Families of all kinds



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Family...
The branches on a tree,
we all grow in different directions
yet our roots remain as one. 
(Author Unknown)

 All Families

Parenting tips:

We are often asked if being an adoptive parent is different from being a biological parent. Our answer is a simple - Love is universal. Skills can be learned. That said, we’d like to offer you 5 tips to help you on your journey – not matter your parenting situation: foster, biological or adoption.  Click here for a printable copy of the following tips.

1. Take care of yourself.  Parenting can be compared  to using  an oxygen mask on an airplane: “put your own mask on before you help anyone else”. The point is...If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be of any help to those who are relying upon you. Make sure that, if chaos visits your home, you take time to care for your own needs too.
 
2. Enjoy your children in each moment.  Parenting takes a great deal of time and energy. But as any veteran parent will tell you, the days that your children are actually in your house are numbered. Make sure you take time to enjoy your children, and learn to appreciate even the smallest victories together. Remember, the older your children become, the faster time seems to go.

3. Have a plan.  We all have thoughts about what we hope our children will learn and who they will become as adults. While you can’t live their lives for them, you can guide children on their journey by inviting conversation about the important values that define life. Don’t be afraid to explain your reasoning by sharing some of your own stories with them.

4. Be the person you hope they will become.  
The old saying: “I can’t hear what you are saying because your actions are speaking so loudly” is especially true with children and parents. You can give kids all the lectures and talks you want about how you expect them to act, All the lectures in the world will pale in comparison to the lessons they learn by watching you .

5. Keep faith a priority.  There is no greater gift you can give to your children than a strong faith life. Your children will hear what you say about God and religion, but what will really impact them is seeing how you live out  those beliefs. For families of mixed faith—it is equally important that each parent be authentic in living out their faith. Find common ground through shared family prayers and service work. It’s a win-win situation for all.


Single Parents

  • Lifelong Faith Associates is a wonderful resource guide committed to helping to develop lifelong Christian faith formation for all ages and generations, and assisting communities to nurture faith growth for everyone.
  • The Journey of Hearts website was launched in October 1997 to serve as an Internet resource for those with who have experienced a loss and are going through a grief response. The site was created to educate visitors and heighten public awareness of grief, loss, and bereavement and to de-stigmatize societal views on depression. Through information, the site empowers people by providing education about the commonality of these life experiences to better understand grief, and, if needed, to seek care.
  • An award-winning site, CatholicMom.com is a home-based apostolate supported by volunteer contributors which reaches millions of readers in hundreds of countries around the world.
  • Catholic Dads helps fathers live out and witness to their vocation through fostering discussion about shared experiences and providing resources and relevant information about being a Catholic father.
  • National Fatherhood Initiative® is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children with involved, responsible, and committed fathers in their lives.

Foster / Kinship / Adoptive Families

  • Interested in becoming a foster parent? Visit Harborcreek Youth Services
  • Interested in adoption? Visit Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services
  • "An Adoption Love Story" (USCCB.org)
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
  • A letter from Danelle Stone, Director of CCCAS Adoption Services:
    "We know that not all families look the same or even become families in the same way. Some parents make the difficult, but loving, decision to give their child up for adoption, knowing they are unable to give them the love and care that they deserve. Thankfully, Foster families open their homes and hearts in order to provide children needing a safe and healthy living environment until a more permanent situation is found. Ultimately, our hope is that all children will be blessed with a “forever family”—a family that will accept them into their hearts and homes and provide them with the love, respect and nurturance that every child deserves. If you have questions about adoption or foster care, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help."

Military Families

A Prayer For Those in the Military  Click here for a printable copy of this prayer.

Almighty God
We stand before you in supplication,
Asking Your Divine mercy and protection,
To envelop with Your invincible armor,
Our loved ones in all branches of the service.

Give them courage and strength
Against all enemies,
Both spiritual and physical,
And hasten their safe journey,
Back to their homes and families.

If it be Your Holy Will
That they be gathered to Your bosom,
With the eternal vanguard of the saints,
Let their journey to Your everlasting arms
Be swift and painless,
Where they may stand in honor and glory,
Praising You for all eternity.

Amen.


Blended Families

  • An award-winning site, CatholicMom.com is a home-based apostolate supported by volunteer contributors which reaches millions of readers in hundreds of countries around the world.
  • Family Life Blended provides biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce

A Prayer for Stepfamilies  Click here for a printable copy of this prayer.
Blessed are you, God of creation! It is difficult to parent two batches of kids and love them into one family.
Look on stepfamilies, Lord. Give them courage to build new relationships, the willingness to adjust to one another’s habits,
likes, and dislikes, and an ability to laugh over small things. Bless all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who are
coming on board as family. Bless this widening embrace of family with patience, joy and love. Amen. (Catholicmom.com)

Blended Family’s Prayer  Click here for a printable copy of this prayer.
She: God of all people, we find ourselves together as a family. You chose each of us to live and move and have our being in you.
He: You foreknew that we would be living together, a blended family. As this family, make of us something new that has not been before.
She: When we are tempted to take sides, smooth rough edges and ruffled feathers; bring your peace and love.
Help us grow in love of one another, as you love us.
He: Just as a tapestry is woven of many threads into a beauteous whole,
we ask you to weave us together that our family may be whole and beautiful.
She: We know we are all your children in your Son, Jesus Christ and, as such, owe you our loyalty and respect.
Together: May we show each family member the same loyalty and respect. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Families in Transition

  • Transitions is a monthly peer ministry that provides a safe place for healthy grieving the loss of one’s marriage due to divorce, death or separation. Through its monthly support groups and specialized programs, Transitions offers companionship and hope to those traveling the journey of grief.
  • Rainbows for All Children nurtures a community of effective Rainbows-trained facilitators supported with a repository of resources designed to guide youth in their grieving process.
  • The death of a loved one is devastating to a child. The impact can be overwhelming and the children and family often need support. The Highmark Caring Place is a home-based apostolate supported by volunteer contributors which reaches millions of readers in hundreds of countries around the world. Check out their online resources.