We Welcome Jimmy Moore

We Welcome Jimmy Moore
The Fourth President & CEO of The Children’s Home of Lubbock

Jimmy_Moore_Pic2We are pleased to introduce Jimmy Moore as the new president of The Children’s Home of Lubbock beginning August 1, 2016, as Lynn Harms begins his transition to retirement.
Jimmy grew up in Morton, Texas, a small farming community in West Texas, where his life as a child was very much like the lives of the children who come to The Children’s Home. With the investment and blessings of a good mentor in his life, Jimmy found his way to Lubbock Christian University where he played basketball for long-time Coach John Copeland, who continued that mentoring process. Jimmy later served as Athletic Director for LCU from 2000 to 2004.

Following his work with LCU, Jimmy established himself as a school administrator working for Lubbock Independent School District. While there, Jimmy was asked to lead three different schools that were in trouble with TEA, and, through his excellent leadership, he successfully led each school to much higher ratings than they had previously experienced.

Jimmy is no stranger to the work and mission of The Children’s Home: Jimmy and his wife, Shelley, served as house parents in the Foster Cottage in the early 1990s, and Jimmy later served as the Home’s Recreation Director. After establishing himself as a successful coach, athletic director, and public school administrator, Jimmy served as a member on the Board of Directors for the Home.

Jimmy has excelled spiritually as well. For the past six years he has served as an elder at Green Lawn Church of Christ (Lubbock) where he and Shelley raised their two children, Jada and Jalen. Shelley is employed with a local financial advisory group. Jada and her husband, Matthew Sanders, are the parents of one-year-old Maya, and Jalen and Kayli are newlyweds.

When asked why he would want to assume the role of president at The Children’s Home, Jimmy responded, “Because there are a lot of ‘little Jimmys’ here and I want to make a difference in their lives, give them some of the opportunities I was blessed with.” He added, “I am excited to be returning to the place that gave me my first opportunity to be a change agent in the lives of children.”

Moore is succeeding the Home’s third president, Lynn R. Harms, who is retiring after serving in that role since 1995. “Jimmy is highly experienced in leadership,” said Harms, “and understands very well the kids who come to The Children’s Home. He is a man of exceptional integrity, faith, and operates on a highly relational basis.”

Jimmy Moore brings a great set of skills to The Children’s Home of Lubbock. He is a proven leader, is passionate about kids in hard places, and has a love for God and a love for His people. The Children’s Home will be under great leadership with Jimmy Moore as we continue with our mission of “manifesting Christ through excellence in child care.”

Family Finds Calling Through Adoption (Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
Family Finds Calling Through Adoption
Posted: December 15, 2015
Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Krystal and Swade Moyers were cautiously optimistic when they entered the Chic-Fil-A location where they first met their now-adopted son.
When the couple got married, they knew they wanted to adopt one child. As they walked into the place where their future son waited, the couple did some last-minute mental prep. “They told us he was very shy and he took a long time to warm up to people,” Krystal said. “He had to develop trust with you. We had been warned that that’s how it was going to be when we met him.”
But he wasn’t the way he’d been described, she said. “He was not shy,” she said. “He was not quiet. He talked our ears off. “God was telling us ‘this little guy, he already feels comfortable with you. He’s supposed to be your son.’”
They adopted him on Nov. 21, 2014.
Vickie Russell, vice president of children’s services for The Children’s Home of Lubbock, said an average of about 20 adoptions are completed each year.
“It’s good for our population of children,” Russell said. “A lot of our children also go back to their birth families or relatives or something like that.”
That’s the general preference and priority for children taken away from their homes by Child Protective Services, said Mary Lauren Taylor, child placing program director for The Children’s Home of Lubbock. It’s better for the kids when placement with a family member or relative is an option. Ultimately CPS plays a deciding role in what’s best for each child.
After adopting their first child, Krystal and Swade were sure their family was complete. God had other plans, she said. “Once we became foster-to-adopt and saw the process and saw all the children in the community needing a loving home, God was telling us ‘I’ve blessed you with civil jobs and a home and financially. Now you have everything you need to care for more than one.’ We thought God was telling us ‘you can do more than one,’” Krystal said. “We adopted two.”
The couple’s youngest daughter was officially adopted earlier this year. “She was very attached to the foster mother,” Krystal said. “She wouldn’t let anyone else hold her or give her a bottle. We went over to the home to meet her. They said ‘you’re probably just going to get to look at and observe her. She won’t let anybody hold her.’ She let me hold her, give her a bottle, and rock her to sleep. She didn’t do that with anyone.” It was a sign, she said.
Krystal and Swade now have four kids – two are biological and two adopted. They’ve continued to open their home to foster care and are currently looking into adopting additional kids, she said. “We’re doing His calling,” she said.
[email protected]
(806) 766-8795
Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Follow Ellysa on Twitter @AJ_Ellysa
Former Foster Child Shares Children's Home Experience (Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
Former Foster Child Shares Children’s Home Experience
Posted: December 9, 2015
Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Misti Adams was 3 years old the first time she and her siblings got a taste of the system.
“I’m the youngest of five,” she said. “My mom kind of abandoned us. My biological dad had all five of us. He signed away his rights and asked that the state not reward us back to my mom if he gave us up.”
The kids were in foster care for two or three years before their mother won back her parental rights.
But it still wasn’t an ideal living situation.  Adams’ mother was married several times and each child had a different father, she said. Her husband at the time she won her children back molested Adams and her brother, forcing the siblings back into foster care.
“She tried to fight for her rights for two months and gave up,” Adams said. “On the month of my ninth birthday, she gave up her rights.”
That’s one of the early memories Adams has of her experience with The Children’s Home of Lubbock.
Going from familiarity to a new place with new faces and new rules was a scary challenge for Adams. There are “well over 100 kids” within The Children’s Home of Lubbock foster care program with similar stories, said Mary Lauren Taylor, child-placing program director at The Children’s Home.
Most kids go through a “honeymoon” phase for the first two weeks, she said.
“They don’t know what to expect or they’re really angry about being pulled,” she explained.
Most kids are placed in foster care as a result of neglect.  Upon arrival, the child is placed in an emergency shelter, like Adams was.  She and her siblings arrived at the emergency shelter of The Children’s Home of Lubbock at night.
“I couldn’t see any other kids besides my siblings,” she said. “It was really quiet, big and overwhelming.”  During her time there, she moved through four different cottages — each one with a new set of house parents and relief staff.
“Looking back, I hated it whenever I lived there,” Adams said.  There were too many rules and a constant stream of new faces.
There are several hundred children in Lubbock in need of placement across the South Plains. The Children’s Home of Lubbock can only accept a handful of children for its foster care program, due to a shortage of foster care parents.
“There’s a huge need for foster parents,” Taylor said.  House parents and foster parents have to undergo in-depth training on dealing with the children.
Adams said several people with The Children’s Home helped her through her 13-year stay.“There’s no telling how many people actually worked with me,” she said. “I know a lot of people worked for a month to six months. It’s a lot to take in mentally and emotionally.”
Adams left The Children’s Home of Lubbock and applied for emancipation when she was 17.  She graduated from high school and started college with the intent to earn a degree in early childhood development. She aspires to be a kindergarten teacher.  She put those plans on hold when she had her daughter two and a half years ago.
Life is different now.  Adams said her priorities have shifted and she’s matured since she left. She looks back at her time with The Children’s Home in a positive light.  “I’m such an advocate for The Children’s Home,” she said. “Without that, I wouldn’t have had anywhere to go. I wouldn’t have had people to be hard on me, to give me morals to live off of. Now I have my own daughter to raise.”
She tries to instill the same morals in her 2-year-old.  “I had people who worked so hard to raise me even though they didn’t have me,” Adams said. “I’m pushing their values on my daughter to be a stronger person. I’m very thankful for everything that was given to me at The Children’s Home. It definitely helped me.”
[email protected]
(806) 766-8795
Follow Ellysa on Twitter: @AJ_Ellysa
Reprinted courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.


