Archive | November 2013

Prayer of Gratitude from the Cottage by the Sea



Thank You Abba Father for adoption,

For the way that helped us be a forever family.

Thank You Lord for every successful adoption story

For each one brings You honor and glory.

Thank You Father for caseworkers, attorneys and courts

For each has a job to do in each individual case.

Thank You Almighty for each precious child

For each tear they shed and each smile they smile.

Thank You Jehovah for each adopting parent out there

Who opened their hearts and stepped up to care.

Thank You Abba Father for the biological parents too

Those who gave willingly and those who had to.

Thank You Lord for the system though it may not always work

Its intention is noble, it’s purpose for good.

Thank You Almighty, the I Am, for the example You set

By willingly adopting us into Your heavenly family.

Most of all Abba thank You for my precious child

Who calls me “Mama” and was born in my heart.

-dav 11-22-12


Gratefully Lord! Amen!


Another Woman’s Child – Part 2

(From AWC-Part 1) “…He knew she was praying. He just didn’t know how her prayers were about to change their lives.”

Sarai was unable to bare children for Abram. As Sarah read her story in Genesis she knew how Sarai must have felt. The intense longing to give birth to a child, a bit of their husband, a bit of themselves, a bit of their families; all blended together into a whole new human being. A little person who would grow and develop their own personality, their own unique self.

Sarah was glad she didn’t feel the pressure Sarai must have felt. No one thought she had to have a baby but she longed for one. Perhaps, like Sarai she should consider her and Kevin using a surrogate mother.

Reading the story of Sarai, Abram and Hager Sarah felt a deep awareness that this was not the avenue for them to become parents. “How then Lord? How? Is it not Your will for us to be parents?”

“Trust me my Daughter. You will be a mother. In my time. Trust me, it will be in my time.”

Not like Sarah and Abraham, Rebekah and Isaac, Rachel and Jacob, Hannah and Elkanah, or Elizabeth and Zechariah. Sarah knew in her heart God was telling her there was a way for her and Kevin to have a family but it would not be by opening her womb. She placed her hand on her flat stomach and it felt so empty, her heart felt hollow and she wasn’t sure she could bear the emptiness.

With a clarity that hurt so badly it felt as if actual knives were cutting up her insides Sarah remembered the miscarriages, three in all and she wept again for those precious babies she and Kevin would never know here on this side of eternity.

“Trust me my Daughter. You will be a mother. In my time. Trust me, it will be in my time.”

As she wept she felt God’s arms around her and she heard His voice assuring her He would make a way for her to be a mother, for Kevin to be a parent. He would do so, not by means of medical technology but by a way that would bring Him glory and honor. A way that would meet not just Sarah and Kevin’s needs but the needs of the children as well.

By the time Kevin had showered and dressed Sarah was downstairs cooking their breakfast. When Kevin reached for her hand to say grace Sarah held on just a little longer. Looking up she smiled as their eyes met.

It wasn’t just a smile she plastered on her face to help him feel better but a smile from her heart, lighting up her face, shining from her eyes. That and the words she said next actually caused his breath to catch.

“Kevin, God has promised me we will be parents. He didn’t tell me how or when just that He was going to make a way.” Sarah released his hand and her smile broke into giggles at the look on Kevin’s face, “Ah sweetheart, I’ve not gone around the bend, He is just asking us to have faith in Him.”

Kevin nodded and felt his own spirit relax within him. He’d have to make this as serious a cause for prayer as Sarah, Kevin knew that, but he also knew God had nudged his heart yesterday when they had left the doctor’s office with Dr. Moran’s news weighing on them like the world’s troubles. However it came to be, they wouldn’t be seeking a solution in a doctor’s office this they both knew for sure.

To be continued…

Southern Fall

The last rose shivers on rose bush row

Ivy green clings bravely to the vine

The newborn tippity-tap of babies toes

Are now the sure footed steps of the grown.

The swallows flew south this morning

The Canadian geese pass overhead

Animals who burrow in tree and ground

Are lining nests and making their beds.

Lacy canopies of russet and gold

Line the bridle paths winding below

Leaves dance in breeze blown cold

Twirling, swirling red, gold and orange.

Sunrise glitters on frosted ground

Fall in the South shows off so well

Like lovely ladies determined to impress

Though sundown brings a deeper chill.

