Approximately 143 million orphans in the world. We can't provide a family for all of them, but we can for one, and one life changed makes a significant difference.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

are we really adopting?

I haven't posted in a while because the process has been uneventful lately. We're waiting for our last home study visit (Aug. 3rd) and so it feels like we're not progressing in the process right now. I joined a chat group for all the families working with our agency to adopt from ET and it has been exciting to see all of the referrals and court passings of the other families. As each family hits a milestone in the process they post it to the group and everyone celebrates....and I begin to wonder if we're really on this same path and if we will ever be the couple in the video standing on the street outside the transition home when the door opens and out walks a humble lady with a babe in arms to present him to his new forever family.

But tonight we took a little step that recharged us. We had two hours of online training left so we took a class called "multicultural and transracial adoption." Upon finishing the class we both got lost in our laptops, eagerly searching the web....Michael for history and cultural information (complete with listening to Ethiopian music) and me for safari themed room decor. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Orphaned Project

I have to admit, I have not checked out this website yet, but the video speaks for itself. I love that it says "if you see me, you can help." This is exactly what changed Michael's heart for the orphan. If you haven't heard about his dream, you've gotta ask him!!!

One of the most quoted scripture in support of orphan care is James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world." So I've been thinking about this verse alot as I try not to feel hurt by the few fellow believers who have sneered at our decision to adopt. I think that response comes from world pollution. The Bible tells us to love our neighbor and doesn't make that command contingent on our neighbor's skin color. The world tells us to protect our own race and put ourselves before others. Jesus was among the poor and close to the broken, the world looks at the starving and disease stricken and turns its face away.

I know, I've done it, it's easy to ignore because we don't have orphans/extreme poverty in our face everyday. But the truth is, and we all know it, they're out there, and I believe they are our responsibility. I AM NOT JUDGING THOSE WHO HAVE NOT/ARE NOT GOING TO ADOPT because I know that I fall short of keeping God's commands every moment of every day, and not every family is able to open their home or is necessarily called to do so. But, I do have a passion to share the need, as my eyes have become more open to the need, and there are many ways to help look after widows and orphans besides adoption. Also, I guess I'm feeling a little defensive at the moment so please excuse my ranting and don't take it personally!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

everyone needs compassion

I've been challenged by Tom Davis' book Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds, in which the author primarily speaks of the AIDS/poverty crisis in Africa. In the chapter titled "an inadequate response" Davis exposes and confronts our excuses for not being more compassionate and invovled, and, frankly, brings some necessary shame on the American church as a whole.

As Christ followers, we have a theolgoical understanding of both evil and redemption. This understanding ought to compel us to show the world how to respond to suffering and indifference. Jesus knew the dangers of getting caught up in religiosity. [note the story of the good samaritan] And he wasn't afraid to speak his mind on such matters because Jesus had only one thing on his heart: what matters most to his Father.

I can only read this book in small doses because the harsh statistics and stories of everyday life of African citizens are quite disheartening. Picking up this book was actually a response to our already burden for the pandemic in Africa. But compassion is needed in more ways than response to humanitarian crises.

I confess, I haven't had "only one thing" on my heart lately. I've been consumed with and distracted by this adoption. Has my baby been born yet? Does his mother know she won't get to raise him? When will we be DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia--officially begins our wait for a referral)? Will we even have enough money to submit our dossier by the time it is finished? Etc. Etc. I've been brought back to the chorus in one of Jeremy Riddle's (my current favorite artist) songs:

Oh, to be like you
Oh, to reflect the God I know, the love you've shown
This is my longing
This is my deepest, strongest plea
LORD, change me!!

I've been so caught up in my self that I have been missing too many opportunities to reflect the Lord and his love. I knew before we started this adoption process that my obsessive personality would struggle with getting consumed by the whole thing. That's why I love this prayer. Often we pray, "Lord make me more...patient, loving...." you fill in the blank. To be like God, I don't need an increase of myself, I need to be changed!!

So, if you want to know how to pray for me through this process, pray that my eyes will be fixed on Jesus. Also, you can join me in prayer not only for the child that will become part of our family, but for the woman that will be losing him. I'm not sure who my heart breaks for the most...our baby or his mother. :(