There is an orphan crisis worldwide, it’s true. Today I am praying for one less and I hope you are too!
You Can Help With The Worldwide Orphan Crisis
A few months ago I announced here my family’s decision to pursue adoption and I was incredibly blessed by your outpouring of love and kindness. It has been a beautiful thing to see so many hearts resonate with my own mama cries (Click here if you want to check out that post!).
Today I thought I would update you on our journey thus far. It has included a lot of paperwork, fingerprinting, acquiring life insurance, and several interviews. We are still in the process at this point but we have been approved so there is one final class, we need to make our profile book, and then we wait.
I’m pretty convinced the waiting part will be the hardest.
In the meantime, the Lord has continued His work in our hearts, preparing us, we believe for the child or children He has yet to bring us.
Throughout this process I have researched and read and have been stunned and saddened by what I have learned. The gravity of the orphan crisis is staggering. According to UNICEF in 2015 the estimated number of children who had lost both parents was 15.1 million worldwide. The number in foster care currently awaiting adoption is nearly 108,000. The number of children adopted every year is 135,000, this number includes stepparents adopting their spouse’s biological child. The number of children who age out of the American foster care system every year is nearly 24,000.
We have a crisis on our hands. James 1:27 calls believers to care for orphans. The Gospel calls us to radically love and welcome those who need a warm embrace. It calls us to show the welcome of Christ.
The church can and should be doing something about this. As desperately as I ache to do it, I cannot adopt all of these precious children but I can help one or a few and so can many of us.
Sometimes we see big numbers like that, learn about the emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges these children face and are shocked into inaction. We get so overwhelmed by the big numbers that we do nothing. Instead, I believe we should do our part. We should love the people God places in front of us and pray the church worldwide would rise up to do the same.
As with any cause, we cannot do it on our own. We must come alongside one another, work together, pray for one another, and rejoice as God opens the door for seemingly small victories because every small victory works together to cause a great change.
There are millions of orphans worldwide, it’s true. Today I am praying for one less and I hope you are too!
So, how can you help the solve the orphan crisis today?
This is number one because it is the most important aspect. Pray for families you know who are adopting or have adopted (we would be so thankful for your prayers!). Pray about what God wants you to do to help in this area. Pray for birth parents who are making difficult decisions worldwide – pray for their comfort, peace, direction, and wisdom. Pray for children who are waiting – that God would provide forever families for them, that they would be protected from physical, spiritual, and emotional harm, and that they would be consistently surrounded by people who love them and seek to help them. Pray for adoptive families – pray that they would have peace as they wait, that they would seek God’s wisdom as they pursue the best path for their families, that their financial needs would be met, and that their families will be united as quickly as possible. Pray for adoption agencies, abortion clinic ministries, pregnancy care centers, and governments to have the best interest of the children involved in mind.
Consider whether or not your family should adopt
Adoption is not for every family. I know that. Orphan care is for every Christian but that doesn’t always mean adoption. You may instead be called to come alongside adoptive families in your church or community. But adoption is for many Christians. Because we have been adopted into the family of God we are in a unique position to encourage and understand adoption. Adoption is a beautiful means, though not the only one, for orphan care and I would encourage you to consider it! Pray through whether or not you should adopt and gather resources (this is a great book to read to equip you further!).
Give of your time, your money, and your heart. Micah 6:8 says “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Orphan care ministry is a justice and mercy ministry. Be wise in your giving because there are many people who claim to care for orphans and do not. But prayerfully consider what the Lord would have you do and give. Give to families pursuing adoption through fundraisers, give money to agencies and organizations, go on missions trips to aid in orphan care, educate yourself.
Support those who are adopting. Parenting in general is incredibly challenging but parenting children who come from difficult backgrounds has a unique set of challenges. As you educate yourself about the orphan crisis, also educate yourself about how to help families and children. Support adoptive and birth parents as much as possible. Consider training to become a respite worker so those engaged in foster and adoptive ministry know they can lean on you when difficulty arises. Remember special occasions, treat biological and adopted children equally. Be a listening ear for parents and children. Come alongside families for their good in your church and community whether they are formed through adoption or biology.
If you are looking for a great resource to begin educating yourself, please check out The Connected Child. This book gives much insight into the things that adopted children and their families are working through and how they can be helped.
Thank you for your desire to aid in the orphan crisis! Thank you for considering this high calling of the Christian life and your role in it! There are millions of orphans worldwide. This is a heartbreaking reality but every little move toward orphan care adds up to a world of difference in the lives of children everywhere.
There are millions of orphans worldwide. Today I am praying for one less! Please join me!
Check out this post for an inspiring and encouraging story! Today there is #1Less Orphan in Ghana, Africa!
Stay tuned also for more real life stories of adoption, how God is working in the world through orphan care, and what you can do to be a part of it!
Like and check back to our Facebook page to continue the #1Less discussion!