Mums hold aloft petaled heads

Pansies wink their purple eyes

Shrubbery stands erect in flower beds

Heralds that the summer’s done.

Stews and soups bubble on the stove

Families gather in their cozy lairs

In the orchards and the groves

Pickers pluck apple trees completely bare.

Hayrides delight the young and old

No better season of life I know

A time when the air seems so bold

Fall falls gracefully on my Southern home.

        -d.f.a.v. 11/11/12

Enjoy your fall season!


Prayer from the Cottage by the Sea for Veteran’s


Abba Father:
You are Holy and not to be considered lightly.  Each morning when I wake I awaken to a way of life that I have given so little to be blessed with.  Living here, in the United States of America, I am allowed the privilege to seek and worship You as I see fit. I can pursue happiness. I can know liberty. I can live my life based upon Your Word.

Thank You for this tremendous blessing Lord.

Thank You for a flag that still waves over a land of free and courageous individuals.

Thank You Abba for the men, the women and their families, who have given their lives to protect America’s boarders and our interests on soils foreign and domestic.

Thank You Lord for those Veterans who have laid down their lives for America.

Thank You for the men who believed so strongly in a new world with a government of the people and by the people that they stood against tyranny and won our freedom,

Thank You for each person who has served in our military during times of peace, war and unrest.  Thank You that they still stand in a ring of green, brown, blue and white around us even at this hour.  Thank You Lord for our Veterans. 

Humble us as a nation Abba and call us again to have no other god but You, the I Am.

Bless each Veteran in the way You have in meeting their needs.


Thank you Veterans!  Well done!  Well done!

The System

Adopting through private agencies, non-profit groups, privately between individuals and lawyers, state child welfare programs or other means all have their advantages. Finding babies to adopt can be difficult. Couples want to adopt babies.

Finding babies, that’s the issue. Part, and I repeat that, part of the problem is the system that exists when a baby is removed from the birth mother and/or father. Once that happens the process begins to find a foster family for the child. Usually relatives are searched for first. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, someone who is family and capable of caring for the child. When that doesn’t work out then a longer term foster care situation is searched for.

Foster parenting is an amazing call in life. It’s also a way to shoehorn into an adoption situation. Foster parenting doesn’t always lead to adoption.

The system is sometimes broken when it comes to balancing the welfare of the child with the rights of the biological parents. Until the parental rights are severed the child is a foster child and cannot be adopted.

Approaching this from two different viewpoints, as an adoptive parent and as a person who formerly worked in and around foster care provision and counseling services in Alabama I can tell you where I see the breakdown occurring.

Several years ago our agency hoped that what we were hearing from our State Department of Human Resources was true. The process of the judicial system severing parental rights was going to shorten and toughen up. No longer would biological parents be able to do less than a minimum of work towards reunification with their children and prolong their case for years. Shorter terms of foster care for the children, faster adoptions, stronger encouragement for biological parents sincerely interested in regaining custody of their children to prove their sincerity. It didn’t happen.

Becoming a biological parent seems so incredibly easy for some people. Any woman with an egg ready for fertilization and any man with sperm to provide that can become biological parents. But, biological parents aren’t always the people who can and will provide the best care for the child they’ve created, sometimes not even decent, reliable care.

Sometimes the biological parents recognize this and willingly surrender their rights. Sometimes they surrender them because they realize it is truly BEST for the child even though it BREAKS THEIR HEART.

Until those rights are severed or surrendered that child cannot be adopted. This means the child lives in a foster care situation, sometimes in the home of people who love and want to adopt the child, sometimes not. The child remains in limbo. On a day to day situation they are often bonding with and forming a deeper relationship with the people providing their day to day care. The people providing the child with parenting. People from whom they may be torn away from when they’ve been there so long it is home to them.

Through their day-to-day life is woven the biological parents attempts to become their child’s parents in every sense of the word. Some biological parents want to be good parents to their offspring. They want it but they can’t do it for one reason or another.

Addiction, poverty, martial situations and physical health issues are all reasons why a biological parent just can’t get it together well enough to be a parent to their child, but not the only ones. I know of many who have wanted it, but just haven’t been able to overcome one or more of these four issues to achieve it.

