Friday, March 29, 2013


“Once upon a time there was a Daddy and a Mommy. 

They were very happy because God had given them a daughter but they were also sad because they so wanted to have another little baby in their home and a brother or sister for their daughter.  No more babies could grow in the Mommy’s tummy. 

And then they heard of a Mommy who had a baby that she loved very much but couldn’t look after it and give it the things that babies needed, so she prayed to God and asked Him to find a new Mommy and Daddy who would be able to care for the baby. 

So one very exciting day the new Mommy and Daddy went to fetch the baby and took with them clothes, a bottle, a pink blanket and one bootee.  

Do you want to know why there was only one bootee – because the baby’s leg was in plaster of Paris.  The Daddy, the Mommy, and the big Sister were so excited and loved the little baby.”

This is the story we told Susie from the time she could understand.   One day when we knew she was ready we changed the Mommy and Daddy to our names and the baby’s name to hers. 

A look of delight came over her little face.  And so she learnt about being adopted.

Being adopted was a normal, natural word in our home.   Not something we spoke about every day as most of the time we didn’t even think about it.   

We had a funny little incident once when, after Susie had been naughty and my husband was to meter out some discipline, she informed him that he couldn’t discipline her because he wasn’t her father!  

“Oh yes I can” he said. “Come with me to my cupboard and I will show you a piece of paper that says you are my child.”

As mentioned in a previous article we had told Susie that if she ever wanted to find her “Carry Mommy” we would help her.    Only once in all her childhood did she ever make mention of finding her and it came out very unexpectedly.   Driving her home from school she suddenly asked whether we were doing anything that day and when I answered that we weren’t she said well then we can go and find her mother.   She was about eight then.

Susan and her boyfriend, R-J as they prepare to go to Susan's Grade 12 leaving school dance. R-J had just got back from a missionary trip to India and Nepal, and Susan is wearing a sari for her Graduation dance.
Susie met her future husband R-J when she was quite young and they dated for some four or five years before they got married, when she was twenty.    

It was then that she had a strong desire to find her mother.   In her heart she felt that she wanted to tell her that she was doing well, that she was happy and that she was getting married.   At that time she was at Bible College and R-J had completed his studies.   They were preparing to go into ministry.

We had made a promise to her and now it was time to prove to her that we would not go back on our word and that we would walk that road with her.   

I had utter peace in my soul and was ready and excited, I guess, to see how this was going to pan out.    

There was not even a slight feeling of anxiety or jealousy because I knew that even if she found her mother and they developed a relationship it could never be the same as the relationship that I had with her.   Susan had a history and that history was hers to do with as she wished.   God was utterly in control of any negative feelings because he was ready to do a miracle.

And so we made an appointment to see the social worker at the agency.   I had to go with her as she was under twenty-one and so still needed to give permission for them to draw the file.   

The social worker opened a brown folder and then started reading………

New Living Translation (©2007)
"You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steve's Journal Chapter 4

My brother Steve continues his journal of recovery. There's lots more answered prayer to come. Stay tuned. 

Steven's Journal Chapter 4

As I begin this process, I learn that sixty days, the first set of steps, changing attitudes, actions, and deeds will not magically transform me. It is only a beginning of the process. It took forty-one years to become who and what I am, God will accelerate the change, but it has to happen in His time. I have to be open, honest, and willing to give a real effort. To want it with all my heart and soul.

We will reach the point of wanting to change, or die. We cannot say, “I’ll do anything, but.” Unfortunately, I’ve seen myself put limitations on recovery as I start to feel better. I take back self control, allow my ego to get back in the driver’s seat, and distance myself from God again. This is the path to failure and relapse, that are never far behind. 
So for those of you that don’t know or understand the twelve steps of AA and recovery, I’ll sum them up.

The first few are to admit, recognize, and accept addiction has taken over our lives, causing life to become totally unmanageable. We are unable to stop, and no human power can fix us. Only God can save us, change us, and give us peach and the lives we so desire.

Next is taking responsibility for our past, admitting our faults, character defects, and sins, leaving nothing out. Anything and everything must come out or this will not work. The great thing about rehab and AA is you feel safe, and there is no need for embarrassment. You are surrounded by people who have all done the same or worse. Love and support abound, and everyone works together so we can all succeed.

Next you need to admit to yourself, to God, and to another person, all your sins, faults, and the wreckage of your past. This is one of the hardest parts—asking God for His forgiveness, and harder yet, forgiving myself. We are always hardest on ourselves. If you can forgive yourself, and truly believe in God’s grace and forgiveness, the great weight of darkness, shame and guilt will start to be removed, then you can continue.

