Warning: This post is written from my heart but it may offend some. That is definitely not my intent, but be warned. So if you are easily offended or feeling a tad grumpity, you might rather just go make a cup of coffee and relax. No matter what, I still love you but I am unashamedly a voice for those who have none.
Soaking in the moments as I looked out over Sweetwater Lake watching our kids have a blast in the water. Last week we had the incredible privilege to stay at our friends, Tim and Angela’s, lake home. They generously shared their gorgeous home and all their toys – it was delightful! Anyway as I watched the kids I reveled in their laughter, squeals, and noise. Six of them and some friends were on a lily pad (coolest invention ever) goofing around, pushing each other off, giggling with joy. Yet I noticed that even in the midst of their rowdy pleasure each was protectively cognizant of who was in the midst of them – our littlest Birdie.
As I took it all in, I paused to notice Birdie. I mean, really, really notice her. There she was, our little Down syndrome darlin’…the caboose of our 14-pack perched pickle-in-the-middle of all the uproarious screams, endless splashing, crazy-silliness…and just like that it hit me all over again. We could have easily missed this. We could have missed THIS. This right here – the entire scene – we could have missed it all.
As my mind took it all in, I became overcome with raw emotion and the sheer reality: We honestly could have missed this. We could have missed it all in every sense. The rowdy playing, screaming, pushing off the lily pad, while little Birdie plays – we could have missed it all.
And just like that it poured out…..all the reasons we had to legitimately turn our backs and say, “Nope. I’m not called to adoption” or “I’m not called to adopt anymore” or even, “The orphans/foster care is not my problem.”
Friends, it is *our* problem. We live here on this earth and there is a global orphan/foster care crisis. What are you going to do about it? How will you respond? I mean, really….what difference are you making in the crisis?
We had a millions reasons why we could have missed this very scene at Sweetwater Lake. We truly did. For starters, I have four auto-immune disorders that have wreaked some stupid-havoc on my body and leave me pretty dang exhausted. Secondly, we already had six kids. We’d adopted three of them so some would argue “I did my share”. We’d done foster care in two different states we lived in. Our lives were set. We didn’t have the money. All the reasons – just for starters! A million reasons WHY we shouldn’t have. Or maybe I should say, a million excuses why we could have turned the other way.
The excuses could have went like this:
We could have turned the other way because Jubilee’s a lifer. We could have looked the other way because Johnny’s a quadriplegic and in a wheelchair. We could have ignored Nehemiah’s situation because he came through a disruption. (Some question, “A disruption? Why invite someone else’s problem into your family?” Oh me! He’s been such a delightful treasure and clearly NOT “someone else’s problem” – he’s our joy! We could have missed out on Isaiah because our lives were comfortable and our youngest, Liberty, was five, my MS was being dumb and I needed a cane all the time and like I mentioned we had “already done our part by previously adopting three and doing foster care.”
We could have missed out on Elijah because we were already bringing home Jubilee from Ch*na. We could have missed out on Elizabeth because we were already in the process of bringing home both Jubilee and Elijah at the time from two different countries. We could have missed out on Ruby because she was dying and medically fragile and we were in our 50s and she was a little over a year old! And we could have missed out on Birdie because she is also a lifer with Down syndrome and a severe heart defect, not to mention we were already 57 and 61 at the time.
Yet we ran to them!! Even at our age we decided to relentlessly pursue every one of them. Even though some were lifers, some we were in the midst of already adopting others, many were out of birth order, some were older, one was a teenager…literally so many excuses why it didn’t make sense to gather them up, yet, how could we sleep at night? How could we pretend we didn’t know they were waiting? What would we say to Christ when we stand before the throne one day? What excuse would we have then?
And being gut-wrenchingly honest, it is literally horrific to know that there were others we prayed for who didn’t come home. Others who we were drawn to but didn’t get the chance before they aged out. Or another whose family couldn’t be bothered signing the paperwork and instead they have spent their entire life in an orphanage. Yeah, it legitimately is not fair and my heart breaks and I sob.
Every kid deserves a family. Every.single.kid. There are no exceptions.
Teaching my brother-in-love how to geocache!!
And here there are literally millions of treasures just like Jubilee, Johnny, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Elizabeth, Elijah, Ruby and Birdie…waiting. Just waiting. Kids with special needs, medically fragile, lifers – all waiting. They wait with no hope. Some occasionally watch a friend leave with a family and wonder, ” “What is wrong with me?”
All the trauma, all the loss, all the heartache and all the brokenness and yet, each child’s only true need is for a family to say, “You’re ours forever. We can’t imagine our lives without you. We have your back. We will always love you. And when you struggle, we will be there to pick you up. When your loss, abandonment, heartache, trauma overwhelm you we will work through it together.”