Donations Play Role in Funding Children's Home of Lubbock (Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
Donations Play Role in Funding Children’s Home of Lubbock
Home one of 6 recipients chosen for the annual A-J Media Goodfellows campaign.
Posted: November 27, 2015
Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
When Ida Collins was approached in 1952 about the possibility of selling 40 acres of her land to build a children’s home, she said no.  She told the organization representatives that if they were going to build a children’s home, she’d give them 200 acres, said Lynn Harms, president of Children’s Home of Lubbock.
This year, the Children’s Home of Lubbock is one of six recipients chosen for the annual A-J Media Goodfellows campaign.
Donations have been a significant aspect of what’s kept the Children’s Home of Lubbock open for 61 years. “We have never borrowed money to do anything,” Harms said.
Tom Spoonts Jr., vice president for development for the Children’s Home of Lubbock, said 40 percent of the organization’s funding is provided through donations. The other 60 percent is collected through state reimbursements.  “We’ve been here almost 62 years,” he said. “It’s a beautiful campus completely paid for. There is no debt on our campus.” It was established as a place for abused, neglected and abandoned children, he said.
One year after Collins pledged 200 acres, Children’s Home of Lubbock administrators and board members broke ground on the first cottage. The doors of the first cottage were opened to the community during an open house in April 1954.
“In the middle of that, these people brought a 6-year-old boy,” Harms said.  The child was living with his aunt and uncle because his parents were alcoholics, he said.  “So he was the first little boy at the children’s home,” Harms said.
Most of the children brought to the campus are placed through Children’s Protective Services, Spoonts said.  The now-230-acre campus averages about 150 kids per day and about 400 per year, he said. Its annual budget is just over $6 million. Funding goes toward operation costs such as food, clothes, electricity and salaries, Spoonts said. It also goes toward helping the kids at off-campus locations in residential care. With the rising number of children, the campus has grown to accommodate them.
During its first 10 years, Children’s Home of Lubbock opened five cottages, a youth center and an administration building — according to a historical timeline on the organization’s website.
Harms has been involved with the organization since the 1970s and is now the third president since it was established. He started his involvement in college in 1976, he said. The organization was well established and continued to add to its campus during his first seven years there. He left in 1983 and returned six years later.
Harms became the third president of the Children’s Home of Lubbock on Oct. 1, 1995. Under his leadership, the organization has added a few buildings and has been working to incorporate more therapeutic programs.
Services provided include adoption, foster care, counseling and a few therapy programs for kids.
(806) 766-8795
Follow Ellysa on Twitter @AJ_Ellysa
Floyd I Stumbo (1930-2015)

Floyd I Stumbo (1930-2015)

Floyd Stumbo passed away June 11th, 2015 in Lubbock, Texas, his home of 57 years. He was born in Humboldt, Kansas July 16, 1930 to Ernest and Jewel Stumbo, who preceded him in death. He lived his childhood on the family farm in Lawrence, Kansas. He loved the culture a farm creates, working with his hands, growing and producing a crop/livestock. Floyd graduated from Kansas State University with bachelors and masters degrees in science, focusing on agri/business. Afterwards, he served our country in the 1950’s, having retired from the Air Force with the rank of first lieutenant.

In 1960, Floyd met the love of his life, Patricia Childers, and they married June 7th, 1961. “As Christ loved the church”, so too did Floyd love Pat. They have three children, Randy Stumbo (Jenny), Scott Stumbo (Julie), Shelly Lewis (Jerry); seven grandchildren, Zack Stumbo, Brea Stumbo, Cutter Stumbo, Katie (Stumbo) Owsley and her husband Colton, Sean Stumbo, Cole Lewis and Claire Lewis. Floyd loved and nurtured his children well, and spoiled his grandchildren without conscience. The children of this family are among the most fortunate on earth, blessed beyond measure. His surviving siblings include Lillian Nealeigh (Ken), Dorothy Bergmark (Bill), sister-in-law Dorothy Stumbo and Pat’s sister Joyce Kelley. Those preceding his death include Fred Stumbo, Louise Menzies, Helen Colglazier, Velma Schwartz, and Pat’s brother Ray Childers. He has over 70 nieces, nephews, grand and grand-grand nieces and nephews, and loved every one of them. We have little doubt he knew all by name; it helps to remember those you mention in prayer. Many of them consider Uncle Floyd their surrogate father, and all were special. He was a wonderful patriarch of his family, setting great example for all: celebrating their accomplishments, advising when needs arose, mending when struggles occurred. The memories of Dad, Papa, and Uncle Floyd will wane, but the effort he made to prove Christ to his family will be an eternal legacy.

Floyd was recruited to the Children’s Home of Lubbock to serve as assistant superintendent on October 15, 1957. For 57 years, Floyd cared for children in need at the Children’s Home and the Lubbock Children’s Home Foundation through his retirement on October 2014. Floyd was Assistant Superintendent for 14 years, and for the next 25 years served as the Superintendent, Executive Director, and President. He founded and for four years was President of the Children’s Home Foundation and was President Emeritus through his retirement. His last waking hour, he and Lynn Harms, current President of the Children’s Home were meeting with good friends of the Children’s Home, retirement was not an understood term for Floyd. Floyd loved the children unconditionally and had hope for each. He sought that through Christ’s love for the children, “the least of these”, would have a safe home, hear kind words, receive a good education, and most importantly, learn to know Christ.

Floyd was a deacon and elder of the Broadway Church of Christ, having attended to and receiving attendance from this church family for 57 years. He assisted with many of the church ministries including teaching, missions and visitations. Deep friendships and Christian servant leaders from Couples Eight were constant companions and friends, great accomplishments came from their work.

Friendships locally, throughout the state, nationally and internationally were made in his travels. The friends and their associations were retained throughout his life; Floyd’s “rolodex”, his memory, was phenomenally extensive. Although not a minister, he had officiated countless weddings and memorial services for those who preceded his passing. The respect that each family made in selecting Floyd to assist during these occasions of joy and need is are testament to his life’s work.

As well, he received much recognition during his life, Christian service awards from Pepperdine University and Lubbock Christian University, and various recognitions from child care service organizations. He was a founding member of the Texas Alliance for Children, which helped establish minimum standards for childcare agencies in Texas. He served on many other state and national childcare committees, associations and boards, was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Lubbock and served on the board of the Lubbock County Chapter of the American Red Cross the year the tornado struck Lubbock in 1970. In 1995, Floyd received the “Key to Lubbock” and a tribute from US Representative Larry Combest which read, “In working with our youth in this endeavor you are helping ensure that our future generations learn the importance of community and caring for our fellow citizens. This dedication is a standard by which others will certainly be measured…I have given a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives thanking you and recognizing you for your dedication and caring work.”

Floyd enjoyed what God made, mountains and creeks of New Mexico, the plains and sunsets of Texas and rain that periodically made life green. He created furniture his children and grandchildren cherish and gardens his wife loved to watch grow. His golf game was tolerated by a few close friends, and periodically by his sons. He was always busy, busy making things better.

In lieu of flowers, donations and memorials to
The Children’s Home of Lubbock, 4404 Idalou Road, Lubbock, TX 79403
would be respected.

The Stone Family Story
Personal Power in Parenting -- For Healthy Families, Healthy Children
Personal Power in Parenting – For Healthy Families, Healthy Children
Parenting could qualify as one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever love!  In the day-to-day mire of tantrums and chatter and grime and fear, it’s important to stay focused on the goal — to rear healthy, well-adjusted children who can manage the tasks of adulthood with confidence and joy.
Here are three principles to help you stay focused:
1.  Make sure to demonstrate physical affection to your children every day.  Changing diapers…rough-housing in the living room floor…hugs and kisses…ruffling their hair as they pass by…exchanging high fives…all demonstrate to your children the bonding power of healthy human touch.  Start when the kids are little, and when they are teenagers, though they may dodge with a muttered “Mom!  Dad!” they will still know they belong to you and that you love them.
2.  Listen.  When your child comes to you with a concern or conflict, make sure you affirm the validity of his input by listening…either now, or by appointment.  Neither “soon” nor “later” are on the clock or the calendar; so establish a specific time to take up whatever the issue may be.  By setting a specific time (“after dinner tonight” qualifies) you validate both your child and the importance of his concern as important and deserving of your undivided attention.
3.  Ask their forgiveness.  When you are spiritually convicted of slighting or disrespecting them as fellow human beings, ask your children to forgive you.  A mere, “I’m sorry,” gets old, worn out and meaningless in a hurry.  Purposefully using some form of the word “forgiveness” in your apology conveys your own humanness and vulnerability.  It says you realize you’re only their “human” father/mother, even though still standing in the stead of God Himself in this divine role.  Never be too high and mighty, all-wise and all-glorious that you yourself can’t “become as a little child” to ask forgiveness when you know you’ve hurt their hearts.
  –Will Weathersby, Unit Director, The Children’s Home of Lubbock
Transitioning Out of Care: Life of a Foster Care Youth
Transitioning Out of Care: Life of a Foster Care Youth
Homelessness is like a plague.  Just like a plague, it affects anyone, no matter your age, gender, or race.  Homelessness may even hit you when you’re least expecting.  People may find themselves homeless after losing their job, managing their finances poorly, or losing their home to a natural disaster.  Others may be unaware of the resources that the government provides for those living under the poverty line.  Youth that age out of the foster care system may also find themselves homeless due to having a lack of support.  Despite the many circumstances that adults and children may find themselves in, one fact remains: children who age out and transition out of foster care are at risk of becoming homeless.
Many children go through foster care and age out of the system when they are 18.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012), approximately 43,000 youth, age 17 and up, exited foster care in 2011 (p. 3).  When youth age out of the foster care system, they are at a high risk of becoming homeless due to little to no social and emotional support and lack of knowledge about services and resources.  The National Alliance to End Homelessness discusses in their report how youth are at risk for becoming homeless and states that “The odds for a person in the general U.S. population of experiencing homelessness in the course of a year are 1 in 194,” but “For a young adult who has aged out of foster care they are 1 in 11” (p. 7). When youth do not receive the resources and aren’t well prepared for adulthood, they become part of the statistic that ends up homeless.
In foster care, youth will at times have a family friend or relative that is still involved in their life as they transition out of care.  They may possibly have this one relative or friend that can be their source of help for food, advice, transportation or whatever they may need. But what if they do not have that support system? How can we help these youth?
At the age of 16 years old, kids in care will go through the PAL (Preparation for Adult Living) Training that involves a six week life skills training, covering Health and Safety, Housing and Transportation, Job Readiness, Financial Management, Life Decisions/Responsibility and Personal/Social Relationships. After the teens complete this class, they can focus on getting their Driver’s License and finding a job. After graduation, the Lubbock MAC (Making a Change) Center with the BCFS organization will involve the girls in the Hope Chest Celebration. The Hope Chest provides the local graduates with a shopping trip to Target to pick out essentials for their dorm or new apartment. Each teen gets a new start with a great meal and celebration to show our excitement for their accomplishment.
How can you help? The Celebration will need donations for food, dinner ware, money, and volunteers. Donate at BCFS HopeChest.
“When I graduated from High School, I had a graduation party that my family and my church family put on for me. I received gifts, gift cards, cards with encouraging notes and plenty of tips and advice! I left for college with my mother and father by my side, helping me unload my stuff and showing me around town. I remember my mom and dad dropping me off and putting on a brave face, crying only after they had left. I remember the fear I had of being alone. I wasn’t really alone, I was a phone call away from my family, if I needed them, they would come any time, day or night.”
 – Jesalyn Becker
We were blessed by our parents and support system to receive knowledge on how to be successful. Now, we have the opportunity to bless kids in care by teaching about resources that can prevent homelessness and provide guidance on how to become successful.
One way to help our kids at the Children’s Home of Lubbock is to become a sponsor.  Becoming a sponsor is a way to show kids in care a healthy family and how to teach life lessons. Life lessons include tasks, such as filling up a gas tank, when to change your oil, how to fill out your taxes, and how to do your laundry at a laundry mat. These are simple, yet, important lessons that you learned while growing up or maybe even while in college. Sponsors can be that source of support and encourage the youth to attend their church and even build relationships at church.
Learn about sponsoring a child here: Sponsoring (Mentoring) a Child at The Children’s Home of Lubbock