Next is examining your past, taking responsibility for it, seeing your part in it. If this is done thoroughly, it will become self evident that it was mostly our fault. We have a self destructive attitude that undermines our whole life.

Now upon listing and seeing all the evil, hurt, damage, pain, suffering, abuse, we have done and caused, we pledge to make up for it as best we can. With God’s help, we ask those we have wronged to forgive us, and to tell them that we are willing to change. We are now clearing the wreckage of our past, shedding light on it, and ultimately removing its power over us.

We address our resentments, and the resentment of others towards us. Basically, a house cleaning of mind, spirit, and emotions.

Now we can make a plan of action to continue to change, to hand our lives over to God, to improve our lives, and the lives of those around us. To strive to be the people we want to be and should be. Happy, content, contributing, productive members of society. With this plan in place, God in our lives, the program, and tools we have learned at our disposal, we start doing daily maintenance through prayer, new actions, thoughts, and deeds, admitting when we are wrong, asking for forgiveness, and living a life we no longer have to be ashamed of.  Forgiveness only comes if you don’t intend on doing the offensive action again. Forgiveness is not a free pass to continue on the old path.

Finally, and most important, is to pass along our grace, change, hope and program of recovery. It is the ultimate statement that for us to continue to receive God’s blessing and the blessing of recovery we must give it away.

The great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment we get after helping another alcoholic is unlike anything I have ever felt or imagined.

So as you can see, there is a lot to deal with. We only begin to scratch the surface here. It is a live-long journey with only a daily reprieve, but the process has started. In all the steps God is the integral key, because without Him, there is no hope.

Only He can save us.  

Stay tuned in the weeks to follow how God continues to work in Steve's recovery. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

AMAZING GRACE by Sherry Kyle

Christine here: Today's guest is author Sherry Kyle who will share the tender adoption story of her daughter, Grace. Below that tells you about Sherry's new release, The Heartstone.

AMAZING GRACE by Sherry Kyle

When I was ten years old, my mom, sister and I saw a movie called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness starring Ingrid Bergman. The 1958 movie is based on the true story of a missionary in China who leads 100 Chinese children from one area of China to another during the Japanese-Chinese war. The movie impacted me so much so that ever since that night, I wanted to adopt.

Fast forward to many years later. I got married, had three biological children, and continued to foster the idea of adopting a child who needed a stable home. When my children were 1, 3 and 5, I started collecting information from different adoption agencies (without my husband’s knowledge.) I was mainly focused on China or Korea because that was the image God placed on my heart many years before. 

I collected information about adoption for a good year before talking to my husband about it. I didn’t want him to squelch my dream. When I finally gathered my nerve and talked to him, he said, “You talked about wanting to adopt in college. This isn’t a secret.” 

I was stunned. I didn’t remember sharing this piece of my heart. The best part about opening up and sharing my desire was that my husband joined my quest with open arms.

As we began to pursue adoption seriously, a friend from church, who did respite care, helped us to see the need for foster-adopt families. This was the right choice for us financially. We could obey God’s call without going into debt.

We went to several orientation meetings from different agencies before deciding on a local Christian non-profit agency. Four months after completing our home study, we saw our future daughter’s picture in a photolisting book. She was Filipino, had been born 10 weeks early, weighing only 2 pounds, 12 ounces, and had a high risk of having cerebral palsy due to her premature birth. She was not yet legally free for adoption, but the termination of parental rights were scheduled to happen within a short time.

Our social worker submitted our home study, and our family was chosen after waiting three long agonizing weeks. After a month of visitations, Grace came to live with us.

Because of some complications with the termination of the birth parents’ rights, Grace’s adoption was not finalized until almost two years later. Grace always felt like she was mine, but when we stood before the judge and promised to take care of her, she truly became one of us.
The four Kyle kids.
All those years ago God gave me a mental picture of a child who would someday be mine. Grace is that little girl. She’s happy, healthy, and super amazing. We feel so blessed.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
~Psalm 37:4

When the biological father of Jessica MacAllister’s son decides to break their custody
agreement, Jessica and her son visit her Uncle George for advice and refuge…
Following a year of grief, Evelyn Sweeney is finally ready to move on. Pondering her new
path in life, her mind drifts to her first love, George MacAllister…

When the lives of these two women cross, they discover that one heart-shaped ring binds their
stories together. But will the results be a rekindled faith and new hope, or will it lead them
both back into the darkness they’ve fought for so long?

