The PATHWAYS of PAUL Pilgrimage, Sept. 18-28, 2019 -- Information

 
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Transforming the world,

one adoption at a time

By Rebecca Ford
Special to the Register

Mark and Krista Ball had four beautiful children when they approached Catholic Social Service to inquire about adoption in 1992: Candace, their oldest, was eight; twins, Trever and Tyler, were four;  Dayna was three.
“We would have liked to have had more kids, and for whatever reason we weren’t having them, so we thought about adoption,” Mark recalls.
Mark and Krista attended Catholic Social Service workshops about adoption, and created an informational folder about their own family. Birth mothers who were looking for a family to adopt their child had an opportunity to look at the Ball family profile.
“You tell all about your family and Catholic Social Service would take your folder to the respective mothers,” Mark said. “They’d look at us and say ‘Well, they already have four kids. They don’t need any more.’ So nobody would pick us.”

Then, one day in 1997, a woman about to go into labor walked into the Catholic Social Service office. Mary Reed, the social worker, showed the folders of families to the expecting mother so that she could pick out a family. “No, you pick out the family,” the woman told Mary. Mary picked Mark and Krista. Grace was born just a few days later. “We say it was by the Grace of God that she came into our family,” Krista explains.
Heartbreak and Joy
Busy with their family of five, Mark and Krista also found time to take care of infants for short periods of time through the Catholic Social Service Cradle Care Program — a specialized foster care program for infants needing two to four weeks of care between birth and placement with their forever-family.  
“We kept several babies like that, but it was so emotional and so heartbreaking,” Krista explained. So they decided to look into special needs adoption instead.
“We had felt in our hearts that we were supposed to adopt outside of our race,” Krista explains. “That was just kind of something that we felt like God was calling us to do.”
Working with Special Link Inc., a non-profit national linking network for the adoption of “harder to place” children, especially African American and biracial children, Mark and Krista located an agency that was really in need of families who were willing to adopt. The difficulty was that agency policy gave the birth mom two weeks to change her mind.
“We had some real heartbreaks,” Krista recalls. “We traveled a couple of times to Memphis, and one time in particular, we had this child; we couldn’t leave the state with him for two weeks, but we had him in our care for two weeks until the last day, when they called and said ‘I’m so sorry, the mom wants the boy back’.”
Mark and Krista were about ready to give up when they received a call about Kyra and decided to try one more time. This time, though, Kyra stayed with Cradle Care parents in Tennessee while Mark and Krista called throughout the two-week period to check on her.     
“Kyra’s adoption went really well and we were able to meet her birth mom and spend time with her,” said Krista.  Much to Mark and Krista’s surprise, they received another call from the adoption agency a few months later: “Sit down . . . we have something to tell you,” said the voice on the other end. “The birth mom is pregnant again.” Once more, Mark and Krista traveled to Tennessee. This time they picked up Kyra’s new little biological sister, Kambra. “It’s been real sweet to have the two together,” said Krista.
Bonds of Friendship
With four biological children, and three children entering their family through adoption, Mark and Krista found mutual support with friends at their church who had adopted internationally as well as domestically. One day, they received a picture of a young girl named Selam from Ethiopia.
Having traveled to the United States with a large group of children in need of families, Selam had been paired with a kind woman who worked as a doctor.  Selam faced a difficult choice.  After years of living in the orphanage, she had become used to lots of children and noise. She also wanted her best friend in Ethiopia to have a good home, too.  She finally decided that she needed to be with her best friend.
After hearing about Selam’s story, Mark and Krista talked about it for a few days. “And then we just jumped into it,” Krista recalls. “We called the Gladney Center for Adoption ... and started the whole international adoption process.” After the adoption was finalized in April 2008, Krista and a friend traveled to Ethiopia to pick up Selam, while Mark stayed home with the other children. Since then, four families from Mark and Krista’s church have adopted a total of nine children from Ethiopia, and ties of friendship have remained intact: Selam and her two close friends, Tarik and Birukti, go to school together in Great Bend where they live with their respective families.
The Gift of Hope
Giving these children a second chance in life has been a remarkable experience for all of those involved in Great Bend. For international adoptions, however, it isn’t easy for families or the children. On average, it costs $25,000-$30,000 per child for paperwork that is intended to protect the children from predators and bad situations, and for travel arrangements to pick them up.  
“Basically, you know, we sell it just about any way we can,” Mark laughs. “You spend $5,000 per child each year anyway for the children you have right now; so if you get a 10-year-old, you would already have saved . . . .  That’s a very good deal!”
There are significant adjustment challenges for at least six months once the children arrive. “You can imagine how it is so different,” Mark explains. “The first day that Selam got here she probably took a 30-minute shower. You could tell she was just thinking ‘hot water!’ They would have to bucket water and pour it over each other to bathe, and they wouldn’t have hot water; it was cold outside. And the first time she walks into Wal-Mart or Dillons or someplace and there’s aisles of stuff as far as you can see . . . it’s just a totally different mind-set.”
Learning English — they speak Amharic — and adjusting to American food have been two of the most difficult challenges.
For Mark and Krista, however, such challenges pale in the face of orphan life in a developing nation. “We visited several orphanages,” Krista recalls. “There was one, a boy’s orphanage that was just the worst: filthy, no electricity, no running water. ... They throw the pan on the floor and the kids eat around on the floor.”
“If you are 12 years old and you’re in Africa, you have a 25 percent chance of being an orphan,” Mark explains. “Disease like AIDS, and famine, conflict, [these are] all the things that just make it real easy to be an orphan. There are no jobs for them to work in, especially the girls. The girls have it the worst because there’s even less labor; of course, none of it pays anything. It would just be a poverty kind of existence. And a lot of the girls go out and do bad things and live on the streets ... if they’re not adopted.”  
Children who have been raised in the orphanage receive a little bit of money from the government when they leave the orphanage at 18, but as Krista explains, the kids don’t know what do with it and it’s gone within 10 minutes.
“Basically,” Mark explains, “we are out to give hope to kids who have no hope unless somebody else adopts them . . . . You could send anybody our way to talk about how to get from here to there, or Catholic Social Service would have ideas too.”
For more information on domestic and international adoptions, call Catholic Social Service at (620) 272-0010. For information about the next Adoption Support Group, call (620) 792-1393.

