Adoption, Humanitarian

I STAND WITH ADAM :: Korean Adoptee in ICE Custody, Faces Deportation


If you are connected with me on Facebook at all, you’ve seen my outrage at immigration officials over the despicable treatment of Adam Crapser, the Korean adoptee whose abusive adoptive parents failed to file for his U.S. citizenship.  Adam, now 40 and married with children, is facing deportation to South Korea.

This is outrageously and unequivocally wrong.

Adam Crapser is a victim, and should not be held responsible for the wrongful actions of two different sets of adoptive parents while he was still a minor.

Adam’s story is long and tragic, full of horrific abuse and injustice. Left at an orphanage in South Korea at age three, Adam’s first set of adoptive parents surrendered him to the state of Oregon after years of abusing him. His second set of adoptive parents “choked, beat and burned Adam; the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of Adam and his foster siblings was so severe the Crapsers served jail time for 11 counts of child abuse.” [1] While Adam was sixteen, drifting in and out of homeless shelters in Oregon, he returned to the Crapser’s home to retrieve his Korean Bible and a pair of rubber shoes he’d worn at the orphanage. The court considered this burglary, and Adam was sentenced to twenty-five months in prison. [2]

The Crapser parents withheld the adoption paperwork and documentation rightfully belonging to Adam, something that’s not uncommon in abusive situations. In 2012, Adam finally obtained his own adoption documents from the Crapsers and began the process of filing for a green card, in an attempt to straighten out his legal status.

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But his initiative was not taken kindly by immigration officials.

To the Department of Homeland Security and to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, it does not matter that Adam was a victim of abusive parents who failed to ever file the paperwork necessary for him to become a naturalized citizen. Immigration officials do not care that Adam was already a legal adult by the time the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 automatically enacted automatic naturalization for adopted children under the age of eighteen. They do not care that Adam took it upon himself to file for legal status, something his parents never had.

To immigration officials, Adam Crapser is a simply an illegal immigrant non-citizen with a criminal record, and they can’t wait to get him out of this country.

On February 8th 2016, he was taken away from his wife and children by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and placed him in the Tacoma Detention Center, where he waits to find out if he’ll be deported to South Korea.

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I want to say the threat of deportation is unfounded.

I want to say it’s unlikely that he’ll be deported.

I want to say Adam Crapser’s case is an anomaly, an aberration.

But the truth is, adoptees have been deported before. [34] Thanks to immigration reform in 1996, any adoptee whose parents failed to file for citizenship is view as a non-citizen immigrant, and if a run-in with the law results in a prison sentence — even for non-violent crimes — they’re subject to deportation. (Remember Adam’s twenty-five month prison sentence for burglary, a.k.a. retrieving his Korean Bible and shoes from his parents’ home?)

Kairi Abha Shepherd’s adoptive mother died, never having filed for her to become a naturalized citizen. Kairi was deported to India. [5]

Jennifer Edgell Haynes’ adopted father sexually abused her, and never filed for her to become a naturalized citizen. Jennifer, who has multiple sclerosis, was deported to India. [67]

Joao Herbert’s adoptive parents didn’t file naturalization papers until he was seventeen, and the process wasn’t completed in time. Joao was deported to Brazil, where he was murdered. [89]

John Gaul III’s adoptive parents also didn’t file in time. John was deported to Thailand, and can never enter the US again. [10]

Rudi Richardson was born in a German prison. His birth father was a U.S. serviceman. He was adopted into an American family, but they never filed for him to become a naturalized citizen. Rudi even served in the U.S. military, but age forty-seven, he was deported to Germany. [11]

Monte Haines a.k.a Ho-kyu Han served in the U.S. military, too. But his adoptive parents never filed for him to become a naturalized citizen either, and he was deported to South Korea. [12]

These are all complex cases — and sadly, there are so many more. But they all have one thing in common: irresponsible adoptive parents who failed to file the paperwork necessary for their children to obtain U.S. citizenship. Over 18,000 adoptees from South Korea alone still aren’t U.S. Citizens.

These children are victims, not perpetrators.

