Monday, June 1, 2015

June Guest Post: "It's a Crisis."

I remember, back in November (a long, long time ago!), watching my facebook newsfeed fill up with friends sharing statistics, blog posts, and pictures of what their churches did on Orphan Sunday. It was amazing, and inspiring. There were some really great posts shared that I absolutely appreciated. Posts about how "Orphan Sunday" is NOT about adoption, it's about orphans. True. It's beautiful to see communities rally around the orphan and advocate orphan prevention. That's what it's all about: keeping kids in families. Adoption is what happens when a child has no family, but needs one. What if the child is not abandoned in the first place? That is the ideal situation! A child never having to be an orphan is very, very ideal.

But the "un-ideal-ness" of adoption should not stop, hinder, slow down or deter potential adoptive parents. It should not keep us from presenting the option and praying that more families will step forward to adopt.


Because there are so, so many orphans.

Every single day. The orphan problem in China is rather unique. Children are not usually brought into orphanages because their parents are unable to care for them (because of poverty) or unsuitable to be parents (termination of rights). Children are admitted into orphanages because they have been abandoned. They are foundlings. Yes, poverty plays a role, as does unsuitable parents, lack of medical care, ignorance and a saddening devaluation of life... but when a child enters an orphanage their parents are already out of the picture.

Let's pause for a minute here and bawl our eyes out. Stomp our feet. Take a long walk. Read a Psalm.
I have visited many different orphanages in China. I remember one down south mentioning that they had 8 babies abandoned in one day. Eight babies. In one day. Otherwise the average was about one baby a day... devastating. So yes, we can do things to support orphan prevention, poverty intervention and family-strengthening. But if just one orphanage in China is welcoming nearly 30 babies into their wards each month, then we need adoptive families to step up. The growing domestic adoption movement in China is encouraging, and seems to be picking up at a pace where it might catch up with the number of healthier and mild special-needs orphans. But there are still decades of progress that must be made, both socially, economically and culturally, before children with intense medical needs that require a life-time of surgeries, interventions and therapies will be both accepted and able to be cared for.

That's where we come in. The world. Because as followers of Christ, we need not be separated by race, country, borders or language in order to love one another, in order to take care of one another.

I would never, ever say that everyone should adopt. But I think that all eligible families should at least consider adoption as something that God may use to grow their family.
There is an orphan crisis, and it’s not something that we can ignore. It’s something that we all need to be aware of, and participate in. Prayer, donations, sponsorship or adoption, all are incredible ways to partner with a Heavenly Father who loves each one of the fatherless by name.

What can you do?
Psstt… our family is starting a new foster home and training center in Inner Mongolia for orphans with special needs! You can be involved by coming to our Housewarming Party. Click THIS LINK to participate.

A little about the Author
Hannah has lived in China since 2009, working with special needs orphans in Beijing and Inner Mongolia. She's the big sister to five wonderful siblings, and the daughter of two hard-working parents. She's a nursing student, an orphan advocate and a writer over at her blog, Loving Dangerously.