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2012 Walk/Run Logo Contest

February 2, 2023

by Tyler Johnson

You may have spotted our new flyer around promoting this year's contest!

Every year the Miriam Project has a 5k walk/run and 10k run fundraiser that helps raise support for our services year-round. This year, in anticipation of the big event, we are holding a walk/run logo contest. We have always had a logo for the event each year, but they had previously all been created in-house. It seems natural that on the 10th year of the fundraiser we mix it up a bit. A logo contest will not only provide this year’s event with a great new design for our t-shirts, mugs, and promotional materials, but it will also allow the community and our supporters to be more involved with the fundraiser.

About the Contest:
We will be accepting entries for the logo contest from January 23, 2023 to March 2, 2012. The goal is to design a logo for the 2012 walk/run which will be held in September. The submitted entries will be judged by a panel here at The Miriam Project, and the winner will receive $150, two t-shirts and two mugs with the winning design, and two entries into this year’s walk/run!

Steps to Enter:

  1. Carefully read through the official contest rules.
  2. Create an awesome logo for this years walk/run.
  3. Submit your logo in the correct format to [email protected].
  4. Wait for the contest winner to be announced in March!

Not an artist, but still want to be a part?
We have heard many requests from our supporters asking how they could get more involved with The Miriam Project; now is your chance! The only way this contest will succeed is if we have the support of others to help spread the word. Whether you are interested in entering the contest or not, we are confident that you likely know someone who would be interested. Whether that’s a friend, relative, or co-worker who enjoys doing graphic design as a profession or hobby, why not share this opportunity with them? There are a lot of easy ways you can let them know too. Sharing this article, the flyer posted on our Facebook page, or even just a link to the contest’s official rules can help spread the word. These things can be shared on social networking sites (like Facebook or Twitter), in an email, by texting, or through good old-fashioned word of mouth. Trying to get the word out not only supports the contest and the annual fundraiser, but it helps spread the word about The Miriam Project too!

Saving the Starfish

November 4, 2023

Note: This is a guest article written by an adoption advocate.

by Katrina

Many times in the last year, my husband and I have talked in conversation about what our lives could offer a child, what we could teach a child, and what we could give a child. Of course, many things were brought up, such as education, activities, hobbies, and of course knowing the love of our heavenly father. However, it was not until now that we truly stopped to think about one thing we will most definitely give to our child, and truly to any child that we are in contact with: the power of action through our reactions to situations we face and see.

If God’s “forever family,” for our family, includes a child, I pray that we will glorify him in every way, including our actions and consideration of where he would like us to serve his purpose. We have been blessed to have an amazing, supportive church family with many families who have put serving God in top priority, allowing him to lead them wherever he will take them, through many different journeys.  Through these amazing families, we have joined a Sunday evening Bible study that focuses on the Orphan Crisis, and how the church will, can, and is helping to end extreme poverty. The study is called 58: Fast Living – How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty, written by Scott C. Todd.

Dr. Todd relates his experience most with the background of how God called him to really look at how we may not see the true end results of what we do here on earth; We may only see the broken pieces, but it is in those broken pieces that God can create, maintain, and sustain the life that he truly has created. Todd tells in the form of a little girl named Jacki. Jacki was a child who lived in Tanzania that had been affected greatly by the HIV Aids epidemic. Not only had she lost both of her parents and was moved into a small living space with her grandmother, but Jacki also had to bear the burden of HIV. Dr. Todd was seeking to help Jacki fight this disease by getting her into the treatment program to help sustain and regenerate her health. This program could only accept 53 applicants out of thousands. Jacki was accepted, but although she was a fighter, she was unable to begin the program before she herself met the same fate as her parents before her. However, through her spark, Jacki set God’s plan into motion. Todd reveals that upon Jacki’s death, he promised to do everything in his power to prevent another child from meeting that same fate.

After returning to Tanzania to read a letter at Jacki’s graveside for his own closure, Dr. Todd was unable to go to the graveside because of the time schedule for his trip. He did, however, meet God’s closure in the form of a little girl and a pink balloon. This little girl was the same age, same background, and same diagnosis as Jacki, yet she was alive and thriving. She was also among the 53 children on the list for the new lifesaving drugs, along with Jacki, but because of the work that had been done, the pink balloon girl had survived! Oh, and her name was Jacqueline. This sent chills down my spine; The kind of chills that God gives to say, “Hey, what more do I need to show you that you may know that I am in control, and I do not make mistakes.”

In November, as we look to National Adoption Month, we should remember that we can “save the starfish”, like in the story written by Loren Eiseley called, “The Star Thrower”

 A man was walking along the beach when he saw a boy picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing”

“Throwing starfish back into the ocean,” he said. “The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

Let us make a decision that can light the fire in hearts of many who can work together to change the lives of thousands.