–Jesalyn Becker and Karla Privett, Case Managers, The Children’s Home of Lubbock

The National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2012). The State of homelessness in America in 2012: A research report on homelessness. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Preliminary Estimates for FY 2011 as of July 2012 (19). Retrieved from


Lifecycle of a Case, Part 1
Lifecycle of a Case, Part 1
Michael didn’t notice the clock showed 3:17 am.  He was focused on the light that was coming into the room he shared with his brothers — and the voices he could hear from the living room.  One was his mom’s voice; the others were adults whose voices he didn’t recognize.  The tone of his mother’s voice worried him.  The tightening pit in his stomach told him something was terribly wrong.
Even though all cases involving suspected abuse and/or neglect don’t begin in the small hours of the night, they all include the startling realization that Michael and his siblings will come to know over the next several hours and days:  we are losing our family.
When children are removed from their families or those they have come to know as family, it is almost never a relief to the kids.  Not because they don’t realize their current living conditions aren’t ideal; it’s much more basic than that.  Regardless of the circumstances surrounding removal, the kids involved only know that the place they called home, and the people they knew as family, have been taken away from them.  They are left to begin reconstructing their concepts of home, family and security with complete strangers.
Over the next few weeks, we will follow the lifecycle of Michael and his siblings’ CPS case.  Throughout its development, particular attention will be given to the specific effects on the kids involved.  Additionally, we will examine the importance of working with families and the ultimate goal of reunifying kids with parents.
Jack Noles, Program Director, The Children’s Home of Lubbock
A Prayer for the Abused Child
A Prayer for the Abused Child
Heavenly Father–
In a world which surrounds us with such comfort that we forget about the hushed cries of the neglected and abused, You are their hope. Thank you for hearing the stifled cries of the children who feel forgotten.  Make them know that there is hope for healing.  Be the small voice in the midst of their pain that gives them sanctuary even as they wonder why no one cares.  Give them reason to hope and see beyond their confusion.
Move us to their aid, making us aware of their need for a protector.  Use the people and circumstances in their lives to build a refuge for their hearts in need of healing.  Give each of us the wisdom and childlike faith we need so that Christ’s glory is reflected, thus creating a light that will ultimately lead these little ones to the safe haven of your arms.
Jack Noles, Program Director, The Children’s Home of Lubbock
Restoring the Essentials
Restoring the Essentials
“Consider these children to have fallen among thieves, the thieves of ignorance and sin, ill fate and loss.  Their birthrights have been stolen.  They have no belongings.” – Dr. Karl Menninger, psychiatrist and founder of the Menninger Clinic for Adolescents.
The child who has been victimized by child abuse and neglect can well identify with Dr. Menninger’s statement.  He has suffered the loss of innocence, trust, self value and hope.  In a society that values the rights of each person to have peace, justice and the pursuit of happiness, abuse and neglect are horrific thieves of a person’s sense of well-being.
Social scientists identify core needs for children to grow up healthy and into productivity — values which families must pursue to raise healthy children.  After meeting the physical needs for sustaining life – food, shelter, water, safety, etc. – these core values are essentials for healthy children.
Belonging – The child knows where she belongs in this world and who she belongs to.  It is a sense of ‘home’, family and tribe.  Attachment and connectedness to family, by blood or surrogacy, provides a foundation that allows the individual to try new things, trust the world around them and have the competence to move forward.
Achievement and Dignity – It is innate in each of us that we gain a sense of worth or dignity when we accomplish significant tasks.  For a three-year-old, the significant task might be making it through the day with a dry pull-up.  For the older child it might be doing well on a test, or accomplishing a challenging task that took some significant effort and diligence.  Mastery and achievement lead to dignity, and dignity is a most valuable gift we parents can give our children.
Independence and Autonomy – A child has a natural drive to develop independence from his parents.  Not separation from…but a sense of being able to navigate on his own.  Autonomy requires an individual to make decisions based on what has been learned from parents and to safely and successfully navigate increasingly complex tasks.  Just think about all the steps that must be accomplished prior to allowing a teen to obtain a driver’s license and drive off in the family car.  Healthy independence and autonomy demand a sense of continuity and that feeling that it is safe to become independent because there are relationships that form safety nets if I fail.
Generosity and Fun – Play is the work of the younger child.  It allows the child to build a sense of accomplishment and forms building blocks for work in later life.  Responsible fun is as important as responsible work when it comes to good emotional health and bonding.  Fun is not just silliness and childishness, but it incorporates finding satisfaction through responsible behavior.
Teaching a child to give or be altruistic is important in the overall development of sense of community.  The healthy person is not a taker but rather is a doer and a giver.  The happiest people I know give freely to others in all manner of ways, and this is a value instilled at childhood.
The work of restoring the essentials of childhood is harder than instilling the essentials of childhood from the beginning.  Working with children of abuse and neglect, those children whom Menninger paints as having fallen among thieves, demands that we develop systems to restore the essentials.  In essence, this is giving back to the children what has been ‘stolen’ from them through abuse and neglect.  And giving children these essentials is every bit as important as providing the basics of life such as food and shelter.
— Lynn R. Harms, President, The Children’s Home of Lubbock


The Children’s Home: A Cambodian Village in Lubbock, Texas
The Children’s Home: A Cambodian Village in Lubbock, Texas
Cambodia_Week_2_099_Lo_ResMy family just got back from Cambodia a couple of weeks ago. What a life-changing, mind-altering experience it was. I wish I could describe it completely, but no amount of words could ever do it justice. We saw many sights we could have never seen in our home country, both the beautiful and the strange. But we also came into contact with the worst poverty we had ever seen. We were there to share the love of Jesus and there was no lack of opportunity.
During our time there, while in village near the capital city, we went to the home of six orphans whose parents died recently. The orphans range from five- to sixteen-years-old. There are no social programs to help them and no one in their very impoverished neighborhood who can take any of them in, though neighbors have come together to provide as much care a possible. But the entire neighborhood is in a state worse than any we have seen in the U.S. A young church now has become aware of the situation. They have stepped in to care for the children by making it possible for the older children to care for their siblings through generous help and monthly sponsorship for all basic needs. This is an incredible blessing in the desperate time the sibling group faces, and the Christian message being sent to the area through this love and care will go a very long way in a very non-Christian culture.
Now I have returned to my work at The Children’s Home of Lubbock. I am reminded of how many sibling groups we give a home each year—up to seven kids at a time. Even family members who have great love and desire find it difficult to make room for five, six, or even seven children after a devastating event. But The Children’s Home continues to make room in every possible way—taking those sibling groups in that would otherwise be separated. Through Jesus, we provide love, care, and hope—and just like for the kids in Cambodia, a village is provided that can offer love and community on a daily basis. What a gift we have to provide for the less fortunate—and what a responsibility. With your help, we continue to meet the need.
— Eric Robinson, Gift Officer, The Children’s Home of Lubbock


How to Recognize Signs of Child Abuse
How to Recognize Signs of Child Abuse
More than 200 children died at the hands of their parents or caregivers, and more than 64,000 children were abused or neglected in Texas last year. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services preventive program ( provides helpful information for families and those working with families. We can all reduce the terrible toll of child abuse by listening to children and learning the signs of child abuse.
Children who are abused might show physical signs or sudden changes in their behavior or school performance. These signs don’t prove that children are being abused, but they could be a signal that the children or their families need help. General signs of abuse might include behaviors such as children that seem nervous around adults or afraid of certain adults, being reluctant to go home (coming to school early or staying late, for example). At times; children that have been physically abused may have unexplained burns, bruises, black eyes, or healing injuries after missing school.
Child abuse also happens in the form of neglect. The #1 reason a child is removed from their home or placed into foster care is neglect. Often children are hurt or mistreated when parents or caregivers are neglectful or absent.  Signs of neglect include: Missing school a lot, being frequently dirty, lacking needed medical or dental care, begging for food, stealing food, or stealing money for food. At times these children may say there is no one at home to take care of them. When children talk about being abused, take them seriously. Take steps to get help!
In Texas, you have two ways to report child abuse or neglect.
• 1-800-252-5400
Stacy Parker, Program Director, The Children’s Home of Lubbock
Congratulations: The Children's Home of Lubbock Receives Reaccreditation

Lubbock, Texas – February 18, 2011 –

We are pleased to announce that The Children’s Home of Lubbock has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). [Read the full press release here]

In addition, The Children’s Home of Lubbock and Family Service Agency, Inc. was expedited through the Pre-Commission Review Report process as a result of not receiving any out of compliance ratings in any of the fundamental practice standards.  We are thrilled by this amazing achievement.

