Adoption in 2019

“Adoption is a journey of faith, from beginning to end.” – Johnny Carr

 

Every year, our adoption staff updates the ever-changing resources and information about agencies, countries and types of adoption so we can best serve the hundreds of people who come to LSM to learn about their options in adoption or foster care.

 

 

A QUICK LOOK AT ADOPTION IN 2019

 

Whether you are interested in adopting or not, please pray for families considering these realities and the children effected by these statistics.

 

INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION

 

International adoption continues to trend down. In 2018, only 4,059 children were adopted. That’s a 13% decrease from the year before, and a 82% decrease since 2004! (source) LSM will help you find the country(ies) your family is eligible to adopt from, and provide a list of reputable organizations working in those countries.

 

If you’re considering an international adoption, it’s best to be prepared for a 2+ year wait, spending between $30,000 – $45,000 and bringing home a child at least 2 years old with some level of special needs.

 

 

DOMESTIC ADOPTION

 

If you’re considering an infant domestic adoption, expect a wait of 1-2 years and expenses to be around $43,000 when all the fees are done. (source) The more open you are to gender, race, special needs or drug exposure, the more likely you are to find a match. You should also expect some level of an “open” adoption – meaning that the birth mother will have some kind of involvement in the child’s life. Costs and details vary depending on the agency you choose.

 

FOSTER CARE

 

Reunification is always the first priority in the Foster Care system, so if you walk into this process looking to adopt, you will need to keep an open mind. Children coming into your home often have trauma exposure, attachment issues, have suffered abuse or been exposed to alcohol or drugs.

 

There is a huge need for Foster families who are willing to open their homes and hearts to vulnerable children in the States. What a beautiful opportunity to share the Gospel with these children AND their bio families!

 

IS YOUR FAMILY CONSIDERING ADOPTION OR FOSTER CARE? WE CAN HELP.  

 

We know the road can be daunting! Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you navigate the many decisions ahead. We provide FREE, personalized information and support as you consider the best options for your family. You start with a simple online assessment form. From there, the process looks like this:

 

 

It’s our prayer that many families like yours will answer the call to care for vulnerable children. Through the difficult scenarios, we have seen countless stories of God’s goodness as He knits families together!

 


GET INVOLVED:

 

  1. Interested in learning more about how LSM can help you walk through the adoption process all FREE of charge? Start here.

 

  1. Pray for a family you know who might be considering adoption! The task ahead of them is great, both financially, emotionally and spiritually as they raise a child who has come from hard places. Consider how you can support a family you know who is fostering or adopting in your church or community!

 

  1. Support our Home of Hope families in Haiti where a Haitian couple has brought 12 vulnerable children into their family! Learn more here.

 


 

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE AUCTION

Saturday evening, the air was lit with excitement at the LSM Benefit Auction in Indiana. We were overwhelmed by the joyful generosity shared throughout the evening! In fact, this auction turned out to be one of our most successful yet!

 

The night went off without a hitch. To the general viewer, it would be easy to miss the dozens of amazing people behind the scenes that make things run so smoothly. Without the countless hours of time and resources that they put into the day, this auction wouldn’t have the impact it does!

 

 

Here’s just a few of the key roles people fill:

 

Our Volunteer Auction Coordinator, Rachel Gerber, pours countless hours into making sure everyone is on track and things are where they need to be. She’s the organizer and key person behind the auction. We couldn’t say enough good about her work and her generous gift of time and skills. As a young mom, she’s got her hands full, but has taken this ministry on with a calm joy. We love that her kids get to be a part of this, too. They are watching their parents give back with their time and talents!

 

“Organizing and planning are things I really enjoy, so getting to do it for a ministry like LSM has been a neat opportunity these last few years. One of my favorite parts is the conversations it has brought about with my kids. They love when they get to go to the LSM building with me and I love the talks we have about children all over the world and what LSM is doing for those children.” – Rachel Gerber, Volunteer Auction Coordinator

 

 

Ben Dailey is a tech guru who developed an auction software for ministries just like ours. He generously gives of his time and talents to help each person’s giving experience run smoothly.

 

 

Our Auctioneers arrive the night of the auction, and help spread excitement and a deep sense of purpose. Isaac Stoller, a young auctioneer who did a phenomenal job on Saturday, shares a little of what that means to him:

 

“Having the opportunity to be an Auctioneer at the LSM Benefit Auction is an honor and a very rewarding experience. Watching the community come together to raise funds to support the care of vulnerable children is truly amazing! I feel blessed to be a small part of a great event that I care so much about. I look forward to helping this great cause again in the future.” Isaac Stoller, Auctioneer

 

 

Many served in the kitchen and fed hundreds of people in 2 hours. Dozens of others made pies, soup and served food to guests during the event.

