Adoption & T-Shirts - Support an Adoptive Family
I went on a mission trip to Guatemala when I was 13. This trip broke me in the best way possible. I saw people living in poverty that I had never imagined. I saw someone shot dead in the streets of the city. I saw children wandering villages without food or education or protection or parents. I came home and told everyone I met, “One day I’m going to adopt a child from Guatemala,” and I held that promise of mine in my heart for about 10 years.
Fast-forward to ten years later when I was married and stable and actually in a place to adopt, and Guatemala had become “closed” to international adoption. While I was saddened and confused by this, I knew this didn’t mean our family was supposed to be “closed” to adoption. (If you’re reading this blog, you probably know we’re in the process of adopting two littles from foster care, but if not, you can read the beginning of our story here.)
What I learned on that trip to Guatemala - and what anyone who has spent time in a poverty-stricken country knows - is that U.S. poor and “third world” poor are not the same. Too many children in this country lack nutritious food, good education, and protection, but they at least have access to them. Too many children in this country are in foster care, but at least they’re not in institutionalized orphanages. The plight of orphans around the world is dire and hopeless (Need to be convinced? Check here.)
Now I don’t think I have to convince you that I whole-heartedly believe that American Christians have the responsibility (read as: great joy) of caring for our own orphans through foster care and private adoption. I am passionate about this, and it is what I spend the majority of my time advocating for. When Jesus talks about loving your neighbor, in many cases - and in the case of foster care - this literally means loving your neighbor. The poor, the broken, and the orphan are right in our own communities.
But I also believe that American Christians have the responsibility (read as: great joy) to use our abundance of resources to care for orphans around the world (Don’t feel like you have an abundance? Check out my article #firstworldprobs to read about my own little attitude adjustment.). In the global community of 2016, maybe the definition of “neighbor” has grown past our own local communities. Maybe it’s now expanded to cover those who we’ll never meet but whose needs we’ve become aware of. If you exist on social media or have a television, there is a 100% chance you’ve seen devastating pictures and read heart-breaking stories of people around the world. Maybe the people in these pictures and stories are now our “neighbors” and maybe we are called by God to love them as such.
I’m fairly certain that because of our involvement in foster care, my family will never pursue international adoption. But I also believe that this means we are called to figure out the ways we are meant to care for orphans around the world. That’s where the beauty of the body of Christ comes in. We’re all meant to do this loving thing in different ways. Because it’s likely my family will never do it ourselves, it’s our great joy (read as: responsibility) to empower and enable those who will.
So, NEIGHBOR, I want to make you aware of a need so that you, too, can consider if it's one of the ways you're meant to be involved in orphan care. Meet my friends the Taylors. They are working to bring their daughter home from China. The story of this little girl is just a beautiful web of redemption, a picture of God’s heart and my friend’s heart to rescue this treasured one. You can read their story here. But more than just reading their story, you can come alongside them in their journey to bring this little girl home through prayer and through financial support. They are having a fundraiser, selling super cool shirts to help fund the massive expensive of giving this little one a family. They’re so cute and the cause is so something I want to be a part of, I bought one for every member of my family.
I want to encourage, ask, request, implore, entreat, beg you to buy one shirt (or five) to help my friends, to help this little girl, and to partner in this great joy and responsibility of caring for the world’s orphans.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER SHIRTS OR DONATE TO THE TAYLOR'S ADOPTION FUND! NOTE: TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER YOUR SHIRTS, SO PLEASE DO SO RIGHT AWAY!!!