I may have told you in other posts that our family has been blessed by adoption. I have refrained from getting on my adoption soap box until now, but it hasn’t been easy
Here’s a little background. My husband and I talked very briefly about adoption before we were married. I therefore knew it was a subject he would be open to when I felt ready to open our home and family to orphaned children. Before and after our 5th child was born, we experienced many miscarriages. It was then that God began to place on our hearts a burden for the orphan. Because we already had a large family, we were limited to certain adoption options. Brian and I both already had a tender place in our hearts for Africa, since he had done a one month medical mission term in Nigeria. When we started looking around the world for the greatest need, we were drawn to Ethiopia. We applied to adopt 1-2 children, ages 0-24 months. As is usually the case, God’s plans were different from ours, and we eventually brought home 3 children, ages 1-11 years. Fast forward three years, and we hope to bring two10 year old girls home, also from Ethiopia, next month.
So why am I telling you all this? In James 1:27, God’s Word tells us, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This means that every Christian should be concerned about others, especially orphans and widows. Does this mean every Christian should adopt? Of course not! BUT THERE ARE MANY WAYS WE CAN HELP THE FATHERLESS AND THE WIDOWS:
1. ADOPT Yes, adoption is a big one. As I visited my new daughters’ orphanage, they begged me to take pictures of their friends saying, “Mommy, they have no family. Please find them a family.” My heart broke that day to see so many children without the most basic of needs: A FAMILY! If God places that desire upon your heart, please give a family to one of these precious children.
2. GIVE Not everyone wants or is able to adopt. Yet there are many people out there who would love to adopt, but the cost is daunting and may seem impossible. Look around you! I am sure there is someone in your family, church, or neighborhood who desires to adopt. Ask them how you can help them. Could you donate to their adoption? Could you hold a fundraiser to help with the cost of the adoption? Even the trip for international adoptions seems like a big hurdle. Can you offer to care for their children at home while they are away?
3. SPONSOR There are some children who are not available for adoption, or maybe these children have families who are struggling to meet their basic needs such as food and schooling. There are wonderful programs that will guide you in supporting an orphan or needy child. What an opportunity for a person or family to show the love of God through support and correspondence! Is there a struggling widow with children in your church or neighborhood. How can you help them. Men, those fatherless boys especially need some time with a man who will teach them about God and how to be a man of God.
4. FOSTER There are so many children in the U.S. Foster Care System! Most just want the same thing as true orphans– to be loved and to be part of a family. Many of the children are older. Many of them have troubled pasts. There are adults whom God has equipped to be able to love and counsel these precious children. I especially have a heart for these older children, but that belongs to another post.
5. PRAY Pray for the orphan. Pray that God would “set the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6). Pray about what God would have you to do for the fatherless and widows.