And in the case of Adam Crapser, he has been a victim many times over. Not only did his adoptive parents — both sets! — neglect to file for citizenship, they also horrifically abused him. And now the United States, the only country whose language he knows, is ready to boot him out forever, separating him from his wife and children. Won’t you join me in standing up to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and let them know you  STAND WITH ADAM?

Demand that Adam Crapser be removed from deportation proceedings.

Demand that “Adam and all international adoptees adopted by U.S. citizens should be granted U.S. citizenship immediately.”




We can’t sit back and do nothing as Adam’s human rights are violated. We can’t do nothing as his family is torn apart. This is no time for apathy as immigration officials life is destroyed even more.

This is happening on our watch, and we must act.


For more information on the Adoptee Rights Campaign organized by the NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium), click here.

Christmas, Humanitarian

20 Charitable Christmas Gift Ideas That Make a Difference

20 Charitable Christmas Gift Ideas That Make a Difference, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via
Are you tired of spending money on Christmas gifts just because it’s the holiday season? Have you ever wondered why you go through all the motions of Christmas shopping  — when most of your recipients already have everything they’ll ever need? (If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably rich. No, really. I mean it. You are wealthy. If you make $30,000 USD per year, you’re in the top 1.23% richest people in the world by income. Go ahead, try out the Global Rich List calculator.)

While I think we should embrace a generous lifestyle all year round, I love the idea of #GivingTuesday, one day specifically specifically set aside to celebrate giving. And this Giving Tuesday, I’ve put together a list of my top twenty most favorite initiatives to support, from right here in America, to Ethiopia, China, Romania, Ukraine, Zambia and more.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Love Without Boundaries | EDUCATION | Provide education and school access to at-risk children in China ($10+), including children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend. Love in Action card available to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Love Without Boundaries | FAMILY PRESERVATION (UNITY FUND) | Keep impoverished families together and prevent orphans by donating money for much-needed medical care. This initiative helps parents who would otherwise face the excruciating option of placing the child in a care center to receive medical attention. ($10+). Love in Action card available to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via
3. Love Without Boundaries | FOSTER FAMILIES | Throughout China, foster families have opened their hearts and homes to orphaned and at-risk children who would otherwise reside in an orphanage setting.  This initiative helps these willing families provide a family environment ($10+),with the option to send a Love in Action card to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via
4. Love Without Boundaries | MEDICAL CARE | In conjunction with Family Preservation (the Unity Fund), this initiative provides medical care and surgeries to orphans and infants/children whose parents would not otherwise be able to provide care ($10+). Love in Action card available to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Love Without Boundaries | NUTRITION |  Medical fragile children often have special dietary requirements. This initiative helps provide healing nourishment and provide proper nutrition ($10+). Love in Action card available to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Samaritan’s Purse | REFUGEE RELIEF | This organization actively works on the ground, providing immediate assistance to refugees where they are. Donate to provide desperately-needed tents, heaters, food and more to displaced people ($125+). Honor Cards may be selected at checkout and sent to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Samaritan’s Purse | WARM CLOTHING & FOOD | Winter is in full force, and disaster victims, refugees seeking shelter, and at-risk children all need to stay warm and dry. This initiative provides winter coats and warm shoes ($25+). Honor Cards may be selected at checkout and sent to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Samaritan’s Purse | CLEAN WATER | It’s something most of us take for granted, but without access to clean water, people die from preventable diseases. Donate to provide a water filtration system to give 3,500 people access to clean water ($20+). Honor Cards may be selected at checkout and sent to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Samaritan’s Purse | PROTECT VULNERABLE WOMEN | Provide literacy classes, maternal/child health education, protection and support for victims of gender-based violence, and more ($30+). Honor Cards may be selected at checkout and sent to the gift recipient of your choosing.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via

10. Samaritan’s Purse | OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD| For the last two decades, Operation Christmas Child has delivered shoeboxes full of gifts, hygiene items and school supplies to more than one hundred million children around the globe. National Collection Week is over, but you can still go online and pack a virtual shoebox ($25), pay for the cost of shipping an existing box ($7),  or send an e-card to a gift recipient so he/she can build a box online ($25).

