Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Orphan Crisis

There is an orphan crisis. Did you know? Have you heard? Crisis. A REAL Crisis. Not like a "there's no more cookies" kind of crisis. Not a "the power went out and the TiVo didn't catch my favorite show" kind of crisis. A crisis as in there are an estimated 147 million orphans on our planet today crisis - waiting for a forever family kind of crisis. Hungry children living on the streets. Some in institutions, orphanages with no one to love them, hug them, kiss their foreheads and tell them they are special. No one telling them they are precious, chosen children of the King. No mama to kiss their boo-boos, no daddy taking the training wheels off their bikes and chasing them down the sidewalk for the first time. No brother to crawl into the bed with them at night with a flashlight and wisper and giggle with under the covers. No sister to laugh with and braid their hair and dress like princesses. No grandparents (or Grandmoo and PawPaw like we say 'round here) to spoil 'em rotten with cheetos for breakfast and a trip to the department store for a new toy - not because it's their birthday or a major holiday, but because they love 'em like crazy. A few lucky ones in foster homes; never intended to be their forever home, but lovingly providing care to children who need it.

I can't even wrap my mind around 147 million. That is a huge number. Unfortunately, it's just a number to many. Until you see their faces. Until you know their names. Until you know their stories. Why is it so easy to turn away and do nothing? Why is it so easy to ignore? How do we sleep at night knowing they are out there? How do we sit in our comfy homes in the suburbs with our 1.5 kids (nobody really has 1.5 kids, but you know what I mean) and our 2 or 3 cars, our boats, with our kids in every possible extra-curricular activity on the planet, our name-brand jeans and our hair done up, our nails done and fancy TVs and cell phones, yet we can't do anything to feed these kids? Find them forever homes?

Today my facebook status read: Today my heart is full as I celebrate a child uniting with her adoptive family for the first time in Korea. Today my heart aches as many friends wait longer & longer to hold their children for the first time, separated by oceans and miles apart. Today I feel the bitter sweet emotion of a friend who celebrates her daughter's 4th birthday while she waits in E. Europe; praying that someone gives her an extra hug today & tells that beautiful girl with Down's that she she's special. Today I question "Why God?" as I look on the faces of those who continue to wait for families. For many, that time may never come. Today I want to scream "Wake up Church!"... "who will speak up for these children?" I whisper, "Yes, Lord, here am I" through sobs I can not hold back. Let His name be written on the pages...

I mean it. I'm not joking. I've seen the face of Jesus through these kids. I've seen the GLORY of the RISEN KING in the face of this angel who sat on a Waiting Child photolisting of an international adoption agency.

That sweet face now looks me square in the face and smiles at me and says "MOMMY!" a million times a day.

That sweet baby was plucked out. She was spared. She is no longer one of the 147 million orphans. She is ours and boy can she rock a pair of striped leggins and a bow like no other.

She waited. We heard the call and we answered. We obeyed. We took that leap out in faith and said "Yes, Lord, here we are. Wherever, whatever the cost. Yes. Unashamedly - Yes. I don't know how You're going to work this out Lord, but we trust You." I sure am glad we did.

Through her story (In roughly 19 months), God has led 4 other families to their children. We've shared our hearts with many for the orphan praying that He speaks through us. Praying that we are a light in what seems to be an impenetrable darkness. We've advocated for children and raised funds to help children unite with their families.

Now, I feel a stirring in my spirit. I'm at a crossroad in my life. Something big is coming. I don't know what it is. I don't know what it looks like. All I know is God has opened my eyes to catch a glimpse of the Father's Heart; it is in these children. At some point, we will not be able to bring more children home, but until they put me in the ground, I will fight for the orphan. I will advocate for Christian families to step up and adopt them. I will send money to feeding and education programs. I will help build orphanages. I will help families raise funds for their adoption expenses. God has given me a passion for the orphan and has lit a fire in me that runs hot in my veins. Something is on the horizon. I don't know what it is, but whatever it is, my answer is YES! Yes, Lord, here am I!

You see, adoption isn't ideal. In a perfect world there would be no adoption. There would be no need. But we do not live in a perfect world. I recently read here that "Adoption is chemotherapy to the cancer of the orphan crisis." I agree. And as long as that cancer exists, I will be there helping one baby at a time find their family.

The Bible clearly commands over 50 times to care for the orphan. To speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves. It commands over 300 times to care for the needy. We need some more folks to step on up and say "Yes, Lord, here am I".



  1. Great post Paula. I'm right there with you. I liked reading the other blog you linked in too. I've always told people that in a perfect world there would be no adoption and I like the analogy to chemo.

  2. Love this Paula....so well said!