Saturday, November 22, 2008

Exploring Adoption FYI

'The Adoption Network' I'm passionate about helping churches and faith-based organizations start adoption/orphan care ministries.

In the November issue of Adoption World e-zine, I announced that I am donating copies of my book, The Adoption Network:

Your Guide to Starting a Support System, to churches, denominations, seminaries, para-church organizations, and faith-based adoption events.

What a response! During the past two weeks, I have shipped out over 700 books! People have ordered anywhere from one to 200+ copies at a time. Several church denominations have requested copies for every church in their region.

Now that I'm relatively caught up, I thought I'd let the rest of the world know about my mega-ministry book donation.

A bit about the book:
The Adoption Network is a 112-page, softcover workbook for those who want to start a face-to-face community of support for adoptive and foster parents, first/birth parents, and/or adopted people of all ages.

The book provides step-by-step instructions and worksheets for how to: develop a mission statement plan a budget recruit leader ship create workshops, support groups, social events, mentoring programs, and more. While The Adoption Network specifies how to create faith-based ministries, it is generic enough that it can be used for any type of adoption network. The book retails for $9.99, so getting multiple copies for the price of shipping/packaging is deal that can't be beat.

The generosity of some dear friends enabled me to purchase several thousand copies of The Adoption Network (yes, authors have to purchase our own books!).

I'm "paying it forward" by donating copies of my book to ministries. Do you know people who could use this handbook? Whether it's one individual, a planning team of 20, a regional governing body of 200, or a conference of 2,000, I will donate copies of The Adoption Network.

I request two things:
You pay shipping (let me know how many books you need and I'll calculate actual shipping costs).You "pay it forward" by giving the books to those who can use them. Feel free to use the books as door prizes (not door stops), as small group study guides, and as gifts for church leaders and others interested in adoption/orphan ministry.

Contact me today:, and we'll set up your book shipment.

Tell everyone you know about the ministry giveaway of The Adoption Network, and feel free to link to this post or reprint it on your own blog/Web site.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foster Care or Adoption: That Is the Question? ~ Guest Post from Heidi Hess Saxton

*This has been reposted as of, September 30, 2008. This post has had search problems, because of human error. If you have been searching for this post and have had problems, please accept my humble appologies. "Foster Care or Adoption: That Is the Question?" can also be found on the main Hannah's Tears blog site under Septembers listing. Thank you for your patience and prayers. God Bless!

Post from Main Site: Friday, September 12, 2008

I would like to welcome my sister in Christ, Heidi Hess Saxton. I am very grateful to her for coming to my aide on how to discern foster care and adoption.I have to admit, I know nothing about this, except for those whom I have known that adopted or were adopted. Heidi comes to answer many questions to put our minds to rest but maybe it will lead us to pray more deeply and maybe consider the question, "Is God asking me to adopt?

"That is the question in many of our hearts these days. How do we answer this question and put it to rest in our minds and hearts? Prayer and more prayer... and then there's on....

Should We Consider Adoption or Foster Care?

A Guest Post by Heidi Hess Saxton

"How did you and your husband decide to become foster parents?"

It's a question people frequently ask me when they discover we foster-adopted our two children. Most often, their tone indicates that we have done something extraordinary, even heroic.

In reality, no hand from heaven came down to deliver a special invitation to us. No angel materialized on our doorstep, kids in tow. Instead, God used our natural desires to have a family; a series of doors presented themselves to us, which we tested one at a time until we found the one that had our children behind it.

Door One: Acknowledge Grief and Fear

From the beginning, we knew that it would be highly unlikely that the ordinary path to parenthood was in store for us. A fertility specialist confirmed that my medical history and or ages made it unlikely that we would conceive without assistance. And yet, we were sure of two things: (1) If God wanted us to become parents, it would happen in His way, in His time. (2) We refused to let infertility wreak havoc on our marriage, as it had preoccupied and even destroyed the marriages of other couples we knew. We remained open and trusting, simply taking life one day at a time.

I was very fortunate in that Craig and I always seemed to be on the same page where these decisions were concerned. I knew couples where one - usually the woman - longs to enlarge their family, while the other is content just as things are. One is eager to adopt ... while the other holds back because of the expense, or the inconvenience, or out of fear of what adding an "unknown quantity" might do to the existing family dynamic.

