James 1:27 (NIV) "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows intheirdistress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
That's it. It's there. Plain and simple. We, as Christians, are to take care of the orphans. Period.
So the question is: are we?
I think not. Take a look at these statistics
There are currently 107,000 children in the foster system available for adoption? These children are between the ages of 0 and 21. This means that we, America, have over 100,000 orphans!
Back in 1990, the ARDA ( Association of Religion Data Archive ) estimated that there are 255,173 Judeo Christian church congregations in the U.S. with over 137 million attendees. (That's 55% of the U.S. population.) Estimates say that today there are 300,000 churches in the U.S. today.
That means that if every other (or every third) congregation found one family to adopt one child in the foster system, the list of waiting children in the U.S. would be ZERO!
In fact, 25,000 children, each year, "age out" of the foster system, despite the fact that the age has been increased from 18 to 21. That means that after they turn 21, they will face the rest of their life without a family. No one to call for advice or guidance. No family forever.
And this is just one example of why adoption is so needed. This doesn't even begin to discuss children in other countries around the world. There are at least 163 million children throughout the world without a family. (And this number is probably on the very low estimate.)
"Each year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation that sets aside November as National Adoption Month . In addition to the Presidential proclamation, many State governors also issue proclamations in an effort to raise awareness of the need for loving and permanent homes for children in their states."
Not only is this month National Adoption Month, but this Saturday, November 19th, is National Adoption Day. Over 4500 children will be adopted into "forever families" on this day from the foster system around the U.S.
I am a huge advocate of adoption. And my advocacy desire is growing bigger and bigger by the moment. I lay awake at night thinking about adoption. How can we, as a country, eliminate the word orphan from our vocabulary? I am starting to see that this is my passion and this is something I will be spending much time discussing on my blog and in my life in the next seventy or so years that I hopefully occupy this Earth. We are so excited about where the Lord is leading our organization: Because of Isaac. If you haven't seen the video I posted on our Facebook page, please click here to watch our Isaac explain how he ended up in our family. (It's a pretty adorable video if I do say so myself.)
I urge you to please, if you find my blog something helpful or enjoyable or if my story has inspired you in any way, to please, consider a donation to our organization . If not our organization, then find another. Wendy's Wonderful Kids (no relation to me -- ha ha!) is just one example of an organization helping children. (There are tons more online so research and find one that fits you.) While you may not be called to adopt or have the resources to adopt or have an interest in adoption, as Christians, we are mandated by God to take care of the orphans.
So my question to you, and I know this may be a little harsh, is ... what are YOU doing for the orphan?
That's what our organization is trying to do. It's trying to help one couple (and we are hopeful to soon add a second couple to our page!) raise the funds to adopt. We are not focused on the foster system -- isntead we are focused on the childless couple (due to my history with infertility.) We have currently raised nearly $15,000 toward our first couple's adoption. But they may need as much as $10,000 more. ( Click here to read about why adoption costs so much.)
Would you consider a donation of just $10? While money may be tight, it is probably accurate to state that everyone reading this blog could donate just $10. I get between 300 and 400 readers a day on my blog. If each of them donated $10 that would be $3,000-$4,000! And if each of them donated $50 that would be $15,000 to $20,000!
And if it isn't our organization you want to help, then find one that you want to help. Do something for adoption this month. Here are some other ideas, outside of donation, that you could do to help spread awareness
Put a link to this blog entry on your own blog or Facebook page.
Share how our adoption story has touched your life with friends, family, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.