Adoption – Christian Children’s Home of Ohio

Adoption

The transformative path (Story 38 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Two former CCHO residents share their inspiring stories of transformation in story #38 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series.

Transformation. It looks different for everyone. It takes time. It involves small but important decisions. Often baby steps. But those baby steps along a new path can lead to somewhere special, a destination that once seemed impossible to reach. A season of health, renewal, growth. Transformation.

We’ve been privileged to watch God bring transformation to so many children in our residential center here at CCHO. Even after 50 years, we love watching these God stories unfold. It’s why we do what we do, and it’s why our incredible donors, partner churches and other supporters continue to give of themselves and their resources so generously.

Stories like these below – the first from a former resident from many years ago, and the second from a more recent former resident – illustrate just how deeply God loves us, and how strong his desire is to transform our hearts and our lives into something far better than what we could ever hope or imagine.

I was a child who went through…well, I forget how many foster homes when I was small until I was adopted at age 12. Due to many traumas I experienced as a child, I had a lot of issues I didn’t know how to deal with. My adoptive parent tried counseling, medication, etc., and none of it worked.

My parents somehow heard of CCHO and decided to give that a try.

I remember the ride to Wooster. It was a long drive from Columbus. I remember passing miles of cornfields and farmland. We pulled up, I was dropped off and they got started. The staff were so friendly getting me settled in, but I didn’t care. In my head I was thinking this place is a joke and I can’t wait until I leave.

I walked miles around circle track on campus when I got there. Not because I was in trouble, but because I didn’t want to talk to anyone, get close to anyone or listen to anyone.

Over time I figured out the staff and counselors were quite fine to let me figure stuff out and not be so direct. I started to loosen up, but very slowly. They didn’t pressure me, didn’t rush, and let me take my time. It took so long, in fact, that I lived there for almost four years, if memory serves me correctly.

I figured out they wouldn’t accept lying, cheating, violence, manipulation, or any other types of behavior I had been guilty of doing. They taught me honesty, forgiveness, self-respect, humility, self-worth and so much more.

The most important things they taught me were that it was okay to let people into my life, that people really cared for me, that not everyone was going to hurt me, and they did it well.

Since leaving CCHO, I graduated high school and then served four years in the Marines. I started a family and transitioned into a new career. I became an electrician, but I didn’t stop there. After four years of apprenticeship school, I became a journeyman electrician. Then a few years later I became a state licensed master electrician, wiring jobs in excess of a million dollars. I kept learning and passed my national exams to become a licensed electrical inspector. I now work for the city of Columbus as an electrical inspector.

I firmly believe that none of that would have been possible without the God-loving and caring staff of CCHO.

To the staff at CCHO: You are helping save children’s lives. It is challenging at times, I know, but never give up. The staff who touched my life didn’t. I am now a successful member of society, and I use the lessons I learned there to be a better father and husband.

God bless all of you.

I spent a year and three months at CCHO. While I was there, the staff were really kind and sweet to me and the other girls at the cottage. Those of us who had been making safe and healthy choices for ourselves and other residents would go on weekly outings like shopping or local activities.

Because of CCHO, I’m now doing really well coping with a lot of stress. They also baptized me but before that, they introduced me to God Almighty, and I’m so thankful for that. I want to thank all of the staff members for all the help they gave me. They never gave up on us kids even when we were being rude and not listening. They kept calm and tried to redirect us. If I had the chance to change my life before going to CCHO, I wouldn’t have, but they saved my life from self-destruction. They are my family and I will never forget them. Love you all and I miss y’all so much. Also, I miss the horses.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

The Ziegler Family (Story 36 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today, Brian and Susie Ziegler share about their ongoing journey with Encourage Foster Care, an inspiring story that led to them adopting their son Gage. Story #36 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series is one of faith and answering a Biblical call to help those in need.

