What’s it gonna take?

Since returning from the Together for Adoption conference, I’ve been hit with lots of information about international adoption, been following a couple of incredible blogs about Haiti, read accounts from Uganda and heard about children adopted from Ethiopia. Let me say at the onset that I am ALL for international adoption. That’s not what this blog post is about.

What it is about, is a call to action. It IS about the estimated 125,000 American orphans that are right here in our own back yard. These are children who are faced with a life lived out in foster care and the hard reality of aging out of the system alone, unless someone intervenes.

I think the root of the problem lies in the fact that Christians, and just people in general, don’t consider children in the US foster care system to be orphans. The word ‘orphan’ seems to be reserved for children overseas, and yet we, here in the richest nation in the world, have 125,000 of our very own.

125,000.

The problem with numbers is that they can be just that, numbers, until you come face to face with just one precious face.

That one face puts it all into perspective. 125,000 is not just a number, it is the reality of 125,000 faces of all different ages, colors and sizes. Faces with names and stories and needs and dreams.

What are we going to do with that? What’s it gonna take for the body of Christ to stand up, stand strong and make a difference in the lives of these kids? I’m praying that every child in our state will find a forever family….every child. David Gibbons says that “zero should be the new measure in our churches: zero orphans, zero children in foster care.” Gibbons also says that reaching ‘zero’ is going to take radical sacrifice and radical activism. Let’s get radical!

Zero. Sounds so good to me.

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Published in: on October 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm  Comments (10)  

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  1. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard Christians say that our children here in the US are not orphans because they still have parents.
    We’re in the training process now and having the hardest time trying to decide an age range. We want to help children that need us, even if for a time, but with our young daughter we have to keep her in mind as we make these decisions.

    • I agree with you, Debbie! You have got to consider your precious daughter as you move through the adoption process. I know God will give you wisdom and discernment about the age of your next child when the time comes! :) How exciting!

  2. I think part of the problem is that people think kids in the US foster care system are at least “better” taken care of than kids in orphanages overseas. They are not dying of starvation, true. However, many of them ARE being abused in their foster homes or group homes. Many of them ARE aging out of the system and then ending up in jail or homeless or pregnant with children who then end up in foster care because that “parent” has never been taught how to parent. And almost ALL of them are suffering from the emotional scars of never having had a family to call their own. I, too, LOVE international adoption, but not at the cost of neglecting the kids in our own country. We are FAILING our own kids day by day, year by year.

    • You are so right Rebecca. We are failing. Part of it is apathy, and part if it is that many people just don’t realize how great the need is. I feel so responsible to get the word out about ‘our’ kids!!

  3. I think there is also a very difficult stigma that foster children in America have to fight against.Our orphans are considered tainted, damaged, and dirty. I remember the first time I mentioned to someone that I was considering adoption from foster care, and I was told in no uncertain terms (by a Christian) that my own children would be ruined and hurt by being around foster children. When will we realize that these kids, our orphans, are the innocent victim of a terrible world? They should not hold the responsibility or the consequences of their parents’ sins, but they do!

  4. We sought international adoption for many of those reasons I am sad to admit. I do believe that God led us to OUR kids, but He has also revealed to me my perverted thinking, and has been gracious enough to bless us with a daughter out of foster care! He is so good to love us and bless us even in our sin. I will stand with you to advocate for our kids!

    I am still an advocate for international adoption, especially when the kids have medical issues that cannot be treated in their home country, but it is now an “also” and not an “instead of”.

    • Heather-I love it! :) Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  5. Christie,

    Thanks so much for your post. It is great to see Christians passionate about domestic and international orphans!

    I wanted to update the number you were using for kids in the system. There are actually about 500,000 children in foster care in the US. The number of children in foster care who are adoptable is closer to 120,000 which is probably where you picked up 150,000. I hope that’s helpful!

    Blessings to you as you care for orphans!

  6. Oh Christie! Jared and I are so passionate about this! It is so frustrating because I also believe kids in foster care are not considered orphans by many people. We are trying to let God use us to open the eyes of our church. There are 500 kids just in our county!!! We must help these kids find forever homes!

    • We share the same heart friend! :) I just seem to get more and more passionate about these kids! They are so deserving- and yet I know it will not be an easy task to find families for many of them with multiple diagnosis, etc., but God is the God of the impossible and He is able! :) Thanks for your passion and enthusiasm…and the way you constantly support and encourage me!! Love you-


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