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Anchor of Hope Romania | FOSTER CARE | This on-the-ground organization provides family-like environments and other vital care for orphans, abandoned children, and at-risk young people in Romania (any $ amount). To give directly to Christian & Marie Burtt, my friends who are full-time missionaries with Anchor of Hope, click here.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Taiwan Xi En | HOUSE OF HOPE NURSERY | The Taiwan Xi En organization provide crisis pregnancy services for expectant mothers and nurturing care for surrendered and at-risk infants ages 0-2y in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (any $ amount),

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Taiwan Xi En | SPONSOR A BABY | Commit to the care of a surrendered or at-risk infant ages 0-2y at the Taiwan Xi En Orphanage in Kaohsiung, Taiwan by providing diapers, formula, clothes, shelter and caring nannies ($50/mo).

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Show Hope |  SURGERIES & MEDICAL CARE | Founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary beth, Show Hope runs several care centers in China dedicated to providing loving care — and medical help — to special needs orphans. The surgery initiative provides heart, cleft lip/palate, and other essential surgeries ($100-$10,000), while the medical care initiative ensures children receive special formula, wheelchairs, therapy, hospital care and more ($25-$1,980).

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via

15. Show Hope | EVERYDAY NECESSITIES | Each day, caring for children at the Show Hope care centers requires simple items like diapers, food, and clean drinking water. While we may take these items for granted, you can help pay for these everyday necessities ($12-$546).
20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Show Hope | ADOPTION AID | Did you know more than one-third of all Americans have considered adoption, but only 2% have actually adopted? The overwhelming cost is often the biggest obstacle these families face. Show Hope’s Adoption Aid initiative assists adopting families, to overcome the financial hurdle and place children in permanent homes ($35-$5,000).

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | SPONSOR EDUCATION & MEALS | I personally know some of the people in leadership at the Adami Tulu school in Ethiopia, and have supported this wonderful organization by sponsoring a child since 2011. Each child who attends the Adami Tulu school receives not only an education but also two meals per day ($34/mo). One of the best parts? 100% is spent in Ethiopia on education, and ZERO on US administration.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | WHERE MOST NEEDED | Provide the resources necessary to expand school buildings, provide hot meals, and continue to provide education ($30-$1,000). Tuition at the school is just $1.50/month, but only 30% of students’ families can afford the tuition.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Lifesong for Orphans | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS | Lifesong for Orphans’s work with adults in Ukraine and Zambia isn’t a one-time handout, but instead creates income opportunities for adults. Help provide self-sustaining businesses, like the strawberry farm shown above, with your gift of any $ amount. Select “Sustainable Business” from the dropdown.

20 Gifts that Matter, for #GIVINGTUESDAY and Everyday (via Lifesong for Orphans | THE FORGOTTEN INITIATIVE | In the United States, a quarter of a million children enter the foster care system each year. And each year, 20,000 foster children age out without ever finding permanent families or homes. These children don’t have to be forgotten. Get involved, or donate. You can even specify that your monetary gift go to a local community near you when you select your area from the “The Forgotten Initiative Gift Preference”/”TFI Project Specific” dropdown menu here.

Adoption, Humanitarian, Inspiration

ADOPTION :: 1.1 Million Diapers

Show Hope to Orphans | 1.1 Million Diapers | Give Diapers Now!

I’ve metioned Show Hope a few times before (see 18 Gifts for Giving Tuesday and A Cure for First World Problems). Founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Show Hope runs several care centers in China dedicated to providing loving care — and medical help — to special needs orphans. The care centers go through more than a million diapers each year!

Let’s help Show Hope stock the diaper cupboards —

  • $30 for one package
  • $60 for two packages (choose this option and a donor will fund an additional package in your name!)
  • $90 for three packages/one case
  • $180 for six packages/two cases (choose this option and you’ll receive original artwork from the kids one of Show Hope’s care centers!)

Give Diapers Now

Show Hope Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Adoption, Humanitarian, Poetry & Words, Theology

I was a stranger & you invited me in

Image Credit: LifeSong for Orphans - Zambia Children's Choir / Celebrate Life Concert Tour
Image Credit: LifeSong for Orphans – Zambia Children’s Choir / Celebrate Life Concert Tour

Last night, I sat in a church and listened to Zambian children sing. And I heard something I’ve never heard before. No, not the sound of a drum sans drumsticks, not the sound of the soaring notes. 

