There are so many exciting ways to get connect to serving in the
Orphan Care Initiative. Check out the events and teams below for ways that you
can take your next daring faith step to serve orphans and vulnerable children
locally or globally!
Daring Faith Expo - Serve at the Orphan Care Booth!
On the weekend of May 16/17, each Saddleback campus will have the
opportunity to learn how to join the Orphan Care Initiative during the Daring
Faith Expo at every service - and we need your smiling face to help people get
connected! If you are interested in serving at the Orphan Care booth for just
30 minutes after any service(s), let us know and we will get you all the
information you need!
Thinking About Adoption or Foster Care?
Have you considered adopting or fostering, but aren't sure how to get
started? Every first Wednesday of the
month from 6:30-8:30pm in MO2, families from our church who
have adopted and fostered share helpful overviews and answer your questions in
a no-pressure environment. If that time doesn't work for you, we'd still love
to talk to you. Free to call or meet with us for more information on fostering
Orangewood Play Group
You can brighten the day of a child living in Orangewood group home,
OC's temporary shelter for children who have been removed from their homes due
to abuse or neglect. The first group will be visiting the evening of May 22nd.
This is a great opportunity for those looking to care for vulnerable children
right here in Orange County. Email email@example.com for more information.
Rwanda: Empty orphanages and strengthen churches on
a PEACE trip
Orphan Care PEACE trips train local churches in promoting adoption,
assisting newly adoptive families, and training lay social workers within
churches. We'll train you in everything you need to know, and help you or your
family make a difference in ways you've always dreamed! Let us know when you
would like to go, and we will get you connected to a trip leader. To join an
upcoming trip email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentor a child in the foster care system
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) mentor children in the
foster system and act as their voice in the legal system. With a commitment of
2 hours twice a month, you can help represent the best interests of a child and
support them on their journey to a lasting family of their own. If you would
like to learn more about becoming a CASA in Orange County, please visit their
website http://www.casaoc.org/advocate/ to RSVP to the next info session, or email email@example.com for more information.
Join a local or global action team!
You can serve in ways too numerous to name, but here's a sample: Serve
orphans and vulnerable children in our neighborhoods, help teach local churches
in orphan care, or come alongside adoptive or foster families. Serve in
sponsorship, social media, website development, writing, hospitality/event
hosts, or advocacy. There's a place for you!
Adoptive and Foster Family Support Group
This season's Adoptive and Foster Family Support Group meets on
Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm in room 409/411 on the Lake Forest Saddleback Church
campus. The support group will be studying from the DVD curriculum The Connection written by Dr. Karyn
Purvis and Elizabeth Styffe. Unfortunately, no childcare is available. Please
RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested? Just let us know and we will find the exact spot for you,
your family or your small group. We'll help get you connected and provide any
Have questions? Need more information? Connect with us by email (email@example.com) or phone (949-609-8555)! We can't wait to serve
with you soon!
18-year-old Holly has been in Orange County foster care since
1998. She was removed from her home after allegations against her mother
for failure to protect, serious emotional damage, sexual abuse, and living in
unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. Reunifying with her mom was ruled out many
years ago due to Mom’s drug use and reckless parenting. Holly had sporadic
monitored phone calls and visits with her mom and has come to the realization
that it will never be a healthy and nurturing relationship. Holly’s CASA,
Joann, recognized that although Holly is 18 and had agreed to stay in the
system until she finished high school, she was lacking the strong and positive
family bonds she needed to help her succeed post-emancipation. Joann
spoke to Holly to see if she had interest in a search being conducted for her
biological father, whom she had never met before. Holly agreed to CASA
Family Connections doing a search, but was a little doubtful there would be any
success. Holly knew very little about her father and was only able to
contribute his first name, Michael, and the past descriptions from her mother
of her father being a “bad” and “mean” man.
CASA Family Connections immediately got to work on searching for
Holly’s paternal family. After reviewing her file it seemed like it may
be a lost cause. Social Services had tried numerous times in the past to
get in touch with Michael. According to records, contact was made once
before and it looked as though he had no interest in establishing a
relationship with his daughter.
After finding a date-of-birth for Michael things began to
snowball and an updated address and telephone number were found within a couple
days. Upon phone contact, Michael stated he had been waiting and praying
for this moment for a very long time. He had become a Reverend and was
now married with two young children living a healthy and positive life in Iowa.
Immediately Michael was very anxious to be given the opportunity to speak
with his long lost daughter. When asked about previous efforts by Social
Services to contact him – he stated he was only told there was a possibility of
Holly returning home to her mother, a woman whom Michael had briefly dated and
who suffered from psychotic episodes that Michael could not be a part of.
Michael admitted that he had made a mistake and should have fought harder
to protect the well being of his daughter.
Holly entered the CASA office again, less than two weeks since
her initial meeting with Family Connections and exclaimed to her CASA Case
Supervisor, “Did you hear? They found my Dad!”. Holly was clearly very
nervous, but with the support of her CASA she was able to muster up the courage
to begin a new chapter in her life. That day Holly was able to speak to
her father for the first time in her life!
