Author Archives: WAGIteam

Searching for the You We Adore {get it here exclusively}

Our love searched the whole world for the you we adore.

It’s how it starts, a book we all want to read. A book with a message we all want to give our kids, a message that makes us take a deep breath.

You are valuable.
You are worth searching the whole world up and down for.
And, I am so glad I did.

Bestselling children’s illustrator Richard Cowdrey brings the words and underlying messages to life with playful color and adventure on every page. And, Valerie Westfall’s words empower parents to say I love you in a creative way to their child adopted domestically or brought home from every corner of the world.

Moms and dads have been reading it aloud to their babes before bed and have given the book as gifts to their children as they leave for college. It’s been given as a shower gift and purchased for university libraries for graduate students to better understand what a child needs and how important connection is.

It’s kind of wonderful. And, we’re thrilled that because of a generous donor’s belief in the work we do for children and families, we now have all remaining stock of this book to offer to you. 

To order your copy, click HERE. There is a form to complete and information about how to pay the $20 for it to be shipped to you. We also have a coordinating activity book available for an additional $5 featuring more creative ways to engage with the book and with each other.


ORDER HERE

What others have said, in case you need a little more convincing:

“…a deceptively simple book that delivers a profound message of love and family.”
-Andrea Poe, The Washington Times

“…The enchanting story and wondrous illustrations draw on a child’s fascination with imaginary play—a powerful tool in developing their self-image.”
-Louise Bachtold, Phd., Professor Emeritus Human Development, University of California

“This is a book we know at first glance belongs in school and classroom libraries everywhere, as well as in the homes of adoptive families.”
-Teachers.net

“There are as many stories of adoptive families as there are children who joined their families through adoption. And while one book can certainly never encapsulate the myriad experiences that exist, Valerie Westfall’s Searching for the You We Adore comes as close as any book can. Lovingly and expertly illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Richard Cowdrey, this book takes young readers on a journey—at the core of which is love.”
-Samantha Hines, Editor, My Three Sons – Best of Adoption Blogs

“Adoption is different for every family it touches, but the love and longing for a child is the same. This book puts that love in the spotlight as the message…and your child as the main character.”
-Amy McCollum, adoptive parent

“Beautifully written and illustrated, it will bring tears to your eyes. My children will never outgrow this book!”
-Leslie Wozniak, adoptive parent

Searching for the You We Adore is a book that will be treasured, taken to heart, and become part of the tapestry of who you are, for it touches deep within the heart of a child, and also the adult.”
-Jody Capeheart, Educator and School Administrator

ORDER HERE

BE KIND. Help us keep helping.

Maybe you’ve heard. Working in China right now is a little tricky. New countrywide policies for foreign nonprofits working there are leading a lot of nonprofits to pack their bags and head elsewhere. We’ve thought about that. And, frankly, it would make our lives a bit easier. But, we are not convinced that’s what we should be doing. In fact, we’re pretty convinced that we’re being called to press on in spite of it all.

This fall, we’re heading over there once again, going to three different cities, visiting caregivers and children they care for, and doing all we can to build new relationships and secure existing ones so we can keep on helping not just this year but for many years to come.

Will you stand with us to that end? We’ve got a bunch of different ways you can do that.

 

  • SIMPLY GIVE. Click on DONATE and give. We need that so we can buy supplies and gifts to give to our Chinese friends.

 

  • KINDLY ORDER SOMETHING. We have several fundraisers we’re running with–BE KIND shirts (accepting orders until September 10th!), Searching for the You We Adore books (exclusively from us!), and handmade wrap bracelets from friends in Beijing (75 sold already and more ordered and arriving September 6th!).

  • SHOP FROM OUR PARTNERS. We’ve got a number of shops and businesses partnering with us in significant ways, donating a fixed amount per order or a percentage of sales. Shop purposefully and they’ll give to support our orphan care initiatives! Check them out HERE, and let us know if you have someone who might want to join the effort.

Together Called 2018 Announcement

You don’t need another conference. You need connection; you need each other. You need rest so you can press on in what you have been together called to do.

