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Catholic Adoptive Parenting Columnist Heidi Hess Saxton

Additional Catholic Mom Columns Recommends:

Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can't Live With Their Parents, by Janice Levy (Magination Press, 2004).

Kids who can't live with their parents -- both those in foster care, and those who live with other relatives -- have big feelings. This book, appropriate for kids 6-12, handles them all with tact and empathy through the figure of "Aunt Dane," the Mary Poppins of foster parents.  Foster parents will relate to the buxom caregiver, and wish we had her unflagging optimism and wisdom. In the meantime, we can learn from her, too.

A special section in the back of the book coaches foster parents on how to help the children in their care to cope with the realities of their lives by following Aunt Dane's favorite truisms: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift."

Kevin Has a Home

Several weeks ago I wrote an article entitled,
Does God Have a Family for Every Child?

I’m delighted to report this story has a happy ending. This weekend my friend “Sue” met the adoptive parents of “Kevin,” the older brother of her adopted children who had been languishing in a group home.

It seems Jake and Natasha met Kevin at a “kinship festival,” when they were considering whether to adopt a child. Kevin came up to them and cracked a joke, and it was love at first sight. “We decided then and there that the moment we took him into our home, it would be for keeps – no looking back,” said Jake, a Baptist minister. They have two grown children, and it is an adjustment having a younger child in the home again. But you have only to look at Kevin’s glowing face to know that it is a match truly made in heaven.

This weekend the children all got together for a sibling visit, a picnic at a local park. Their home study done, Kevin’s new parents are able to take him on weekends while the final papers are drawn. “We’d take him more than that, but the home won’t let us keep him more than 10 nights a month.” The reason the agency gave them is that they aren’t licensed foster parents. But really, does this make any sense at all? If he is safe with them 10 days a month, is it really necessary that he stay in that awful group home the other 20? (They were told it could take several months to finalize the paperwork.)

“Keep your eyes on the prize,” Sue urged them. Adoptive parents have to “labor,” just as biological parents do – and it can be every bit as painful, and often far more prolonged. No doubt the months of back-and-forth are difficult on all concerned. But the labor will pay great dividends.

Writing that original article about Kevin was difficult – we all like fairy-tale endings, with no loose ends. I wish I could report that there was never any doubt that God would come through in the end for Kevin. That wouldn’t be true.

But isn’t it good to know that God is even more faithful than we give Him credit for? When the storm looms large, and our faith is sinking fast, this story reminds us to take a deep breath and relax. The longer the wait, the greater the joy.

Do you have a “waiting” story you’d like to share? Send it to me at [email protected] 


Heidi Hess Saxton and her husband Craig are adoptive parents of two children Christopher (6) and Sarah (4). is the editor of Canticle magazine, the “voice” of  "Women of Grace". A convert to the faith since 1994, Heidi is also a graduate student of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and a frequent contributor to  Read more of Heidi’s writing through her website or visit Heidi's blog at

Would you like to receive Heidi's column by email?  Send a message to Heidi.

6/11/06 Recommends:




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Adoption Resources:
These resources have been recommended by our readers.  To suggest a link or book, email [email protected] with your suggestion.

Helpful Links:

*Several readers have recommended local DHS and Catholic Charities for adoption resources. 

Little Flowers Foundation

Catholic Charities USA

National Council for Adoption

Priests for Life Alternatives to Abortion Resource Page

US Department of Health and Human Services

National Adoption

Information Clearinghouse


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