COA’s program of quality improvement is designed to identify providers that have met high performance standards and have made a commitment to their stakeholders to deliver the very best quality services.  Richard Klarberg, President & CEO of the Council on Accreditation, said “COA is proud to recognize The Children’s Home of Lubbock and Family Service Agency, Inc. as one of these outstanding providers, and we wish you the very best in your continuing work with the individuals you serve.”

Founded in 1977, COA is an independent not-for-profit international accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and human service organizations. Today, over 1800 organizations—public and private—are either COA accredited or are in the process of seeking accreditation.  These organizations serve over 7 million of our most vulnerable individuals each year!

Goodfellows: Children's Home Kept Amanda Smith Busy, Happy Before Adoption
Goodfellows: Children’s Home Kept Amanda Smith Busy, Happy Before Adoption
Posted: December 22, 2010
Reprinted Courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Amanda_SmithThe Children’s Home of Lubbock is one of this year’s recipients of The Avalanche-Journal’s Goodfellows campaign, which accepts donations from readers to benefit charitable organizations.
Children across this area who needed shelter from the difficulties of their own homes often find refuge in the Children’s Home of Lubbock. Among those is Amanda D. Smith, who went into the Children’s Home at 6.
•Situation in original home: “I had three other siblings, and we were all taken at once,” Smith said. “The majority of what I know is that it was just neglect. We were all placed in different foster cares, and after a year or so, we were placed in the Children’s Home.”
•How the Children’s Home helped: “There were always things to do,” she said. “I always had children to play with, chores to keep me busy, and the farm out there was one of my favorite places. I was never bored — there was always something going on. It’s built to keep you entertained.”
She was adopted at age 11 by Jim and Lorna Smith. Her younger sisters were adopted shortly after going into the Children’s Home.
“My brother was at the Children’s Home until he was 9, I believe. He went to a boys ranch.”
•The situation years later: “I work at Lubbock Christian University,” Smith said. “I’m a junior and still taking classes to graduate. I took some years off to work, then went back,” she said.
She is majoring in marketing and is planning to graduate in a little more than a year.
Children's Home Employees Like Their Jobs - A Story of Miguel and Amy Nunes
Children’s Home Employees Like Their Jobs – A Story of Miguel and Amy Nunes
The Children’s Home of Lubbock is one of this year’s recipients of The Avalanche-Journal’s Goodfellows campaign, which accepts donations from readers to benefit charitable organizations.
Posted: December 10, 2010
By Ray Westbrook Avalanche-Journal
Miguel_Amy_NunesJoao Miguel and Amy Nunes, who are house parents at the Children’s Home, share the following information about their jobs in a joint e-mail.
• Employment: “We work at the children’s Home because we like working with kids and hope to help make a difference in their lives.”
The Nuneses also enjoy the fact they can work together as a couple. They consider their work to be a mission.
• Biggest challenge: “The biggest challenge is to help kids see that our wonderful God is still at work in their lives, and that they can trust him that everything will indeed work out for the best for them.”
•Favorite memory: The couple recalls seeing the huge smile on a little girl’s face when she opened her birthday present and said, “It is just what I always wanted.”
There is a particular type of memory, though, that stands out most of all: Hearing the children’s voices when they have moved on and call back just to say hello and to see how their former house parents are doing.
That makes it all worthwhile.
World's Largest Sno Cone - December 7-8, 2010
World’s Largest Sno Cone – December 7-8, 2010
(Reprinted by permission of Lubbock Avalanche Journal)
Lubbock now has another claim to fame — and it’s a little colder than one might think.
“We have Buddy Holly and prairie dogs, and now we have the world’s largest snow cone,” said Bahama Buck’s owner Blake Buchanan.
Bahama Buck’s on Thursday topped off its three-day effort to make the world’s largest snow cone, creating a treat weighing more than 25,000 pounds and raising more than $12,000 for area children.
The world’s largest snow cone, which is pending certification by the Guinness Book of World Records, bested the previous world record holder by more than 20,000 pounds, Buchanan said.
At a final weight of 25,095 pounds, the yellow birthday-cake flavored snow cone is expected tosurpass the 4,604-pound record set in 2000 by Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in California.
Just barely beating the previous record wouldn’t have done, Buchanan said.
“If you’re going to do something, do it right,” he said.”Do it once so you don’t have to do it again.”
Work on the potentially record-breaking treat began Tuesday at the Bahama Buck’s at 5009 50th Street. About 1,000 customers participated in what Bahama Buck’s called its Sno Angel Project Sno Shaving Fundraiser benefiting the Children’s Home of Lubbock.
Those who donated $10 or more received a snow cone and the opportunity to shave a 5-pound block of ice for use in the giant snow cone — an 11-foot-tall polyethylene tank in front of the shop.
Buchanan said representatives for Guinness were not present for the final weigh-in Thursday afternoon, but, at Guinnesses’ request, Buchanan selected several members of the community to serve as witnesses.
Bahama Buck’s will give free samples of the Worlds Largest Snow Cone, which is expected to feed nearly 60,000 people, until the treat runs out or melts.


Fire in Murray Cottage - How You Can Help

Fire in Murray Cottage – How You Can Help

The evening of Thursday, March 25th, was nothing notable and, in fact, was rather normal and routine. The kitchen was cleaned up, homework was completed, the last of the laundry was taken care of, and all were headed to bed.

Kitchen_Window_FireAs “good night” and “sweet dreams” well wishes were being shared all around, the loaded dishwasher was set to come on about the time the lights were being turned off for the evening. Everything seemed perfectly normal.

By midnight the scene had changed drastically. That is when houseparent Andrew Hernandez woke up to screeching smoke alarms and the smell of smoke. Andrew jumped out of bed to check out the source of the smoke and found it in the kitchen coming from the dishwasher. While his wife, Darlene, got the kids up and out to safety, Andrew used the fire extinguisher to fight the blaze. It was too much for the fire extinguisher, and the Lubbock Fire Department was summoned.

The firefighters arrived within just a very few minutes and took over the fire fighting. They had the blaze under control by about 2:00 AM but stayed on to make sure there was no possibility for smoldering material to re-ignite later in the morning. By the time the firefighters left, about 3:30 AM, the fire was completely extinguished, and it left behind a completely destroyed kitchen and a house with severe heat and smoke damage throughout.

It is a scary thing to wake up from a deep sleep to the sound of a fire alarm and the smell of smoke – especially when you are responsible for the lives of children living in your cottage. And for our boys and girls, even those who were not in the fire-damaged cottage, it has been frightening to know that The Children’s Home of Lubbock, the first safe place they have been in their short lives, is yet vulnerable to something as frightening and horrific as a fire.

“…we have a great staff who put the children’s safety first.”

There are several things we are thankful for:

First and foremost, no one was injured.

Kitchen_Fire_Lo-ResSecond, we have great staff who put the children’s safety first and followed all the emergency protocol exactly as they had been trained. Andrew and Darlene Hernandez acted promptly and with precision to check out the fire and evacuate the girls from the cottage that fateful night.

Third, we are thankful for the forward-thinking of the Children’s Home’s early leaders. They built cottages that can survive the wear and tear that large numbers of children impose on a building…the constant high winds and other West Texas weather phenomena…and even fires. A lesser built house might not have survived nearly as well as Murray Cottage did.

Finally, we are thankful for the many ways our supporters have called, written, e-mailed and otherwise checked to be sure everyone was okay and to find out the progress of the renovation process. The cottage will soon be completely restored to its original capacity.
The kids and staff are back in the cottage, using a makeshift kitchen in the laundry room until the kitchen is completely rebuilt. But, as you might expect, insurance did not cover all the expenses of the cottage restoration (although to be fair, we have made the decision to replace some of the materials with a more durable quality, and some of the furniture was old enough that it made better sense to replace it rather than have it cleaned and put back into service.) These added costs, along with the insurance deductible and the difference in the allowable costs and the actual replacement costs, leave us with a deficit on the cottage restoration of $38,784.