Past Issues

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Dec. 17, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Celebrate Christmas 'unplugged'; Msgr. Matthew Smith; Klan; Catholic Charities Annual Appeal; Fr. Larry Rosebaugh; A Guadalupe Encounter; Laci and Joe Salazar; A Christmas Wish; Adoption; Confession; Advent; EWTN; Christmas Blues; Tilma; Pittsburgh; PSR

 

Dec. 3, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2017 NCYC; Wheel of Balance; Marita Rother; Stanley Rother; slavery; trafficking; Windthorst water damage; martyred priests; confession; reconciliation; How to go to confession; recipe for codfish cakes; Catholic schools; appeal

 

Nov. 19, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Saints; Father Kola; Black Elk; Giving Tuesday; velvet Elvis; a Slice of Time; Dani Sandoval; Mexican Village; Father Tim Hickey; New faces at chancery; priests share thoughts on confession; Wheel of Balance

 

Nov. 5, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Matrimony Anniversary Mass, 2017; Riebel; Faith and Light; Scripture Day; Sex in the Bible; Quilt, Mexican Village Story; Finance; Fatima pilgrimage; Fowler church window renovation; Medicare; Crazy Glue


Oct. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Father Francis Jordan; Sister Renee Kirmer; Father Rother beatified; religious liberty; RCIA Kansas; V Encuentro; Bishop Weisenburger; Daughters of Isabella; Bishop Gerber Science Center


Oct. 1, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: De Colores; Rebein; Dreamer; Pies; Kellner; Code Quilts; Sister Crucita; Feezor; Formed.org; Sin and pain

 

 Sept. 17, 2017

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Sister Lucy Fidelis; Underground Railroad; Sister Irene Hartman; DACA; new priests; teachers; Volunteer of the Year; Golf Classic; St. Francis Xavier; St. Nicholas Parish Center, Kinsley; seminarians; Knights Lite; Stewardship Day 2017

Sept. 3, 2017

Aug. 13, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Coronado Cross; Masada; Moody Gardens; Elders; Rother; undocumented children; cages; year of mercy; Kumi; Hollywood makeup artist; New Mexico; refugee women.

July 16, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Summer camp; tithing and almsgiving; Bill Baalmann; Nathan Schaller; Jubilarian Sisters; Sister Hortencia Rodriguez; Sister Petrona Stockemer; Sister Denise Sevart; Convocation of Catholic Leaders; Mother talks about her son entering seminary; Arcoiris; Youth group travels to Colorado Springs; Major Phillip Roth

June 11, 2017 (Updated)

Ordination; Mark Brantley; Jacob Schneider; Father's Day; Thanks, Dad!; Appeal; Sister Mary Martin Weaver; Bishop Maralit; Budget; Trafficked women; Deacon Michael Brungardt; Dead Sea Scrolls; softball; Father Urban retirement; Sister Kravec retirement; Father Mazouch retirement; Authentic Joy; Pris Climate Accord; Jack Schramm; Pieta.

