AdoptionOur family recently adopted two unrelated children from China. As you can imagine, we have lots of first hand knowledge, experience, and feelings when it comes to adoption. I hope in this adoption series I can help unpack the topic for you -whether you are looking to adopt yourself, want to be better informed, or to support those in your life going through an adoption.
You can read our adoption story here!
Our experience is with International Adoption. Although there are many things that apply to both I do not claim to have any first hand knowledge on domestic adoption.
Should I Adopt?
There is a HUGE need for adoptive families both domestically and internationally. And although many come from different backgrounds I want to emphasize that a child's greatest need is a family. Period! You can get through lots of hardships with the support of a loving family.
It is estimated that there are 140 million children worldwide who are orphans. (Source: UNICEF) Let that number sink in a minute. That is half the population of the United States!
There are many reasons these children are orphans including, but not limited to: death of parents, because of war/poverty/illness, extreme poverty, & medical bills forced parents to give up their child.
The need for adoptive families is ENORMOUS!
So what difference can you make? I've had so many people tell me they couldn't adopt because they would see all the other children in the orphanage and feel bad they only helped one. Seriously?! You aren't expected to solve this problem alone. It takes a village people! But for goodness sake ---- BE PART OF THAT VILLAGE!
Let's put this in perspective, there are 37 million churches in the world. (Source: Quora) If out of every church worldwide, just 4-5 families would step up and adopt one child - THERE WOULD BE NO ORPHANS! Suddenly this huge number doesn't seem so out of grasp does it?
I think we can all agree children deserve to grow up in a home. These innocent children should have food in their bellies and medical care, they should have parents to love them unconditionally, they should have a chance at a better future instead of aging out of systems and ending up in sweat shops or trafficked . But as a Bible-believing Christian, it is so much more than that for me. Jesus values children;
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
What's more - Jesus was an adopted child (by his earthly family) and we as believers are all adopted ourselves! Aren't we glad God choose to adopt us!
"He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will," Ephesians 1:5
And the Bible is clear in its' directives as to how we, the church are to respond to orphans:
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me," Matthew 18:5
I'll talk more about the joy of adopting later because although it can be incredibly rewarding and our adopted children have brought us incredible joy, you shouldn't adopt because of what you will get.
Okay, I am about to step off my soap box now....But if you've read this whole post and actually thought about what I've said, you are probably saddened for the 140 million orphans worldwide. Don't just be sad, these kids NEED YOU to do something about it!
How can I help orphans?I am fully aware that not everyone is meant to adopt. Just like the body of Christ (church) all has different gifts and functions (1 Corinthians 12); But we are all commanded "to look after orphans" and we ALL must do something. So will you:
- Be a child's forever family and adopt a child in need
- Support an adoptive family - we need that! I'll write on how you can do this more later
- Give to organizations that support orphans and/or adoptive families facing a daunting price tag to adopt
- Pray that each orphan would get a family of their own, that families would step forward out of faith and love, that the church would do what it was mean to do - look after orphans!