But the fire also brought to light a glaring inadequacy at The Children’s Home. We have discovered that our campus is not up to city fire code on fire hydrant location and availability. In the mid 1980’s when city water and sewer service was added to the campus, two fire hydrants were installed. This met the existing fire safety code — but that was 25 years ago. To meet the current city fire safety codes, we must:

1) install 2,856 feet of dedicated 8″ water line around the perimeter of the campus.
2) re-locate the two existing fire hydrants and
3) install three additional fire hydrants.
(There needs to be a fire hydrant within 500 feet of any point on campus.)

“We cannot accommodate these added expenses without your help!”

The estimated cost for extending the water line and installing the new fire hydrants will be about $85,000. Our already tight budget cannot accommodate these added expenses without your help! And of course, we come to you for that help.

You have always cared for our youngsters, praying for them and sharing your resources to make sure they had enough food, a warm place to sleep at night, and appropriate clothing to wear, as well as the therapy they need to overcome the scars of their pasts. This most basic need — to be sure that their home can be saved from fire — is not one we like to think about. All children deserve to be safe. They need to rest easy in the assurance that they will be cared for and that they will be safe in an emergency such as a fire.

Your gift to help us complete the restoration of Murray Cottage and to update our fire hydrant accessibility is truly a gift to the children — the gift of safety. With the slow-down in construction in the Lubbock area, now is a great time to move forward with these projects for the best price possible. Please let us hear from you as soon as you decide what you can do to help.

Fire Damages Cottage 5
Fire Damages Cottage 5
Kitchen a Total Loss

Lubbock, Texas – March 25, 2010 – Last night Murray Cottage at The Children’s Home of Lubbock was the scene of a fire.  Thankfully, no one was injured, child nor staff.

Fire_3The House Parents, Andrew and Darlene Hernandez, awoke sometime around midnight to the sound of smoke alarms.  The Lubbock Fire Department responded very quickly and by about 1:15 AM, the fire was out.  The Fire Department continued observing and checking hotspots to be sure the fire was completely extinguished before leaving at about 2:30.
The fire originated in the dishwasher and was mostly contained to the kitchen area.  The kitchen is a total loss and heat damage is visible in the dining and living rooms.  The rest of the house sustained heavy smoke damage.
The teen girls who live in the cottage have been moved to the Steele Cottage to stay until the cottage can be repaired.  The Hernandez family owns a home near campus and has moved there.
Fire_1I am thankful for many things today:  No one was injured.  The smoke alarms worked properly.  The fire did not completely destroy the cottage.  The Lubbock Fire Department was responsive, quick, and efficient.  And I am proud of how our staff responded to the emergency, Vickie and Jimmy Russell, Will and Dee Weathersby, and child care staff Andrew and Darlene Hernandez.  We ask that you keep the girls and the Hernandez family in your prayers.
I will stay in touch with you to keep you informed about this situation at The Children’s Home.  We are most grateful for your partnership with us.
Lynn R. Harms, President
The Children’s Home of Lubbock
A Place to Heal (Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

A Place to Heal: Lubbock Childrens Home raising funds for counseling center


Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Story last updated at 8/12/2009 – 1:26 am

Lynn Helms, president (adult) Monique Mojica, 14, brown shirt Angel Perez, 10, blue shirt Lyndsey Skinner, 16, white shirt Amaya Garcia, 8, yellow shirt Isheanna Terry, 14, black hair Ezekiel Perez, 7 - hang out at Stumbo Pavillian (sp?) and then on the swings Thursday, August 06, 2009 (Photo by Geoffrey McAllister/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

By this time next year, the Children’s Home of Lubbock hopes to have a fully operational counseling center that can salvage the lives of broken children. And it will extend even to troubled parents if the children are going home again.

The Children’s Home will focus on obtaining commitments Harmsduring the next two months for the $400,000 needed for construction of the center, said its president, Lynn R. Harms. Construction would begin in January and take an estimated six months.

“We want to be able to have therapists who have specialized in delivering services to the child who has gone through the trauma of abuse. And if the child is going back home, we want to be able to provide counseling services for that family,” Harms said.

The facility would provide 2,800 square feet of floor space for a variety of counseling rooms for individuals and groups, as well as play space and supervised family visiting areas.

Isheanna_Lyndsey_8-09_LoResThe planned center is the latest expression of a mission to help children that was set in motion in the early 1950s with the donation of land at 4400 Idalou Road.

More than 5,400 children have been helped since the first cottage began receiving children in 1954.

A variety of children come to the home, some who have been severely abused, Harms said. “I have seen two sisters whom their mother literally prostituted them at a very early age so she could get drug money. That’s a pretty extreme case, but it is a very real case,” he said. The children were ages 6 and 8 when they came to the Children’s Home emergency shelter, and later were taken to the therapeutic cottage, according to Harms.

“They later went to basic care, then to foster care with a private family, and were eventually adopted and are doing extremely well in that adopted family. They are now teenagers of 14 and 16, and we hear from that family every once in a while. Their health, their progress in school, their social activities are just on target with any other.

“So, you see that healing,” he said.

The Children’s Home of Lubbock conducts an annual survey of its children, which includes questions about the effectiveness of the home itself. “Outside of the fact that in their hearts every child wants to live at home and have a healthy family to live in, the fact that children feel safe out here is an extremely high response,” Harms said.

“Some do go back home, and the way the courts are structured, they look for a permanency plan. If they can do that with family, either the birth family or the extended family, then that’s usually the first option. Then, if not, we look for permanency with long-term foster families and adopted families.”

Children can remain at Children’s Home of Lubbock until they are 18. Even then, support is provided during a transition into independence.

The success stories at the Children’s Home don’t always stop with very young children. “We had twin brothers who were adopted through the Children’s Home at the age of 14. They were adopted by a couple of teachers in East Texas,” Harms said.

“Their dad is an agriculture teacher, and was here recently for the big ag teachers conference. The family brought the boys out, and you look at those boys and see two healthy 16-year-olds. Their level of adjustment, their happiness … you can see it in their faces, and in their interaction with their parents. They have an older adoptive brother, and it looks like any normal American family.

“They have the hope of going to school, of accomplishing, of knowing that somebody loves them.”

Reprinted Courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Neighborhood Kids' Lemonade Stand to Help Others (Reprinted Courtesy of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

Neighborhood Kids’ Lemonade Stand to Help Others
Trio of 7-year-old neighborhood friends takes old-fashioned enterprise to help others in need

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The three 7-year-old neighborhood friends sprang into action, running to the curb and waving signs when a black sport utility vehicle approached in the 5700 block of 95th Street early Monday afternoon.

Both the signs and the matching yellow T-shirts worn by the three young entrepreneurs advertised strawberry lemonade available for 50 cents a cup.

The SUV driver looked at Hunter Bell, Carolina Cognasi and Dustin Zimmerman, but passed by without stopping. The three friends, who have gained quite a bit of experience in the lemonade business in recent weeks, don’t seem disappointed. They know other potential customers will pass by, and they return to the shade near their lemonade stand to wait.

Children have been setting up summer lemonade stands for generations, but Hunter, Carolina and Dustin have put a new twist on the lemon. Rather than use the profits for such things as candy, movie tickets, comic books or video games, they are giving all of the money to charity.

Since summer vacation began, they have spent five Mondays selling lemonade from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thanks to a breakthrough day Monday and some generous donations by local businesses, they have now earned $868 for the Children’s Home of Lubbock, and they’re planning on setting up the stand for at least one or two more Mondays before summer ends.

“It was their idea to have a lemonade stand,” said Tosha Bell, Hunter’s mother. “They wanted to help other kids with the proceeds from it. That’s how we thought of the Children’s Home of Lubbock.”

The three friends said they know the lives of some children aren’t as good as theirs, and they want to help.

“What can you not love about kids on a hot day who are selling lemonade to help somebody they have never even met? I don’t know of any better heart to have for anybody,” said Lynn Harms, president of Children’s Home of Lubbock.

The Children’s Home is in its 55th year of helping children and predominately serves children who have been removed from their families because of child abuse or neglect, Harms said. It generally is helping about 140 to 150 children at a time with services that include emergency shelter and long-term care, he said.

The children are still buzzing about a businessman who had dropped off a $100 check to the Children’s Home of Lubbock a few minutes earlier. As they talk about their mission to help other children, they are distracted from the street for a moment.
“Car!” warns Savannah Cognasi, Carolina’s 10-year-old sister. They grab their signs and dash for the street, and this time a customer stops and gets out. “How are you doing?” Matt Yugovich says as he hands them a $5 bill. “Are you going to give all of this money away?”

Yugovich jokes and chats with them before heading for his vehicle. As the kids are drawn away to greet a red Ford Mustang that’s passing by, Yugovich expresses his admiration for the three 7-year-olds. “These kids are out here raising money and giving it away to a cause that could not be more worthy. They are too young to know the impact they are making,” he said.

The red Mustang drives past, but driver Shrae Hill turns around and comes back.
“I live down the street, and I always see them, so I decided to stop,” she said.
When she is handed the clear plastic glass of lemonade, with strawberry and lemon slices floating in it, she takes a tentative sip. “It’s really good,” she said.

