SUE: I like to try to make every moment matter! While the whole of God’s word guides our life, the passages that have formed the basis for the particular direction of our personal journey are Matthew 18:5-6 and Luke 18:15-17 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it [a]would be better for him to have a [b]heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Luke 18: 15-17 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
We believe that every child needs, deserves and thrives best in a family that will be his or hers for a lifetime – with a parent or two and possibly siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – the whole deal. A family not just to grow up in, but to grow old in. So we have dedicated our own life to receiving the children God has brought to our door (22 forever: 2 by birth, 20 adopted plus 50 more we cared for temporarily as foster parents).
Beyond our own house and yard, we spend every waking moment working to advocate for every child across our nation and across the world to have this same opportunity. We advocate by standing up, speaking up and “writing-up!”
HC: You are a speaker and educator. Provide a visual for our readers–what does that look like when Sue Badeau speaks or educates?
SUE: Oh my – a visual? LOL – my audience will see a short, graying and slightly chunky lady with incredible passion and energy. I never stand behind a podium, but “own” the stage and my Italian heritage comes out as my hands tell at least half of the story. I teach about family relationships, communication, caring for children who have been impacted by trauma and hope. I illustrate these lessons with stories from my own treasure chest – some from my family, others from children and families I have worked with. If you accidentally walk into one of my speaking events you will either hear people laughing or see them wiping tears from their eyes. We all learn together – they typically invite me in as the expert but I also learn something new from every audience!
HC: You wrote the 3rd volume for the Summer in Sweetland project. What’s it like to write with other authors?
SUE: This was a first for me and I had a ball. It was such fun playing with characters, maps, and collectively defining the culture and history of the community of Sweetland. I feel like I got to know each of the other ladies through their contributions to the series and I hope we can all work together again.
HC: Why did you say “yes” to this project (Summer in Sweetland)?
SUE: To be blunt, I had two equally important reasons. The first was Kathi Macias. I have known her for a few years, greatly admire her work and have been honored to call her a friend. I jumped at the chance to work with her. I also knew a couple of the other ladies a little and hoped to get to know them better. I felt privileged to be included among such a stellar list of women authors!
The second reason has to do with my message. I am so passionate about getting the word out that children of all ages, even teens, still need families – that’s what gets me up every morning. So an opportunity to share this message with a whole new audience by using a fictionalized story knocked my socks off – I couldn’t resist and I am SO excited to see how God will use it!
HC: Give us the elevator pitch of why someone should want to read your installment or the series in general.
SUE: “Never Too Old” will give open your eyes and your heart. You will see teens, even those labeled as “troubled” in a new light, and you will see the unconditional love of family in ways you had never imagined. If you like a good story, with believable characters you will come to care about and if you also like to be stretched and challenged in your faith – this is one story you don’t want to miss!
And if you like life in small towns – with all of its quaint charm, intrigue, messiness and genuine sense of community – you will definitely want to read the entire series. Each story is a unique treasure and together they form a lovely patchwork of small town life.
HC: What can we expect to read from Sue Badeau in the coming months?
SUE: We wrote a memoir about our life raising 22 children (“Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip, Adopting and Raising 22 Kids”) in 2013 and now we are working on a companion book which will have more of the parenting “how-to” tips we have learned along the way. I have also written a Bible study on Psalm 51, which I am getting ready for publication and now that I have dipped my toe into the fiction world, I plan to keep on writing fiction as well. I hope I will be able to write more collaborative stories with these and other writers.