Door Two: Gather Information

In situations like this, it's important to arrive at a mutual decision based not on fears, but facts. Talk with other adoptive and foster parents to find out the names of reputable agencies in your area - then go to an information meeting or two. Online sources are also available; websites like or tools like the "Adoption Guide Planner" can help you decide which kind of adoption for foster plan is best suited to your family situation.

Adoption need not be expensive, especially if you consider foster care or foster-adoption. You do not even need to own your own home, and a wide variety of resources are available to assist couples with more heart than money. In the state of Michigan, for example, children adopted out of the foster care system continue to receive the monthly subsidy and medical insurance benefits that they received while they were wards of the state; they are also eligible for a variety of benefits ranging from free hot lunches to free college tuition.

Neither is the age of a couple necessarily a barrier. Remember that no two children are the same, or have the same level of need. Couples who feel too old to do the "diaper brigade" may be a godsend for a grade-school child or teenager whose opportunities for a real home diminish with each passing year. Those who long for a baby - but who are willing to open their hearts a little wider, to include the infant's older brothers or sisters - can find the blessings multiply with the challenges. In many cases, families willing to consider a child with special needs (both temporary, due to trauma, and more long-term physical and developmental needs) or a biracial child often discover that love comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Door Three: Prepare Yourself

So what do you need to be a good foster or adoptive parent?

Patience. Whether dealing with bureaucratic red tape, a toddler who hides food in the closet, or a boy-crazy teen, you will have ample opportunity to practice virtue.

Support. Even experienced parents will quickly discover that adoption and foster care is an "extended family affair." When extended family lives too far away to be of practical assistance, it becomes that much more important to cultivate a support network - even if you have to pay for it temporarily. (In the beginning, a large chunk of our subsidy checks were spent on babysitters and housekeepers.)

Faith. Adoptive and foster parenting is not for wimps, or for those with an over-inflated sense of self-reliance. Extraordinary parenting (investing yourself in the life of a child you did not bring into the world yourself) requires spiritual strength, cultivated through prayer and the sacraments.Time. A child that comes to you through adoption and foster care will often require special attention, especially in the first months that he or she joins the family. Especially for the first six months or so, the child needs one primary caregiver to assist with the bonding process. Depending on how he came to you, he may also have physical and emotional problems that may not immediately present themselves. Remember... parenting is a marathon, not a sprint!

Door Four: Make a Choice

As you gather the information you need, continue to ask the Holy Spirit to make your way clear to you. Remember that while God calls us to take up certain challenges in life, ultimately the choice is ours to make. Adoption and foster care is an adventure for the whole family ... and yet, timing is very important.

For example, you may decide to postpone adding to your family until your youngest child is in school, or even wait until all your children are fully grown. Or you may decide that a younger sibling is just what you and your children need to grow in virtue!If after gathering the information you need to make your decision together, and you conclude that adoption and foster care is not appropriate at this time, there are other ways to make a difference in the life of a child. You can volunteer as a tutor or mentor through your local school or "Big Brother/Big Sister" program. Become a CASA volunteer, who befriends and advocates for foster children currently in the system. Volunteer as a respite worker for foster or single parents. Host a fundraiser to assist families from your church who are pursuing international adoption, or organize special needs children, and offer them practical support - even sitting with the child while they go to Mass for an hour of uninterrupted prayer.If you have a heart for kids ... there are always children who need you!

Heidi Hess Saxton is the founder of the Extraordinary Moms Network and the author of "Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Patron Saints for Adoption

St. Clotilde

St. Thomas More

St. William of Rochester

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Please find many sites available on this site that may help you with your adoption process. Also check out our friend Heidi Hess Saxton's site: Extraordinary Moms Network and her adoption support.

Blessings to you as your build your family!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Adoption Networking

Laura Christianson, is a beautiful Christian woman who has written a book called "The Adoption Decision" and another called the "Adoption Network".

Please go to this link to read more about Laura Christianson and her adoption resources:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adoption Story

Here's a letter from Christy, who wanted to share her adoption story with us.
I would like to share our adoption story. We have one biological son who is 4 y/o. He was born 4 months early, and we decided that adoption would be the way to expand our family. We began exploring adoption in early 2006. When we were ready to begin in early 2007, we began an adoption to Vietnam. We have changed course over the last several months b/c the adoption from VN to the US will end in September. We do not currently have a referral and our agency will not have us a referral before the close of the program. We then regrouped and began a domestic adoption w/ our local Catholic Charities. (They were not accepting families when we started the adoption in 2007.) We are about to update our home study and have our profile viewed by birth parents. Please pray for us b/c it will be hard if a second adoption fails.