Actually, it wasn’t a song at all.

Each of the kids — students at the Lifesong for Orphans school in Zambia — shared their favorite school subjects, dreams, and favorite passages of Scripture. It was an endearingly real moment — stuttering, laughter, forgetting words. One girl recited Psalm 23 from beginning to end, another quoted Romans.

But then it was the smallest boy’s turn to speak. And he leaned into to the microphone and looked into the crowd. “My favorite verse is Matthew 35 verse 25”, he said in halting English. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Oh, my heart!

It’s one of those verses we’ve read a hundred times, isn’t it? But honestly? When was the last time you heard a friend say it was their favorite verse? It’s a passage we’re familiar with, but not a passage we’re accustomed to seeing highlighted and memorized and repeated and claimed as a personal promise and emblazoned on t-shirts and bookmarks and greeting cards.

But this is Jesus. This is real. He’s among us — feeding, loving, caring, doing.

Sometimes, I think we lose that connection between Jesus-the-Ethereal-Being and Jesus-the-Man. I think we lose the connection between hypothetical love and practical, get-your-hands-dirty, work-hard love. We over-spiritualize it. We complicate it and organize it and delegate it and analyze it and create ministries for it and philosophize about it and invent words about it.

But it was a real, I’m-right-there-with-you, here-is-a-meal, here-is-a-bed  kind of love that spoke to this boy’s heart.

It’s what Jesus’ love,
made human
and tangible
and touchable
and present, looks like.

And I never want to forget it.

“Sometimes the best way to bring good news to the poor is to bring actual good news to the poor. It appears a good way to bring relief to the oppressed is to bring real relief to the oppressed. It’s almost like Jesus meant what He said. When you’re desperate, usually the best news you can receive is food, water, shelter. These provisions communicate God’s presence infinitely more than a tract or Christian performance in the local park. They convey, ‘God loves you so dearly, He sent people to your rescue.'” -Jen Hatmaker

Adoption, Theology

“I am not ‘for’ international adoption. I am not against it.”


“Philosophize eloquently about how children are better left in their native cultures and I will tell you from shared experience that children in orphanages do not live the culture of their country, but the culture of an alternate reality that only exists in institutions…

I am not ‘for’ international adoption. I am not against it. I am ‘for’ children having loving parents and being in homes where they have a support network. I am against children growing up in dormitories with change-out caregivers. I am against children being left without help simply because a legal definition of adulthood, in whichever country we are talking about, has been reached. ” -John M. Simmons

READ MORE from Why the Decline in International Adoptions on the Huffington Post

Handmade, Humanitarian, Inspiration

HANDMADE :: The Adami Tulu Project, or, How I’m Sponsoring a Child in Ethiopia with One Etsy Sale Per Month

I first heard about the Adami Tulu Project through friends who volunteer for the organization, and who had recently traveled to Ethiopia to work with Adami Tulu school. I hadn’t checked out the website, though, until this afternoon.

Children at the Adami Tulu School

As I was browsing through the pages of children awaiting sponsorship, I read the following:

…Your sponsorship cost is only $19 per month – some 37% less expensive than most programs – and 100% of that money (after PayPal fees) goes into the field, spent on the costs of Adami Tulu School. 0% goes to US administration.

And I thought to myself, “Nineteen dollars. That’s less than what I charge for ONE hat in my Etsy shop. I’d only have to sell ONE hat each month to sponsor an Ethiopian child.”

All afternoon and into the evening, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept talking to God about it, and kept thinking about it. (Anytime I think too hard about orphans, and little kids needing love and food and blankets, I have a hard time not crying. But I was with Josiah and Aveline, in the middle of the grocery store, where crying just won’t do.)

I checked my email when I got home, and lo and behold — someone bought a hat while we were out running errands.

And I knew exactly what I needed to do.

So, meet little Yeabsira. He’s 4 years old, an orphan, and lives with his grandmother.
Yeabsira - The Adami Tulu Project - Sponsor a Child

Thank you, dear God, for reminding me today what is really important. Thank you for reminding me that You are the Giver of all good things. For what do you require of me but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before You? (paraphrase of Micah 6:8)

[All images via The Adami Tulu Project]