Todd goes on to bring this story a little closer to the here and now, just to show what we, as God’s hands and feet, can do for those who are in need of a forever family:

A man was walking along the beach when he saw a girl taking a picture of a starfish with her iPhone.

Approaching the girl, he asked, “What are you doing?”

“Uploading pictures of these starfish to my Facebook page and asking friends to Tweet the call to action.” She said, “The surf is up and the tide is going out, if I can get enough friends out here, we can get all these starfish back into the water before sunset.”

“Little girl,” the man asked, “what does tweet mean”

The girl rolled her eyes. She bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then she gave the man a wry, twinkly eyed smile and said”If you want to help out, this is how you do it.”

Within hours, thousands of children stormed the beach and every starfish was rescued.

So how can our lives be a call to action? How can we show our loving hearts, and put to use the gifts and blessings God has shown us to those who need it the most? By following the direction God is leading each of us. For some, it may be just the beginning of a journey across the world, like our friends who are entering their fourth adoption from Ethiopia. For others, it may be a waiting and serving the home front by getting conversations started about the Orphan crisis and the poverty crisis at home and afar. It may even be more of a call to prayer: “the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16, KJV)

As we go through the month of November, and we are called to think about the lives of those we have not yet met, the hope for the future of those who are waiting for a change in situation, living arrangements, or just for the chance to be loved unconditionally with no strings attached, let us remember that God calls everyday people, like you and me, to do extraordinary things; He calls us to be “starfish throwers.” Let your life reflect the call of your heart, and let us make sure that our lives reflect God’s blessing. He is faithful, so let us be faithful.  Let us take this time to volunteer at our local child care center, an after school program, a church group, or maybe even help with projects like Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans Purse. Let the gift that God has given you help reach those that he cares for.

In this study, my eyes have been opened to the large impact that one small step I take in my day can have. I have learned that I may not even realize how big of an impact each imprint may make on a heart that views the path I take. As the Body of Christ, let us open a door that could change just one life: it could inspire thousands. If you are in the journey of adoption, God is molding you and seeking your forever family for his perfect plan. If your heart is being tugged in the direction of adoption, seek out prayer and counseling, and don’t be afraid to ask God to show you what he has planned for you. You may be that person who can spark that flame in the heart of the another that God will use to change the lives of thousands!

Help Provide “Change for Children” this Spring

May 5, 2023

By Rob Heaton, Miriam Project Student Assistant

Spring is a season to intentionally celebrate our own mothers and fathers. Though Mother’s Day and Fathers’ Day have become Hallmark holidays to many, these days do remain special for all who truly cherish the impact of their parents — or parental figures — in their lives.

At the same time, the Miriam Project invites you this spring to consider children in need of loving, committed motherly and fatherly figures. Consider also those couples who are ready to open their hearts and their home to a child through adoption. These children and these parents-to-be are all hoping for change, and this spring, you can provide it through Change for Children.

Change for Children
This spring, you can help the Miriam Project provide Change for Children.

This Mother’s Day ( Sunday, May 8 ) in all services at Madison Park Church of God, ushers will hand out our designated bottles, like those in the photograph above, to families exiting the auditorium. Between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, we are asking you to collect your spare change in our bottles as you go about your daily life! Return the bottle full of change on Father’s Day ( Sunday, June 19 ), and all proceeds will benefit the Miriam Project in service of children, birth parents and adoptive families.

If you are unable to attend services this Sunday but would still like a bottle to collect your change in, please contact the Miriam Project by phone or email after Mother’s Day to check on availability and set up good time to pick up a bottle. If you would like to give to the Miriam Project’s ministry more immediately, please check out our Donate page.

This spring, your change will help change children’s lives with the Miriam Project.

Donate Used Baby Bottles April 17 and 24 at Madison Park

April 11, 2023

Baby BottleThe Miriam Project is collecting used baby bottles for a new fundraising initiative set to begin this spring! If you have baby bottles that are no longer useful to your family, please consider bringing them to Madison Park Church of God on one of the next two Sundays (April 17 and 24).

We will set up a bin for the collection of your bottles at the Information Center either before or after services on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. If you would prefer, bottles can be delivered to the Miriam Project office at the Broadway Ministry Center (1400 Broadway in Anderson) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays before April 28.

While there is no intention for collected bottles to be used in the future by nursing babies, we strongly prefer that the bottles be in clean and presentable condition. Translucent bottles are also preferred, but not necessary.