God bless you Christy, we're keeping you in our prayers!!! Thanks again for sharing your story with us. Please send us any updates if you can.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email us at

Monday, July 7, 2008

Network and Support

Dear Friends of Hannah's Tears,

My friend Heidi Hess Saxton sent me this email that I would like to share with you. She is a great support when it comes to foster care and adoption. Please check out her "Extraordinary Moms Network", I think you will find great support in all the Lord is sharing with her.

The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears

Heidi Hess Saxton
Extraordinary Moms Network
EMN Newsletter #1

Dear Friends in Christ:

Have you ever been in a place where you wondered just what God was asking you to do with your life? I have, especially lately. Like most moms, I find that the demands on my time almost always exceed the “budget,” and yet I also know God never asks us to do more than we are capable of doing. Which means, if I’m overextended … chances are, “something’s gotta give.”

The last time I felt this way, in 1989, I flew to Acapulco and spent two weeks traveling by bus across the Mexican countryside. At the time I was trying to decide whether to stay in publishing or accept an invitation to become a short-term missionary in Singapore. By the end of that trip, I realized God was saying, “Neither.” I packed my bags and moved from Minneapolis to California to continue my education.

Over the past few months, I felt that same restlessness coming on, and I’ve been asking God to show me what He has in mind. Then a couple of weeks ago Sarah Reinhard and I pack our kids into the car and took off on the “Jet Setting is for Sissies Road Trip 2008,” to go to the Catholic New Media Celebration and visit several of our blogging buddies and other important people. I blogged extensively about our adventures at Mommy Monsters.

Several tremendous blessings came out around the time of this trip, which I’d like to share with you now. Just prior to our trip, Cheryl Dickow at Bezalel Books volunteered to bring out a Spanish edition of my Mary book (entitled Contempla a tu Madre), and to recover Behold Your Mother at the same time! The new edition is now available through, and includes special journal pages at the back of the books where you can insert your own meditations on the Blessed Mother.

To celebrate the new edition of Behold Your Mother, Sarah and I will be hosting a “Mary Moments” Carnival on the 15th of each month at Behold Your Mother. The first “real” Carnival will be held August 15, to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary … and feature posts about favorite Mary books (besides mine, I mean…). You may submit posts directly to the Carnival here, or send the link to me via e-mail.

The other significant development that I’d like to tell you about is the creation of the “Extraordinary Moms Network,” which I’ll tell you more about in the next newsletter. The Extraordinary Moms Network website, which was designed by my friend Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, is still very much a work in progress. However, in time I am hoping that this will become a useful resource for all women who are looking to grow as truly extraordinary mothers: adoptive and foster mothers, step mothers and other women raising children to whom they did not give birth, as well as mothers of large families and children with special needs.

All of us need encouragement from time to time in order to continue investing ourselves in the lives of the children entrusted into their care … and I’m hoping EMN will become just that source of encouragement for you. My long-term goals for the network include a weekly podcast, book club, and e-zine (and phase out my multiple blogs over time). Please pray with me, that God would guide me in the way He sees best.

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others you think might be interested in hearing more about the Extraordinary Moms Network, or about the “Mary Moments” Carnival. God bless you!

Under the Mercy,
Heidi Saxton

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Human Life International offers a tape cassette, that shares the many couples waiting to adopt. If you are feeling led to adopt check out this tape on the HLI site below.

Adoption: Two Million Couples Waiting (1999)
Kuharski, Mary Anne

Friday, June 13, 2008

What's Your Story on Adoption?

Come explore Laura Christiansons "Adoption Blog", she's promoting a handbook called "Thriving as an Adoptive Family".

Go to:

If you preview this book, tell us what you think... we need you to support us so that we can support each other! If you are blessed as an adoptive parent, please share your experience with us, we'd love to hear from YOU!

Just send us your comment below this note or we can publish it for you when you write to us at . Truly God uses us to share our experiences with one another...

Catholic Adoption Support

If you have yet to check out Heidi's site on Catholic Adoption Support, please check out her articles here:

She has a way of making you feel that God is in control, and HE is!

PS. If you are in the adoption process, we're praying for you, please let us know how it's going so others can be supported in the journey also. Sometimes it's very hard for couples to take the step in adoption when it seems so unreal to them. When we share our experience, it sometimes opens up a whole new world to the rest of us.

