Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Today, Orphan Sunday, is a day where churches all over the world spread the message about caring for orphans. It's something we're called to do in the Bible. You personally may not be called to adopt. I don't think everyone is, and that's okay. However, you are called to do something. That looks different for everyone and every family. It may be sponsoring an orphan, it may be supporting a family who feels called to adopt, or it may be spreading the word about organizations who support orphan care. There are so many ways to get involved. There's no excuse not to do something.
There is a quote from David Platt that says orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names and faces, and you can pretend they don't exist until you hold them, but after you do that, everything changes. I can't think of a more accurate statement. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed about one day adopting. However when I met all of these kids, the desire became so much stronger. I don't like the thought of them not growing up in a family. I've seen the difference it makes in kids and I want them to have that kind of a forever love.
On days like today, I wonder a lot about our kids' histories. While we know the general circumstances surrounding their abandonment, there's still so much unknown. The truth is, most of our kids aren't actually orphans. Nearly all of them do have biological parents and/or family. For one reason or another, they are either unable or unwilling to care for them which is why they're with us. In a country like Bolivia, there are so many reasons why children are given up. No money to buy food, simple surgeries cannot be afforded, inability to care for multiple children, spouses who can't/don't want to also care for step-children, etc. While adoption in Bolivia is becoming more accepted, there is still a long way to go. Please pray with me that more Bolivians will answer the call to adopt. Older children, sibling groups and those with illnesses/disabilities are always the ones left behind. Of the 19 kids pictured below, would you guess that 16 of them have a "special need"? For some of them, it's only because they are older than 3 years old or have a sibling... I'd say that their only real special need is that of needing a family!
I hope when you look at their pictures, you see them for the children that they really are. I hope that through seeing one of them, you're called into action. If you'd like to become involved in orphan care but don't know where to begin, let me know! I'd love to help you get in touch with organizations both in the States and Bolivia that do this work. Speaking from experience, I can say that there is no job more fulfilling than that of caring for orphans.