And as I watched Birdie playing on the lily pad, surrounded by her adoring siblings all I could think was, “She’s playing on a lily pad instead of sitting in an orphanage unloved and unwanted! How come others don’t get it? How come so many friends don’t get that we were put on this earth to “love others as we love ourselves”? How come? How can so many good people turn away from the orphan crisis and pretend it’s not going on? How can they sleep at night? How do they? I really can’t comprehend the, “We are so busy,” or “We are not called to it” or “It’s too expensive” or “We are just about to be empty-nesters so no.”
Busy? Busy with “stuff” or things that truly matter for eternity? The only TWO things that God says are “pure religion” is 1. to care for the orphan 2. to care for the widow” (James 1:27) If it’s stuff that you’re busy doing, Marie Condo it, throw it out and bring home some treasures! In fact have a yard sale with the stuff you “Marie Condo’d” and that’s the money to start the process!! Win/Win!
You’re not called to it? Really?? Remember that parable in Luke 10:30-37 Jesus told about the man who was beat up and dying and two “religious” people passed by and yet the man who already had plans and somewhere to go, put his time on the line and picked him up and took care of the beat-up man’s immediate needs with his own money and then carried him for care!! He even went out of his way on his return to pay up the bill. Orphans/foster kids are waiting, but so many good people “pass by” choosing to ignore the crisis.
It’s too expensive? We had zero in the bank to begin an adoption. Zero. ZERO. And God provided for every single penny needed for our eight adoptions in nine years. Every.single.penny! Ya’ know why? Because we have a God who wants kids in families and He is not a deadbeat dad! He will provide all that is needed – no matter what!
Empty nesters? What better time to say, “Let’s do this! Let’s close out our years investing serving and loving those who long for a family!”
As I watched Birdie play, really, truly my heart was broken. Not only for the kids who wait…but for what my peers are missing out on. Dw and I honestly believe we have the greatest gig going on – a houseful of treasures that know love, family, hope, Jesus, peace, joy, kindness, faith, comfort…instead of each of them living lives of despair and hopelessness. Why don’t our peers see it? What “stuff” matters more than the vulnerable people who need them?? I mean, they NEED them – they have no voice!
I dunno. I just don’t get it. In all sincerity, my heart appropriately grieves that my peers would rather do anything else than spend their days watching their own little Down syndrome darlin’ play on a lily pad or seeing their own sweet dolly who’s a quadriplegic with hydrocephalus maneuver her wheelchair while squealing with joy cause ya’ know – medical professionals said she would “never”. Or talking to their 15-year-old son about the possibilities of being an anesthesiologist. Or dreaming with their 12-year-old about being a professional sports player….and the list goes on…what’s better than all that? Seriously, what could possibly be better? I’m truly dumbfounded.
Now before anyone says, “But I’ve heard about all the problems that people have had after they’ve adopted kids and I can’t do kids with problems.” Well, let’s set the record straight – bio kids are not exempt for ‘causing’ problems. Problems are the result of us all being broken humans! There are no exceptions to that. And frankly, God in His wisdom knew that being human would create problems, yet He clearly gave a non-optional mandate to care for the orphan and kids in foster care! Of course we have had struggles. But oh-my-gracious, I would not trade our lives for anything!
Every one of our 14 was worth it. Every one of our 14 is an indescribable gift to our family. Every one of our 14 we wouldn’t trade in or give back. And there is not a hint of regret in our hearts. I just don’t get why others don’t care and I will plead till my last dying breath with all around me to please, please, please bring home treasures – fill your home with them, make them yours – they need you and truthfully – you really do need them! xo
Thank you for sharing! Our friends are all getting to be empty nesters (as we would be since our baby just graduated and turns 18 on Friday) and we have a little one who is 9 and possibly a lifer. I cannot imagine life without her. We’ve also had a rough last year since bringing home our 14 year old son (had his birthday while we were still in country). However, it is soooo worth it! Thanks for sharing your life with so many of us!!
It is SOOOOOO worth it! Thank you for loving the orphan…like you, our peers have been empty-nesting for years (we would have been already for 16 years if we had had the typical 2 kids)…and here we are with 8 kids still at home and the youngest being 6. So thrilled to “know” people like you. Bless you friend!
HI Linny! Thanks for sharing. My husband and I have been in the process of qualifying to adopt since the beginning of the year. The process is long and it works hard to weed you out. We have also raised five and one that will be a lifer with us. I understand your post and your pain, but truly, you’re only responsible for your obedience, not others. If you look around the church you do not see leaders rushing to adopt. God is in control and He alone will have the final say. Enjoy your precious family, but remember, this is God’s plan for your life and you have chosen obedience. Enjoy every breath, giggle, and precious blessing. Trust that God has unique plans for all of us, even if you don’t fully understand all of those plans.