The lemonade is the handiwork of Courtney Hill, a recent graduate of Ropes High School who is working as a babysitter for Hunter and Carolina this summer. It is made from a packaged drink mix. “It is a lot of fun,” Courtney Hill said. “I enjoy watching the kids have fun. I just make the lemonade, and they do the rest.”

A white car pulls up to the curb, and Dustin talks to the driver. “Three cups,” he yells excitedly back to his partners. The young salespeople deliver the lemonade to the car. Shortly after the delivery, an SUV arrives with a father behind the wheel and two young children in the back seat. Another three cups sold.

That drains the pitcher, and Hill brings out another one to replenish the stock. “Lemonade,” Hunter and Dustin call to a jogger trotting by across the street, but he is listening to music as he runs and doesn’t stop. No matter. A blue pickup truck drives up with a customer, Tim Radkey, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church. As he sips his strawberry lemonade, Radkey reflects on the combination of entrepreneurial spirit and charity for others he sees before him. “It’s good to see a generous spirit in children so young who are helping other children,” he said. “I’m hoping adults can profit from this example.”

After Radkey leaves, a white compact car drives by, with the driver slowing a bit to see what is going on. “Lemonade,” the kids yell as they run toward the car, waving their signs.

Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Sojourners -- A Multitude of Blessings!

Sojourners — A Multitude of Blessings!

The Bible is full of references to “sojourners” … people who come to a place and stay there for only a temporary basis. Abraham was one of the best known sojourners, and God promised him a multitude of blessings in the land of his sojourn.

The Children’s Home has been visited in recent weeks by a group of Sojourners … people who came to us and stayed only temporarily, but oh the difference they made while they were here!

Eighteen Sojourners came to campus in their RV’s and stayed for two weeks, beginning each day with a devotional time before heading out to work. They painted walls and doors, stained benches, worked in the yard, and performed innumerable other tasks while they were with us.

We hope the Sojourners were blessed in the land of their sojourn. We know that we have been blessed by their presence. Thank you for your generosity to us and to the boys and girls!

Foster Fair 2009

Foster Fair 2009

Lubbock Interagency Adoption Council (LIAC) held it’s Foster Fair on Saturday May 30, 2009 at South Plains Mall.

Heart_Gallery3Local Foster Care and Adoptions agencies were on location to provide information and answer questions about becoming a foster or adoptive parent.

The Heart Gallery of the South Plains was also displayed at the mall from May 11-June1st. These are the portraits of some of the over 400 children waiting for an adoptive home in our area.

Members of LIAC hosting the event include:
BAIR Foundation, Buckner Children and Family, Children’s Home of Lubbock, Child Protective Services, Methodist Children’s Home, and Lutheran Social Services.

For more information about children in need of a foster or adoptive home call one of these LIAC members or visit Adoptions and Foster Care.

Gary Flewellen, Good and Faithful Servant!

Gary Flewellen, Good and Faithful Servant!

December 20, 2008 was the day Gary Flewellen drew his last breath on this earth and was welcomed to a better place with the words we all long to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.

Gary_and_GirlGary joined the staff of the Children’s Home of Lubbock in January 2004. Following a 26 year career in the U. S. Coast Guard, Gary pursued a second career in helping others. Prior to joining the Children’s Home family, Gary worked with an adoption and foster care agency in Federal Way, Washington. He was active in the church working with both youth and men’s ministries.

Not only was Gary totally involved in his work supervising five cottages on our campus, working with child care staff, social workers and the children living in those cottages, Gary was active in the education program at his church. To say Gary was a giving person would be an understatement. He was committed to helping and serving people. He epitomized what all of us are called to do in the wonderful parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Gary worked long hours, gave of himself without grumbling, and continually sought to make life better for the children, their families and the staff who reported to him.

Men like Gary and Billie are HEROES in the lives of the young people they committed themselves to. While we are incredibly saddened by their deaths, we are forever grateful that God has raised up men like these to defend the cause of the fatherless child. Please join us in remembering in prayer their families, Janet and Kolin Lemons, and Marilyn and Isabella Flewellen, along with all the children and staff at the Children’s Home of Lubbock.

Farewell to A Great Friend, Billie Lemons

Farewell to A Great Friend, Billie Lemons

Sadly we said farewell to a great friend on October 12, 2008. Billie Wayne Lemons, child care worker, counselor, father, teacher, encourager, and gospel minister, laid down the tools of this world to enter that place of rest prepared for the righteous.

Billie_and_Janet_LemonsBillie and his lovely wife, Janet, joined us May 1st 2001, to work in one of our therapeutic cottages. In September 2003, Billie and Janet moved from the cottage to an off-campus group home to begin our work with Teen Moms. They continued this work until literally one week prior to Billie’s death. The Lemons family had just moved from the Teen Moms cottage to begin different roles at The Children’s Home and the care of children.

During this time, Billie became the pulpit minister of the Twentieth and Birch Church of Christ in Lubbock. He was active in speaking at churches all over the country. At the time of his death, Billie was ministering at a gospel meeting in Odessa, Texas.

While Billie was known and loved by people all over the world, here at The Children’s Home of Lubbock he was known and loved as a big man who loved his family, loved his ministry and loved every child and co-worker God put him in contact with. He was a man of great faith in his God. Rarely will one find a man who was as respected and who had fewer conflicts with others than this gentle giant. It was a beautiful thing to watch Billie work with the children in his and Janet’s care. No matter if he was dealing with a troubled teen mom, her two year old child, or a child from another cottage, all felt safe with Billie and knew he had their best interests at heart.

We have all been blessed by the years God has allowed Billie to be a part of this ministry. Janet Lemons will continue to work with The Children’s Home of Lubbock as a case manager in the Foster Care/ Adoption Unit.

Men like Gary and Billie are HEROES in the lives of the young people they committed themselves to. While we are incredibly saddened by their deaths, we are forever grateful that God has raised up men like these to defend the cause of the fatherless child. Please join us in remembering in prayer their families, Janet and Kolin Lemons, and Marilyn and Isabella Flewellen, along with all the children and staff at the Children’s Home of Lubbock.

Different People, Different Gifts -- One Vision

–Lynn R. Harms

The apostle Paul uses the analogy of the church being like a human body (Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12), made up of many parts, each with a different function.

The Children’s Home of Lubbock is like that too.

We are made up of a collection of folks with differing gifts – some are house parents, some are social workers or counselors, some have the gift of administration, maintenance, accounting, tutoring, and many others.

As you are reading this article, I hope you see yourself as a part of the body with the gift of giving and praying. You are just as vital as all the other “hands on, service oriented” body parts.

On this website, you will read of many exciting events and services. They have been made possible by generous donations to this ministry of providing a home for boys and girls who have experienced some of the worst Satan can dish out.

There are renovated buildings given new life by generous gifts. There are spiritual growth opportunities and responses for children. There are stories of children who are ready for adoptive homes, and there are holiday plans, full of promise and hope. You are a vital part of every activity, every plan made for the children who call The Children’s Home – home.

Thank you for caring for children and responding with such generosity. Every dollar given is an investment in the life of a boy or girl. We can’t all take a child into our home and provide a safe harbor, but each of us can have an effective part of the ministry by giving.

I am reminded of a statement made by the late Clyde Tatum back in my early days of working at The Children’s Home. I was thanking Clyde for the wonderful gift he and his brother made twenty years earlier, the beautiful and functional Tatum Skills Center, constructed in 1958 in memory of their parents. Clyde just laughed and said, “There’s not enough money in the world to get me to spend one night in one of the cottages. However, I am really pleased to be able to help by providing financial support.”

I appreciated Clyde for his candor and for his big heart. He was a part of the body – part of the ministry of giving boys and girls a good home. If you would like to see firsthand what you are doing in this ministry, please come visit us. If you want to explore other ways of being part of the body, give us a call and we can visit. By working together we can more fully meet our vision – “Manifesting Christ through excellence in child care.”

Adoption Celebration Honors Inez Baucum and 750 Adoptions

Adoption Celebration Honors Inez Baucum and 750 Adoptions

More than 150 guests gathered on Saturday afternoon, August 9th, 2009, to celebrate the completion of The Children’s Home of Lubbock’s 750th adoption and the woman who made more than 600 of those adoptions possible, Inez Baucum.

Inez joined the staff of the Home in 1955, shortly after the first child came to The Children’s Home for care in April of 1954. It had not taken many months for that visionary, John B. White, to discover that the services of a social worker would be essential for carrying out his vision for a heavy concentration on adoption and foster care for the children who needed the services of the Home. He recruited Inez to join him in the brand-new child care facility as a social worker, and Inez became the first trained social worker employed by any child care agency associated wtih Churches of Christ.

After Inez’s departure, the Home’s emphasis swung away from adoption and foster care, but the Board of Directors called the Home back to its roots in its Strategic Plan of 2000. From a minimal program in the 80’s and 90’s, the Foster Care and Adoption unit has grown steadily and now has almost 60 children in foster care on any given day, and last year completed 22 adoptions.

Volunteers Nicky Standlee, Charly Johnson, Mary Fran Johnson, Karen Reynolds, and Janie Harms served the guests from a beautiful table of refreshments at the August reception.

