Is this you? You think adoption is great--it’s just not for you.
In my last post I mentioned responding to God’s call to help orphans. I have had friends and family very openly share with me over the years that there is no way they could love an adoptive child as much as they love their biological children. I don’t question their sincerity but, I wonder if it’s true.
I remember when I was pregnant with Violet. I was actually worried I would not love her as much as I loved my firstborn, Chloe. As I’m an only child, this was totally new territory. I could not imagine having that much more love to give to another person, plus Chloe was pretty crazy awesome. Then Violet came and so did the love. I am shocked at how much I can love two little girls in such unique and special ways. Sometimes I think we don’t know what we are capable of until we are asked to do it. I have other friends who just do not feel called to have children or they are unable to adopt. Again, you have to know yourself and follow the path God has for your life. I applaud my friends’ honesty and introspection.
So, how do you participate in God’s call to help orphans if you are not planning on adopting one? Let me count the ways… Some are very hands-on, while others have minimal or no face-to-face interaction. Let’s start with the easy stuff!
Celebrate and Promote World Adoption Day. This is about as easy as it gets. All you need is a hand, a Sharpie, a phone and some sort of social media. It’s simple. World Adoption Day is November 9th this year, draw a smiley face on your hand and take a photo of your hand. Post the picture to social media using the hashtag #WorldAdoptionDay! This is one of my favorites. I carry a Sharpie around every year and put smiley faces on people’s hands on the designated day. Then I ask them to post a photo of their hand on social media. If they are my friends I ask them to tag me--I love seeing their support and it’s just encouraging as an adoptive parent!
Pray for adoptive families. Pray for peace and patience while they wait for their child. Pray for patience in learning to deal with the new challenges coming their way. Pray for their finances. Pray for their coming children. Pray for their marriage. Pray for their biological children, if they have them. Pray, pray, pray. It is so needed.
Donate to larger organizations that sponsor grants and orphan care. I have a list here of all the grants we received. In that blog post the links will take you to the websites where you can see how to donate. Grants will cover one third of our adoption costs and this is just a fraction of the grants out there. If people didn’t support those types of organizations this process would be impossible unless you were wealthy. In addition to those organizations listed in my previous blog post are many other organizations dedicated to adoption. Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Show Hope and Project Orphans are just a few. These groups barely scratch the surface of places to give that assist with grants, adoption or provide orphan care.
|Operation Christmas Child 2016|
Pack a shoebox. You heard me right! This is one of my favorite things I do with my girls all year! Every year around October and November we collect toiletries, toys, coloring books, and crayons to put in shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. I usually even throw in some kitchen utensils like a fork and spoon. Then, I have a packing party playdate with some friends and our kids. We learn about Operation Christmas Child and pack our boxes together. You can even find YouTube videos of children all over the world opening their boxes. It’s fun to watch your kids watch the joy of the children opening those boxes and explaining to them they get to be a part of that experience. Then, I volunteer to take the shoeboxes to a drop-off location. These shoeboxes go all over the world to orphanages and impoverished areas. For some of these children this may be the one gift they get all year. It is a small way to share love with children around the world and if you have children already, teach them compassion and generosity. There are guidelines for how and what to pack in a shoebox. Look here for guidelines and deadlines for turning in these boxes!
|Operation Christmas Child 2012|
Financially support adoptive families. This process is expensive. If you do not personally know an adoptive family to financially support, find one. In fact, adoptive families who are fundraising and reading this, please post links to your blogs or fundraising websites in the comments below. Look on Pure Charity, Adopttogether, GoFundMe or Reece’s Rainbow. These are just a few of the many sites out there and they all have families in need of assistance. These sites have pictures and personal stories of the families raising support. If you can’t be the hands and feet of Jesus by adopting a child, enable someone else to do so by donating some money. Most sites will even allow you to do this anonymously if you choose. Although as someone who has received financial support from friends and family, it is really nice to be able to say “thank you.”
Sponsor a child. There are many organizations out there like Compassion International, World Vision, Children International and Save the Children. Many adoption agencies offer opportunities for sponsorship. Our agency, All God’s Children, offers sponsorship opportunities. Find and sponsor a child. Sometimes families in other places simply need a helping hand to get on their feet and provide for their most basic needs. We are a wealthy country with many resources. We turn on a spigot and clean water we can drink without becoming sick comes out. Many countries do not have this privilege. Give children the opportunity to stay with their families by helping those families through sponsorship. Sponsoring a child can change the entire direction a family is going by providing the means to have shelter, food and education. This was the first thing Kev and I did as a married couple. Our sponsored child’s name was Jerrick. He was adorable and lived in the Philippines. We sponsored him for almost 10 years. We only stopped our sponsorship because his family moved away and the organization was unable to locate them. Soon after that, we started the adoption process, so we decided to wait to sponsor a child until our adoption was complete.
Host a child. There are many adoption agencies out there that have host programs. You can bring a child to come live with you for a couple of weeks so they can experience being a part of a family. It’s an opportunity for you to give to a child a life changing experience and maybe even see if adoption is for you! Children of All Nations, New Horizons for Children, Orphan Hosting, Kidsave, Nightlight Christian Adoptions, MLJ Adoptions and other agencies are out there. We had some friends recently adopt children they hosted. Just look around and keep an open heart and mind to what God might have for you!
These are a few of the ways you can get involved. It’s as easy as drawing on your hand to having a child stay in your home for a few weeks. Everyone is equipped to serve differently. We all have different roles in this process.
Find your place and jump in!!