Can I be vulnerable with you? Some days my heart feels so desperate. Some days I look around me and despair. Some days I go to my Father with way too many ‘why God’ questions. Some days I beg God to come back–to put an end to all the pain and suffering I see.
Today has been one of those days. I read an article in an on-line adoption newsletter and my heart broke–
International adoptions are on the decline. Not because of fewer children needing homes but because of increased regulations, reluctance of some countries to participate in international adoptions and the cost. From a peak in 2004 of over 22,000 international adoptions to the U.S., the estimate for 2009 has the total number falling below 12,000 which is comparable to the total number of adoptions per year in the mid 1990’s.
The result–more children will remain in orphanages longer. This is especially true of those children with special needs. While there has been much debate lately about whether it is the availability of parents or of children that drives international adoption, there is no debate when it comes to the fact that there are more and more special-needs children needing our help and homes every year.
Why is it that most things increase over time–we get older in years, we gradually (hopefully) earn more money, we acquire more possessions, we get wiser, etc. But something is seriously wrong with that newsletter. As everything in life increases, so does the orphan crisis, right? Those of us who have been around the adoption community know it’s true. Why in the world then are adoptions decreasing at such an alarming rate? Why will the number of children adopted this year be the same as it was twelve years ago? I can absolutely understand how cars and material possessions depreciate–but adoptions? We’re talking about life here. We’re talking about an orphan crisis that our human minds cannot comprehend. All 143 MILLION of them. I just don’t get it at all.
We are living in uncertain, economically difficult times. We all know that–it is all around us. Anthony and I were told just the other day that giving in churches is 25% down. Goodness gracious–what is going on? Do we not get it that God’s economy is alive and well and more than able to meet every single need that we have? Does fear of the unknown keep us from giving the church what is not ours but God’s? When we cut back on expenses, is it even a consideration to not give to our church? Is it just me–because my heart feels so grieved tonight.
Where am I going with this? Well, orphans, of course. I read that newsletter and my first thought was, “Oh no, people are not adopting children because they are afraid to trust God for the finances.” I wanted to scream. I wanted to find any way I could to shout from the rooftop that, “IT IS NOT TRUE!” Of course God can provide for an adoption. Does He not love orphans? Does He not command us to take care of them? Does He not promise NOT to leave them fatherless? Does He not promise, promise, promise?
Friends, my heart breaks. Having been in the adoption community for the last few years, I know how devastating this news is. I know what this means–thousands and thousands of orphans will remain orphans–no mommy or daddy to tuck them into bed. As more and more Christians ‘cut back’ and stop giving, so will the number of adoptions continue to decline. I understand that people are afraid. I understand that the world economy is in a shambles. But have we lost sight of the ONE we should be looking to for supplying ALL our needs? Truthfully, I don’t particularly care what is happening with the economy. I KNOW who steers my ship, I KNOW where my future lies. The only thing I care about is doing what He tells me to do and not waiting for the right time, or the right economy. It will never happen.
For those of us who have adopted children, I know we all share amazing testimonies about how God has provided. Yes, adoptions are expensive. Ridiculously so. But our God, He is so amazing. How He longs to set the lonely in families. I know He has given many a desire to adopt or to foster. My prayer tonight is that they will keep their eyes on the ONE who has placed the desire in their hearts, that they would not let fear hold them back, that they would not let finances or a bad economy hold them back. Heck, it’s all God’s money anyway. Every penny we ever have is His–He gives it and He takes it away. Surely He is faithful to provide for His orphans? All He needs are yielded vessels to go and bring them home.
The saddest part of this newsletter? The fact that it is the special-needs children, the ones who so desperately need medical help that will lose out. These children die every day in third-world-country orphanages. Many never live past their infant years due to neglect and lack of medical care.
With all my heart I am praying tonight that the author of this newsletter has, indeed, gotten the facts wrong. But somehow, I think he may be right. The Body of Christ is ‘cutting back’ in all the wrong places.