Saturday, November 23, 2013

National Adoption Day

Today is a special, but also an especially sad day for me.

It is a day when we celebrate all of the families that were made or expanded through adoption. 

It is also a day where we become more soberly aware of how many children there are without a family. No place to call least not a forever home.

Here are the facts:

Worldwide there are roughly 18 MILLION orphans without any parents.

In the US, there are approximately 420,000 children in foster care and over 100,000 are adoptable and just waiting for a family to say yes.

In Texas, there are about 28,883 children in foster care and over 10,800 are ready to be adopted into a forever home.

To those that have been called to adopt, thank you for saying yes.
To those that have been called to be foster parents, you have a special crown in heaven waiting for you!

To those that have given money to help someone adopt, have babysat a foster or adoptive parent's children for respite care so they could have a night off, have brought meals when a placement happens, have cleaned a parents house because you know they need to spend time with a child more than they do cleaning, have brought supplies and necessities after "usual" hours, have supported the weird parenting techniques sometimes children from hard places need, have prayed for children and parents alike, have helped a teen aging out of foster care with a job or apartment application or helped them fill out college paperwork and helped them shop for the basic necessities...
it is you I want to thank!

You help make burdens lighter.
You get it.
You understand that the command to care for orphans does not mean you have to adopt, but that you have to care for orphans!

We are the body of Christ and your hand is a perfect example of how that is supposed to work.

- - - 
I celebrate this day as a mom of two adopted sons.

My oldest is my comic relief, my son that is wise beyond his years from the heartache he has seen that I cannot even begin to imagine, a rock on the outside and a heart full of gold on the inside. He became part of our family when he was 17 and now 3 years later sometimes it almost seems like he has been here all along. He loves his little brother more than I thought was possible. One day he will be an amazing husband to a lovely young woman and a wonderful spirited father to his children. I love him more than he will ever imagine.

My youngest is a gift from God. He displays more happiness than I ever knew a child could have. He loves life and all people (especially his older brother!). He is loud and crazy and brings such joy to our entire family. I cannot wait to see how his personality develops and the man he grows up to become.

And yet, my heart still aches.
It aches for the children I can't adopt. I wish I had a huge home or island and adopt them all! But I can't. I can't be a mom to 18 million. Only God can parent that many children.

It aches for the children I know are out there that we will one day add to our family in the future when we adopt again. Are they in care yet? What kind of pain are they suffering besides just the loss of parents? Why can't I stop it from happening? Why can't I help the parents out there struggling to keep their family together?

I can't fix the world, but I can try, pray, give, support, and continue to look for ways to help.

If you are not moved to act, maybe these stories will help.

And if you are looking for a place to support, I highly recommend Embrace Ministry. They work with parents, teens aging out of foster care, with churches starting and continuing ministry in orphan care, along with advocacy for them before our local, state and national government.

Also, here are some stories from National Adoption Day resources:

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