The Edmond Sun
Christian scripture often speaks about the fatherless. Examples include:
Exodus 22:22 — Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.
James 1:27 — Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Psalm 82:3 — Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
This week, when Christians across the world are remembering the crucifixion and the resurrection, Oklahoma Christian University teamed up with Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care, 501 E. 15th St., Suite 500A. The nonprofit placement agency helps women find adoptive parents for their infants and children.
Through various speakers, students learned about foster care and adoption. Lilyfield Executive Director Holly Towers said the organization’s name expresses the staff’s faith in God’s love for all mankind, especially the young lives helped by its services.
“We believe that every child deserves a family,” Towers said. “Participation with the fatherless and the modern-day orphan is not optional when we are focused on Christ and living a godly lifestyle.”
Towers said many people can foster or adopt, but even those who cannot open their homes to a child can help ensure that other Christian families are able to do so. She said she hopes seeds were planted in the hearts of students to one day foster or adopt.
Risa Forrester, OC’s vice president for admissions and marketing, serves on the Lilyfield oversight board. In 2004, Lilyfield aided Forrester and her husband in the adoption of their son Cal. In 2011, she was approached about serving on the board.
“Holly Towers and the Lilyfield staff continue to creatively meet state needs,” Forrester said. “I am thrilled with the ways the agency is serving students in the foster care system.”
Towers kicked off the week by sharing Lilyfield’s dream of a family for every child in Oklahoma. The OC community then heard from Tom Ward, CEO of SandRidge Energy and founder of White Fields. Ward shared his passion of supporting the fatherless as an act of obedience to the gospel.
Other speakers included John Sowers, president of The Mentoring Project and author of “The Fatherless Generation,” Ben Nockels, director of the 111 Project, and Josh Kingcaid, an adoptive father and a minister at Memorial Road Church of Christ.
Friday morning, Kingcaid shared his story with OC students during the daily chapel service.
Kingcaid said he and his wife Aubrey, who live in Edmond, determined foster care would be a path they would eventually take at some point. They planned on starting their own family first. But they were having issues preventing them from doing so.
In 2008, Kingcaid received a Master’s in Divinity degree from Oklahoma Christian’s Graduate School of Theology. He was supposed to finishing his doctoral dissertation at this time in his life. But God had other plans.
At the same time he accepted the job at Memorial Road Church of Christ the congregation was starting a foster care training program. In 2008, Josh and Aubrey welcomed three and a half week old Mariah (now age 4) into their home.
“We found out pretty quickly that she would become adoptable,” Kingcaid said. “And of course, we jumped at that chance.”
In December 2009, Josh and Aubrey adopted Mariah. A few months later, the couple decided to pursue another foster baby whether or not the boy or girl would be adoptable. In June 2010, they welcomed six and a half month old Jayden (now age 3).
“When I look back, it’s pretty laughable that I thought we could handle two kids under a year and a half old and be fine with that,” Kingcaid said. “It was really hard.”
The couple thought their family planning was done, their number certain.
About three weeks after welcoming Jayden into their home they got a call from Lilyfield informing them Mariah’s biological mother just birthed another child. They were asked if they could be ready to receive him in a day or two.
“Some people have nine months to get ready for a child; we had a weekend,” Kingcaid said, adding he has no regrets about how things worked out.
So in 2010 they welcomed one week old Myles (now age 2) into their rapidly expanding brood. Kingcaid showed several family photographs, drawing adoring expressions from the students and applause.
Kingcaid said he and his wife were motivated to foster and adopt partly out of obedience to their calling as Christians. He acknowledged that the students were likely not in a position to foster or adopt, but there were other ways to help. He also encouraged them to consider these options later in their lives. He said some of them will have issues related to infertility.
“I want you to remember this chapel talk and I want you to call me or send me email because my wife and I will want to have counsel with you or meet with you,” he said. “And we want to talk with you about your tragedy and grieve with you through it and help you think about ways to practice justice for the fatherless.”
During the week, OC students donated meal swipes to help fund the cause of providing families for children in Oklahoma through the adoption and foster care programs at Lilyfield. Other efforts included donating spare change in baby bottles located across campus and connecting with featured organizations through volunteer and internship opportunities.
Since it opened in 2000, Lilyfield has served more than 600 birth mothers and placed more than 120 children in loving Christian homes. For more information, call 216-5240 visit www.lilyfield.org.
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