That’s what Together Called 2018 is all about. Over March 23rd-25th, at the beautiful Bear Creek Mountain Resort nestled on 330 acres in Berks County, Pennsylvania (approximately 90 minute drive from the Philadelphia Airport and 35 minute drive from Lehigh Valley International Airport), Together Called provides an opportunity for husbands and wives to step out of the chaos called everyday life and be encouraged, a place for us to learn and fellowship together as individual couples and as a community.

Whether you are just starting out in your fostering or adoption journey or completed your family years ago, you belong here. Every part of the plans for the weekend is to allow God to meet you right where you are no matter where that is. Part of those plans include bringing you keynote speakers to remind you of Truth and encourage you to connect deeply with each other and our Father God who loves us.

We can’t wait to welcome Katherine and Jeffrey Reed to our Together Called leadership team for our 6th Together Called.

Married over 20 years, Katherine and Jeffrey Reed live south of Nashville, Tennessee with their four kiddos, one of whom joined their family via adoption.

Throughout their marriage, Jeffrey has served in full-time ministry in all sorts of formal roles in the church including as executive pastor, senior pastor, worship pastor, and family and children’s pastor. In the early 90s, he wrote and produced music, including music that was a part of the 1996 Olympics. In 2013, he became the director of LifeWay Kids, one of the largest children’s ministry organizations in the world. LifeWay serves over 60,000 churches across the country and hosts more than 250,000 through its summer camps. Currently, Jeffrey serves churches directly as a ministry partner and travels and speaks at churches and various events across the country.

Katherine has served alongside Jeffrey in multiple roles in the church and in the world of education. Her Master’s degree in special education and experience working with children with all sorts of different needs allow her to speak both as a professional and as a wife and mother who has been in the trenches herself. She has written for Parent Life magazine and currently serves as the children’s ministry director at the Church at Spring Hill, near Nashville.

Make sure you join our mailing list for registration reminders, and check back to our website under RETREATS for more detailed information and the link to register for Together Called 2018 as October approaches!

Changes to China’s Program

Only a couple weeks ago, the new leadership of the CCCWA, the department in Beijing that handles all adoptions, published changes effective immediately for families applying to adopt from China. This morning, agencies started their work day with another announcement from the CCCWA, this time referring to agencies themselves.

The announcement was distributed in both Mandarin and English. Here is the full English translation.

Announcement
July 18, 2017

Relevant government departments and adoption agencies in receiving countries, Following the enactment of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Non-Governmental Organizations within the Territory of China (hereinafter referred to as Administration Law) since January 1, we would like to notify as follows on relevant issues about the programs carried out by adoption agencies such as the One-to-One Assistance Program, Journey of Hope Program, and Summer/Winter Hosting Program based on the regulations of the Administrative law and conclusions of competent authorities:
I. All activities concerning the One-to-One program, Journey of Hope Program, and Summer/Winter Hosting Program will be terminated. For children who have been assessed by adoption agencies through the One-to-One program before the enactment of the Administrative Law and whose reports have not been submitted to CCCWA, if their reports are submitted through the provincial department of civil affairs to CCCWA before December 31, 2017 (subjected to the approval date of the provincial department), CCCWA will post these files to the specific list of the original adoption agency. Agencies are requested to look for children within required deadline, otherwise the files will be withdrawn by CCCWA when the deadline is closing.
II. Foreign adoption agencies should abide by the business scope specified in the registration when working in China. No activities with inter-country adoption as the purpose are allowed when agencies work in welfare and charity related activities.
III. Adoption agencies should look for adoptive families according to the requirements outlined in the Review Points for Decision on the Eligibility of Foreigners Adopting from China and avoid hasty placements without discretion within the deadline.

