Saturday, November 1, 2014

Orphan Sunday

You Today is Orphan Sunday, a day to focus on the awareness of the plight of those who have no voice. Here are some statistics from Show Hope.

'1. There are roughly 400,000 children in the US foster care system. Of that number, approximately 100,000 are waiting to be adopted.1

Every child is created in the image of God and deserves to belong to a loving family! Starting in your own community, research ways that you can help meet the needs of children in foster care. If you are considering adoption, know that Show Hope is here to help! We provide adoption aid grants to families in the adoption process. The average Show Hope financial grant is $4,000.

2. Of the children waiting in foster care,30,000 age out every year, without families.2

One of the greatest needs for the children who age out of foster care is to connect with a loving mentor who will guide them through important decisions. If you have a small business that can provide vocational training or if you have experience with college applications and scholarships, this may be the perfect way for you to care for those who are aging out of the system! Contact your local Department of Human Services for more information about becoming a mentor.'

There are over 6,000 kids in Bexar County ready to be adopted today.

On top of that, babies are born daily that leave the hospital with foster parents. I know three children adopted that way! Of the children ready to be adopted today, I'm sure many, if not most, are older. Once a child hits five, their chances of being adopted drop dramatically. We brought home an almost six year old and it sickens me to think of the Caroline's languishing in foster care right now, without a true home.

Before we adopted, bringing an unknown child with a traumatic past into our home would have been terrifying. God knows that I am not strong and therefore didn't give me lots of time to agonize over the decision or I would have gone to worst case scenario. Instead, He dropped Caroline in our laps. 

She is not scary. She is probably the most civilized child we've got. She is tender with the boys. She helps out because her nature is to be helpful. She dotes on Hayes. She shares with Walker, tolerating his sometimes unreasonable demands. She and Harris are best friends.

The child that didn't know colors at almost age six is working above grade level at age seven! Her teacher was floored when I told her Caroline was adopted and had only been home for 15 months. She had no idea she wasn't our biological child, given every advantage since the womb.

Adoption has without a doubt been the hardest thing I've ever done. Like marriage and biological parenthood, it's shown a light on all my inadequacies and faults.  The idea that Tom and I are extra holy or patient is laughable. I am no better than any other mother. God didn't wait on me to be a great mom to start Caroline's healing and redemption. He just did it anyway and rained down grace like I didn't know existed.

Our family has been held so closely in God's grip through this and it's the only explanation as to why we are still standing on the other side, 18 months in. We've had people come out of the woodwork to help and truly unexplainable developments in Walker. As this unfolds, we see relationships put into place years ago to carry us through the last 18 months and beyond and it's overwhelming. 

Adoption is terrifying and insanely difficult but it's God's business. He will show up in astounding ways when you go about His business. 

It's hard and ugly and so is any other childbirth. This is hard and ugly in a different way but it is also beautiful and worth it. God fights your battle while we do the mundane of brushing teeth and checking homework. Without even noticing, we went from strangers to family.

The end of the story is: God wins.

We don't have to fear the fight because it was never our battle to begin with.

This is what adopting an 'older child' looks like. 

If adoption is on your heart, I pray this Sunday that fear doesn't hold you back. It is worth the risk. A child without a family is worth fighting our what-ifs.

Here are a few ways to be involved. 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress....

James 1:27

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