The CAFO Blog

Trying to Make Sense of an Ache Beyond Words

I heard news last week of the kind that leaves you with your face in your hands, aching and praying for a heart-broken family. Shannon Dingle taught at Summit in recent years on adopting and caring for children with special needs.  I didn’t know her well, but admired her vivacity and loving grit from a […]


What a Jewish Child Welfare Expert Sees in Christian Foster Care

The national Faith Angle Forum podcast this week features Naomi Schaefer Riley – an expert on the US foster system who also happens to be Jewish – reflecting on the remarkable rise in Christian engagement in US foster care.   I joined Riley for the fast-moving conversation, which ranged from potential tech-based solutions to foster care […]


Short Video of One of the Most Moving Moments of the Year

Without exaggeration, it was one of the most moving and meaningful things I’ve experienced in the past year.  It came in the opening moments of CAFO2019, as participants from across the US and around the world offered glimpses of the brokenness and beauty of their own stories in simple signboards – as a birthmother…an exhausted […]


What was the Heartbeat of CAFO2019? Watch the Keynote

Every talk at CAFO2019 wove together threads of the theme – In Brokenness and Beauty…It is Well.  I treasured each one, coming from so many remarkable people.  We’ll share them all.  Here’s a first – my own contribution to that tapestry.  It explores how pain and joy most always come together, intertwined, whenever we follow […]


Why Children? Why the Church?

I received an email today from a friend I greatly respect, Trace Thurlby, who gives leadership to the Global Orphan Project alongside a number of other tremendous followers of Christ.  From time to time, Trace will send a note like this one, sharing personal reflections on issues of life and faith.  The one he shared […]


Why is the Word “Brokenness” in the CAFO2019 Theme?

Virtually every person I know in this field has expressed something similar.  Fellow adoptive and foster parents.  Nonprofit leaders.  Social workers.  Church ministry leads.  Dedicated mentors. “It’s beautiful.  And it’s really, really hard.” Each story is different.  But whenever we come near to our world’s hurt, we will share in its pain. It’s been that […]