It’s my opinion that there has to be a way to clear these things up more quickly. Some issues preventing an adult from being able to get their own lives together well enough to parent can be helped with education, awareness, counseling, medication and support. Some just aren’t simple fixes. Addiction is, again in my opinion, the most challenging for a biological parent to overcome and it doesn’t matter what the addiction is to. Drugs (legal or illegal), sex, alcohol, gambling, hoarding are all examples of addictions that not only ruin a person’s life, but the lives of their families as well including leading to the termination of parental rights.

Meanwhile their biological children swing between the people they are the biological children of and those they are developing into a family with or waiting in limbo to be placed in a situation where they can be reclassified as “adoptable”. As the months tick off into years the child grows older and their chances of finding an adoptive home become smaller. This isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

Not for the child and not for the people who could adopt and especially are waiting to adopt. It’s disruptive. It creates a situation that can do far more damage than good to take a child from the (sometimes) only stable home they’ve ever known and place them back into or into a home they aren’t sure of with someone they aren’t bonded as well with. Even when the state stays involved now the child has the trauma of overcoming losing the home and family they were just pulled from.

These are the situations where children are harmed the most. As an adult woman I sat on a witness stand and answered the judge’s question, “Are you prepared to have your heart ripped out if the biological mother or father suddenly changes their mind and wants this child back?” with a very sure, “Yes”. It was my choice to lay my heart on the line. Children don’t get that choice. As adults, we have to make that choice for them and I’m of the opinion we don’t always do such a great job of making it.

If you’re considering adoption, I encourage you to consider adopting an older child and also to look into adopting through your state department over child welfare. The systems in place vary state to state and I’m sure some states have it down beautifully and some are sadly inadequate. But the kids in those systems are depending on us. Let’s not let them down.


Another Woman’s Child-Part 1

There are lots of questions couples have about adoption. One of which is can they love someone else’s biological child as much as they would their own biological child. The desperate search for a way to have a baby can be heart breaking. Remember with me the journey Kevin and Sarah have in their quest for a child to call their own.


The tears in his wife’s eyes, rolling down her face and falling unheeded onto her blazer made Kevin twisted him with guilt. He gripped her hand more tightly, fumbling with the key fob, silent in his fear. Internally he thought only how this was his fault.

“Kevin I just really feel God leading us to trust Him to provide and not to go through infertility treatments again of any kind.” Sarah had said.

“Honey trusting God to provide food, a job, or clothes is one thing, but last time I checked He didn’t walk around handing out babies.”

“Try telling Abraham and Sarah or Jacob and Rachel that Kevin.”

“That was Old Testament times. These are modern times,” he countered back picking up his mug-to-go and heading out the front door, “God uses modern science and medicine to work His miracles now.” He paused. “Just one more time? For me?…

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This Child

This is a re-blog from November 5, 2012.

Here is this one child, whose smile is rare and strained

This one child whose life is stolen by another’s drug abuse

This one child in a wasteland of broken promises

This one child, this child, the child so in need

This child whose hope is nearly gone…

This child needs a voice…this child needs a home.


There is this child, whose body is battered and worn

This one child whose life is a bloody canvas of hatred

This child who has felt blows and curses for existing

This one child, this child, the child so in need

This child whose hope is fading fast…

This child needs a voice…the child needs a home.


See there is this child, whose stomach twists in hunger

See there is this child who has never known fullness

See there is this child who has eaten the unimaginable

See there is one child, this child, this child so in need

See there is this child whose hope threatens flight…

See there is this child needing a voice…this child needs a home.


Hear the heart of this child, whose parents walked away

Hear the tears of this child whose life turned upside down

Hear the heart of this child who does not comprehend

Hear the silence of this child, this child, this child so in need

This child whose hope struggles on…

Hear the heart of this child be their voice…this child needs a home.


Here is this child, whose mother’s promises to “get right”

This child, this one child whose world centers on those promises

This child who loves their mother in spite of the pain

This child who is fostered in a financially struggling system

This child whose hope fights to live…

This child needs a voice…this child needs a home.


There is this child, whose newborn cries wake strangers

There is this child whose care is provided by underpaid foster parents

There is this child who melts the hearts of many

There is this child whose future depends on a 21-year-olds decisions

There is this child who knows not hope yet….

There is this child who needs a voice…this child needs a home.


