orphan sunday

Many of you may already know this, but for those who do not, today is Orphan Sunday! A day to bring awareness to the millions of orphans all around the world waiting for a family to call their own. November is also National Adoption Month, and so I wanted to write a few posts with that specific topic. {Not that my posts haven’t already been on the topic of adoption lately. 🙂 }

I wanted to address something I have been asked about more than once, and even given a shameful head shake because of it. There are over 500,000 orphans in the United States {http://www.sos-usa.org/our-impact/childrens-statistics} right now, and I promise that I have not forgotten or ignored that, even though there are people who may think we have. I get asked all the time why we are adopting from Haiti instead of the United States. Now, I in no way feel attacked by being asked this question {most of the time}. Most people are genuinely interested, but then there are others who want nothing more than to prove somehow that our decision is the wrong one. And so for those, I want you to hear a tiny part of my heart on this.

There is a really simple answer to the question “why?”, and it’s that we know that we were called to Haiti. It is the country that God has put in our hearts and minds. And when God calls you to do something, you do it! Thats, that.

I am not sure why people act as if what we are doing is shameful. They treat us like we should be appalled because we are going to a different country to welcome a child into our family. A child who has no family, who on a lot of occasions doesn’t eat everyday, has tattered clothes, in a country where there is no school which means no opportunity, no vaccines, and no means to go to a doctor, where disease is everywhere. Why should it matter when we are giving a child a home, a family, love, safety, and most importantly the knowledge of a redeeming Savior.

Now, I know very well that the state of our foster care in this country is appalling. Dustin and I have firsthand knowledge of this fact as we tried to foster/adopt my nephews. I whole-heartily agree that we need to be adopting these babies, and children, and teens that are right here in our own backyard, and I hope the church will realize the great need of that. May we push away our own “I could never do that” thoughts, and in turn allow Gods power to work in our hearts in only ways that He can. I am so thankful to have friends who have adopted children out of foster care, or domestically. I admire them, and am so thankful for their example. Lord willing, in the future we would love to do the same. But right now, in this moment, God has brought us to Haiti. To give a child the same opportunity, to receive something that EVERY child deserves to have…a family.

I believe the only solution to orphan care and adoption in our country, and internationally, is for the church to rise up and be the first to say, “I will take them.” For the church to jump on the opportunity to say, “I want them!” Instead of criticizing, realize that adoption is part of the great commission, and that we as Christians are CALLED to take orphans in. Orphans meaning, those all over the world. In America, in Africa, in China, and in Haiti. Instead of asking adoptive parents why they are choosing another country over their own, ask them how you can help. The adoption process is long, draining, and at times heart wrenching. Be the community that is needed for these parents. Pray for them, surround them in support, don’t make them feel as if they are making some sort of mistake. I am grateful to everyone who just wants to talk about it, and learn more. And the biggest reason for documenting our process, is that maybe someone will hear the calling, and adopt too.

I love these lines from the book Adopted For Life, by Russell D. Moore, “Whether our background is Norwegian or Haitian or Indonesian, if we are united to Christ, our family genealogy is found not primarily in the front pages of our dusty old family Bible but inside its pages, in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Our identity is in Christ; so his people are our people, his God our God.” People from all nations, are people made in the image of God. They deserve the same love that we receive. Your identity is ultimately found in Him, no matter what your heritage is. May we hope and long for every little boy, teenage girl, adult man & woman all over this world to know the love of a family, but most importantly know that because of salvation we are adopted into the kingdom of God. We are His! Loved, cherished, wanted, cared for, seen, and heard, by Him

“Adoption is about an entire culture within our churches, a culture that sees adoption as part of our Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself.”{Russell D. Moore} Because after-all, we are all adopted ourselves. So whether you adopt from here or there, just know that adoption at all is PRECIOUS in the sight of our Father.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you {John 14:18}

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. {Isaiah 1:17}

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. {Psalm 68:5}

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. {Psalm 82:3}