The keynote speaker for the event was Bob Powell, part of the first sibling group to be adopted from the Home. Bob spoke from his heart about the parallel journeys taken by his birth mother and his adoptive mother and emphasized the far-reaching consequences of adoption with pictures of his extended family, including his own biological child and two adopted children.

Other honored guests included the three children who were adoption numbers 749, 750, and 751. They are a sibling group who now belong to a new family. Adoptees of all ages, along with many adoptive parents who worked with Inez to build thier families, were present to celebrate this wonderful milestone and to honor Inez for her role in their lives.

Powell to speak about how adoption changed life

Powell to speak about how adoption changed life

Bob Powell (and Inez Baucom)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Story last updated at 8/5/2008 – 1:40 am

In its 54-year history, the Children’s Home of Lubbock has finalized 750 adoptions, and will celebrate that milestone at 2 p.m. Saturday with an open invitation for adoption families to attend.

Bob Powell of Portland, Ore., who was a 2-year-old when adopted and the first to be placed for adoption through the Children’s Home, plans to be present.

He and his two sisters, Mary Carter and Dona Cooper, who were 5 and 3 respectively at the adoption, had all gone simultaneously to the Jim and Irene Powell home in 1956.

Bob Powell ultimately became a minister and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

The successful career of Inez Balcolm, a social worker who placed more than 500 of the children before retiring in 1980, also will be spotlighted during the celebration.

Along with the observance, the Children’s Home staff hopes to raise awareness of the need for adoption.

“There are 430 children in our region alone, and more than 4,000 in Texas who are under Children’s Protective Services conservatorship and are legally adoptable today,” said Lynn Harms, president.

Stacy Parker, unit director of foster care and adoption, said children from birth to age 18 are adoptable.

“Probably 20 or 30 years ago it was more private, infant adoptions,” Parker said. “We still do domestic adoptions. However, we also do a lot of state-contracted adoptions. That means we work with the state of Texas with the children who are in the CPS system.

“Our children are searching for a place to belong and to fit in, to be wanted, loved and nurtured. That is what an adoptive family is. It is a family that is able to help take in a child who is in need of a family and a place to belong.

“We all want a sense of belonging.”

The implications of successful adoption are immense, according to Harms.

“It changes the entire future for that child,” he said.

“The real significance is what it does for the child to have an identity, a family, and security. Then what happens in generations to come is that it changes the generational pattern. For the kids who are born into abuse and neglectful families and who have horrific experiences, their kids are not going to have those experiences.”

Powell said in a phone interview that he has kept in touch with the Children’s Home and spoke at one of its fundraisers in 1985.

He also graduated from the Abilene Christian University graduate school in 1985.

“At that time, I got in touch with my birth family,” Powell said. “It was a good meeting. My adopted parents came down for my graduation, and my sisters came. My birth father was still alive at the time, but my birth mother had died a number of years previously.”

He describes the meeting this way:

“It was interesting and strange, but kind of a good closure kind of thing.”

He returns to the Lubbock area from time to time to visit cousins and aunts and uncles who are relatives through adoption, and to always visit Inez Balcolm, who placed him in the Powell home.

Harms said of adoption, “It has an impact on the adopting family who is completing their family, and it affects the grandparents, the aunts, the uncles, cousins and often the older siblings who are in the family when a newly adopted child comes in.

“The adoption significance is a kind of 360-degree blessing because it blesses the family, the child and the future generations.”

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Get More: Children’s Home of Lubbock | Bob Powell | adoption

Reprinted courtesy of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Letters from Home

Letters from Home

A collection of stories, testimonies, and letters from those who have called this place HOME — students, staff, foster and adoptive families.

Affectionately Addressed as “Brother White,”
John White was Loved by All
Love to the most wonderful man in the world.  Thank ever so much for everything you have done for me.  It seems as though you never lose faith in me no matter how much I goof.  I love you ever so dearly and deeply.  You’re always a source of help to me.
An ex-student writing to Brother White
Brother White, thank you so much for all the years of love and devotion you have shown me, for the guiding light that has helped show me the way.
In Christian love, Vickie
Dear Brother White, I want to thank you for guiding me through the eleven years I have been at the Home.  I will always love you.
Love, Mary
To Brother White, the man who has made everything possible in my life.
With all my love forever, Roger
Reflections from Staff Members
I went to work at The Children’s Home because I was looking for a job where I could be at home when my husband was home. That was the first blessing (and probably the most insignificant). My job was “receptionist” (possibly the most significant blessing) for with that job, God “plopped” me down right in the middle of The Children’s Home. I soon found myself surrounded by some of the most loving, caring, professional people I have ever known.
It was my privilege to get to know houseparents, those folks who are parents to children who need them, folks who give their hearts to children whether it’s for a lifetime or for a short time, whatever the child needs. I got to know the administration, the social work side, the “business” side, and the maintenance crew, each dependent on the other for their existence.  Everyone became a blessing for me,  just to know them and have them in my life.
Imagine all these blessings and I haven’t even mentioned the children. CHILDREN who made you laugh, CHILDREN who made you cry, CHILDREN who made you laugh and cry!
A young man called one day just to see if there was anyone there that he could talk with that had been there when he grew up there.  He just wanted to call home.
Delilah Wisener, former receptionist
About 20 years ago during the summer, I planned arts and crafts sessions for the older girls on campus. That started a love for the children at The Children’s Home.  I started working as a Unit Director almost 5 years ago. Working here has blessed me in many ways. I love children and watching them grow in ways that will help them become successful adults. The other blessing here is the people on staff and the relationships that develop in times of fun and need. The support of others and the love that is expressed is a bonus each day. It is obvious that this is God’s work.
Donna Davis, Unit Director
I can’t think of a better way to serve God than to serve His children, and I thank God everyday for that opportunity.  I love working here, and I look forward to coming to work every day.  I believe my life is put to good use here.
Julia Soccio, Accounting
Working at the Children’s Home of Lubbock is definitely work, but it’s the only job I’ve ever had where I can go home at night, reflect on my day, and feel like I’ve done something Jesus would have done.
Kristy Beene. Education Coordinator
I came to work at CHOL as a housemom in 1994. I must say that the two years David and I spent in the cottage were the two of the hardest, most rewarding years that I have been privileged to live. God often blesses us in very surprising ways. He has a tendency to sneak experiences and joys into your life when you are not looking for them.  It’s a joy to be part of a community made up of people who see their work as ministry and opportunity to heal, love, encourage, set an example and teach.
Ramona Ruebush, Accounting
My personal life has been changed by so much of the spiritual love I receive from here.  My family can say that working here has made me a better wife, mother, daughter and friend.
Traci Verett., Development
I never realized how important it is to work in a Christian office – until I didn’t!  What a welcome change to be a part of a vital, growing ministry and to know that the work you do really does make a difference – in children’s lives, not just the “bottom line.”
Tobie Beck, Administrative Assistant
I am blessed to work with a caring and dedicated group of people who have similar goals of providing quality, Christian child care for abused children.   This is a happy, loving place.  I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
Vickie Russell, Vice President of Children’s Services
The working environment at the Home is supportive and loving, and I have made many close friends.  Recently I have been going through one of the most difficult times in my life, and the staff has been absolutely wonderful.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have their support, prayers, and friendship.
Courtney Bryan, Administrative Assistant
 Impact of Inez Baucum’s life Has Been Far-Reaching
I will start out by saying that I am not an adopted child placed by Inez Baucum. But I have been influenced greatly by Inez Baucum. My family was a foster family with whom Inez placed children who were to be adopted. This is significant for me because the best times I remember are those where my sister and I would take the foster baby into the back room and dress it up, getting it ready to meet his/her new parents. The new mother and father would come to our home with Inez to see their baby for the first time. It was my privilege to place that baby in the arms of a very anxious and waiting mother.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story how this remarkable woman has  reached far and wide to be a positive influence on many generations.
Peggy (Christian) Corder
On Thanksgiving in 1966  I sat down and wrote a letter from Michigan to Inez Baucum of The Children’s Home in Lubbock.  My husband, Lewis, and I were interested in  adoption.  Inez wrote back and said to drop in when we came to Lubbock during the Christmas break and have a visit with her.
On December 21 we did indeed have that chat and she told us we could pick up our new baby boy on December 23!  My were we surprised at the speed with which things happened!  Lewis was in shock and I was delighted, but he soon became very excited about becoming a new father, too.  So on December 23 our son was placed in our arms.  We named him Lewis Whitfield Moncrief, Jr.  Even though he was raised in Michigan, he still had Texas blood in him.  He has worn cowboy boots all of his life, beginning at the age of about two.  He has been a joy to us and his younger brother and 2 younger sisters.
Thank you, Inez and The Children’s Home of Lubbock!
Lewis and Delzene Moncrief
Brother White and Floyd Stumbo knew  we wanted to start a family but had been told that  it was possible for us to have children but that it might be hard.  They both encouraged us to consider adoption. Brother White suggested that we wait no longer and allow him to arrange a meeting with Inez Baucum.  We were scared to death at the first meeting with her.  She quickly put us at ease as she took our application.  We came to love her very much as we worked with her through the years.
In just a few days Inez called and said she wanted to place a 4 year old girl with us for foster care.  We took Vicki into our home without knowing whether we could ever adopt her or not.   She had been in several foster homes and didn’t believe that we would keep her.  At first she didn’t even want her suitcase unpacked because she believed she would have to move.
We immediately fell in love with Vicki and prayed that it would  be possible for us to adopt her.  In the summer of 1962 we were told that we could adopt her and the procedure was begun and we were able to make her our own in the fall of 1962.
Brothers White and Stumbo continued to visit with us from time to time.  Vicki once asked Brother White, in our absence,  when they were going to get her a little brother.  She later asked Floyd the same question. Floyd explained to Vicki that it was Inez who would have to do that.
On November 13th we got a call from Inez.  She told John,  “We have a little boy that is a Greeson, do you want him?”  John said, “Wait a minute, I will have to ask Orheana.”  After the confirmation came from Orheana, John said, “When can we get him?”  Inez said, Tomorrow.”
On November 14, 1963 we went to the Stumbo home in Lubbock for the ceremony and a little two week old boy was placed in our laps.  We named him Emerson Leon for his grandfathers.   In one day we had gone from a family of three to a family of four.
It was shocking enough to have a little girl that we were getting to know.  It was even a greater shock to suddenly have a little boy.  Then in a few months there was another shock when Orheana learned that she was pregnant.   We had a little girl, Leigh Ann, born on December 27, 1964.
How grateful we are to John White, Floyd Stumbo, Inez Baucum, and the others at The Children’s Home of Lubbock who selected us to become the parents of Vicki and Leon.  We thank God that we are among the thousands that have been  blessed by these great servants of God.
John and Orheana Greeson
Children Learn Life Lessons at Church
I feel contently happy living with the Logan family.  Though at first it was hard to cope with foster care and get along with so many, but the years went by and people are saying I look like my mother Angie.  Now that adoption lay before us I thank God daily for giving me such a great family and only wish everyone childhood has such a happy ending.
Lisa Elizabeth Copeland
Children are Loved at the Home
I didn’t expect anyone to take special care of me when I came to The Children’s Home.  I thought I would just be “a student”.  Everyone has taken so much care of me!  I know that you really love the kids you work with.  I know a lot of good things that have happened to me are probably because of you.
An ex-student
The Home  provided a way for me to have a chance at a “normal” family experience.  I knew I was in a safe place.  Coming from a broken, unstable home, The Children’s Home provided stability for  me.  I had a new family that I knew wanted me to be a success.  So I tried hard to make them proud of me.
The Home was a light in my dark world.  It helped to kindle a fire within me to help  children.  Today I am a teacher in a poor school district and feel like I have a chance to pay back all the good that was done for me through the Home.  I deal daily with children from broken homes.  I let them know that they don’t have to grow up and make the same mistakes they see their parents making.
Matt Cook, formerly in foster care
Children See Creation’s Wonders at the Farm
Dear Alvin, I know God put you at The Children’s Home to make a difference in my life!  I hope you continue to make differences in other children’s lives.  God knows you are the best for “Growing the Children” out on the farm.
Love, Neisha
It’s me Don.  I miss being there.  How is the farm?  I miss being out there; I miss having to wake up to go to work on the farm.  I thought that was fun, and most of the time I learned something new.  I miss driving the tractor. I had a lot of fun living there. I learned a lot of stuff — how to drive, how to play basketball, how to play football, how to read and write — and I learned all of those thing just by being there and by watching others do right and wrong. I learned all of those thing the hard way; I kept getting in trouble.  I always thought that I was doing right but I was not.  Well, I thank you guys at The Children’s Home for showing the right and wrongs.
Basic and Therapeutic care--Giving Children a Chance to Be Family.
Basic and Therapeutic care–Giving Children a Chance to Be Family.