Holly was given the opportunity to ask her father anything she
wished – which she took full advantage of. Questions ranged from the
blunt and serious, “Why did you leave me?” “Why didn’t you ever look for me?”
to the seemingly trivial “What kind of music do you listen to?” “Do you have
any animals?”. In a beautiful moment, Holly discovered that like her, her
father likes to write songs and sing – so they sang to one another songs they
had each written lyrics to.
Family Connections was able to fly out Dad and her Step-Mom a few weeks later
and you would have never imagined that they had never been a part of one
another’s lives for Holly’s whole existence. Holly’s Father and Step-Mom enjoyed
a great weekend together where they were able to connect and learn about one
another, as well as do some fun activities like bowling, going to the beach and
the aquarium, as well as meeting some of her teacher’s at school and kids and
staff members at Holly’s group home.
wasn’t too long after the visit that Holly decided she wanted to go to Iowa
herself and see what it would possibly be like to live with her newly found
Dad. CASA Family Connections planned a trip for Holly to fly out during her
spring break in March of 2012 and spend a week there. Again, it was a beautiful
weekend, where Holly was able to meet her Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, her
two younger half-siblings, as well as numerous members of their congregation
who were extremely excited to meet her. Holly later told us that she felt very
much at home – for the first time in her life.
and her Social Worker decided a week after she had come back from the trip that
she would like to move to Iowa and live with her family once she finished high
school and emancipated. Her father, Michael, was absolutely thrilled that she
had made this decision. Holly graduated in June and again CASA Family
Connections was able to fly her father and stepmother out to be part of the
celebrations in Orange County. Best of all – Holly was able to fly home with
them, back to Iowa, two days later!
has since got a job in Iowa and enrolled to begin taking classes at a technical
school in Iowa. Holly is excited to be spending her first Thanksgiving and Christmas
with her new family and her new home!
volunteers from CASA-OC Family Connections made it possible for Holly to find
her family – through things as simple as searching on Facebook. You can make a
lasting impact in a child’s life as well and help move them closer to a
permanent family by joining the CASA program. Learn more here, or attend the next information session on May 2nd.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Orange County alone, around 3,000 in the foster care
system, over 150 of whom are waiting to be adopted.
Court Appointed Special Advocates are ordinary people with
the desire to make a difference in a child’s life. A CASA volunteer visits
their assigned child in the foster care system regularly, interacts with social
workers assigned to their case, and makes recommendations to the court. They
ensure that the child’s best interests are protected and help them on the
journey to a lasting, lifelong family of their own.
Children in the foster care system can struggle with low
feelings of self-worth, difficulty in school and trouble relating to others –
but it doesn’t have to be this way. Having the stable presence of an adult they
trust can make all the difference. With a CASA volunteer, children are more
likely to find a safe, permanent home, are half as likely to re-enter the
foster care system.
Becoming a CASA is a great way to impact the lives of
vulnerable children in our community. For a commitment of 2 hours twice a month,
you can help change a life!
If you would like to learn more about becoming a CASA in
Orange County, please visit their website http://www.casaoc.org/advocate/ or
sign up for a local information session. Dates and times of upcoming sessions
11th 2015 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
E. 17th Street, Second Floor, Santa Ana, CA, 92705
28th 2015 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
7th 2015 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Venue: CASA Training Room
E. 17th Street, Second Floor, Santa Ana, CA, 92705
Questions about join the CASA Orange County program? Contact
us at email@example.com or
call the Orphan Care line at 949-609-5555.
Your presence will make a difference this Saturday night. 6:00pm at
the Lake Forest Campus. The Orphan Care Initiative community gathers at
PEACE night where your voice matters- you’ll also hear what God has been doing
what He has in store for you. You are making an impact for his precious
children locally and globally!
Here's a few great places to get connected to the Orphan Care
community, starting THIS SATURDAY:
PEACE NIGHT THIS Saturday,
February 28th – 6:00pm in Tent 3
Meet friends and get exciting updates from the Orphan Care
Initiative this weekend! We will start at 6pm in Tent 3 on the Saddleback
Church Lake Forest Campus, head to regional breakouts and come together for the
Orphan Care Initiative breakout at 7:30 in room 303. PEACE Night is also a
great time to learn how to go on an Orphan Care PEACE trip. Learn how to
take your next step and get involved!
THINKING ABOUT ADOPTION OR
FOSTER CARE? March 4th - Wednesday - 6:30pm-8:30pm
Have you considered adopting or fostering, but aren’t sure how to get
started? Every first Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8:30pm in MO2, families
from our church who have adopted and fostered share helpful overviews and
answer your questions in a no-pressure environment. If that time doesn't work
for you, we’d still love to talk to you. Free to call or meet with us for more
information on fostering and adopting!
