life, and he made the statement that we can't change our past but we can change the future. In that moment, God spoke to me. He began to give me my next post for Lost Daughters, where I'm also a blogger. To be honest it's more than just another place where I blog. It's a sisterhood. A lifeline. A place that has come to mean a great deal to me, because of the amazing women who are there.
During the service I basically had this entire post for Lost Daughters downloaded into my head from God, but I had the thought, "Hmmmm...this is really on the spiritual side, and Lost Daughters is all about adoption, not spirituality and I don't really want to push the envelope there...I mean, I'm there to write about adoption, not spiritual stuff." I just thought, "alright, so I've got this post in my head but maybe I'll mull this over a bit and if it's too much on the spiritual side I'll save it for my future adoption blog site."
I went home after the service and I checked my e-mail before going to bed and there was a message from Amanda, the founder and editor of Lost Daughters. She said, "Deanna, I'm wanting a spiritual column at Lost Daughters and am wondering if you would be comfortable in writing this on a regular basis? We'd have your photo in the side column with a short excerpt of one of your recent posts beneath it with a link to read the rest of the post. Does that sound OK to you?"
Oh my stars. I almost fell over.
I was honored. I was overwhelmed. (In a good way!)
Of course I immediately said YES!! Amanda has already added the column. Although I haven't written a new post for it yet, for now they are using a previously published one. You can see it here.
God has totally changed my life since becoming a blogger at Lost Daughters. If you haven't read about my journey of landing there, you can do so here.
Beyond making a different in my life, the sisterhood at Lost Daughters has made a huge difference here in Tampa. It's an amazing story of women coming together to change lives.
Recently I became aware of a young lady in Tampa who has just given birth and was kicked out of her home. Her parents would not let her come home with the baby. She was encouraged to have an abortion but chose not to. Like most mothers, she also felt strongly about keeping and raising her baby.
I believe in family preservation, not separation. I believe adoption is not a first response, but a last resort when there is absolutely no option whatsoever (kinship adoption, etc.) for a baby to stay with their original family . I also believe it is the loving and compassionate thing to do to rise up and make it possible for moms to keep and raise children. When a young lady is pregnant, I believe God calls us to say, "How can I help you?" not say, "have you considered adoption?" Lost Daughters believes all those things too. We not only believe it, we put our money where our mouth is. But I'm getting ahead of myself here...
I was delighted that a friend, Alexa McGrory, took this young lady under her wing and "adopted" them both so to speak. (Not legally or anything, just reaching out to love and care and help provide so they could stay together.) Alexa is very strongly involved in pro-life causes as that is her passion and she does whatever she can to help mothers and children. Something leaped in my heart as soon as I became aware of the need. Part of that was not only in giving of my own resources, but using my connections and influence to help in whatever way possible.
I first spoke to the Lost Daughters bloggers, to let them know of the need. They rallied immediately and began sending finances and care packages to Tampa for this young lady. They were so excited, so passionate about coming alongside to do whatever possible. Alexa and the young mother of this child were absolutely overwhelmed when almost overnight, $50 checks, $100 checks, clothing for the mother and child and much more started coming in the mail. Daily they have received blessings in the mail from the Lost Daughters sisterhood!
Then I spoke to our Celebration Church women. They rallied round and in a matter of days, everything on the list Alexa had given me of the current needs for the mother and the baby was provided!! Gayle, one of our Celebration ladies, provided a brand new crib and mattress! The mom has a new job and needs appropriate clothes in size 4. Of course, the baby needs clothing for all sizes as they grow. Many items for both mother and child immediately began to come in. It has been overwhelming! The very day I announced the need, diapers and wipes arrived on my doorstep from Celebration ladies. Alexa is currently working on a trust fund, to assist in the future needs of mom and baby as they progress.
It's amazing what happens when women come together to meet needs. Women are a solution!!!
At this time the identity (names) of the mom/baby are protected however I have been given permission to use this photo to give everyone a glimpse of who we have helped.
I am so grateful to God for opening the doors he is opening for me to share from my heart and bring awareness to adoptee issues, joining a much larger Sisterhood who are all making a difference in their own unique way. I have received much healing myself (it's still a journey) and am able to be a part in bringing healing to other people's lives.
Thanks once again to all of my Lost Daughters sisters, and Celebration sisters, for making a huge difference.
There is nothing greater than helping people.