"Break my heart, God, for what breaks Yours."
I believe God's heart is breaking for the orphan. I've been struggling lately with the desire to adopt again, and how to reconcile this desire with current family circumstances. I'm not sure what is ideal anymore, but I do know that now is not the best time for us to consider adoption. So why is MY heart breaking for the orphans? What can little insignificant *me* do about it?
I guess I can start by getting the word out: there are children in this world who NEED, more than anything, to be adopted. There are teenagers about to be "aged out" of whatever system they are in. They will be pushed out into this big bad world to fend for themselves...without the safety net of a family. There are "special needs" orphans who are literally left to wallow on floors and in cribs with no human touch unless absolutely necessary. They are also the ones most likely to remain institutionalized for the rest of their lives, not having the chance to live to their utmost ability (for an absolutely heartbreaking personal account of this by another blogger, go HERE). There are babies being found in fields and on doorsteps...hopefully alive if they are found in time. There are mothers out there who need to know that there are better options to abortion and that they have a chance to make a wrong a right. But they need to know that their child is wanted!
Who is willing to step up in faith and take one of these souls into their home?
I'm not here to guilt anyone into adopting (but if I do, I'm not sorry about it). I'm just trying to make sense of the inconceivable...that millions of innocent children are left fatherless through no fault of their own. My heart breaks for these children.
So, before I spend much more time on this worn-out soap box, I thought I'd link up some sites and ways to help so that *YOU* can prayerfully consider your role in an orphan's life.
:: I learned about "The World's Waiting Children" recently through an adoption chat group. These children are primarily varying ages with special needs, located all over the world. Sometimes they have healthy sibling groups too, so it's worth a look-see. Waiting children are the ones who typically have the most urgent need of a forever home.
:: The "Adoption Exchange" is a United States waiting children website. Most children are in foster homes, awaiting adoption. There are pictures of the children, and searches can be narrowed down to the state you live in. This is probably the most economical way to adopt (even though money should *never* prevent someone from pursuing adopting, in my opinion). I see lots of sibling groups on here too, if you want to really jump-start a family. ;)
:: "The Heart Gallery" is another U.S. based website, in conjunction with Adoption Exchange. I personally love this one because the children's photographs are all taken professionally and are really beautifully done. We feature these pictures and bios in a display at my church, so if you want to do the same at your church, it would be a huge blessing to any child that is adopted by being showcased in such a way. Most of these kids are older, with the younger ones typically tied to a sibling group who do not want to be separated.
:: If you are not ready to consider adoption, you can always be a CASA volunteer. I just heard about this via another blog, and am intrigued...actually considering doing it myself! Basically, through training, you can become a child advocate for children who are abused and/or neglected. This is pretty much a part-time job (without pay), so it is mainly for those who would consider it a ministry opportunity (or "philanthropy", if you like that term better). If this is too much of a commitment, they do have other volunteer opportunities. I feel that this is an amazing way to help kids, because rather than complaining about the social service system we can actually do something about it.
:: And one more noteworthy site is "Grown in My Heart" which featured a post by Kristen Howerton on what she wishes she could have said when she appeared on The View in an adoption segment. I find this post so true to the real thoughts and feelings on adoptions, particularly by those who have adopted. TOTALLY worth checking out!
I hope that through these websites (and perhaps God's prompting), other's hearts are broken for these kids as mine is. While I know that in this fallen world there will never be an end to the orphan crisis, my prayer is that we can make a dent.
"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that youdid it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."-Matthew 25:40 (New American Standard Bible)