May 28, 2017 (Updated)

 

Grateful Hearts; MSFS Provincial; Reddy; Reif; Opossum; Dead Sea Scrolls; Our Lady of Fatima; Jorge Herrera, Jr.; Cursillo; Kough; First Communion; Confirmation

May 14, 2017

Esteban Hernandez; citizen; Lilly Ann Rein, Amberly Jimenez, Mother's Day; peacock; Quattrocchi; President Kennedy; Teen Moms; Junior High Youth Rally; Encounter With God's Call; granny/nanny; seniors' contributions; tornado anniversary; harvest; healthcare; Mr. Brown; Store-bought teeth; Louis and Zelie Martin; Father John Sullivan; Irish priest whose prayers could heal; Mexican beauty queen; Esmaralda Gonzalez; religious life

April 30, 2017

   KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; bully; TEC; Father Marvin Reif; Bet'sie; What makes a hero?; St. Mary of the Plains; tornado

Easter, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Honorable courtship; footsteps of migrants; CHRISM Mass 2017; honoring priests; Encuentro Cross blessed; Daughters of Isabella State Convention; Fatima pilgrim statue; Mary Sharon Moore interview; Senate advances pro-life measures; love must be at the core of family life; Father John Forkuoh's car story; Confirmations; Sisters of Concordia; CNN hero Father Khalil Jaar

March 26, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: From the heart; kidney; Rother; Friar Carmelo; Schnauzer; Lauren Seachris; Lauren's Treat; fire; Guatemala; immigration; Lenten Regulations 1888; Hot Cross Buns; budget; Trump; Forkuoh; Seiwert; South Sudan; hot ashes

March 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Refugees; immigrants; Gilbert Herrman; When you give alms'; Lent; Call to Continuing Conversion, Rite of Election; Charell and Jeremy Owings; adoption; Our Growing Church; Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia; water; creation; Sudan; Darlow Lampe

Feb 26, 2017

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Night to shine; Immigration; immigrants; Knights of Columbus; Pete Gomez; this foreign mission; Creole; Robin Doll; Eagle Scout; Quest

Feb 12, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; March for Life; Pro-life; Executive Order; Secular Franciscan Order; teachers; Down Syndrome; Eagle Scout; Bronze Pelican

Jan. 29, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Thank you, religious; SEEK 2017; homeless man to priest; Fourth Sunday; Secret Service to Sacred Heart; Dr. Gerard Brungardt; Martin Luther King; 110 year old nun; Toddler miracle; Letter from undocumented immigrant; health care; immigration

Jan. 15, 2017

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Mary helps us share; Tighe donates home to Birthright; Pro-life billboard; Theobald Hattrup; Helen and Steve Eck; Pearl Harbor; Reigning Grace

Dec. 18, 2017

KEYWORDS: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2016; Pope Francis Christmas schedule; 2016 high school youth rally; Aerospace engineer; Father Stanley Rother; Radio station; Dying girl's letter; Scout nominations; 12 days of Christmas

Dec. 4, 2016

KEYWORDS: Vocations Day; Pope Advent advice; Ex-prostitute; Spearville mission; Pilgrims v. Zombies; Face of God; Mission bazaar; Ness City fall festival; Rural health care; Archbishop Gomez; Bishops congratulate Trump

Nov. 20, 2016

Nov. 6, 2016

Oct. 23, 2016

Oct. 9, 2016


Sept. 25, 2016


Sept. 11, 2016

 
Aug. 7, 2016

July 10, 2016

June 12, 2016

May 29, 2016

May 8, 2016


 April 24, 2016

 April 10, 2016

 March 27, 2016

March 13, 2016

Feb. 28, 2016

 

Feb. 14, 2016


Jan. 31 , 2016

Jan. 17, 2016

Dec. 20, 2015

Dec. 6, 2015

Nov. 15, 2015

Nov. 1, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Oct. 4, 2015

Sept. 20, 2015

Sept. 6, 2015

August 9, 2015

July 12, 2015

Jun 14, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 3, 2015

April 19, 2015

Easter, 2015

 

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