What a fun time to be adopting. Seeing everything through the eyes of a chid is incredible, but seeing everything through the eyes of a child who has never experienced anything quite like this is a different world. Christmas here is mostly about family and a big dinner celebration. I bought Jackson three hot wheel cars and a My little pony for Mykah. They are going to be THRILLED. But I know what will touch them the most is when I put those Christmas pj's on them tonight, they will have the security of knowing that they belong and that they are special.
I wanted to challenge those that read this to think of what they could do to reach out to "Widows and orphans in their distress." Many people say, "What you are doing is so wonderful." In all honesty, it doesn't feel wonderful, it just feels right. There are 130 million orphans in the world. It is also estimated that 500,000 of those are available within our own U.S. foster system. Imagine if everyone did something small, what a large impact that could be made?
Working in behavioral health, I have seen the needs in our foster system. The greatest need is for loving homes for these kids, and might I say, not just for the babies. It always hits me when a child packs up to go home or to the next placement, they pack everything in black garbage bags. It's a sight that just never sits well with me. I can't imagine having everything that I care about in a black garbage bag. Not quite your Vera Bradley luggage. When I left the orphanage with Mykah and Jackson, they didn't even have a black bag. They had the ill fitting, donated, used, smelly clothes that were on their backs. Nothing to give. Only a sense of vulnerability.
I do realize that we will all have different roles in caring for the orphans of the world, but what will your role be?
- Give financially to organizations like Lifesong- www.lifesong.org so others can receive grants to help fund their adoptions?
- Offer free babysitting to families that have adopted so parents can have a night out?
- Bring meals to families that have adopted to assist during their transition home?
- Sponsor a local group home, maybe even sometime other than Christmas? Bring them games, movies passes, something to encourage the under-paid staff?
- Become a foster parent or even an emergency foster parent to help short term?
- Print a picture from www.uskids.org and pray for a forever home for a child?
- Check out organizations like America World www.awaa.org and see about adoption for yourself, or even sponsor a child for their summer exchange program?
- Organize a short term trip through www.visitingorphans.org and help others to see the need at various orphanages around the world?
When Chris and I first talked about adoption over 7 years ago, we knew that it was something that we would do. It was never a Plan B if I couldn't get pregnant, or something we would look into. It was never a matter of "if" but "when." When we started this journey in January 2009, I never thought that less than 12 months later I would be writing a blog entry from Africa waiting to come home with my two children. To those that say, I would love to, but how can we afford it? We can relate!! We are still asking ourselves that. BUT, I will say that God has been faithful. He has used His church to have people step up and support us- practically, financially and emotionally. We are not alone. Also, if you adopt out of the US foster system, the cost is very minimal.
So my dear friends, make it your New Year's resolution to see what your role will be? Who knows maybe a year from now, you will be the one writing a blog about YOUR adoption journey!!!!