I have heard it many times before and I heard it again this morning "what a good thing we have done for that little boy." It just makes me sick when I hear these comments. Like we paid the ultimate sacrifice; like we have reached beyond quota; like we deserve to be held in the highest regard for adopting a child.
Listen everyone......our son came to us not because of what we have done; he came to us because of what we have not done.
It is true that during our adoption journey, God has showed up in many places. As a Christian, I have never before felt God's presence as strong as I have during our process. There were so many miracles along the journey, some I can share and other experiences I can't share because they are so sacred to our family. But God was evident and he even spoke to me at times. My relationship with Him is much stronger because of our adoption experience and circumstances surrounding it.
I don't believe, however, that the Lord is more present in my life because we chose to adopt. My relationshiop was closer during this journey, because this is one time I really needed Him. For the first time in my life, I took a journey where most parts were out of my control. In International Adoption, there is so much out of our control, that you have to rely on Him. It's because of this type of day by day surrendering that I have amazing testimonies to share, all to His glory, not mine. God is always there in every aspect of our lives, we just don't always choose to surrender to His will.
If anything, after this journey, I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed at how much injustice there is in this world. I am ashamed at the way I live while families struggle to survive. They are the ones making the ultimate sacrifice, making the difficult decision to place their child in an orphanage because they are unable to provide for them due to severe poverty, the root of all injustice.
While in Ethiopia, our traveling group got the opportunity to meet birth families and although non of us shared our stories and regardless of each family's story, I will never forget the pain I saw in the eyes of birth families. I saw a birth father weeping, a woman flooded with tears over her loss but what I saw in most birth families was a withdrawn, grief struck, painful look on their faces. Nobody wants to give up their child. They are no different than us. They have feelings and heartstrings just like us. As a mother who loves her children, I cannot imagine the pain and loss these families feel.
Now home, I feel like I must make a difference. I must no longer claim ignorance. My eyes have been opened and I want to do whatever I can to prevent more families from breaking up. Will you join me?
Yes, the statistics are overwhelming...
The newest estimate of the number of orphans in the world is 147 million.
30,000 children die a day from starvation.
1.6 billion people live in severe poverty and another 2 billion live in extreme poverty.
Half of our world lives without clean drinking water.
However, "organizations have reported that it would take less than $3 billion per year to save 5 million lives. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that people in the United States spend between $30 and $50 billion each year on diets..." (from Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger).
Max Lucado once said, "When you think you cannot make a difference...
Behind every avalanche is a snowflake.
Behind a rock slide, is a pebble.
An Atomic explosion begins with one atom.
A revival can begin with one sermon."
Do you want to make a difference? Do something NOW!! Do your Christmas shopping and make a difference in the world. Donate in someone's name in lieu of gifts or ask loved ones to give you the gift of a donation to an organization that helps those that our hurting in our world.
--Here is a link to donate towards a well in Ethiopia started by a group of adoptive parents who traveled the week before our family:
--Here is a link to donate towards Drawn from Water, an organization who rescues children from superstitious tribal laws:
--Help Tom Davis' crew build a carepoint in Ethiopia, where they are experiencing the worst drought since 1984 and millions are on the verge of dieng from starvation.
There are so many other avenues to donate but the three I have listed are closest to my heart right now. Donate not to make a quota or to fulfill a tithe. Donate because you know you can make a difference. You could be the snowflake that starts the avalanche.
Don't wait, donate and you could save a child from being separated from his family before it's too late.