China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption Center

What we know from this announcement is that the 1:1 partnerships between agencies and orphanages that has been established for years will end at the end of this year. Also, group trips to orphanages by agencies for the purpose of advocacy and hosting programs bringing waiting children to the US for advocacy will not be allowed. What we do not know is how agencies will receive files for waiting families once the rush to secure files from their partnership orphanages this fall ends. Agencies have already submitted that question to the CCCWA today as well as suggestions of alternate matching processes to all files going to one shared list as it had been done years ago. What we are also waiting to hear is if agencies will be permitted to “work in welfare and charity related activities” if adoption is not the purpose. Point II seems to make that a distinct possibility which is very good news. Of course, if advocacy is not officially allowed to be part of those efforts, many agencies may not as interested in the work as they have been. We still are. And, we will continue to pursue how we can care for caregivers and the children in their care. Clearly, this is not without challenges; but no significant work is. We’re all putting our heads together as are our friends in China to figure it out.

China remains the largest international adoption program in the world and has been the most stable and predictable for years. We know that any change to a well established program can feel unsettling. However, we are confident that the program will continue and, quite possibly, be managed better than it has been as the new director of the CCCWA and governing leaders work hard to come up with a program that will benefit children and Chinese orphanages and best ensure the long-term success of those children in families.

Help is here!

There’s a book in the Bible called Exodus. It’s all about God’s faithfulness and grace towards a people who didn’t deserve it and His power to do the seemingly impossible. In it, God saves the Israelites from slavery bringing them right through the Red Sea, they wander the desert with God providing manna from heaven to meet their needs, God gives them the ten commandments, and He comes to dwell among them in the tabernacle. In chapter 18, Moses takes a breath from it all and has a heart to heart with his father-in-law Jethro. Moses tells him all the good stuff that’s been happening, all the things worthy of celebrating, the stories he never imagined he’d be able to tell. He also tells him all the challenges they’ve faced along the way and where they’ve seen great victory and where they hope to see victory still. Jethro listens and affirms and encourages and then he challenges.

Why are you doing this all alone? You’re going to wear yourself out and if you do, what will happen to the people you serve? Moses, this job is too heavy a burden for you to try to handle all by yourself.

Here in our little corner of a suburb of Philadelphia, in our brand new office, that’s the message we heard. We need some help to both carry our burden and increase our capacity for whatever burden God trusts us with.

Last week, help arrived pulling a U-Haul trailer with Texas plates.

When our favorite physical therapists weren’t able to make our orphanage team trip this past October (new babies have a way of affecting plans), I told them I understood entirely…and that they’d have to recruit two doctors to take their place. One of those doctors was Erin. They told me she was faithful, mission minded, an excellent pediatric physical therapist in Texas for over 6 years, and delightful. They knew she’d been feeling a nudge for something but she didn’t know what. China was never on her “bucket list,” but she was willing. They told me this was the perfect trip for her, that it would meet our need and Erin’s as well. They were right.

The October orphanage trip moved her profoundly. That place she had never been particularly drawn to now captivated her. She was overwhelmed by how hard the staff worked in attempts to meet the needs of the children. She was humbled by their servant heartedness to do this work for years on end with little to no recognition. She was astounded by the resilience of the children to overcome. Life changed for her. A second trip with us to a new orphanage only a couple months later sealed the deal for her and for us.

A few weeks ago, Erin finished her last day practicing physical therapy in Forth Worth, Texas and started packing up her bags. Last week, she packed those bags into a trailer with her little dog Calvin by her side and started the journey to the Northeast to join our team!

While practicing physical therapy privately here part time, she’s going to be a part of everything that The Sparrow Fund currently does to provide support to adoptive families and children without families and their caregivers as well as seek out and pursue growth opportunities to do all that better.

Join us as we celebrate all the parted waters and manna He’s provided, and join us as we welcome Erin!

Announcing Recharge 2017

Recharge Men’s Retreat

Every story of how each of our families got to where we are today is entirely unique. As different as our families are, perhaps there is something we as husbands and fathers share. It is the desire to do what is right for our wives and children and, ultimately, our God and the realization that that is very, very hard.

For 5 years, The Sparrow Fund has hosted a marriage retreat to pour into couples committed to living out their calling together. In November 2017, we are hosting our first men’s retreat limited to only 35 men. We’ve named it appropriately Recharge as every part of the time is designed to do just that. We don’t want to add items to your to-do list or call out where you may be falling short. Instead, our hope is for every man there to be reminded that he matters and that he can be a powerful nurturer and hope-giver for his family.

