“My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.” –Derek Loux
In a perfect world, there would be no orphans. All children would have families who love them unconditionally and are able to financially provide for their every need. Parents wouldn’t find themselves in a situation where the only hope their child has for survival is to be given to another. That perfect world is coming for those of us who are in Christ, but the reality for now is that this world we live in is fallen–corrupt with sin, poverty, suffering, greed, pride, rampant with disease and sickness, and the list could go on. It affects everyone and everything. Too often some of the heaviest of those effects fall on the most vulnerable and helpless of souls–millions of precious children. It is a sad reality and one that most of us can not even begin to wrap our minds around.
READ THE STATISTICS:
In 2012, UNICEF estimated the number of orphans worldwide to be around 153,000,000. Without any kind of assistance, these children will continue the cycle of poverty, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, prostitution, and slavery that haunts developing countries. This number only includes orphans that are living in homes. It does not account for the 8+million children living in institutions. Nor does it include the vast numbers of children living on the streets, exploited for labor, victims of trafficking, or participating in armed groups.
Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
Orphaned children spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home
Every year 14,050,000 children age out of the system and will never have a family
Every 15 seconds another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
Every 2.2 seconds, another orphan ages out of the system with no family to call their own.
10-15% of these children commit suicide before age 18
As many as 60% of these girls are lured into prostitution, and 70% of boys become hardened criminals
Many of these children accept job offers that end in their being sold as slaves. Millions and millions of girls today are sex slaves simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.
Specific to CHINA:
Girls are twice as likely to die in their first year of life as boys
Parents who remarry have been known to abandon their child so they can have a new child with their new spouse
In 1995, the Chinese government reported that there were over 40,000 orphanages. In almost 10 years that number has only grown…
And I’m not even going to touch on China’s gendercide issue, one-child policy, forced abortions, gender imbalance, infanticide, and poverty statistics, all of which play an important role in why we feel like the Lord called us to adopt from China. But I’ll save that for another post.
Here’s another statistic:
Number of people it takes to make a life-long difference in the life of an orphan– 1
While it seems like the numbers and statistics are overwhelming and that it’s impossible to even put a dent in the walls of this mass crisis, there is SO MUCH we can do to help. While I don’t believe adoption is an option for everyone, I do believe more people are called to it than they think. There are so many other ways to help besides pursuing adoption though:
SPREAD the word–make people aware of this massive crisis that affects our world.
EDUCATE yourself–you would be amazed at the amount of people who’s hearts are set on fire for helping orphans simply because they took the time to educate themselves about the reality of what these children face.
HELP others adopt–you may have a heart for adoption but due to particular circumstances can not adopt a child into your home. We all know that adoption is ridiculously expensive; help families ease the financial burden of bringing home their child.
GIVE– you don’t have to give to us–give where you feel the Lord is leading you to give! There are so many great organizations out there that support orphan care–isn’t it worth the sacrifice of what we would spend on dinner at a restaurant or a new outfit to know that the money you gave went to feeding a child or children for a month or providing life-saving surgery for one of them?
PRAY– God moves mountains when we pray. As God’s children whom He sets His unconditional love upon, not one of our prayers falls to the ground empty. He hears them all, stores them up, and answers in His perfect way. It is not too hard for God to answer prayers for people on the other side of the world. Keep praying…even if you never get the chance to see the effects of your prayers in this lifetime…one day you will.
Many of you know that we have started a t-shirt fundraiser to raise money for our adoption. All of this information I listed above is the basis for why we created the design the way we did. We hope you like the shirt and would love for you to share in the mission. On the back of the shirt is a Chinese symbol. That symbol means ‘LIGHT’ which is also the meaning of our daughter’s name though I am not ready to give that away quite yet. ;) The money that is made from these shirts goes directly to our big China Fee of $13,500 which is due upon referral. We have 15 days to sell at least 50 shirts. So far, we have put an estimated $10,000 into this process, a small price to pay for an invaluable life. We have seen firsthand the Lord open his storehouses of blessing and provide for our every need in more than amazing ways and we believe with full confidence that He will continue to do that. This story is His, not ours, this little girl is His before she is ours, and He loves her more than we can fathom. Because of that, we know that He will move mountains to place her in our family. We know that He has planned this from the beginning of time and that He created her as our daughter long before this process began and there is nothing that can stop him. We would love for you to partner with us and purchase a shirt in support of our girl! But please do so only if you feel the Lord leading you! Please feel no pressure at all! We know that God will provide every penny that is needed to get her home! More than anything at all, we covet your prayers for our sweet girl and for our family during this time. We CAN. NOT. WAIT. to see this little girl that the Lord has created specifically for us!!!
Here is the shirt design and the link to purchase is directly below it:
I am reminded of this scripture so often in adoption, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” –John 1:5 And that is the truth of it…so much darkness, but so much light…and so much hope.