Life can get so busy. As a mother of ten children, I am so mindful of just how fast my days seem to fly by. Keeping up with medical appointments, school activities, sports, grocery shopping, meal planning, housekeeping, a continually overflowing laundry pile, and everything else that has to happen on a daily basis…there just never seems to be enough hours in the day.
In the midst of the busy-ness of daily life, I so often forget to focus on the things that are so close to the heart of Jesus.
Spending time with and loving those in need. Everywhere there is so much need. And purposefully and intentionally bringing before the throne of grace the situations around the world that break His heart, and mine too.
Busy-ness and distraction have a way of numbing me to the realities and harshness of the world. Because when I’m too wrapped up in my here-and-now and getting through another day of checking off to-do lists and doing the things that need to get done, I so easily push to the back of my mind the things that He has burdened my heart with.
Last week an email found its way into my inbox, and honestly, my heart just sank as I read it. Tears welled up as I considered the magnitude and the tragedy of what I was reading.
“From 2008 to 2016, the number of inter-country adoptions declined from 24,000 to about 5,000 completed cases. That represents an 80% decline in 8 years.” ~ Nightlight Christian Adoption
An 80% decline in just 8 years!
The email went on to state that if the current trend continues, inter-country adoptions will reach zero in four years.
ZERO INTER-COUNTRY ADOPTIONS IN JUST FOUR YEARS!
Oh, God in heaven! I struggle to wrap my head around that.
That statistic should honestly bring the church to its knees–begging God for mercy and intervention for every single child who is an orphan around the world. That number should make us weep for the millions of children who will never know the love of a family–many of whom will die in orphanages due to their medical needs.
That statistic should truly have us desperately seeking the Lord in finding ways to bring about change and seeing those numbers start to rise again. We’re not just talking about a random, arbitrary number here. These are LIVES. These are CHILDREN!
So often, they are children robbed of the basic necessities of life. Children abandoned in cribs. Children aging out of orphanages with absolutely nowhere to go and falling into a pit of hopelessness and despair (suicide, sex trafficking, homelessness and drugs!). Children dying because their medical needs are not being taken care of. It’s utterly heartbreaking!
Government red tape, countries shutting their doors to international adoptions, corruption, increased regulations, Hague requirements, exorbitant adoption costs, increasingly stringent requirements for families, huge increases in accreditation fees for adoption agencies, unreasonably long waiting periods to bring children home…these are all part of the reason why we’re seeing such a radical decline in adoptions. Some of these should not come as a surprise. Adoption is never easy and there are always (always!) roadblocks at every turn. It’s easy to look at all the reasons why this is happening and feel like it’s a hopeless cause filled to overflowing with issues that are insurmountable.
I get that. Really, I do. So often that all-too-familiar numbness that I feel rises up in me when I read of the harsh realities around the world. It’s easier to hide in my little bubble here, blocking out the numbers and statistics that appear so bleak on paper. So often I find myself pushing those feelings to the back of my mind. For another day. Another time.
But adoption is a battle that never goes away for the lives of children. Adoption is a real life, put-your-armor-on-because-you’re-about-to-do-serious-fighting WARFARE! Every adoption journey is spiritual combat—a battle against darkness for the precious life of a child. Every adoption is David facing his Goliath—willing, yielded hearts taking on a gigantic challenge, and everything is a stake. Everything!
And the battle is intensifying. Many adoption agencies have, sadly, closed their doors. According to Nightlight Christian Adoption, “In 2006 there were 255 Hague accredited agencies. In 2017, there were only 167. On average, one adoption agency per month goes out of business, or loses or forfeits its accreditation. If the trend of 1 agency per month continues, one would conclude that there will be no Hague accredited agencies left in 13 years. However, a recent survey of all Hague agencies shows a much bleaker future. Given the stifling regulation and more than tripling of accreditation fees, one-half of the Hague accredited agencies indicated that they plan not to seek accreditation at all with IAAME. This means they will either stop providing international adoption services, or merge with another agency that does. “ This is absolutely devastating!
Friends who have a heart for the orphan, we seriously need to pray. We need to be interceding day and night for the current situation with adoptions to change. Our churches, our small groups and our intercessory prayer groups need to be praying because if things continue the way they are, the journey to bringing children home is going to be so much harder (as if it isn’t hard enough already!), and even impossible. THAT is tragic! Unfathomable!
I read this article yesterday that gives a great oversight and a lot more information as to the current situation with adoptions. You can also go to the SAVE ADOPTIONS website for up-to-date information and ways to use your voice to shout from the rooftops that the life every child matters. Every single child!
Thank you for standing with the adoption community as we trust the ONE who holds it all.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty” ~~ Zech 4:6