JOIN OUR LOCAL AND GLOBAL ACTION TEAMS You can serve in
ways too numerous to name, but here’s a sample: Serve orphans and
vulnerable children in our neighborhoods. Play with children temporarily
housed for their protection in Orange County, serve an individual foster
children by being their volunteer/mentor in the court system, help teach local
churches in orphan care, come alongside adoptive or foster families.
Serve in sponsorship, social media, website development, writing, hospitality/event
hosts, or advocacy. There’s a place for you!
RWANDA: EMPTY ORPHANAGES STRENGTHEN CHURCHES
There’s room for you! Join an upcoming trip. Learn more
this Saturday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested? Just let us know and we will find the exact spot for you,
your family or your small group. We’ll help get you connected and
provide any necessary training.
Have questions? Need more information? Connect with us by email (email@example.com)
or phone (949-609-8555)! We can't wait to serve with you soon!
This article is adapted from this post by Debra Jones from Parenting Help for Adoptive and Foster Parents.
What’s the need beneath the behavior?
I’m constantly approached by parents who want to toss out a
behavior problem and have me come up with the best answer as to how the parent
should deal with that particular behavior. They are asking, “How do you fix
__________? Fill in with anything ranging from “My child won’t get dressed for
school” to “My teen is using dangerous drugs and hanging out with unsafe kids.”
I wish it were that easy.
Parents come to me specifically for trust-based parenting
strategies since I coach and train in Trust-Based Relational Intervention®
(TBRI®). They are trying to give up their old ways, but can’t see that they are
really still using their old strategies and belief systems with a trust-based
sprinkle on top. They will even say for said problem, “What’s the TBRI answer
for handling this behavior?”
TBRI answers aren’t typically just a step one, two, three
answer. TBRI is much more about building a connecting relationship
and establishing an emotionally safe relationship in which the child or teen
will come to you with her needs and lay down her maladaptive behavioral
strategies – the survival strategies that kept her alive before she was yours.
It is about showing the child that you have a voice with me, and I will listen
to what you need. I will try to understand what you feel. I will help you solve
this problem. And if you don’t have the skill set to succeed, I will spend the
time it takes with you to build this skill set. And for kids from hard places
that can mean a LOT of our time.
I’m not going to come down hard on my child when he is
dysregulated or even when he’s making bad choices. I’m going to recognize as
the safe adult in his life that his brain is hard-wired to respond with fight,
flight, or freeze responses. I’m very deliberate about watching my own tone of
voice, my own body language, even my own belief systems that might indicate to
my child that he is going to be judged, punished, or shamed by me. I’m going to
approach a behavior problem like there is a mystery to be solved.
Why is getting dressed in the morning so hard for my child?
he dread or fear school?
he feel like he’s in trouble with his teacher?
kids make fun of him or is he being left out at recess?
the school environment a sensory overload for him?
he not getting enough sleep?
his blood sugar low because he hasn’t had protein yet?
he feel like a nerd in the clothes I’ve bought for him?
his sensory system so sensitive the tags in his shirts are
uncomfortable for him?
his neurochemistry imbalanced and cortisol is too low in the morning?
is he stressed and cortisol is too high?
he not had enough calming sensory input to be successful?
I giving more instructions at one time than he can process?
I rushed and rushing him?
he power struggle with me because he doesn’t know how to use his words?
he developmentally ready to dress himself without frustration?
And with the teen that is choosing unsafe friends and using
drugs it’s even harder to solve the need beneath the behavior.
she feel she doesn’t fit in with our family?
she truly understand the dangers involved?
she feel valued and loved?
she rebelling against authoritarian parenting?
her neurochemical imbalance so severe she is self-medicating?
she need something exciting and thrilling in her life?
she have the skill set to build healthy relationships?
she having an identity crisis?
she failing or struggling at school and this is a way to fit in?
she have feelings she has buried and doesn’t feel safe to
come to me?
she feel she’ll never measure up to my expectations?
she compare herself to my biological children and feel not good enough?
she know how to express her fears and feelings?
I spent time matching her and engaging in her interests?
I make myself emotionally available to her?
she feel seen, heard, and understood?
As parents we want behavior to stop and sometimes we get
rigid about find THE ANSWER that will make it stop. Unfortunately there have
been many parenting models that seem to indicate that if the child does
_________, you do _________ and the problem will go away. Simple as that! Not
so simple with a child from a background of early harm.
There is much work to be done. There is much repair and much
building from scratch in our relationships with them if they are going to feel
safe, become secure, and develop the skills to have healthy relationships and
make wise choices.
Behavior communicates. It communicates needs, fears, pain,
losses, and wants. It communicates skills that my child has and skills that are
lacking. What is your child communicating to you? Will you stop your world long
enough to deeply look at your child’s desperate need?
For more in depth trust based parenting insights for your family, check out our 13 week DVD small group curriculum The Connection by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Elizabeth Styffe.
Also be sure to check out the Empowered to Connect Conference coming to Orange County Feb. 13 & 14th. Use the code FOCUSGUEST for half off registration!