If you'd like to share your story, please write

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Adoption Support Site

Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.

Wow! We found a Hot Spot for Adoption support, this is a GREAT site, thanks to Heidi for leading us to it! Amazing!!! We are praying this will be a support to all seeking adoption and to all adoptive families.

God Bless,

The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

May 13
Our Lady of Fatima
Pray for Us
as we seek to
take care of
Your children.
Pray for us
and guide us
as we adopt those
that your
Dear Son
sends to us.
Thank you for hearing
the prayers of our

Friday, May 9, 2008

Blessed Mother Teresa Patron of Adoption and Foster Care

O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray for Us Who Have Recourse to You.
Blesssed Mother Teresa, pray for us.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Life on the Rock - schedules "The Adoption Option"

Life on the Rock
EWTN at 8pm Eastern time
Thursday 5/22 the topic is:

Guest: Kerri Caviezel

"The Adoption Option"

Monday, May 5, 2008

Speaker for Catholic Adoption Support!!!

Someone recently wrote on the Hannah's Tears Adoption Blog Site, looking for speakers who support adoption and the pro-life movement. One person that we can highly recommend is
Heidi Hess Saxton, she is the mom of 2 adopted children and the editor of "Canticle Magazine".
Her adoption blog site is Catholic Adoptive Parenting Columnist Heidi Hess Saxton . She's a great lady!!!

Here's her main web page

Heidi Hess Saxton
Contact Us:, Inc.
3121 Lutz Drive
Milan, Michigan 48160-9558
Email: Heidi Saxton

The Apostolate of Hannah's Tears

We are a Catholic Ministry that is forming through the help of God's grace and mercy. If you are interested in becoming supportive in the action of Adoption ministry within the Catholic Church, please contact us at . We would love to hear from you!

Hannah's Tears

Friday, May 2, 2008

Your Adoption Story?

Would you like to share your adoption story with us? Send us some joyful news!!! Let us know your story ...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"The Prayer Of Abandonment for Adoptive Parents"

Father, we abandon ourselves into your hands,
to send a child ... or not ... as you see fit.
You by whom the Word was made flesh,
send us a miracle, if this is what you desire.
Or lead us to her/him, if that be your will.
We do not ask for guarantees; no parent can.
Only light enough for the very next step.
We do not ask for a perfect child,
nor can we promise to be perfect parents.
Whatever you choose for us, whatever you desire
we abandon ourselves to your perfect will.
We are ready to offer our daily "yes,"
until that perfect will be revealed in us.
And until, at last perfected, we bear witness
to the work of redemption you began in Eden.
We love you, Lord, and offer ourselves to you,
wholly and without reservation.
We surrender ourselves, moment by moment,
knowing that this is only the first small step
Of a lifetime of surrender,
so that we may be made more perfect in love.
That we might imitate, on earth as in heaven,
the redemptive love
the adoptive love
the selfless love
with which you first loved us.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Legacy of An Adopted Child"

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember
The other you call Mother.

Two different lives
Shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star
The other became your sun.

The first one gave you life
And the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love
The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality
The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent
The other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile
The other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home
That she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child
And her hope was not denied.

And now you ask me through your tears
The age old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment
Which are you a product of?
Neither my Darling, neither.
Just two different kinds of Love.

Author Unknown

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Prayer for the Adoption of a Child

O Lord our God, who through Your beloved Child, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Grace of Your All-holy Spirit, called us children of God through adoption, and said, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son. Do You, the same King, loving God, look down from Your holy dwelling-place on high, upon these Your servants, (mother, father) and unite their natures which you have begotten separate from one another according to the flesh, through Your Holy Spirit, into parents (mother, father) and (son, daughter). Confirm them in Your love; bind them through Your benediction; bless them to Your great glory; strengthen them in Your faith; preserve them always and renounce them not for that which proceeds from their lips. Be Mediator for their promises, that their love which they have confessed to You be not torn asunder even to the evening of their lives; grant that they may be kept sincerely alive in You, our only Living and True God, and grant to them to become heirs of Your Kingdom, for to You is due all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Mikron Euchologion

Published by: Holy Cross Orthodox Press
Brookline, MA 1977
This prayer appears on Page 20
of the Ad Vitam prayer book published by Mother Pelican Press.
Used with permission from Mother Pelican Press

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Patroness of Orphans"

Sharing the gifts of family in ministry!

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