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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Father to the Fatherless (Orphan Sunday)

As you may or may not know we adopted our youngest son, Ethan, almost two years ago.  Our little miracle will be two on Christmas day.  Going through the adoption process was truly one of the greatest blessings I have been given.  Some people say we have done such a great thing for Ethan and he is so lucky to have a family like ours.  But the truth is we are so blessed to have him in our family.  He has changed all of our lives and given us all a new perspective on family and love.  You can read more about how we came to adopt him in this post.

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday. It is officially licensed to the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) and was brought to the U.S.  with help from Every Orphans Hope and other organizations.  You can read more about it here.  It is basically a day set aside to give a voice to orphans around the world. 

"It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.) The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers…"
This information as well as many other alarming statistics can be found on the Orphan Hope International website here.  

I am obviously passionate about adoption.  There is a real need for children all over this world to be adopted.  I hear so many people say that they would love to adopt but just don't have the funds to make it happen.  You're preaching to the choir.  But Jesus wasn't lying when He said "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).  God made it possible for us to adopt Ethan because it was His will even when it wasn't our plan.

There are around 123,000 orphans in America and that does not include those in foster care.  There are approximately 463,000 children in foster care here in the U.S.   

The requirements to foster may not be as strict as you think.  The minimum age to foster a child is 21 and you do not have to be married.  I have done some research on a group called Foster in Texas and they answer a lot of the questions about becoming foster parents.  (You can see commonly asked questions here.)  Fostering to adopt is also an option in the state of Texas.  This is a great way to adopt a child or sibling group if you do not have the funds to go through an adoption agency.  Did you know there is a daily reimbursement rate for each child you foster?  This is definitely not something to go into for profit (because you wouldn't be making a profit).  But it gives those of us who aren't living in a mansion or driving our dream SUV the chance to make a huge impact on a child's life.  These kids don't care about money.  They just want to be in a safe place surrounded by people that truly care for them. 

It's not just babies or toddlers that need homes.  A child's chance for being adopted significantly decreases after the age of 9.  Imagine how hopeless some of these older kids feel with each passing birthday.  Did y'all hear about the 15 year old boy in Florida who stood up in front of a church congregation asking for someone to adopt him?  These were his heartfelt words:

"I'll take anyone.  Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be."

Read the full story here.

My purpose in writing this post is not to guilt you into fostering or adopting.  It's to bring a voice to those who feel like they don't have one or aren't worthy of one.  We are all called to take up the cause of the fatherless.  And we are all capable of doing that - whether we adopt, foster, give financially or give with our time by mentoring to those who do not have families.

"Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed.   Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." ~Isaiah 1:17
Let us see Jesus in these children.  Let us be their voice when they do not feel like they have one.

If you have not seen this before you must watch it!

 Help raise awareness for orphans by sharing this post.


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