Contact Sherry Kyle and Purchase links below for her book Heart of Stone.
Link to purchase: Amazon 
Christian Book Distributors
Sherry Kyle is a graduate of Biola University with a degree in Communications. She is a freelance writer and a small group leader for her church. Her book for tween girls titled The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style released from Legacy Press in 2009. Her debut fiction novel, Delivered with Love was released by Abingdon Press in 2011. Sherry maintains an active membership in the Christian Writers Fellowship International, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Adoption Writers. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature.Sherry has four children, three homegrown and one by adoption, between the ages of 9 and 15. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys jazz concerts with her husband, Douglas, watching movies, and spending time with her family in central California. 

Friday, March 22, 2013


Christine Here: I'm so thrilled to share the continuation of Sheila Callanan's Adoptive Mom story from South Africa. Her poem at the end of this article for the birthmother of her child brought me to tears. 

Cape Town South Africa, home to Sheila Callanan and her family.
FROM CAPE TOWN by Sheila Callanan

Now, in many respects I am placid by nature and handle crisis pretty well.  Something changed on the 22 March 1978 when the telephone rang and the voice on the other end of the line said “Am I speaking to Mrs. Callanan?”  

When I answered her in the affirmative she went on “Did you and your husband apply for adoption?” 

Again I replied in the affirmative.

“Well I am phoning from the adoption society to let you know that we have a little girl for you.” 

In that moment I did the craziest thing – I asked her to hold the line for a moment and ran across the road to my ‘bestest’ neighbour and shouted through her window that the agency was on the phone and they had a little girl for us.  Poor social worker, she must have wondered where I had got to. Still with my heart pounding, I went back to speak with her. 

She then went on to tell me that there was a slight problem which she needed to tell me about. 

They never placed a baby in a home for permanent adoption if there was any medical problem or deformity and the baby that they had for us had been born with a club foot and would need a lot of medical care in the next few years.  The reason why they were prepared to give her to us was that they had prayed about it and felt that this baby was meant for our home. 

Without hesitation I told her we wouldn’t mind at all but she insisted that I call my husband first and just make sure that he was also okay with this. 

Edwin and Sheila with their daughter, Linda, as they send off their application to the adoption agency for a baby.
From the time we had applied we had waited two and a half years for this phone call.  Her big sister, Linda, was excited and promptly gave her a name.

The next afternoon we were in the reception room anxiously and excitedly waiting for the door to open which would bring us our new baby. 

The tiniest little girl was placed in my arms all wrapped up in a pink blanket.  She only weighed six pounds. She was two weeks old.  

As I gazed down at her I could not take in that this was our child.  A child that had been given to us because a group of people had prayed that they would be guided to choose the right family.   A child that had been given to us because a girl had made a difficult choice. 

Deep down in my soul I wept for that girl.   Who was she, what were the circumstances?   I would honour that choice and do everything in my power, through the grace of God, to give her child a stable, happy and secure upbringing.

Years later I wrote a poem for her and these are a few verses from it


I never ever knew your name
I never knew from whence you came
But gazing down at the sleeping child
I thought of you and I ached inside.

I bore you up before our God
The sacrifice had been so hard.
One day somehow, somewhere, some place
Would God allow you to see her face.

I loved her, I cared for her, she was my own,
We laughed, we cried she brought joy to our home.
I watched her skate, I heard her sing,
My heart was glad as she served the King.

Mother of my child, you were always in my heart,
I thought of you, I prayed for you, in my life you had a part.
Your eyes, your nose, the colour of your hair,
Your height, your walk what all did she share.

Susie was in plaster of Paris from her toes to her thigh for the first 13 months of her life with only a few breaks. Her leg was in a frog shape. (In the year to come I was paranoid about keeping the plaster clean and was continually cleaning it with shoe whitening. Diapers (in South Africa we call them nappies!) were changed in an instant because nothing could run down into the cast).

She had some painful medical procedures but in all of this was a sweet, friendly little girl who hardly ever cried.

From an early age we, through storytelling, were able to introduce her to the fact that she had a ‘Carry Mommy’.  When she was older we were able to assure her that if ever she wanted to find her birth mother we would support her in her search.  We had had no counseling on how to tell a child that they were adopted.   We never read any books.   God gave us the wisdom because he was already working out His plan.

We phoned the Adoption Agency………..

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…………………….”- New American Standard Version (1995)
Jeremiah 1:5