The Ziegler Family (#36)

James 1:27 calls God’s people to meet the needs of children living as orphans. Brian and Julie Ziegler answered that call by joining the Encourage Foster Care network. Learn more about their story and how Encourage equips them with the support and resources they need as foster and adoptive parents.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

Trust, treatment, transformation (Story 28 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today, we hear from an adoptive mom whose son eventually found healing from his past trauma in CCHO’s residential treatment program. Story #28 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series reminds us how important time and trust are on the road to wholeness.

My son was adopted when he was eight years of age. He had been in residential treatment for three years prior to his adoption, from age five to age eight. When he came to my home, he exhibited significant self-harming behaviors like defiance, aggression and running away. His social and emotional skills were almost nonexistent due to his extensive trauma, which included 19 moves within the foster care system and the loss of his birth family. Developmentally, he had significant delays as well. Cognitively, he had delays and a lower IQ, which made progress even more challenging.

Initially, his behaviors were not too severe at home. However, he suffered from attachment disorder, which made it difficult to help him feel safe or to trust anyone so he could heal from his past, causing his behaviors at home to intensify. After two years, they had become nearly unmanageable. His threats made it unsafe for him to remain in the home, and he was placed at CCHO by the county after making multiple threats to kill me and kill himself.

He initially was unable to deal with any of his past trauma or behavior issues, making his first four months at CCHO largely unfruitful. But once he began to disclose the extensive trauma he endured as a very young child to a counselor that he trusted, his progress was incredible. His counselor and I communicated frequently and worked closely during weekly sessions to further address the attachment issues my son exhibited. He went through an intensive trauma therapy program (Thrive), which shed more light on what he experienced in his birth family. Finally, after his trauma was treated and he knew he could trust me, his behaviors changed for the better. After only four more months, his transformation was amazing. He came home and was the funny, happy kid God created him to be. He no longer had any aggressive behaviors. He did not make any threats to harm himself or me.

I believe that God directed the county to choose CCHO because it was what my son needed to help him become the man God created him to be. He learned that love is unconditional and that moms can be trusted. He is completely attached to me now and trusts me 100% in many areas. He dealt with much of his past trauma and has continued to use the coping skills he learned at CCHO.

He is now 14 and still has areas that need work. He has many delays that will require more attention. But, without CCHO he would likely not be here at all. I was unable to maintain him safely in our home so I had expected to return custody to the agency. I am thankful that never happened.

I have hope that he will be a wonderful adult and contribute in a great way to the lives of others. He challenges me each day to never give up and to recognize that no child is ever a lost cause. Some kids just got started off with more obstacles than others. But with the proper help and lots of prayer, good things can happen. If my son never gives up, I won’t either.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more

The ultimate storyteller (Story 26 of 50)

CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today’s sweet story comes from Jeff Stump, one-time CCHO houseparent alongside his wife Susan and current Director of Facilities here at CCHO. Story #26 in our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series celebrates a full-circle story 20-plus years in the making that only God could write.

On July 11, 1997, a little girl was born to a single mom. That young mom was a former CCHO resident. Due to many circumstances, this baby came to live with my wife Susan and me only a few weeks after being born.

On August 30, 1999, we stood in a courtroom and officially adopted that little girl into our family. I cannot express the joy we’ve experience the last 22 years, having her as a part of our lives. Have there been rough times? Absolutely. But watching her become the woman she is today has made the journey worthwhile.

Nearly 20 years later, on May 6, 2019, our son and daughter-in-law stood in a similar courtroom, after more than a year of hard work and invested time. They adopted a little boy, our new grandson, officially into our home. Recently, while tucking him into bed, this little guy said, “I feel safe now. Life is going to be okay.”

Encourage Foster Care has been part of stories like these for years. There are so many incredible families out there with huge hearts and special gifts that God wants to use to bless children who would love to be able to say, “I feel safe now. Life is going to be okay.”

Will it be easy? No way. Will it be rewarding and Kingdom-changing? Without a doubt! Say yes and watch God write a story in your own life.

Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry

This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.

Read more