So I have been wandering around in adoption land today and praying about the future children that God may have for us spread out over the world. I am pretty sure that our journey through this land does not end with Kate. While we were in the middle of the adoption process and I was scared out of my mind, I was praying one day and God led me to this verse…”Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the EAST and gather you from the west. I will say to the north ‘Give them up!’ and to the south ‘Do not hold them back!’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 43:5-6. Obviously I know that God was not talking about adoption in this verse, but it took me captive as if He had written this directly to me at that moment! Of course, sitting on my porch that day, before even meeting Katherine Hope, I told God how impossible this was for me. He loves that… the fact that His vision for our lives cannot be accomplished by human hands or human brains. I didn’t share this even with David right away, because I was pondering it in my heart. Could He really be calling us to what my heart was longing for, but my mind didn’t think was possible?
Kate only confirmed the vision of a family that may one day be a tiny picture of our eternal home…many races and creeds and cultures living together in love. I am very excited about the call that I feel God has placed on our family… so excited that it would be very easy for me to force this call onto others with the best of intentions.. No, I do not think that God calls every family to adopt. I have seen people try adoption out of guilt and it doesn’t work. There is no flow and though they are attempting it with hearts that just want to obey Jesus, often times it ends in disaster or disappointment. We were commanded to care for the orphans and the widows and to defend the fatherless, but that does not necessarily mean that we all are commanded to adopt. Don’t get me wrong!!! I am 100% for adoption and anyone not following that desire or call out of fear of some kind should go back in this blog and read…because if I can do this ANYONE can…as long as God has told you to.
So how do you know if you are called? That, my friends, is between you and your Father, but for me it was a vision that set my heart afire, but was much too large for me to step into on my own. Here I am on the other side of it saying, as soon as you know this is what God wants for you…run towards it! You will not regret it.
Do I understand the implications of what I am saying? Yes, I have thought long and hard about my stance on this. There are many groups that will tell you that adoption is for everyone and that you need to do it because God commanded it. There are many that will tell you if you have enough love and enough money then you don’t have an excuse. There are many of us that will scream at you about the 150 million orphans waiting for homes…yes, I am one… I saw them with my own eyes and it is difficult not to jump on a plane and bring them all home. We all do it with hearts for babies who need parents, who need attention, who need love, who need a family, who need Jesus. But it just might be that God expects you to respond to this orphan crisis in another way, and let me tell you, in the grand plan, it doesn’t matter what you or I think it “best” for these 150 million children. God knows every single one of them by name.
So what can you do to follow God’s Word? Yes, you have a place in all of this. If you are a Christian, then you have a direct call to defend the fatherless, to care for the widows and the orphans, and to act on the behalf of the weak and the poor. I am about to give you a few things that you need to be doing…pick one or two, but for heaven’s sake, do not sit back in your comfortable chair and do nothing. It is only then that you are sure to be disobedient. Once you know that there are 150 million children that need you, you are ACCOUNTABLE. Some people are just naive and have never been educated about the problem…you, however, are about to know. When you are given the knowledge, you are then required to do something. I dare you to stop reading 🙂 Because we are about to go around the world…
- China (near and dear to my heart) – most orphans are abandoned because of their sex (male babies are preferred over females and China’s one-child per family policy keeps most families giving up their girls) Orphans are also abandoned because of special needs that require more resources than the families can give. While visiting Kate’s “hometown”, I realized that poverty must force many of these abandonments as the parents are without resources to care for themselves let alone children.
- Africa – many orphans have lost both parents due to AIDS or the surviving parent can no longer afford to take care of their children (AIDS is an epidemic in Africa). Orphans also can lose parents in wars or genocides or simply due to the conditions of poverty in most of the continent.
- Russia and the Ukraine – Russia is currently a closed program, but most of the orphans in these Kremlin like nations are from situations of violence, abuse, drug addiction, or alcohol addiction. Many are taken from their parents for their own safety, some are abandoned by the parents altogether.
- South America – Most orphans in nations like Honduras, Brazil, and Columbia are abandoned due to severe poverty. Some have lost parent due to drug abuse or drug cartels.
- Asia – outside of China, many children are orphaned because of birth defects and special needs. Asians have a history of pride in their culture and regard people with defects as a hardship on society. This and the frequent lack of affordable medical care makes for a pretty large orphan population.
- US of A – yes, our own country is filled with orphans. Most of the children have been removed from a situation due to abuse or neglect. Infants are regularly orphaned because mothers are too young to care for them, yet decided to give them life. Many of the children in our country make the foster system their home and are moved from family to family, never finding a place to rest.
So now that you know…what is expected of you? From my point of view, one or more of the following…
- Adopt. Follow that desire and step out into a world teeming with faith and grace. Find out where God has your child waiting for you.
- Give. What resources do you have that can bring children home to their parents or take care of orphans in the place where they are right now? If you need a place to start “like” my Facebook page “Bring Them Home/Give $5” (Yes, that is a shameless plug. With an army of people, we are going to help these called families bring their babies home) There are also great organizations like “Love Without Boundaries” that care for orphans based on the donations of people just like you. It is easier than ever to connect with people around the world who are doing great work in caring for these babies.
- Support. Find the families that are in the midst of adoption, post adoption, or considering adoption. Pray for them. Babysit for them. Make a meal for them. Love on those babies that they have brought home starving for affection. Give them any free resources that you have available to give. We were given a free photo shoot when we came home with Kate. It was an incredible blessing!!
- Pray. Pray for these orphans around the world. Pray for these countries. Pray for revival that will sweep out the lifestyles and governments ridden with sin, selfishness, and greed. Pray that the adoption system will avoid corruption at all costs and that children will not be used as pawns for political games. Pray for the families that are called to adopt because their lives get messy when they answer the call and they need to be upheld.
- Volunteer. Volunteer at a pregnancy resource center. Go on a mission trip that assists the orphans plight. Give of your time whenever you hear “orphan” or “widow”. Get to know the children surrounding you…perhaps some of them are fatherless or abandoned in some way.
- Educate. Read books and blogs. Get the facts about the orphan plight. Listen when someone comes to your church to speak on adoption. Know what is going on around you in the world…and then help someone else understand. The more the word spreads, the more God has an opportunity to speak to hearts about His plan for these kids. “Kisses with Katie” is a great place to start and is a very entertaining read that even a middle schooler would enjoy. Oh and that reminds me, teach your children. Educate them. Breed a spirit of adoption in your family whether you have adopted or not.
- Act. Whatever you do, DO SOMETHING! Lack of obedience is disobedience.
Why are orphans so close to the heart of God? Where do you think He got all His children?? He only had one Son. The rest of us are adopted… REDEEMED!!! And let me just tell you, when you respond to God and obey His call to the orphan, you get to see redemption with your own eyes…and once you are a part of someone else’s redemption, you never want to do anything else with your life.
Last question… what will you do with this post?