This is a great way to ensure that your used baby bottles get valuable use for years to come, while at the same time benefiting the Miriam Project’s ministry. Thank you!

Introducing… SAFARI

March 3, 2023

By Rob Heaton, Miriam Project Student Assistant

“You don’t wait for a job. You look for a job. So why would you wait to adopt?”
—Hal Kaufman, MyAdoptionAdvisor.com

Since posting our November 2010 National Adoption Month Blog Series, we at the Miriam Project have been hard at work finding the right answers to a common question we receive from families hoping to adopt.

All of the necessary paperwork has been filed, the home study is either in progress or completed, and the couple has thoroughly prepared a place in their home and their hearts for the child that God will place in their lives.

And then the waiting game begins. We’re asked, “What now?”

Our long-awaited answer is: “Let’s take a SAFARI together.”

SAFARI, an acronym standing for Sharing Adoptive Families’ Ambitions, Realities & Intentions, is the Miriam Project’s new adoptive family marketing initiative. But don’t let the word “marketing” scare you off—we’ve designed multiple packages geared at matching the budgets and comfort levels of a range of families.

For instance, we know that some families are looking for the extra nudge and the tools with which to share their plans to adopt with friends and others close to them. On the other hand, some families may want to share their intentions with a wider audience through all-out advertising geared toward potential birth mothers. Others wish simply to feel like they’re actively participating in the Miriam Project’s ongoing marketing and outreach initiatives. From a simple packet of tips and ideas on free (and almost free) methods to market yourself to magnetic car advertising, we’ve tried to consider the entire range of adoptive families in shaping the SAFARI program.

Now, you might say, “If we’re waiting on God’s timing for the fulfillment of our adoptive goals, why should we actively participate in a form of marketing?” It’s absolutely a fair question, and because of this we designed SAFARI as an opt-in program. We know that not all families will want to venture out with the higher-priced packages for various reasons, and that some may even see our ideas and choose to execute them without the Miriam Project’s assistance. That’s completely okay with us! Our goal is simply to help facilitate each family’s individual willingness to share their adoptive intent with the right audience at the right time. Whether this is accomplished through the Miriam Project, with an independent adoption advisor or completely individually, our goals are your goals.

So mark your calendars! The Miriam Project will begin taking reservations for the SAFARI program when it formally launches on Monday, March 7, 2023. In the meantime, stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page or Twitter feed for additional updates as we rollout the various packages, features and options that will become available. For families with an approved home study from the Miriam Project, check your mail in the next few days as we elaborate on the details about SAFARI.

In the meantime, if you’re asking the “What now?” question posed above, we have a couple of questions for you as well.

1. How open are you willing to be about your plan to adopt?
2. How much are you willing to spend to share your story?

Your answers to these two questions will be your faithful guide when selecting the package meant for you. And at the Miriam Project, we can’t wait to share in this SAFARI with you in the coming days and weeks.

National Adoption Month 2010 Blog Series

December 1, 2023

By Rob Heaton, Miriam Project Student Assistant

As we turn our calendars from November to December, National Adoption Month has come to a close. Though the month that was is designated as a time to dedicate efforts for education and awareness about adopting, the actual cause of adoption knows no particular season. With this in mind, the Miriam Project devised its National Adoption Month blog series as a way to expound upon timeless truths, pleas and facts about adoption, though it was purposefully delivered in November 2010.

As adoption is a year-round event, we hope you will continue to find the blog series useful. This entry contains links to all five blog posts, as well as a brief recap of their contents. Sequentially, the Miriam Project encourages you to…

  • [Week 1] Get the Facts About Adoption: National Adoption Month is declared annually by presidential proclamation. UNICEF estimates that some 13 million children worldwide have lost both parents; many end up in orphanages. In the United States alone, almost 115,000 children are awaiting adoption.
  • [Week 2] Consider the Scripture About Adoption: In his epistles, Paul regards adoption as a reflection of our reconciliation with God. Adoption, therefore, is a creation-renewing practice; James 1:27 explains that pure faith includes caring for widows and orphans in their distress.
  • [Week 3] Share Your Adoption Perspective: Even if you are not an adoptee or an adoptive parent, chances are you are affected somehow by adoption – through a friend, family member, acquaintances, etc. There is power in each unique story about adoption, power that could plant the seed in someone’s mind to eventually adopt!
  • [Week 4] Practice Your Gratitude for Adoption: In the spirit of Thanksgiving week, and in consideration of the holiday’s original roots, we believe that it is impossible to separate the practice of adoption from our expression of thankfulness.
  • [Week 5] Commit to the Parentless:With an understanding of the sheer volume of children in need of parents and our command to care for the orphan, some sort of response is required. In many cases, this may lead a couple to adopt, but there are other ways to commit to the motherless and fatherless. What is your response to the need?

