Celebrate National Adoption Month with LSG!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month! Celebrate with LSG this November by attending any of our exciting events located throughout Georgia!

November 14 (Savannah): LSG staff will join other public and private agencies who assist with finding permanent homes for children in foster care at the One Church One Child luncheon. Each year, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance/Wives & Widows Association sponsors this luncheon to thank staff who work with children. Several city officials and pastors in the community will also attend.

November 15 (Atlanta): Join LSG, other private agencies, and the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) for an informational event about adoption. This event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building (75 Spring St. SW). This event is free and open to the public.

November 17 (Savannah): The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance/Wives & Widows Association will sponsor the annual "One Church One Child" worship service. The service will be held at the New Salem Community Fellowship Church, 115 W. 40th Street, Savannah, GA, 31401. All are welcome to attend.

November 23 (Rome):  Come join LSG's Rome site for a family-friendly celebration of adoption at Westminster Presbyterian Church (1941 Shorter Ave SW). LSG will provide games, food, and prizes. There will also be an magician on site. This event is open to the public.

Thanks for celebrating National Adoption Month with LSG!

LSG Celebrates National Adoption Month!

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? National Adoption Month has been celebrated since 1995 and is intended to build awareness of adoption throughout the United States. Each November, organizations like Lutheran Services of Georgia host events to spread the word about adoption, tell positive stories, challenge myths, and lift up children in foster care who are waiting for loving, permanent families.

As part of National Adoption Month, LSG is celebrating its partnership with the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. According to the DTFA, 100,000 children in foster care are currently available for adoption in the U.S. In 2012, almost 30,000 children turned 18, were emancipated, and left foster care with no family to call their own. Too often we make excuses for these statistics—this child is too old; that child is better off not moving again; our budget has been slashed and we simply cannot do any more. But DTFA and LSG believe that, when it comes to a child’s life, there is no time for excuses. DTFA and LSG share the core beliefs that:

  • Every child deserves to live in a safe, loving and permanent family.
  • No child should linger in foster care or leave the system at age 18 or 12 without a permanent family to call his or her own.
  • Every child is adoptable.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids utilizes a Child-Focused Recruitment Model to seek adoptive homes for children in foster care. The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters in Atlanta and Savannah utilize this model to assist area Department of Family and Children Services caseworkers in finding permanents homes for children in foster care. Since 2011, LSG has placed 16 of Georgia’s children in foster care into permanent, loving, adoptive families. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Click here to learn more about Wendy's Wonderful Kids.

Adoption Fun Facts

Lutheran Services of Georgia partners with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and, through them, has a Wendy's Wonderful Kids grant to increase the number of children in foster care who become adopted. Their vision: Every child will have a permanent home and a loving family.

Their values:

  • Every child deserves to live in a safe, loving and permanent family.
  • No child should linger in foster care or leave the system at age 18 without a permanent family of his or her own.

Lutheran Services of Georgia works toward finding safe, loving, permanent families for children in foster care so they can have someone to call for advice, someone to share the holidays with, someone who will love them as they are and be their family.

Re-Homing: What is it and How is it related to Adoption?

A Important Message from Lutheran Services of Georgia's Adoption Services

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) posted a statement on 9/11/13 regarding the recent Reuters report on the "re-homing" of adopted children. "Re-homing," the statement reads, is a "heart-breaking and appalling practice" in which adoptive parents give their children to "unapproved, unlicensed strangers...and must be prevented and prosecuted." This is increasingly done through social media websites and without any oversight of child welfare agencies. The children highlighted in the Reuters report were often given to complete strangers who had no background checks done and often had prior child abuse history.

NACAC notes that "forcing families to struggle without support, trying to raise children they feel unable to parent, is also unacceptable and harmful to children." NACAC calls for improved training of families, increased support for adoptive families from agencies, nothing the need for "adoption-competent, trauma-informed family care. Adoptive families need a continuum of support." NACAC supports the current draft proposal in the US Congress House Ways and Means Committee to "pass legislation that extends far greater federal support for post-adoption services for children and their families." Children "are not commodities that can be traded or discarded."

Lutheran Services of Georgia works to prepare adoptive families for the unique challenges involved in adoption. For more information about adoption, visit reputable adoption websites including www.nacac.org or www.adoptioninstitute.org or contact Lutheran Services of Georgia at 404-875-0201.

Malachi's Mirth

Most of us cannot remember the first time we heard our mothers say our name or bring to mind the first time we started crying because we laughed so hard. For Malachi, though, these memories are not so distant. On a momentous day earlier this year, he began to hear the sounds of the world, including the wonderful music of his mother’s voice and his own ringing laughter, which he could hardly contain.

Malachi is a six-year-old boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, born without some of the bones in his face and neck. For the first several years of his life, he lived in a group home for medically fragile children, where he did not have the attention that he needed. Without an ear canal, he could not hear, and no one at his group home worked to get him the surgery that he needed to have hearing aids put in. The nurses had to care for many children, and Malachi’s surgery was not pursued.

Then, in 2012, Amy and Derron saw Malachi for the first time and fell in love. They already had a child with Treacher Collins syndrome and knew that they could offer the love and stability that would allow Malachi to thrive. Having already adopted three other children through LSG, Amy and Derron worked with LSG’s case managers to finalize the adoption of Malachi. Earlier this year, they welcomed him into their family.

With parents now to advocate for his care, Malachi underwent surgery to have a hearing aid put into his ear. The effect of this surgery was remarkable. Five weeks after the surgery, Malachi returned to the doctor to have the hearing aids turned on. When the doctor pressed the right button, Malachi suddenly began to giggle. He could not stop giggling. New sounds flooded his ears for the first time, and he could not do anything but giggle. And then his parents laughed until their stomachs hurt and tears of joy flowed from their eyes. “It was literally a miraculous moment,” Amy recalls. “The overwhelming joy that came from that child was unbelievable. Other than the moment that a child calls you mom or dad, this was the most important moment for Derron and me as parents.”

With his new hearing aids, Malachi is now thriving. Although in kindergarten, he reads at a first grade level and has begun to write and speak. He loves to run around outside, color in his coloring books, and play with his trains. He also relishes his role on the special needs tumbling and cheerleading team, The Renegades. He is the “flyer,” the child who is on top of the pyramid and in the middle of the stunts. Before the surgery, he could feel the beat of the music, but now he can hear the music. The music, the noises, the sounds: everything is clearer to Malachi now that he can hear. But perhaps nothing is as clear as the love of his parents, a love that surrounds him every day and shows him that he is accepted as he is.