Whether you are just starting out in your fostering or adoption journey or completed your family years ago, you belong here. Register starting Sunday, June 11th at 9:00pm EST for our November 9th-11th retreat at the beautiful Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center nestled on 80 acres of woodland in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (approximately 90 minutes west of Philadelphia and 30 minutes east of Hershey).

Check THIS PAGE for more details as they’re set (we’re still figuring all of them out) and the link to register next week.

Our You-Are-A-Good-Mom Mother’s Day Giveaway

In the midst of trying to remember dentist appointments and when ball team sign ups are and teacher appreciation week and shopping for birthday gifts, there’s something that’s really easy to forget. It’s easy to forget that you are what your child needs. You. Imperfect you. The one who doesn’t get it right all the time. The one who wonders if she’s getting it right even some of the time. You are a good mom.

Just to help you and all of us remember, we’re hosting a little giveaway. It’s not a fundraiser; it’s just a joyraiser and a community builder. And, we want you to be a part of it.

HERE’S HOW:

  • Look on your phone for a picture that gives a snapshot of this season of motherhood for you. Could be you on the sidelines of a big game or a graduation. Could be you pushing an overflowing shopping cart or a baby carriage. Whatever you want to share, share it.
  • Tag The Sparrow Fund on Facebook or @sparrowfund on Instagram
  • Use #IAMAGOODMOM

After Mother’s Day this Sunday, we’ll pick one winner and send out a prize package worth over $100 including goodies from The Sparrow Fund, Jenny Borba Designs, and Fund the Nations.

Big Dreams {The Sparrow Fund’s New Space!}

It was on a dining room table, a coffee table, and a small desk in a little den where The Sparrow Fund has functioned for 6 years. But, as The Sparrow Fund grew from a little nonprofit giving grants to a handful of families to a bigger team effort to include training, counsel, a marriage retreat, and short-term trips to orphanages to care for caregivers and the children there, it became pretty clear that leading this effort from wherever it could fit would no longer work.

Big dreams led to bigger dreams as encouragement from our community confirmed that a designated space wouldn’t just be nice; it was actually needed for our team to not only continue what we are doing but to grow.

About one year later and more than a year’s worth of effort from our board and the community cheering us on, we officially have a space!

Stay tuned. We’re pretty sure we’re just going to be dreaming even bigger now that we’ve got a space to do it.

Beauty Compounded

We knew this was good.

We handed tools to children living in an orphanage in the middle of China and told them You are uniquely made. You are capable. Live it out and let us celebrate the beauty you create and you are. 

We knew this was good.

We handed tools to children living in an orphanage in South China in a public park, before a crowd of passerby, and told them You are uniquely made. You are capable. Live it out and let us celebrate the beauty you create and you are. 

We admired their choices of color and willingness to try something new and something kind of hard. We praised the ayis who teach them to make and pointed out how good they are at what they do. We collectively marveled over how God made us to be beauty-makers like Him.

We trusted the good wasn’t finished when those weeks in the orphanages were over. We left with great expectation of good things growing, of beauty compounded.

An art exhibit isn’t the end goal to do that; but it one tangible way we get to see it happen. A few of their pieces were displayed as masterpieces along with their sweet faces, and the team of people marveling grew from 15 to literally hundreds. And, I took pictures of their pictures and sent them back to those same ayis and said, “Look at what your children can do because of what you do!”

So, so good.

TC2017 Recommended Resources

When Together Called attendees requested a resource table, we listened. For the last two retreats, we have offered attendees a place where they can hold and flip through resources that our team has recommended so that they choose those resources that would be most helpful for their own families. While we can’t get that table in front of all of you, we wanted to get the titles and a little blurb about each one in front of you with links so that you could click and order.

(Note: we’d love for you to use these links as they are affiliate links. When you order from Amazon via these links, we get a tiny percentage which adds up.) 

PARENT TITLES

30 Days of Hope by Jennifer Phillips (recommended by Stephanie Smit)
Regardless of whether you are just starting out as an adoptive mom or living with teenagers you adopted as infants, in this devotional, author Jennifer Phillips weaves elements of her own adoption journey and encouragement from God’s word to help you see hope and move forward with encouragement.

