Showing posts from September, 2019

I Once Called Him my Son

By Kristen Hershey It was the summer of 2015.   We received a phone call from a family member, sharing that they knew of a situation where a young lady was pregnant and looking for a family to adopt her child.   We were interested.   Just five years earlier, we had the privilege of adopting our first child, our daughter, and we hoped to grow our family again.   We connected with the young lady, who lived in another state, and in ways only the Lord could orchestrate, we were able to meet up with her and the biological father.   We were cautious.   We had to put ourselves out there and take a risk, but as we prayed, we felt the Lord leading and guiding us.   Our meeting with the young couple went well.   So well that they wanted to move forward with a private adoption.   Their baby—our baby—was just weeks away from being born.   As we returned home and began to prepare, both physically and emotionally, we sought the counsel of adoption professionals, family members, and e

Don't Leave Us Behind: A Letter From a Single Friend

By Jan Heindel PC: Freddy Castro, Unsplash Side note: This is a somewhat vulnerable topic to share about, but it's reality, and I think sometimes we're too afraid to talk about those sensitive areas because of the fear of coming across as insensitive. But isn't ignoring it just as bad? Here's the thing about now being an "older" single woman: though singleness has its advantages, it can also be an incredibly isolating place (compounded as a single female expat).  I don't deny that those in marriages also experience loneliness and isolation, and I grieve with those of you in that. As a younger single woman, I had more friends who also shared this single stage of life with me, and I have often reflected that when I was surrounded by good friends who were also single, who could relate, who had the freedom to be spontaneous on a Friday night or the availability to go on vacation with me, I was fairly content. I felt understood and like I had

How to Cope when Your World Changes Instantly

By Meghan Sensenig “Your dad is missing.” Up until that point there was still hope that in the chaos of the day my father was busy with work and thus unaccounted for. But as members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) left my house on the evening of September 11, 2001, we would just be starting a journey that my sister, mother, and I never expected to be on. My dad, Bruce Van Hine, was part of FDNY Squad 41 in the Bronx, a n elite company whose members have special training in haz-mat, dive rescue, and technical rescue incidents. His entire Squad that day of 5 firefighters and his lieutenant, would be immediately sent downtown when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. My dad, along with 342 other firefighters who responded to the terrorist attack on 9/11/01, would never make it home from their shift.  In one day, the whole world changed. My whole world changed. The nation at that time was in a place of uncertainty, anger, and grief as the reality that

Can Parenting be my Hard Place?

By Whitney Bausman A sweet moment—what I thought parenting would look like. Can parenting be my hard place? When wombs are barren and cribs are empty and hearts are riddled with child-shaped holes. When disease and death steal innocence and the frivolity of youth. When others long for and beg for even a taste of the feast that has been set before me. When what I have been given is so clearly a gift…even if it often comes in tattered, snot-covered, Play-Doh-crusted wrapping paper. The answer? Well, the answer is a big-old, shout-it-from-the-rooftops YES. God made me a mom about five years ago when He blessed me with the most inquisitive and perceptive little boy, and then saw fit to double the love when He gifted me with a nurturing, animal-loving daughter not even two years later. Hands down, Clark and Annie are two of my three most favorite people on Planet Earth. They are cuter-than-cute, sometimes really tender-hearted, and downright hilarious (ask anyone…), but