Monday, January 31, 2011

Stories of Love!

Stories... We all have one.  So much so, people within our church want to know "What's your Story?"  As we have started walking with families who have a heartbeat to care for the fatherless, we have seen some amazing stories.  Some stories have beautiful endings, some end when you wish they didn't, some leave you inspired, and others leave you wondering "what is going to happen next."  Regardless of the content of each story, God's hand is within it, writing every minute.

We want to recognize and pass along some of our stories to you.  Over the next 2 weeks, we will be focused on "Stories of Love." These stories originated out of great love for our Father, and then passed along to the children we are blessed to love.  We hope you will join along as we share our "Stories of Love."    Below is our first "Story of Love."  

Story #1: The Willis Family's Ugandan Miracle!

My husband and I have been praying about adoption for years.  When he went to Uganda with our church in June of 2010, God made it clear that our child was in Uganda.  We started the day he got home and a short 4 months later our son, Owen, was in our home.  
God walked us through every step of the way.  One of the benefits of adopting from Uganda is that you are able to do it independently.  We hired our Ugandan lawyers after lots of research and referrals.  We got most of our information from a private facebook group!  We met lots of new friends and learned lots tons about both adoption and Uganda.  We hired a social worker here in the DFW area from another friend's referral.  She has walked us through the American processes and showed us how to get all of our needed training.  
Owen was brought to our attention by a friend of our lawyers who adopted a little girl from Uganda - she posted on facebook that a little boy needed a home and we prayed and inquired. 
The most valuable tool we have had along the way is prayer.  Our friends and family prayed us along and God moved mountains to get us to the child He always intended to be ours. When we were done with all of our required paperwork and training in the US, we waited for a court date in Uganda.   We were told about this date with less than a week's notice!  So, we packed up and got ready to travel.  
When we arrived, we stayed at the orphanage where Owen was.  We volunteered and learned about Uganda and it's people.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was falling in love with Uganda every step of the way.  We went to all of our legal appointments and were granted legal guardianship of Owen.  Our lawyers were so helpful and really lead us through the process.  We traveled home 3 weeks after we arrived, and then with our daughter, became a family of 4 at DFW International Airport!
Our process was very smooth (considering) with lots of scares along the way.  We had no agency to buffer anything, but we were thankful we were able to go independently.  It is often cheaper and has a shorter time frame too.  We prayed and God moved.  We asked Him to lead us to the child He had for us - and He did just that.  Uganda has 2.5 million orphans waiting for forever families.  We are very excited to see what God has in store for our future.  We have no idea what He is up to, but we are so thankful for the journey he has put us on. 

To Follow more of their story.... click here!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Journey & Covenant Kids host: Accelerated Foster Care Training!

Have you ever considered becoming a Foster Parent? Are you aware of the current need for Foster Parents in the state of Texas? There are currently more than 7,600 children in the Foster Care system in the Dallas Ft. Worth area, and more than 4,000 Waiting Children, available for adoption in the State of Texas. It is time for the church to follow the biblical mandate of caring for the Orphan, and step out in faith to care for the orphans in our own communities.
 First Baptist McKinney, in conjunction with Covenant Kids will be hosting an intensive Foster Training program beginning Tuesday, February 15th at 6PM. This program is designed to incorporate all of the state required classes in an accelerated format to allow you to move through the program more quickly.

The class schedule is as follows:
2/15     Tuesday 6-9PM
2/17     Thursday 6-9PM
2/19     Saturday 9A-5PM
2/22     Tuesday 6-9PM
2/24     Thursday 6-9PM
2/26     Saturday 9A-5PM

In order to pre-register for the class, please contact Jailynn Smiley at Covenant Kids at 817-789-3396 or via email If you are interested, please make sure to PRE-REGISTER so that we will be able to have the appropriate material available to all members of the class. If you have any questions or want additional information, please feel free to contact Mark and Melissa Baker at 972-898-4978 or

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WRAP Around Families: Traveling the journey with adoptive and foster families

The Journey will be having their first 2nd Wednesday meeting of the year tomorrow night at 6:15.  The first half of the session will be directed towards adoptive/foster families and finding effective ways to bring along others with them in this journey.  The second half will be directed specifically at families who want to provide support to adoptive/foster families.  We will discuss practical ways they can provide much needed support, along with how they can better understand unique issues and challenges adoptive/foster families face.  Our hope is to create a network of families within the church who have an interest in WRAPing around adoptive/foster families within the church.  This meeting is ideal for adoptive families, their families & friends, and anyone who has a desire to support those families.

We will meet in Room 2109 and will meet from 6:15-7:30.  Childcare is free and provided through the children's building of First Baptist Mckinney.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reflections on 2010 and Excitement for 2011

In August of this year, The Journey kicked off it's first official event. Since that time, we have been blessed to meet so many families right here within our own church body that have adopted, fostered, or are considering it.  We were blessed by support from our church staff, and were able to bring awareness to the entire church through our Orphan Sunday Events in November.  In December, our church's ministry was highlighted in Hope for Orphan's newsletter of church highlights!  If you would like to read that, click here!

While 2010 was indeed a great start for The Journey, we know that God has many good things to come.  We want to post a couple of the upcoming Events here and also point your attention to some of the ongoing opportunities.

First, our groups meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.  For a complete listing of the topics that will be discussed on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, see the tab above.  For information on our support groups that meet the 4th Wednesday of the month, see that tab.


FEBRUARY: We will be hosting Covenant Kids, a Foster Care Agency, to hold the training necessary to become a respite or Foster Care Family.  The dates are as follows:
Tuesday 15th, Thursday 17th, Saturday 19th, Tuesday 22nd, Thursday 24th, and Saturday 26th. The weekday classes are from 6-9 and the Saturday classes are 9-5.  Usually, these classes are held much further away and it is difficult to get to the classes.  We are excited to be able to host the classes here at the church.  In 2 weeks, YOU could have your training Complete and well on your way to becoming a Foster Parent!  This is also great if you are interested in "respite"... which is short term care (over 72 hrs) of children in foster care.  

APRIL:  Dates are waiting to be confirmed:  WEEKEND ADOPTION MARATHON: "If You Were Mine" Adoption Seminar held on a Friday night and all day Saturday.  This is for families considering adoption.  We held this as an 8 week class in the Fall, and will hold it as a weekend "marathon" of information in April for families that can't make it on Wednesday nights. We have a preview on the blog site. 

MAY: Foster Care Prayer Vigil: Wednesday May 4th.  We will meet, and get into groups and pray for the kids in foster care, the workers, and both the biological families and the foster families.  It will be a sweet time in prayer!


Chit Chat & Chai: Time where adoptive/foster moms can meet and just be together to chat about "whatever."  This will be every other month, and an Evite will be sent out. If you did not receive the evite for December and would like to be on that list, please let us know.

We are very excited for the coming year, and all it holds for the families of The Journey. We are so grateful to 
walk with you in life!

The Journey Leadership Team