Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Starfish at a Time..

If you are a foster-family, if you have a heart for children, if you need to be reminded that as dark as life can be at times our God is raising up beacons of love to shine into the sadness, then read A Starfish at a Time. 

The title comes from the story of the boy who tossed stranded starfish back into the waves, over and over, with thousands still ahead of him. A naysayer came by and said that it didn't make a difference, one starfish after another. The boy responded that it did... to this one, and this one, and this one. 

And that is how the Steele family has made a difference in the lives of their children, one by one drawing them into the circle of love and stability and hope. Now, with young children still at home and mature children who are leading fulfilling lives, Dana Steele has penned this book. It is a glimpse into a big family made up of people who never give up on each other, most of whom never expected to be wanted or accepted. 

Dana knows the foster-care system inside out, and she begins the book by reminding us that the system performs a needed function: It gets kids out of dangerous situations. 
However, as she shows and tells us throughout these stories, no government system can fully meet the needs of children's bodies and souls... it takes Family to do that. 
This book is honest: Life is tough as a kid with no home and no family. Life can leave you with trauma to deal with for a very long time. It may take years for you to trust and believe that you are safe, that you are worthy, that you are wanted. 

Dana also makes it clear that when you adopt a boy or girl, and they are free to be the best they can be, and they meet people who care about them and they discover dreams worth pursuing, it is so satisfying to know that God used you to help make that happen. 

This book reminded me of just how precious and life-giving the whole concept of Family is. When you read the words of these kids, they are overwhelmed that they have a Mother and Father now, and lots of siblings. For a kid in foster-care, the idea of having a sister to braid your hair or an evening of happily fixing tacos together in the kitchen, it seems like an impossible dream. And when it comes true, Dana affirms that it blesses the welcoming family as much as it does the new child. 

Thank you to the Steele family for telling us these stories. A Starfish at a Time is a story about hugs given and tears shed and the milestones reached and memories made and the sweetness of life together even in times of difficulty. 

I read this book aloud to my own family, and it touched our hearts. I'm glad we "met" the Steele family through this book. 

Thank you The Book Club Network for my review copy! 

Alan and Dana Steele live at Homestead Ranch, and as parents of 16 adopted children, know firsthand the struggles that children face when they do NOT have a family to call their own.  As an attorney, Dana represents children from foreign countries who are brought to the States for trafficking purposes as well as religious and economic freedom, and is involved with the relocation of some of these children.  Wanting to extend beyond their own family structure, the Steeles are committed to helping girls in desperate and homeless situations to become independent, educated, and contributing members of the community.  ThSteeles have animals such as horses, llamas, alpacas, mini horses and mini donkeys involved in their therapeutic animal program.  This large, 10 bedroom home adjacent to the Steele home on the Ranch is what they are purchasing (with your help) to house the girls, give them a safe haven, and a home as well as a way back into society. 
For more visit the ranch website here:

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