A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas (recommended by all of us)
Gary Thomas’ A Lifelong Love is our current favorite book on marriage. While there is nothing in this book about adoption, Thomas’ focus on benevolent love and the intimate relationship that only a husband and wife share will encourage adoptive parents who are in the thick of things to press on to fulfill their calling well and to do that together.

A Lifelong Love Journal by Gary Thomas
A great pairing with your A Lifelong Love book, this journal is set up with a devotional on the left side to read together or individually with a full page on the right to journal in words or art.

Adopted for Life by Russell Moore (recommended by Stephanie Smit)
Adoption is a way to build your family. It is also one of the best earthly illustrations of the Gospel. While we do not believe every Christian is called to adopt, we do think books like this one can challenge us to look closely at what God can show us about Himself through adoption.

Adoption at the Movies by Addison Cooper
With a film for each week of the year including Finding Dory, The Blind Side, and Star Wars, this guide includes descriptions of the themes relevant to adoption and ideas to get conversations started around issues such as culture, identity, control, and reunification.

The Allure of Hope by Jan Myers (recommended by the Hagertys)
Published in 2001, this book has not lost its power. Meyers dares readers take the risk of embracing hope even in those places where hope seems to have been destroyed.

Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson (recommended by Kelly Raudenbush)
We can only walk with our children to places we’re willing to go ourselves. In this book, Curt Thompson integrates neuroscience and attachment with Gospel Truth, revealing how it is possible for us to rewire our own minds, altering our brain patterns and literally making us more like the men and women God wants us to be. Explaining the brain in layman’s terms, he shows how we can be mentally transformed through spiritual practices, interaction with Scripture, and connections with other people.

Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray (recommended by Nicole Renee)
This classic text provides practical parenting strategies designed to enhance our children’s emotional health and relational connection. It explains what attachment is, how grief and trauma can affect children’s emotional development, and how to improve attachment, respect, cooperation and trust.

Attaching Through Love, Hugs, and Play by Deborah Gray (recommended by Nicole Renee)
Helpful for kids who have had different starts, Gray explains why routines and play are so important in helping children to attach and shares specific ideas within those areas to help build healthy bonds.

Before You Were Mine by Susan Tebos and Carissa Woodwyk (recommended by Stephanie Smit)
Remembering and celebrating your child’s history can be rewarding and even redemptive. This book, written by an adoptive mother and an adopted daughter, offers suggestions on how to organize details of your child’s birth story into a lifebook and use that lifebook to trace God’s faithfulness.

Cherish by Gary Thomas (recommended by Kelly Raudenbush)
Through personal stories and real life examples, Thomas shares what husbands and wives can begin doing today to turn their marriages around and learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

The Circle of Security Intervention by Bert Powell (recommended by Amy Brady)
This book comprehensively explains the foundations of Circle of Security, the attachment-based intervention for children 0-5.

The Comparison Trap by Sandra Stanley
Written by Charles Stanley’s daughter-in-law who is a foster mom, this book includes 28 devotionals that help you work through the struggle we often have to compare ourselves to others around us or on screens in front of us.

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis (recommended by all of us)
Often required reading by adoption agencies, this book explains what trauma looks like and how it affects our children in an easy-to-read format. While the content reflects biblical principles, it’s appropriate for readers of all faith backgrounds. Created to Connect: A Christian’s Guide to The Connected Child, by Dr. Karyn Purvis with Michael and Amy Monroe, was written to help illuminate the biblical principles that serve as the foundation for the philosophy and interventions detailed in The Connected Child. Download the study guide free HERE to go along with the text.

Created for Connection by Sue Johnson (recommended by Anna Balfour)
A challenging read for your marriage. Johnson says forget about learning how to argue better, analyzing your childhood, or making grand romantic gestures. Instead, she encourages couples to get to the emotional underpinnings of your relationship by exploring your attachment to each other.

Cry of the Soul by Dan Allender (recommended by the Hagertys)
Beginning with the Psalms, Allender explores what Scripture says about our darker emotions and points us to ways of honoring God as we faithfully embrace all our mad, sad, and scareds.