As always, thank you for reading and for your steadfastness for adoption.

National Adoption Month 2010, Week Five: Commit to the Parentless

November 30, 2023

Note: This blog post is the final installment in a five-part, month-long series by the Miriam Project intended to celebrate and treasure the miracle of adoption during National Adoption Month. We hope that your reflections on these posts have improved your awareness, education and perspectives about adoption! You can view the blog series in its entirety via the NAM2010 link, and we hope you will keep remain connected to us by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.

By Rob Heaton, Miriam Project Student Assistant

If you have kept up with the Miriam Project blog throughout November, chances are you have learned a thing or two about adoption facts and figures or have been encouraged to consider the ways that adoption has touched your own life. As a recap of our first four parts of this National Adoption Month 2010 blog series, recall the following:

  • [Week 1] Get the Facts About Adoption: National Adoption Month is declared annually by presidential proclamation. UNICEF estimates that some 13 million children worldwide have lost both parents; many end up in orphanages. In the United States alone, almost 115,000 children are awaiting adoption.
  • [Week 2] Consider the Scripture About Adoption: In his epistles, Paul regards adoption as a reflection of our reconciliation with God. Adoption, therefore, is a creation-renewing practice; James 1:27 explains that pure faith includes caring for widows and orphans in their distress.
  • [Week 3] Share Your Adoption Perspective: Even if you are not an adoptee or an adoptive parent, chances are you are affected somehow by adoption - through a friend, family member, acquaintances, etc. There is power in each unique story about adoption, power that could plant the seed in someone’s mind to eventually adopt!
  • [Week 4] Practice Your Gratitude for Adoption: In the spirit of Thanksgiving week, and in consideration of the holiday’s original roots, we believe that it is impossible to separate the practice of adoption from our expression of thankfulness.

The comprehension of these factors and perspectives has, over the years, been known to elicit responses from churches, nations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and couples alike. This Sunday, The Herald-Bulletin of Anderson, Indiana (hometown of the Miriam Project!) profiled one such couple that experienced the miracle of adoption with the help of the Miriam Project. An excerpt of the feature story is reproduced below, but please follow the link to read the full article and view photos that also ran in The Herald-Bulletin‘s Community section!

Project helps adoptive, birth parents share in life of a child

By Scott L. Miley
November 28, 2023

ANDERSON — Before young Deacon Reinhard was born in Anderson, his future adoptive parents spent time with his birth mother.

In fact, the Reinhards still share updates about Deacon, now 2. The birth parents, both middle-aged, have even visited the Reinhards at their home near Fort Wayne.

“It was pretty amazing,” said Jane Reinhard, 25. “Our family just embraced them and loves them. We consider them part of the family.”

About three years ago, the Reinhards met with the Florida birth mother. Through an intermediary known as the Miriam Project, the birth couple received a scrapbook about the Reinhards before choosing them as the couple to raise Deacon.

The relationship is far different from adoptions decades ago where adoptive parents avoided birth parents. Indeed, some children never knew of their adopted status.

“We believe God didn’t just place these boys into our home but God placed their families into our homes as well,” said Michael Reinhard… [continue reading]

While adoption is beautiful, it is important to acknowledge that it may not be for everyone or even every couple. Indeed, it is just one piece of the solution for the parentless and the orphaned children of the world. Recognizing this, many churches and other organizations have lately been using the broad-reaching term of “orphan care” for their ministries and initiatives.

Such a term includes other approaches to reaching the needs or orphaned children, such as through the foster care system. Perhaps your skills and abilities may guide you to seek licensure as a foster parent in your home state. Alternatively, people with less time to freely devote could become a court-appointed special advocate for a child meandering his or her way through the foster care system. Both are powerful ways to positively impact the life of a child without adopting.

However, your commitment does not have to rely on an organization. If you know an adoptive family in your community - and chances are that you do - offering to watch their children for just one night a month could be instrumental both to their sanity and their ability to refresh and continue to properly raise their children.

After consideration of your resources and talking with your spouse, your response to the plight of the parentless may lead to adoption some time in the future. If this is the case, the Miriam Project applauds and celebrates your commitment to the calling you have embraced, whether or not we help you facilitate a placement! Indeed, the problem of orphaned children goes well beyond the capabilities of any single organization.

If you are interested in more information about adoption with the Miriam Project, we encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions and contact us by phone or email to start the dialogue!

The societal quandary of the motherless and the fatherless demands a response, especially from the Christian community. So as we close National Adoption Month for 2010, what is your commitment?

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