My heart has been longing for Ethiopia and the orphans we left behind. Each one a precious child of God. Each one in desperate need of a family and a home. I found an awesome God-loving women's blog this week and I've been lost in her stories of adoption. She's a 50 year old women who has heard God's call and answered Him time and time again-against insurmountable odds at times, regardless of what others may think. She and her husband are living out the gospel, and I have found much wisdom in her postings.
I had an appointment this afternoon, so in a brief moment of solitude as I waited in the waiting room, I had a chance to read a magazine article. It was in some financial magazine and the title was something like "The Net Return of Children". Basically it was analyzing the "value" of having children today-what is the return on our investment. The conclusion was that Americans are actually choosing not to have children-or not as many (especially wealthier Americans) because it is a poor financial investment (with private school, piano lessons, swim team, birthday parties that require party planners, wardrobe trends to keep up with and other "must haves"...parents are financially strapped trying to provide a "proper" upbringing).
This, I think is a big part of the problem. Our society has placed false value on the lives of our children. We are expected to enroll them in the preschool with the wait list. Give them all of the "stuff" that we wanted as a kid, but may not have had. Make sure they are "well rounded" (ie. play violin, be captain of the soccer team, and run for prom queen all while taking physics and calculus classes-all to measure our success as parents). Provide them with a "better" life. BETTER LIFE. What is that???? Well, for the orphan-a better life is a home with a family that vows to provide what they will never have in an orphanage, group home or care center. To provide them with LOVE and HOPE.
Our agency sent a list of "waiting children" this week and it just breaks my heart. Some of the kids have been on the list since at least September when we first saw our girls. They were on that list and praise GOD, we found them. As I write this, they sleep snug in their warm little beds, hopefully knowing that they are LOVED, not only by us, but also by our gracious God. They have hope and a future now.
The following passage was taken from "A place called simplicity" http://www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/. Check it out for more amazing insight on God's heart for the orphan and His call to all Christians. These are her answers to some of the reasons people give not to adopt (I've added a few comments in red):
Some say, “I don’t really have time.” Who does???Almighty God, the defender of orphans and widows says, “You don’t have time? Time for what? The things you deem “important”? I have told you what really matters – Caring for the orphans and widows!! How much clearer do I need to make it?”
Some say, “But we can’t afford it right now.” Neither could we-GOD provided!! Almighty God says, “You can’t afford not to! Watch me provide – you will be amazed!!” We were amazed!
Some say, “But I already have these kids and they are driving me crazy.” Almighty God says, “Stop using the world’s value system when it comes to kids! Their worth is beyond words – cherish them and bring more home!”
Some say, “But I need to spend time with the ones I do have”. Almighty God says, “Yes you do!! Stop wasting your time on all the things that don’t really matter and spend time with them (This is my new mantra)– and teach them about selflessness by bringing home brothers and sisters for them….in fact teach them about sharing first hand! Teach them about caring for others first hand!!”
You might say, “My husband doesn’t want anymore.” Almighty God says, “Fast and pray for your husband’s heart to change – I am a big God and it certainly lines up with my will – fast, pray and watch and see what I do!!”
I think she says it so well. We can all make excuses. The bottom line is that we all can do something. We all have room and we can all choose to make a difference.
I say this tonight after a miserable showing as a patient mother. My little Meron missed her nap today and whined and fussed from 4:00pm-bedtime. Caroline chimed in from time to time with her own whines and needs and Colton threw a tantrum because he didn't get the snack he wanted-all while I was trying to make dinner. I failed miserably at being patient and loving and kind. Which is a little ironic because I've been teaching them 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Love is patient, love is kind...it is not easily angered...) all month. The good news is, it's not about us. We are never going to have it all together enough to take on God's challenges. That's why we need HIM. We are never going to have enough time, money, patience, organization, or energy to do it all. But we need to have enough humility to recognize this and give it to the Lord. When God calls you to do something, you DO IT.
As defeated as I felt after finally getting my little ones to sleep tonight, the devil will not win this one. He will not stop me from spreading the word. I'm going to get the message out. The plight of the orphan is my life calling. The devil hates it. He'd love for us all to get distracted enough that we allow it to be OK that children go to sleep hungry, homeless, and hopeless every night.
In the words of Mother Theresa, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die, so that you may live as you wish."
Defending the fatherless,