A few thoughts.....
Each time we travel to China, I am made more aware of the orphan crisis that the world faces. One cannot fathom the need to care for these children. There are MILLIONS of children who suffer without a family, without food, without medical care - seeing just a small portion of these children during our orphanage visits has changed our family. One simply will not totally appreciate the need to assist in the care for these children until you have seen it firsthand. Period. Ryan and I were recently asked what we would/could say to encourage others to support a local ministry for adoption. Our answer was simple - give. Give your time to a family who is fundraising to bring home their newest family member - your donation is not to the family; it is to the CHILD - you are changing the life of a child whether you give $10 or $100. Give your support through prayer - prayer is what gets adopting families and orphaned children through each day. Give a monetary donation to an organization that is assisting in orphan care - there are many, hundreds to choose from - some even allow you to support a specific child with care and give updates on the child each quarter while others allow you to support education or health or medical needs for many children....the opportunities are endless.
This is an orphan. A sick little girl who was recovering from a recent surgery. 10 months old. What you can't see from this photo is the little guy beside her. The one who will never be able to sit unassisted. The one who drools uncontrollably while he cries out - maybe he is communicating or maybe he is in pain? And the other little one, the one with Down Syndrome. He or she, I honestly can't remember, is tucked over in a corner crib just laying there. No toys to play with. No parent to cuddle with. These are the orphans. And what about the hundreds of others that are enclosed in the same building? These are children, babies, all of whom are having their physical needs met - they are some of the fortunate ones! - yet they do not know the feeling of unconditional love. This is why adoption is so important to our family. This face is why we will not ever be able to turn our heads from the children who wait. Every child deserves to know love. Every child deserves to have a family!
Many know our family. Many others know our story. Hundreds know our girls' faces through pictures and just from being out and about in our city. One does not think about the fact that they were once orphans....they were once the babies in the crib recovering from a surgery, they were once the babies who cried out in hunger or because they were too cold....they were the children who had so much joy to share yet their caregivers were too busy meeting the needs of the other orphans to notice. When you hear their giggles, when you see their bright smiles, it is so easy to forget that these three beautiful girls came from a life that not many of us can even remotely relate to. They were orphans.
They are why we adopt. They are why we will continue to support adoption. They are why we will advocate for those who wait. They are why we cannot turn our backs on those who wait. They are why we will always strive to support orphan care. They are why we are who we are.
"It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible." Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie
Thank you, girls, for opening our eyes and changing our world!