Tender Hearts Grand Opening Celebration

I am not even sure where to begin.  The trip to Uganda last week and the grand opening of Tender Hearts Baby Home was overwhelming to say the least.  First, I want to thank all the mission team members from Nightlight’s team and Grace Life Fellowship for working so hard to get the final touches complete before the event.  Everyone worked so hard.  Over 200 people attended the event.  A few attendees were from the US, but many were from the local community.  Those in attendance included probation officers, police officers, friends and family of the Ngandas, church members, grandparents of children adopted through Tender Hearts into the US, and families who had been reunited with their children.  All in all, it was a great day and a great celebration!  We all sat back in amazement observing what God has done since 2009, when I made that first trip to Uganda and met Ken and Cathy for the first time.  We want to give God all the glory and honor.  He is able!

Uganda 1

The Entrance Gate to the Baby’s Home

Uganda 2

Twenty-three team members from two teams

In Uganda, when you are excited about something, you dance!

Uganda 4

Ken and Cathy honored all of the Tender Hearts staff.

Uganda 5

A few of the children performed for us.

Uganda 6

Ken and Cathy gave speeches and thanked everyone who had helped bring the Baby Home to this point.

Uganda 7

One story that really touched my heart was of a father whose son had gone missing for 10 months.  He had left his son in the care of relatives while he traveled.  When he returned, the relatives told him they had abandoned the boy because they thought he would not be returning.  He searched for him for 10 months.  He went to radio stations and ran advertisements to no avail.  That young boy is named Alex.  He is 6 years old.  Alex was found by local police and sent to Tender Hearts.  He was old enough to tell his caretakers some things about his family.  The social workers were able to locate his grandfather who called his father.  Alex’s father spoke at the grand opening and said, “Can you believe that these people cared for my son for 10 months, and they did not ask me to pay anything?”

Uganda 8

Alex and his Dad

Their story is one of many reunifications that have happened in Uganda through Tender Hearts.  In 5 years, they have had 90 children come through their doors.  Of those 90 children, 18 have been adopted into loving homes in the United States.  Tender Hearts is currently carrying for 28 children.  Thank you Ken and Cathy for your heart for children and for answering God’s call to care for orphans.

2011 5k for Adoption Awareness

Thanks to all the runners that came out on June 11th for our 3rd Annual 5K. We felt that it was a very successful year and we have learned much for next year’s race. We had a total of 211 runners that came out in support of our 5K! Nightlight also raised $5,000 from our sponsors and registrants! Thank you to all of our runners, sponsors and 5K committee that made all this possible!

Race results and awards have been posted at It’s About Time. Many thanks to Tiffany Anne Photography for the lovely photos taken at the event — from start to finish! Here are three photos, ans you can view many of the photos at our 5k page.

Coming soon: the 2011 Colorado Summer Tour from…

Group at Lilly LakeAs you probably already know, Nightlight Christian Adoptions has been bringing tour groups from orphanages in Russia nearly every summer since 1995.

These Summer Tour trips have been a special opportunity for kids to experience life in a U.S. family, perform traditional songs/dances in dozens of churches and venues and experience some of the most exciting activities Southern California has to offer.

Last year, Nightlight’s Tour program expanded even further, with the first Tour group coming to the state of Colorado. A group of  nine kids from St. Petersburg, Russia (see photo to right) enjoyed a full week in northern Colorado, performing at three local churches and enjoying local activities including hiking, fishing and horseback riding.

Local orphan ministry group Every Child Has a Name partnered with Nightlight in making this Tour visit an overwhelming success.

In 2011, we have some good news and some bad news regarding the Colorado Summer Tour. Continue reading

5k for adoption: run on June 11, help today!

KidsNightlight Christian Adoptions South Carolina office is holding our 3rd Annual Adoption Awareness 5K on June 11, 2011. Over the last two years, our in-house staff have planned and organized the 5K on our own. Last year, we reached out for help but were only able to find volunteers for the day of the event. Nightlight Christian Adoptions is a non profit organization that relies heavily on fundraisers and community support. This year, we are asking again for volunteers to step up to be on the planning committee. We promise not to take too much of your time and to allow you to use your strengths in whatever committee position you fill, but we NEED you. If you are passionate about adoption and want to promote adoption in your community, this is a perfect opportunity. We will hold committee meetings to best fit the members’ schedules. If you are interested in helping us with planning, please contact us as soon as possible. June 11, 2011 will be here before we know it.

Be Our Guest: Luncheon for Pastors and Laypersons, March 31st

cambodianHelping the Church Help the Orphan

If you are a pastor or a layperson in North or South Carolina starting or involved in an orphan ministry, we want to provide you with tools and resources to assist you. It takes more than a commitment to follow the mandate to care for the fatherless. Prayer, fellowship, awareness of the need and tools to meet the need are all essential. Let us encourage you in the work and give concrete steps to help you further your church’s ministry.