 

“What a privilege to help organize and then stand back and watch so many people working together to Glorify God by helping the children of Haiti.” – Jill Fiechter, Volunteer Kitchen Coordinator

 

 

We wanted to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who came, gave, worked and served! This auction would not have been possible without your help! These are just a few of the voices behind the scenes that make events like this possible. We hope it’s a reminder to you too that we all have a part to play in God’s work to care for the vulnerable. Maybe you’re really organized and can join a coordinating team, or perhaps you really enjoy putting together gift baskets for donations. Or maybe you’ve been extra blessed financially and can make a generous matching grant opportunity that encourages others to give just a little bit more (which we were so blessed with this year!)

 

Whatever God has gifted you with, we hope you’re encouraged to find ways to maximize your talents for His Glory!

 

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Didn’t get a chance to be at the Auction? You can make a donation here instead!
  2. Check out our GET INVOLVED page, and let us know how you’d like to serve with LSM.

 

Don’t Miss Out!

Vulnerable children around the world would give anything to know the love and security of a family. LSM is passionate about providing just that, however we can’t do it without your prayers, advocacy and financial support.

 

If you’re in the area, we would love to see you at these upcoming events. Would you please join us in praying for the impact of these nights?


 

IL BENEFIT AUCTION (OCT 12)

 

This Friday, our Central IL friends and family will gather at Five Points Washington for a benefit auction. Each dollar raised will help in making a tangible difference in hundreds of lives! Learn more here and please pray with us.

 

Friday, Oct 12

Starting at 5:30 pm

Five Points Washington, 360 N Wilmor Rd, Washington, IL 61571

 


 

ORPHAN SUNDAY (NOV 11)

 

Churches around the world are uniting in prayer, advocacy and action on Sunday, Nov 11 for Orphan Sunday. We hope you’ll join us for a family-friendly event where you will have the opportunity to step into Haiti and Ethiopia, and walk in an orphan’s shoes. Enjoy a petting zoo and LIVE Gifts of Hope Christmas Catalog experience, do some Christmas shopping and visit our Family Sponsorship Christmas tree. It is our hope that these events will help you connect to the heart of the orphan, and make a real difference! Learn more here and please pray for this global movement to stir many hearts for the vulnerable!

 

Sunday, November 11

4 – 7 pm

LSM Offices: 1935 N Main Street, Bluffton, IN 46714

 

If you can’t make the event, you can still participate!


 

Take Action:

  1. Sign up for our emails and don’t miss updates and future events.
  2. Join our prayer emails.
  3. You can still give if you can’t make it to an event. Partner here.

 


 

Summer Highlights from Haiti

This summer was full of great activities for our Homes of Hope! Here are a few highlights:


Summer Internships

Six of our older Home of Hope kids had internships this summer! Five children spent the summer working at LSM’s Nouvelle Aube Grocery store, and one interned with our architect, Jose. We’re thankful for the amazing opportunities these young adults had!

 

Field Trips & Picnics

Our Haitian staff arranged a field trip for several Home of Hope children who excelled in school this year. They had a fun day at the beach, exploring a cave, and visiting a nearby village. There are many Bible contests and soccer tournaments that Home of Hope children participate in at VBS. The winners were treated to a picnic as a reward!

 

 

Parent Seminars

Jean Wesly, our new Trauma Healing Coordinator, held a parent seminar to continue teaching our parents about the effects of trauma in their children’s lives. There were helpful discussions and testimonies as parents shared what has worked well for them. These quarterly seminars are crucial for our Home of Hope parents in equipping them, and helping them feel supported in their parenting!

 

 

Leadership Camps

Seventeen older Home of Hope kids visited LSM Tech for our first annual Leadership Camp. They toured LSM’s Industrial Site, Block Plant and Ag Park. They heard motivational speakers and even worked on their own public speaking skills. We’re excited to see how events like this can aid and support these young adults as they reach adulthood!

 


This work is crucial to our mission: equipping children to reach their full, God-given potential. But we can’t do it without you. Here are three ways you can get involved:

  1. Join the prayer team.

  2. Become a Family sponsor.

  3. Give a one-time gift.


 

You can also keep up to speed on the big things happening at LSM through our Monthly Ministry Updates and Newsletters! If you’re not currently subscribed, do that here.

 


 

Unrest in Haiti

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

On Friday, the Haitian government announced a steep increase in fuel prices (38% increase in gasoline, 47% for diesel and 51% for kerosene) that resulted in violent protests across the country.

