Helping children find home in family
Published on -9/4/2012, 9:03 AM
In 1981, a ministry was founded to stand beside women considering adoption for their unborn child. Now more than 30 years later, Lifeline Children's Services Inc. has grown into a domestic and international adoption agency, as well as a foster care and orphan care ministry.
What began as a central office housed in Birmingham, Ala., is now located in several other states, including Kansas.
Lifeline Children's Services is a nonprofit, Christian adoption agency that is fully Hague-accredited. The agency serves with a vision to provide a hope and a future for children, women, and families all over the world.
In 2010, I was blessed to be hired as a birth mother counselor in the Birmingham office. It is an honor for me to work with the courageous, selfless women who choose to place their children in stable, two-parent homes.
I have seen many tough situations turn into beautiful adoption stories.
Most people comment on how "neat" and "amazing" my job is. There are definitely many fulfilling moments, and it is an honor to advocate for and support these precious lives. My job encompasses a range of emotions, and a variety of life circumstances that have led the birth family to consider adoption. Imagine the strength it takes for a parent to recognize adoption may be the best choice for their child.
It takes great love and commitment. These women are not "giving up" their children -- they are giving them everything they cannot give at the time.
Our agency could not move forward in our desire for children to have forever families without adoptive mothers and fathers. Domestically, the trend has shifted towards more openness in adoption. This does not mean co-parenting, but is an opportunity for adoption to be a gain and joining of two families, instead of a loss of one. Internationally, there are children all over the world who do not have a home to call their own. Families committed to international adoption are able to choose the country they would like to adopt from. Currently, our agency website lists Colombia, Poland, China, Ukraine, Peru, Uganda, Hungary, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Haiti, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia and Congo as countries available through Lifeline.
Most people are unaware that there are at least 153 million orphans in the world. Many of these children will age out and never have the chance to know the stability and love of a family.
(Un)Adopted is another part of our ministry, birthed out of the recognition that older children need to be equipped and empowered as they are forced to enter an often harsh, cruel world. Along with short-term mission trips, relationships are built in different communities internationally in hopes of creating efficient change and positive transformation.
It is truly difficult for me to put into words how grateful I am to work for this ministry. I believe strongly in what we do. Lifeline is hosting an Information meeting in Hays from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Celebration Community Church, 5790 230th Ave.
Since we are now licensed in Kansas, we are able to work with domestic and international prospective adoptive families, birth mothers and anyone hoping to partner with the ministry of (Un)Adopted. Please look at our website at www.lifelinechild.org, and feel free to call our Topeka office at (785) 783-4565 with additional questions (785-783-4565).
Michelle Staab, Birmingham, Ala., is a 2004 graduate of Hays High School and a 2008 graduate of Fort Hays State University.