Register for Together for Adoption Canada | Nov 8-9, Calgary, AB

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Celebrate the gift of adoption! Join us for the second national Together for Adoption conference in Canada to consider how we can serve children without families. You’ll learn about foster care and adoption, parenting children who have experienced trauma, and ways to lead an adoption ministry in your church!

4 Main Sessions & 16 workshops and exhibitors to help you in your adoption or fostercare journey!

Speakers include: Paul Pennington, Debra Delulio Jones, Pastor Joyce Rees, Pastor Matt Boda.

REGISTER HERE

This conference presented in partnership with ABBA Canada and a coalition of Calgary area churches including RockPointe, Centre Street, First Alliance and Glamorgan Church of God.

A Prayer for the Fatherless on Father’s Day

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a family.”  - Psalm 68:5-6

ABBA Father,

I pray for the thousands of children here in the US who are without a father to call their own and for the millions around the world who are longing for a daddy.

I praise You that You care more about the fatherless than anyone.

You are their defender, their protector, their sustainer. You are their Father when they have none.

I praise You that we can trust in You to work your purposes in each one of these children’s lives.

I praise You for how you are at work to provide them with earthly fathers. That it is Your heart to place them in families.

Lord, have mercy! Don’t leave them as orphans! Magnify yourself in pouring out your mercy in their lives here and around the world!

Stir your church to visit orphans in their affliction and make visible the glorious gospel!

Awaken the church to the need and the awesome opportunity to minister to the “least of these” and in doing so, to care for Jesus! O the thought of that is amazing. Overwhelming!

Move us, shake us, break us O Lord to have your Father’s heart this day for those who need a father.

In all this, I pray in the name of Jesus, that you would do more than I could ask or imagine for the sake of your name and the joy of the fatherless!

Amen.

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ABBA Fund has the honor of celebrating fathers all year long as we walk alongside families who have responded to God’s call to care for the fatherless — the orphan — by adopting them into their own families as sons and daughters … just as God desires to do for each of us (Ephesians 1:4-8). What a blessing that is!

As your family celebrates Father’s Day this weekend, we hope you will prayerfully consider honoring that special father in your life with a gift in his name to ABBA Fund to help waiting adoptive fathers bring home sons and daughters who will call them “daddy.”

Casey, Landrieu, and Braley Introduce Legislation to Make Adoption Tax Credit Refundable

On Thursday Senators Casey, Landrieu, and Braley introduced an act to make the Federal Adoption Tax Credit refundable. This would extend benefits to more families, ultimately helping more children come home. In 2011 62% of filers benefited from Refundable Credit.

Read the full AP article below:

Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2013. The bill would make the Adoption Tax Credit fully refundable. Making the tax credit refundable would extend its benefits to more Americans. According to IRS data, 62% of filers in 2011 benefited from the refundable Adoption Tax Credit.

“Making the Adoption Tax Credit refundable will support and encourage adoption by assisting families with some of the costs,” Senator Casey said. “The Adoption Tax Credit has been a proven success in increasing families’ ability to offer permanent homes to adoptive children. Making the credit refundable will allow more families to experience its benefits.”

“My husband and I are blessed with two precious, adopted children, and I know the Adoption Tax Credit encourages many families to consider expanding their own through adoption,” Senator Landrieu said. “Without the tax credit being refundable, many adopting families can’t fully utilize the benefits of this credit to make adoption a reality. This change will especially help families that want to adopt foster youth, finally providing them with a permanent and loving family and ensuring foster care is only temporary. I am committed to making the Adoption Tax Credit refundable and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue to support families who make the wonderful decision to adopt.”

“The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act makes the tax credit even better by making it refundable,” Congressman Braley said.”  “That means more families can take full advantage of the tax cut, providing a better incentive to families considering adoption. That will help more children in need end up in loving homes.”

The adoption tax credit was made permanent in the American Taxpayer Relief Act in January 2013.  However, that law did not extend the refundability provisions that applied to the adoption tax credit in 2010 and 2011.  The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act will restore the refundable portion of this critical support for families wishing to adopt.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, one-third of all adopted children live in families with annual household income at or below 200 percent of the poverty level.  Despite the common misperception that only wealthy families adopt, nearly 46 percent of families adopting from foster care are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Many of these families’ tax burdens are so low that they cannot benefit from the adoption tax credit at all unless it is refundable.

Preliminary 2011 data indicate that nearly 62 percent of families who filed for the adoption tax credit benefited from refundability.  Forty-one percent of families who benefited from refundability (25 percent of all families who took the tax credit) had adjusted gross incomes under $50,000.

These data indicate that a refundable adoption tax credit plays a significant role in lower-income families’ ability to adopt and support a child from foster care.  Older data from a 2006 study cited by HHS demonstrate a significant financial benefit to society, as well: the cost of adoption and permanency is significantly lower than the cost to federal, state and local governments to provide long-term foster care.

Why You Need to See the Stuck Documentary on Int’l Adoption

The best estimates are that over 10 million children are currently living in institutions globally. For many of these children international adoption is their best hope. For all of these children family is their greatest need. And, ultimately Jesus is their only hope.

Jesus tells us that our love for Him is only as great as our love for the least of these (Matthew 25). That said, there should be no children without families where the church exists.

The current international adoption system is broken. In just the last 10 years the number of children who have been adopted has been cut by over 60%. The number of adoptions continues to decline while the number of orphans increases. The new documentary Stuck seeks to raise awareness to this problem and is movement to provide change for the sake of these children. Please check out the schedule of showings here and let’s fill the theaters around the country for the sake of the children and the glory of Jesus.

This is a must watch documentary! Visit Both Ends Burning for tour dates and showings in a city near you.

The Refresh Conference for Adoptive & Foster Families | Seattle, WA

My wife and I are excited to be speaking at the upcoming Refresh Conference in Seattle, WA Feb 8-9. What I love about this conference is that it is designed especially to minister to those who have already said yes to the call to adopt and foster and are now in the trenches. They have designed this conference to be an opportunity to escape from the distractions and chaos of life to be refreshed, equipped, and inspired! We would love to see you there.