 

In recent months, the cost of living in Haiti has increased dramatically, causing rising discontent and anger at the difficulties of daily life. Fuel increases became a tipping point in already rising frustrations.

 

 

While President Moise has now put a temporary hold on this fuel increase in an effort to appease the protesters, the situation remains tense.

 

It’s been a scary weekend for many in Haiti amidst burning cars, roadblocks and looting. LSM’s staff and families are safe, but everyone remains on high alert.

 


Please pray for:

  • The continued safety of our staff and Home of Hope families
  • Vigilant caution from our staff as they maintain operations
  • Peace in the country and economic solutions for the poor who struggle every day just to survive
  • For the vulnerable children (orphans, child slaves and at-risk children) who are often the first to suffer the downstream effects of the unrest

 

Find more background & pictures here.

 

Announcing the New President of LSM!

Sixteen years ago, in 2002, Loving Shepherd Ministries began operations caring for the world’s most vulnerable children and helping them reach their God-given potential.

 

IN THE LAST 16 YEARS, LSM…

…Assisted over 8,000 U.S. families in their adoption journeys. The operations in Haiti have dramatically grown to 20 Homes of Hope providing permanent families for 240 children. There are now multiple businesses in Haiti providing long-term sustainability. In Ethiopia, programs are assisting many young single mothers with vulnerable children to find employment, healing and thus hope for their future.

 

 

A NEW SEASON

Ed Schwartz, as Founder & President, along with LSM’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce that effective June 10, 2018, Doug Isch, LSM’s Vice President, assumed the responsibility and position of President of Loving Shepherd Ministries.

 

Ed will continue as Director of New Initiatives, providing the direction for future new projects and growth opportunities.

 

A NOTE FROM ED & DOUG

Regarding the changes, Ed states, “It’s been a joy to work alongside Doug for 16 years. His gifts and talents provide great attention to detail and excellence, which is the focus LSM has had and will be having as we look to the future. I look forward to his leadership. I’m thankful for an excellent staff and board of directors, who make it all happen. We thank God who certainly has done exceeding abundantly above all we could have ever imagined or thought.”

 

Doug states, “I am thankful to have had such a great example of servant leadership from Ed over the last 16 years. I am thankful he will continue on with the leadership team of LSM as we continue to work to achieve the mission and vision God has given to LSM. We have a great organization with extremely talented and godly people who help to make LSM an instrument God can use in His Kingdom purposes.”

 


We are excited for the future, and thank each of you for your prayers, partnership and advocacy on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children!

Read more about the history of LSM here.


 

Beating the Odds

The school year is coming to a close – and we’re proud to announce that two of our Home of Hope children in Haiti are graduating High School! Lukenson and Sadwina* have worked so hard to get to this point – and we couldn’t be more proud of them!

 

LSM is helping them beat the odds with opportunities they never could have dreamed of before.

 

LUKENSON’S JOURNEY

 

Through a tremendous continuum of care and the support of his Home of Hope parents, LSM staff and brothers, Lukenson is planning to attend University in the Fall for Civil Engineering!

 

But what an incredible journey it’s been to this point.

 

Before LSM, Lukenson’s family farmed and had many children to feed. Education was a luxury they couldn’t afford. Every time Lukenson would begin classes, someone would get sick from drinking unclean water or from severe malnutrition and the money would run out. Distraught with the weight of an increasingly desperate situation, it was likely he would be sent away to live with another family as a restavek (child slave.)

Terrified at the thought of an unknown future and desperate for hope, Lukenson never dreamed of the opportunities that would come in his future, or the incredible turn of events that would change his life.

 

That was 10 years ago.

 

 

Instead of becoming a restavek in distant area, Lukenson was able to come to an LSM Home of Hope! Dominque and Mereville, Lukenson’s Home of Hope parents, have loved and supported him through years of catching up in school, and raised him as their own. Today, he’s become a talented and sweet young man who has big dreams for his future. And although proud of their son – it’s bittersweet as they watch their precious child move on to college.

 

And next year, when more students graduate, both he and Sadwina will be able to move to LSM Tech, a campus setting where they can live while attending University. At LSM Tech they’ll also receive biblical training, computer and English skills and more leadership training. At the same time, they’ll work at the Ag Park as part of their tuition, further expanding their skill set and work ethic.

 

10 years is a labor of love. But it’s one that’s worth investing in.

 

Lukenson, Sadwina and 240+ children that follow them are receiving a full continuum of care that equips them as godly leaders in their community. We can’t wait to see what God does with Lukenson and the rest of the children he’s granted into our Homes.