Different by Sally Clarkson (recommended by the Hagertys)
Choosing to shut out the voices of the world that said her son was “bad,” “broken,” and in need of fixing, Clarkson shares how she moved to trust that her son’s differences could be part of an intentional design by a loving Creator. Appropriate for any parent with an outside-the-box child as well as adults trying to make sense of their own differences.

Different Kind of Hero by Sally Clarkson (recommended by the Hagertys)
A companion to her book Different, this is a 12-session Bible Study exploring misfits in the Bible like Peter, Ruth, and Elijah and the surprising ways they became heroes of the faith. All about how God can take our own weaknesses and turn them into strengths as He draws us outside our comfort zones.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty (recommended by all of us)
We sing it on Sundays and put it in greeting cards—God is good. But, we live our days not grasping that God is good to us. In her book, Sara Hagerty, past Together Called speaker, poetically draws us into her story of loss, grief, and redemption and how God’s name was written over every word of it, drawing her to Himself and showing her that He is not only a good God but a God who is good to her, His treasured possession. Click HERE to download a discussion guide to go with it.

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr (recommended by Anna Balfour)
This book explores the counterintuitive message that we grow spiritually more by doing wrong than by doing right and that spirituality grows throughout life as we inevitably fall down over and over again.

Forever Mom by Mary Ostyn (recommended by Nicole Renee)
An easy read, Forever Mom is a good resource particularly for women interested in adopting or waiting to adopt for the first time. Author Mary Ostyn touches on preparing siblings, building connections, and handling challenging behaviors newly home.

Games and Activities for Attaching With Your Child by Deborah Gray and Megan Clarke
When it comes to choosing the best games to play with children who have difficulties attaching, it is often hard to know how and what to play with a purpose in mind. This book contains fun, age-appropriate games for infants to older children along with an explanation of why they matter.

Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel
Kimmel leads readers to explore big questions such as: How can you live out grace when your spouse frustrates you? How can grace enhance your sexual relationship? How do you show grace without being walked all over? How can God help you make grace more of your go-to response in your marriage?

I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey (recommended by Nicole Renee and Kelly Raudenbush)
This resource offers parents more than 70 rhymes and games that take only minutes a day but send our children messages of unconditional love. Appropriate for infants through elementary aged children, these easy-to-follow-and-learn ideas can help us help our children have fun and build relationship.

No Drama Discipline by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson (recommended by Nicole Renee and Kelly Raudenbush)
Highlighting the link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears. Defining discipline to be more about instruction than punishment, the authors explain how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and turn a meltdown into an opportunity for growth.

Nurturing Adoptions by Deborah Gray
Written primarily for professionals but a helpful resource for parents as well, in this book, Gray explains how neglect, trauma and prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol affect brain and emotional development and how to recognize these effects and attachment challenges in children. She also provides ways to help children settle into new families and home and school approaches that encourage children to flourish.

The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz (recommended by Nicole Renee and Kelly Raudenbush)
Kranowitz offers comprehensive, clear information about sensory processing challenges and drug-free strategies.

The Out of Sync Child Grows Up by Carol Kranowitz
Picking up where The Out of Sync Child left off, Kranowitz offers practical advice on living with sensory processing challenges as our children become tweens and teens, covering social and emotional aspects of grooming, dating, playing sports and music, etc.

The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Kranowitz (recommended by Nicole Renee)
A companion book to The Out of Sync Child, this book presents over 100 activities to bring fun and play to everyday for children who face challenges with touch, balance, movement, body position, vision, hearing, smell, taste, etc.

Parenting From the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel
Siegel offers parents ways to form a deeper understanding of their own life stories and attachments so that they can better help their children navigate their life stories and attachments.

Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen
Play is the work of children to explore the world, communicate deep feelings, build connections. From eliciting a giggle during baby’s first game of peekaboo to cracking jokes with a teenager, Playful Parenting is a complete guide to using play to raise confident children. Written with love and humor and grounded in research, this book will make you laugh as it encourages you to be a playful parent.

