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Finding the sacred in everyday life
Day 4: Welcoming children and offering the gift of family
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Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.
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Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer

When I first interviewed bestselling author Tricia Goyer to talk about her Amish novels she had just finalized the adoption of her two youngest children. So when I decided to focus on welcoming during Advent, I knew I wanted Tricia to share her story. I’m thrilled that she agreed, and I think all of you — those who want to adopt and those who want to support foster and adoptive families — will be blessed by her words.
Every Christmas is special, but I have to admit I’m especially looking forward to this upcoming one. You see this year we added two new children to our family, 6-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Casey. We adopted them from the foster car system, and it’s been a year of hardship and joy, a year of seeing broken hearts start to heal, and a year of firsts. A first out-of-state trip, a first movie theater experience, first birthdays as Goyers, and now our first Christmas together.
Last Christmas my heart had been prayerful as I consider our growing family. You see we’d just finished all the paperwork and our home study, and I knew that the Department of Social Services could all us any day with a child. They called with children … two of them on January 7. Children who’d lived in numerous homes over the last few years. Children with struggles. Children who’d been hurt. Children who needed a mother and a father.
John and I were willing to open our home, because we longed to give ourselves to children, knowing that the gift we offered them was a godly home. A home that exalted God and parents who strove to serve Him and to glorify Him with their lives.
Over the past few months we’ve taught our children table manners and we’ve trained them to listen and to {most of the time} obey. We’ve proven through our actions that we will provide the food and clothes they need. We’ve proven ourselves as we’ve shown them unconditional love.
Did we do this just to show them what a happy home was like? Yes, we wanted that for them, but even more we wanted them to understand the ultimate gift given on Christmas. We have taught our children to trust us, so that some day they will trust Jesus. We want them to see our walk and become curious about His plan for their lives. We want them to start asking questions and to listen as we share about God’s Son, our Savior.
As we gather around the Christmas tree, the story of Christ’s  unconditional love and sacrifice is something our children will hopefully understand because we’ve lived it out throughout the year.
Maybe God has put adoption on your heart. If so don’t let fears and worries keep you from following God’s call. But even if you aren’t called to adopt consider blessing a family this Christmas who is. Offer your support and your prayers. Help them give the greatest gift to a child or two next Christmas—the gift of family—and the gift of the Good News of Jesus, offered up with joyful hearts.
And on Christmas morning if you hear extra excited squeals, you’ll know it’s coming from our part of the world—from new Goyer children.
Tricia Goyer is the author of 40 books, including the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. She has won ACFW’s Carol Award twice, and is a Christy Award and Gold Medallion award finalist. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com or www.notquiteamishliving.com. She’s also hosting a Facebook chat starting at 8 p.m. EST Dec. 4 to talk about hearing God in the simple things. You’ll find details here.

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