They are bright, articulate, and funny. They enjoy each other’s company. If you ask the older girls what they are most thankful for, they will tell you very quickly. “This is the first time we’ve all lived together in one place!” Sonya and Sheila are delighted to be able to see their younger brothers and sisters every day, a feat that would be impossible without The Children’s Home.

The story started a number of years ago, when it became apparent to the authorities that the children were not safe at home with their parents. Social workers intervened. The little ones left home first, to live in separate foster homes and other out-of-home placements. Eventually the older sisters were removed from the home, and the search began for a placement that would allow the siblings to be together. It ended at The Children’s Home of Lubbock.

Caseworkers for the children were looking for an agency that could deal with the individual problems of each child. The children were remarkably resilient, considering their past; they were outgoing and eager to please. But because they had been left to “bring themselves up”, none of the children had all the skills they needed.

Each child had dealt with the scars of their collective past in a different way, some healthy and some not. That meant that each child needed a different kind of child care program to help them meet their problems head-on and realize their full potential.

In particular, Karen, the youngest of the siblings, suffered from a host of fears that were scariest at bedtime and bathtime, and getting her to bed was a nightly ordeal that might require hours. By the time she arrived at The Children’s Home, the little four-year-old badly needed the stability of a calm and loving environment in which she could learn how to deal with her fears.

Her five-year-old brother, Jack, was full of energy, rowdy and undisciplined. He needed a tightly structured environment where he could learn how to channel his emotions, harness his energy, and use his sparkling personality to bless other people rather than to cause trouble.

The middle siblings, Don and David, suffered from dyslexia and were far behind in school. They were natural athletes and quite artistic. They needed help to fulfill their potential, a place where they were free to be the funny, affectionate little boys they had been created to be.

The older girls, who were 10 and 11, needed to be the older sisters, not the parents. They were outgoing, quick to make friends, and good students. A place that would keep them safe and allow them to be a family with their younger siblings was exactly what they needed.

Caseworkers for the children consulted with our staff to determine if the programs of care at The Children’s Home of Lubbock could meet their stated goal of having all the children together in one location. The older children needed the basic care that any child deserves–a place to be safe, well-fed, and lovingly cared for and taught. The little ones needed all those things and more–more intensive therapy for their wounds and a more structured environment for learning the social skills they had not yet acquired.

Because The Children’s Home offers such a wide variety of programs for the children it serves, the needs of all the children could be met right here, on one campus, allowing the children plenty of opportunity to come and go, visiting with each other, going to school together on the bus each day, meeting in the Mabee Gym for a little play time together. Their loyalty to each other has been reinforced by the time they are able to spend together. They praise each other, explain things to each other, and express their affection freely. They are quick to express their gratitude for being able to live “all in one place”.
Raise a Super-Hero!

Raise a Super-Hero!
Become a foster parent at The Children’s Home of Lubbock!

Click here to see some of the children who are awaiting a good family.
Thinking of becoming a foster parent?
There are all kinds of foster families, to serve all kinds of kids!

The Children’s Home provides foster care services:
• Basic Foster Care
• Therapeutic Foster Care
• Foster to Adopt “Legal Risk” Placements
• Special Needs Adoption
• Post Adoption Services
• Monthly Foster/Adoptive Family Support Groups

For these kinds of kids:
▸ Kids who range in age from birth -17 years
▸ Kids who need security, guidance and structure in their lives
▸ Kids who require love, support, nurturing and attention

What kind of families can become foster and adoptive families? What do we need to do?

The prospective foster/ adoptive parents may be single or married and must:
▸ Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults
▸ Provide documentation of at least a high school degree or GED
▸ Complete an application
▸ Provide 7 references from relatives and non-relatives
▸ Allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household
▸ Complete a physical for all household members
▸ Show proof of marriage and/or divorce
▸ Agree to a home study which includes visits with all household members
▸ Attend trainings to learn about issues of abused and neglected children
▸ Have adequate sleeping space
▸ Agree to a non-physical discipline policy
▸ Permit fire, health, and safety inspections of the home
▸ Obtain TB testing as required by the local Health Department for household members
▸ Attend specified training hours, depending on the therapeutic needs of the children you care for

So we become a foster family. Then what??!

▸ Training
Before a child is ever placed in your home, we’ll provide specific training about foster care. As a foster parent you will receive on-going training to equip you to help the children in your home.
▸ Case Management
A case manager from The Children’s Home of Lubbock will visit your home on a regular basis to provide support and direction.
▸ Foster Care Subsidy
You will receive a monthly reimbursement to help provide food, clothing, and shelter for each child. Reimbursing rates vary from $600 to $1080 per month, depending on the child’s therapeutic needs.
▸ 24-hour On Call
Staff of The Children’s Home of Lubbock will be available 24 hours a day to help foster parents deal with difficult situations.
▸ Medical Care
The medical needs of all foster children in care are covered by Texas Medicaid.
▸ Foster to Adopt
When adoption is in the child’s best interest, that child’s foster parents will be given the opportunity to adopt. Dual licensing (Foster care and Adoption) is available through our agency.
▸ Satisfaction
Foster parents gain a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are giving a needy child a good stable home. Without you this ministry would not exist. Foster Parent Appreciation events are scheduled each year to honor your commitment, service, and dedication to helping children.


“Manifesting Christ through excellence in child care.”


“Working in creative collaboration to provide quality care that transforms the lives of at-risk children and their families through the active compassion of Christ.”


Physical Address:
4404 Idalou Rd.
Lubbock, TX 79403

Mailing Address:
The Children's Home of Lubbock
P.O. Box 2824
Lubbock, TX 79408


The Children’s Home of Lubbock Phone:
(806) 762-0481

(806) 767-0571