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Become a Family Sponsor and get to know these children on a personal basis.
  2. Invest in our Home of Hope children’s future. (select LSM Tech in the drop down menu.)
  3. Become a prayer partner.

*names changed for privacy

Open House, Open Doors

We celebrated this new season God has given LSM with an Open House on April 15. It was an incredible gathering of 434 guests – both new faces from the local community and people who have deeply invested their time, talents and finances with the ministry over the years.

Official Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Ted Ellis.

 

 

“Sometimes our missions and visions are restricted by our lack of faith or lack of space. God took care of both when He made this facility available to LSM. Having the new campus opened our eyes to huge possibilities of old and new ways to serve Him while serving others. He truly is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.” – Ed Schwartz, Founder & President

 

HERE’S JUST A FEW OF THE INCREDIBLE DOORS THAT HAVE BEEN OPENED THROUGH THIS NEW SPACE:

 

HAITI EDUCATION WING

Our brand-new HAITI EDUCATION WING provides an immersive experience for the whole family, following the life of Anne Marie (a former Haitian child slave) through our complete Continuum of Care. As you work your way through interactive displays and listen to her story, you’ll be deeply touched by the journey both she, and many of our children, have faced – and the amazing opportunities open to them today.

 

It’s a powerful way to learn about life in Haiti, see the challenges facing vulnerable children and be encouraged at the work that is changing lives!

 

THE GOSPEL PROJECT

This new location has allowed us to start new endeavors like THE GOSPEL PROJECT which will reach rural Haitians with the Gospel, give exciting volunteer opportunities for local US groups and teach our Home of Hope children the value of sharing with their neighbors.

 

 

ETHIOPIA & ADOPTION RESOURCES

Guests also learned more about our programs in Ethiopia and the U.S. and were encouraged at the scope of what is happening around the world. From working with single mothers and their vulnerable children in Ethiopia to providing high quality, FREE Adoption Resources for families in the US– LSM is all about empowering the vulnerable to reach their God-given potential. For many, the Open House provided a great space to ask questions and learn more about the scope of our work they were less familiar with in different countries.

 

 

The Open House was a beautiful reminder of what is to come. God is working, and opportunities are growing. Many thanks to everyone who came and showed support! We can’t wait to see what God does in the future!

 


 

GET INVOLVED:

 If you would like to be on a mailing list for future volunteer opportunities and to experience the Haiti Education Wing,

please sign up here! 

 


 

12 Little Boys Are Welcomed Home!

This summer, because of your heartfelt prayers and financial support, 12 little boys were rescued from a life of rejection, pain and exploitation as we opened the doors to their new home-the La Source Home of Hope!

 

For the first time, each one of these boys can look toward a future free of fear and full of possibilities, surrounded by the love of a mom and dad within a safe, nurturing family!

 

First picture as a family of 14!

 

Imagine the ripple effects these little boys will have on their community as they reach their God-given potential! 

 

 

Thank you for the powerful ways you are making life transformations with once vulnerable children. It is both humbling and exciting to see the Body of Christ working together far beyond what we could ever imagine, bringing lasting hope to children who need it most.

 

The family shared their first meal together at the opening celebration. Many of the boys have never seen this much food at one time!

 

Our LSM team shared their passion and joy at the opening of La Source.

A JOB OPENING & A CALL TO PRAYER

We are privileged to serve more than 240 vulnerable children and 40 single mothers in Haiti and Ethiopia. Our small U.S. staff supports LSM’s vision through fundraising and mobilization with the U.S. church. It’s our heart to always empower people in their own cultures and communities to care for the vulnerable children among them. As we continue to expand our ministry in Haiti and Ethiopia, we have growing needs here in the United States as well.

 

Do you sense God calling you to join the LSM Team? Or do you know of someone who would qualify for this role and has a heart to join this life-changing work?


 

JOB OPENING: MOBILIZATION COORDINATOR

 

LSM is seeking to fill an immediate need for a Christ-centered, highly motivated individual to help build and develop relationships with ministry partners via digital marketing, social media, and regional awareness campaigns. Candidates must be willing to work from LSM’s Bluffton, Indiana, offices. Ideal candidates will have professional social media experience, possess very strong writing and communication skills, be able to do public speaking and networking, and be effective at scheduling and making their own appointments. 

 

Please contact Joe Gerber at joe@loving-shepherd.org to receive a full job description and more information about the position.

 


Please join us in praying for the right people to continue to join the LSM team here in the States, in Haiti and in Ethiopia.

 

  1. Share this job opening with a friend who might be qualified.
  2. Join the LSM Prayer Team.
  3. Give to the incredible life-changing work.

 

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