Raising a Secure Child by Kent Hoffman (recommended by Amy Brady)
Building on Circle of Security strategies, this book encourages parents to balance nurturing and protectiveness with promoting independence, consider the emotional needs your child may be expressing through challenging behavior, and how your own history affects your parenting style and what you can do about it.

Recipes for Fostering by Andrea Warman
Foster families share their favorite family-friendly recipes that have worked for them and their kids from hard starts. They also share their experience of using shopping, cooking, and mealtime to build relationship.

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (recommended by Kelly Raudenbush)
Sacred Marriage explores how marriage trains us to love God and others well, how it exposes sin and makes us more aware of God’s presence, how good marriages foster good prayer, how married sex feeds the spiritual life, and more.

Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas (recommended by Kelly Raudenbush)
This is unlike most parenting books. Rather than a “how-to” book that helps parents change their kids, Sacred Parenting discusses how God uses our kids to change us. Parenting is a school for spiritual formation, and our children are our teachers. It affirms the spiritual value of being a parent, showing you the holy potential of the parent-child relationship for all of us.

Serving Without Sinking by John Hindley (recommended by the Raudenbushs)
Required reading for The Sparrow Fund’s orphanage trip teams, this book discusses not only how to serve but why we serve, reminding us of who we are and who He is.

Soul of Shame by Curt Thompson (recommended by the Raudenbushs)
Thompson provides theological and practical tools necessary to dismantle the shame that binds us and helps us identify our own broken places and find freedom from lifelong negative messages.

To Be Titled Journal printed by Mark and Kelly Raudenbush
Designed for you to go deeper individually and to create an opportunity to connect with your spouse. This is the tool introduced in the breakout session Connecting as Husbands and Wives Together Called. Copies are available via email (info@sparrow-fund.org).

Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss (recommended by Amy Brady)
This practical handbook helps parents, teachers, and caregivers pause to consider if a child’s behavior may be driven by a sensory challenge and strategies to help.

CHILDREN’S TITLES

A Safe Place for Rufus by Jill Seeney
Written to help children navigate change and transition and subsequent uncertainty and fear, this title comes with a guide in the back for parents to use to discuss the text, pictures, and underlying emotions on every page and encourage children to share their own.

Ana’s Song: A Tool for the Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Carolyn Byers Ruch
Ana’s Song helps begin the conversation if you desire to protect your daughter from sexual abuse or you suspect or know she has been wounded by it. Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

Bobby Gilliam, Brave and Strong by Carolyn Byers Ruch
Bobby Gilliam helps begin the conversation if you desire to protect your son from sexual abuse and pornography or you suspect or know he has been wounded by it. Appropriate for ages 4 and up.

Elfa and the Box of Memories by Michelle Bell
This is an excellent book for children struggling in navigating memories, both good and bad. As Elfa pieces together her story, she learns that sharing the memories with someone and then putting them in a safe place is the only way she can take off her burden and live freely.

Everything Counts by Steven Case
For generations, people have been touched by Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest. Now Everything Counts presents his work in this daily devotional in a new and fresh form designed to speak to teens.

Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (recommended by all of us)
Our favorite children’s Bible, readers will come to see how every part of God’s word from Noah to Moses to the great King David points to Jesus.

Just Between Us by Meredith and Sophie Jacobs (recommended by Kelly and Ashlyn Raudenbush)
Includes writing prompts and fun activities to build connection between mother and daughter. Use the framework to start and consider using the journal to create some special face-to-face connections too.

Searching for the You We Adore by Valerie Westfall (recommended by all of us) $20
General enough to read to children adopted domestically or internationally, Searching For The You We Adore is a story of a family’s journey and unconditional love…and is our personal favorite. Note: Valerie Westfall gifted all her stock to The Sparrow Fund to bless families. Copies are available exclusively via The Sparrow Fund.

Searching for the You We Adore Activity Book by Valerie Westfall $5
A fun activity book that compliments Searching For The You We Adore and helps you stretch the book a little further for your family. Note: Valerie Westfall gifted all her stock to The Sparrow Fund to bless families. Copies are available via email (info@sparrow-fund.org).