Singer Mark Schultz On Adoption - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Singer Mark Schultz On Adoption

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"Remember me, where they're old enough to teach. Old enough to preach. Old enough to leave." Those words come from one of the most famous of all Mark Schultz songs. Mark Schultz has had seven number one songs on the Christian Music Charts in recent years, and he appeared this week on KWWL-TV's Iowa's Child adoption segment during National Adoption month.


Says Mark, "I was adopted when I was two weeks old, and I have the best parents in the world. I went back to the Kansas Children's Service League, where I came from, and I met some of the people who were there when I first was adopted."


Mark Schultz uses his own adoption experience when talking to children who are still waiting to be adopted. "And, what I told them over and over is, man, you have to hope and know that the best is yet to come, you know."


Mark has never met his birth mother, but wrote the song, 'Everything To Me,' about her after a talk with some fans.


"I said, maybe it was a selfish thing for her to do to give me up. I was kind of joking, and they said, wait, you don't understand. For a women to carry you for nine months, and go through the pain of giving birth to you, and then to hold you, and say, I can't give you the best life I can give you, but I know there's a couple who would love you and would love to have you and give you a great life, and all of a sudden, my life changed, and I just went, Oh, my gosh, a completedly different perspective. I relate to that birth mom so much different now."


This summer, Mark rode his bike across America to promote adoption awareness and raise oney for the new James Fund of Family Christian Services. "God's got a huge journey for everybody and sometimes, it starts off a little rough. If you can be grateful for the times later on, I think it. I just think adoption is a wonderful and it's a wonderful way to go.".


Mark Schultz was blessed to be adopted as a baby, but many Iowa children are still waiting to be adopted.


November is National Adoption month, and the need for foster and adoptive parents in Iowa remains great. In fiscal year 2006, the State of Iowa, through various agencies, served 11,748 children in the Iowa foster care system, On any given day in Iowa, some five-thousand children live in Iowa foster homes. Those are truly amazing statistics.

The Iowa Department of Human Services has embarked on a new initiative regarding foster care and adoptions. D-H-S recently awarded a contract to a new statewide collaboration of non-profit agencies dedicated to the safety and permanency of children and families; it's called Iowa KidsNet. This new network consisted of almost a dozen agencies. Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids is the lead agency in this new effort to recruit and retain resource families who are interested in foster care and adoption of Iowa children. Iowa KidsNet will also work with the long-running Iowa's Child Special Needs Adoption program on KWWL-TV.


To learn more about Iowa KidsNet and becoming a foster or adoptive parent, you can easily contact Iowa KidsNet on its toll-free number 1-800-243-0756. If this number sounds familiar, it should. It's the same toll- free phone number which has been used by Kidsake over the past few years. Iowa KidsNet is replacing Kidsake, and will build on the successful efforts of Kidsake under this new recruitment and retention effort.


Mark Schultz had some other interesting comments during our recent interview:


"You know, I write all my songs in a Chapel in Nashville, where I was Youth Director. Everyone of the songs from my records hase been written there. Usually, when songs move me to tears, I go, okay, I've got to write that song. I don't want to be known as someone who writes a bunch of songs who were here today and gone tomorrow. Songs like "He's My Song, Everything To Me, Letters From Home, those are songs that hopefully, people will listen to 30, 40 years from now and say, it still has an impact."



'Letters From War', had to have a particularly strong impact on service men and women who are in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world"

"I was really moved when i was on a plane and I was coming back, and there were some folks from the Air Force, and they said, that was the last song they listened to before they went over. At the Air Force Academy, they put it up ojn a screen and played it in their chapel. They said, everybody had their arms around each other and they were all singing it together, and that's the last song the Army plays when they are flying over to Kuwait. That's the last song they play for them on the plane before they deploy. So special that the song has made an impact."


"The mission now. You are on a bike ride, It's Mark Across America. Mark Schultz Across America. You've been riding about a hundred miles a day. Tell me why you decided to do this?"


"Well, it's a neat story. Family Christian Stores came to me and said, 'we know you're adopted, and we just started this project called the James Fund, which helps widows and orphans, and we think you'd be a good spokesperson for it. You're know living for Mark Schultz anymore. You're living for God. And, was pretty much able to illuminate me, and that's why something like this trip is so important for me now, because I know I'm not living in this life for the benefit of Mark Schultz, but, I knowe by serving others, I'm really serving God, so, it's important to me."

Mark's website: www.markacrossamerica.org. or www.markschultzmusic.com


Ron Steele

KWWL-TV News Anchor






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