See there is still this child, this one child “aging out of the system”

See there is still this child whose birthdays are a countdown

See there is still this child who too early understands

See there is still this child who is hard to place at eight

See there is still this child whose hope grows older with them

See there is still this child who needs a voice…this child needs a home.


Peer into the life of this child, this one who is part of three

Peer into the life of this child who wants only to be with brother and sister

Peer into the life of this child who tightly holds the others hands

Peer into the life of this child a hard to place sibling part

Peer into the life of this child whose faint hope is times three

Peer into the life of this child needing a voice…this child needing a home.


I am the voice of this one child, whose mother choose a man

I am the voice of this one child who was unwanted in a new marriage

I am the voice of this one child who cries bitterly for what she lost

I am the voice of this one child who calls me Mama

I am the voice of this child whose hope is being restored

I am the voice of this one child…who no longer needs a home.


Of these others, these other children who ache for families

Of these others, children with special needs and much understanding

Of these others, these other children who are blessings meant to thrive

Of these others, these other children who need voices

Of these other children who will be their voice

Of these others who will speak for them…who will be their home?


If not those who will be the voices of children who are often unheard

If those who will band together and say “I will be this child’s voice!”

If those who will open their hearts and open their homes

If those who will for just one of these children, then does for all

If those who will restore hope to one, thereby restoring hope for all

Then all the voices will heard…then all will be home.

-dfav 11/5/12

No Unwanted Children, Just Unfound Families


“There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.”  Somehow, I believe the 78 children in Alabama waiting for adoption might disagree with that slogan.  Especially since they are all no longer babies, toddlers or young children.  Of the 78, 35 are siblings, which automatically places them in the special needs category and makes adoption placement hard.

People want to adopt babies or toddlers, not older children.  From experience I can tell you that a lot of that want is rooted in a fear of bonding not occurring with a child who can remember their biological parents.

It can be hard when a child remembers their biological parents, again I speak from experience.  Initially we dealt with anger and self-worth issues as realities of our daughters home life prior to living with us was revealed in play therapy.   As she has gotten older she no longer remembers the bad times.  But she adamantly refuses to speak to her biological mother.  The father has never been in her life.

Adoption is fantastic when the right child and the right family are matched up.  Kids are available for adoption, perhaps as couples considering adoption you could expand your want list to include an older child or even a sibling group?

The national non- profit group Children Awaiting Placement over the last 40 year’s has helped make 6000 adoptions a reality per their web site.  Personally I think that number is way to low!

If you’re considering adoption you can start with the Department of Human Resouces or Children’s Welfare Offices near you.  Adoption in the United States is possible.

Are you the right family for a child?


National Adoption Month 2013



Adoption.  The acceptance of responsibility to love, care for, and provide for someone who is of the age to be considered a child but who is not your own biological offspring. (definition my own)

When I think of adoption I think of it as a natural occurrence and one as old as the history of mankind.  We’ve certainly managed to “fine tune” the process through the years as laws came into the process.  Which, by the way, isn’t a bad thing. 

Adoptions occur every day in courtrooms and law offices all over the world.  It also occurs when one family or person takes in another and that is that, a new family member is added or a new family is made.  God adopts us as His children, so our adopting His children as our own makes for a wonderful follow through on the example of His love for us and our love for Him. 

It always saddens me to learn of an adoption where the child or children are unloved, where their basics needs are unmet, where they are abused and even worse, when the child dies at the hand of an adoptive parent.  Laws exist to prevent this type of unsuccessful adoption. 

Sadly, they don’t always work. Whenever you mix imperfect humans in anything there are going to be mistakes, deceptions, inabilities, good intentions with bad results and sometimes, plain ole’ evil to contend with.

November is National Adoption Month in the United States.  An entire month set aside to bring the subject of adoption to the forefront of people’s minds.  I’d like to help with doing that so I’ll be posting about adoption throughout this month.

Adoption is personal in our home.  My husband and I adopted our daughter, who is a biological relative, and so the courts made legal what our hearts had discovered long before.  All three of us are also God’s adopted children.  Our forever family has eternal roots.

Sharing adoption stories are important.  Besides sharing ours, I’d love to share your stories as well.  Please leave me a message/comment and we can work from there.

Meanwhile, adoption, it is a forever good thing!