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011
Time: 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
(arrive anytime after 11:30 a.m.)
Where: Brick Street Cafe
315 Augusta Street, Greenville
RSVP: Laura Beauvais-Godwin, laurag@nightlight.org

Dan Cruver
Together for Adoption and author of Reclaiming Adoption

Dr. Rhonda Littleton
A Home for Me, Simpsonville First Baptist Church

We hope you will join us as our guest for this informational luncheon. Included at the luncheon will be many resources along with a copy of Dan Cruver’s new book Reclaiming Adoption.

Carolina Christian Alliance for Orphans Pastor’s Luncheon

Families, staff make 2011 Nightlight Gala an overwhelming success

What happens when like-minded people come together for a night of great food and great fun in support of a great cause?

Great things, of course. And that’s exactly what happened this past Saturday, March 12th at the 2011 Nightlight Gala and Auction.

This year’s Gala was hosted at the elegant and comfortable Meridian Club in Fullerton, Calif. Over 160 people were in attendance, in addition to staff from all three of Nightlight’s offices, allowing families, supporters, board members and staff to celebrate together.

Highlighting the event were encouraging stories from three Nightlight families who have adopted internationally, domestically as well as through the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program. These families shared stories of challenge but ultimate triumph in bringing their children home.

“It was so good to see how excited everyone was to be at the event, to meet new people and to see friends they hadn’t seen for a long time,” said Kate Zyubenko, Nightlight International Program Manager. “I was happy to see so many adopted children there, all of whom are doing just beautifully.” Continue reading

Domestic Adoption Support Group, Nov 29th

little-boy-thoughtBen, who is 28 years old and works in a large church ministry  in SC,  was adopted shortly after birth and learned of his adoption story from his parents when he was four years old.  He has dealt with feelings of  grief and loss.  In addition he has had a  desire to know more about his birth family.

You may want hear how someone who grew up in a Christian family could have adoption-related issues.  He will share what he believes you, as adoptive parents, can do to help your child have a more positive sense of self.  If you have adopted internationally,  you  may also want to attend.

Ben has suggestions as to what he believes parents can say and how they can respond to their children’s questions and desire to search for their birth families.

This Adoption Support Group meets every 4th Monday of month at the Vine Community Church, Taylors, SC.

For more information contact Laura Godwin at Nightlight 864 268-0570 or Laura@nightlight.org

National Adoption Day Celebration At Greenville Family Court House

National Adoption Celebration November 18 , 2010
Greenville County Family Court House Conference Room
301 University Ridge
Greenville, SC
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Proclamation Honoring National Adoption Day
Mayor Knox White
11:00 a.m.

We will be honoring the families who are finalizing their adoptions on this special day. Each year the family court houses around the state set aside a day during National Adoption Month to finalize adoptions. Continue reading

Adoption Seminars in SC, Nov. 18 & 20

Next week, our China facilitator Sabrina Chang and Russia coordinator Kate Zyubenko will be in South Carolina at two adoption seminars, one in Lake Wylie (Nov. 18) and the other in Moore (Nov. 20).

These are very special events featuring the China Special Needs Program, the Russia program, and the Ukraine/Hosting Program.

In addition to our China facilitator and Russia coordinator, we will have a panel of adoptive parents who have adopted from these programs present. Attendees will be able to ask questions to the families.

Making It Easy to Celebrate Orphan Sunday, November 7th

We at Nightlight are here to help you celebrate Orphan Sunday. If you live in CA, CO, or SC, one of our staff may be available to attend your church and assist you in having an orphan-related event. If you are in another state, one of our adoption advocates may be able to help you celebrate.

What Can We All Do Beyond Orphan Sunday?

OrphanSunday.org has many ideas and resources for making your congregation aware of orphan care and adoption. You do not have to “reinvent the wheel.”

Here are some other ideas and resources available here in SC.

  • Have your church help support Tender Hearts Baby Home in Uganda. When you support this home, you are helping orphans with the basic necessities. Contact lisa@nightlight.org
  • Have a youth retreat that focuses on orphan care and adoption using youth pastor developed curriculum called “Who’s Your Daddy.” Contact Laura@nightlight.org
  • Have your youth pastor present “Adopt the Option,” a professional presentation that helps youth explore their feelings about facing an unplanned pregnancy and the choices that are available.  Contact Laura@nightlight.org
  • Have a Sunday School class discuss orphan care. Hope for Orphans at HopeforOrphans.com has Sunday School materials available for school-age children and adults.

Learn more at www.showhope.org/orphansunday

  • Show Hope and Steven Curtis Chapman teamed up with VeggieTales on the new video It’s a Meaningful Life, This latest installment of VeggieTales includes an adoption story featuring Stevie Joy Chapman, SCC’s daughter! Learn more at www.showhope.org/veggie
  • The Bair Foundation,   Keonate Jenkins-Davis at  kjenkins-davis@bair.org and Miracle Hill Ministries , Sharon Betts at sbetts@miraclehill.org provide training , homestudy services, and opportunities to become foster parents.
  • Attend an adoption informational meeting in SC or CA: Visit http://nightlight.org/adoption-seminars-events/default.aspx or Contact Laura@nightlight.org

Contact us to learn how to obtain resources. We are here to help.

Laura Beauvais-Godwin, SC Coordinator for Orphan Sunday