Again, I find myself tired, ready for bed with a big day ahead of us tomorrow...passport pictures! FINALLY! LOL With that brings questions of how the boys will do in the car, how the boys will do together, and how long the boys can hold it...cause I don't know if we have time to stop and get diapers ....just kidding....kinda :)
I want to start off with a realization of the situation at hand in orphanages around the world. As a child enters an orphage, they loose something. A child enters an institution and goes from a loved individual to a part of a job for a few caretakers. They loose their individuality, they are not loved (although some caretakers give some children better care or even love them....but not as a mother or father), they loose a sense of purpose as they have only to survive the day, they become just one of many...no-one special! I noticed how dark the orphanage was the other day, I had been there many times before, but it just hit me. Then, as Rachel and I discussed it, she reminded me of how cold it feels, how uninviting it is as you look down the hallway to doors that seem to hold secrets. Nothing bad, just...uninviting. As I was wrestling with Jackson, Rachel noticed how the other boys seemed to stop and look. They noticed the special attention Jackson was getting, and since the nannies don't wrestle...it looked different and fun. But we also noticed how the older children seemed to long for that special attention as well, and they know what's going on, they've heard about the rolls of moms and dads. It breaks our heart, really, that we can only take two home! Every couple here can tell you of the ones that stick out to them, the ones that catch your heart....and break it, because you don't know if they will ever get chosen. My heart is broken for a special little blond headed girl that simply attacks us for attention every time we take Jackson back to his groupa (yep, I said it....a girl, never thought that would happen)....but it is not to be, not this time anyway!
I was praying tonight and God was putting the numbers through my head again, 143 million orphans who have lost at least one parent, 40-50 million no parent orphans (that's the same as the entire population of California)....then the research popped into my head with 2 billion people claiming to be Christians! How can this be if one in every 50 Christians adopted one child..there would be no more orphans. "But Joel, come on! I can't afford a child, or another child". Then how about being one of the people supporting someone who is adopting? But it goes further than that. We somehow have to cultivate the adoption culture back into modern church culture. True, there are more and more churches starting to understand the early church's role in adoption. The early church had strong ministries of adoption, orphanages, taking care of the elderly, hospitals.... in general, they took care of people who couldn't take care of themselves! Why, because it was modeled by Christ! If we are truly living a life that is guided by the Spirit of God, then why are the most needy being left by the wayside? The answer is simple, many are not being led by God, or they are not listing to God, or they simply really don't know God. When Christ said to take care of the widows and orphans, it was not a suggestion.
I thank God for changing my heart toward adoption, especially special needs (as they are the most needy of any group, needing extra care and grace), and for changing my heart from excluding foreign lands as we have really come to love the culture and people in this distant place. Now, my prayer is for cultivation. Cultivation of our dear brothers and sisters in knowing about adoption, cultivation of the church as a whole to re-investigate its role in protecting orphaned children (and widows, and anyone else who really can't fend for themselves). And for those who really can't adopt, to cultivate within them a desire to help those who are willing to bring an orphaned child of God into their family.
If you can't adopt, please pray! Find someone who is, give up a little something that you may spoil yourself with, and give it to that family. Pray for that family, reach out to that family, help them with fundraisers....it goes a lot further than just the monetary problems for those who are going through the process. And I ask, if you have a chance to go on a missions trip to an orphanage.....go! The workers need help, the kids need special one on one attention and you will be blessed.