Thank you Gina! I am over-the-moon thrilled that you are adopting!! I replied to your comment on FB as well but will copy and paste here as well just in case you don’t see it there…
Oh Gina!! I’m so sorry – the reason your comment didn’t appear immediately was because you have never commented before. I have to moderate all new comments (and just did). I get tons of SPAM comments which are pointless (like where to buy cheap Viagra or cheap watches – so I have to sort through the comments and approve real comments.
Secondly, I only have the ability to access the blog comments to moderate them from my computer (not my cell). Yesterday we left early in the morning to see two different health specialists for two serious situations. I was literally gone the entire day. Some times I don’t sort through the comments and moderate them for days (like today!)…truthfully, sometimes I just forget! (I’ll blame that on the silver hair!)
BUT once someone has commented and been approved all their new comments will automatically appear. That’s why you probably noticed comments after yours but yours wasn’t there yet! That person has commented before and theirs automatically appear.
Anyway, I am thrilled to hear that you are in the process of adopting – sooooo stinkin’ proud of you! Way to go! I agree with you, leadership in the body of the Christ for the most part aren’t leading in orphan/foster care. How God’s heart must grieve!
I do believe that I have a strong case to argue that God’s plan is for all orphans to be in families! Just think about this…the orphans in the bible that are mentioned all went into families – and one (Esther) led the entire nation of Israel through a rescue!
Also, we are born into God’s family – we are not orphans anymore when we receive Christ. God actually uses the word ‘adopted” in Eph. 1:5!! How could He possibly think that it’s okay for some not to have families when He adopts us as His sons and daughters forever? God in His grace parallels His eternal plan with the world over and over and over. All orphans should be in families!
I get that not all families are able to adopt, but I also think there is a strong biblical case for everyone to do something!! The common thread from Genesis to Revelation is to care for the orphans! And I’d probably be willing to bet that many who say they “can’t” really mean “I don’t wanna”.
But like I said, Everyone (single, married, old, retired, whatever) everyone should be doing something!! Like the family who provides weekend respite care for those in the trenches of foster care. Or the ones who monthly sponsor true orphans (like at our daughter’s home). Everyone can do something daily – we have a single mom who can only sponsor $3.42/month – how God rejoices – she’s obedient and cares and puts action to her words! The thing is that most don’t give the orphan crisis any thought. Rather they are wrapped up in “stuff” that doesn’t truthfully matter in God’s grand scheme of things.
Think about the book of Acts – the believers sold things and shared things as all needed them. – how far most have come from that! Many are wrapped up in their 401K and all the rest instead of seeing needs that orphans, missionaries, homeless, foster care need and figure, “I’m not called to that.”
Lastly, I have to say, James 1:27 is pretty convicting. God could have said, “True religion is pastoring or true religion is writing a worship song, or true religion is teaching a small group or a million other “good” things. But instead God says, “True religion is to care for the orphans and widows AND to keep oneself unstained from the world.” In other words, the only thing that shows you really love God is to care for the orphans and widows AND to keep yourself pure.
I know what I say makes many uncomfortable and down right ticks off others, but I know God has called me to be a prophetic voice to the body of Christ, to encourage those in the trenches of adoption/fostering and to even sometimes make people uncomfortable – they can argue with God about James 1:27 all they want cause I didn’t write it! It’s His words…and honestly, if He says that’s what we’re supposed to do – it’s because it’s for our best!
Anyway, I’m thrilled you are adopting. Seriously, tears in my eyes! And pray with me that the rest of leaders, pastors and teachers – will “get it” before it’s too late for them!
I love your passion, Linny, and I’m certainly not offended, but none of your proposed excuses encompasses my situation. I am 30 years old, unmarried, with severe psych issues that make it very difficult for me to even leave the house. A major accomplishment for me this week was a trip to the park 20 minutes away, and I barely got out of bed the next day because I needed to rest and recover and remind myself that I was safe. I am attending therapy and working really hard on getting better and I *do* intend to adopt some day and hopefully to adopt MANY, but in all prudence now just isn’t the time. There do exist people – even bodily healthy people – who just can’t. You wouldn’t expect Ruby or Birdie to adopt children of their own some day because they just wouldn’t be capable and that is okay. Some of us are in the position – even if only temporarily – that we just can’t take care of ourselves, let alone others, let alone all the time. God has his plans for us, too. That said, I definitely agree with you that there are loads of people out there who CAN and DON’T, and yes, I don’t understand their priorities at all. But some allowance for those of us who just aren’t there yet, yeah?
Anna, Never feel that I am pressuring you or anyone in your situation to adopt – there are always exceptions. Take care of yourself and heal but pray for the orphan and those adopting…and pray that God will move on people’s hearts who can adopt to do it…especially pastors and leaders – because as they lead, their flock will follow! Sending prayers for you Anna.
I am so proud of you for making it to the park, and going to therapy, and working to heal. Brain stuff is TOUGH! Just you wait and see… God’s got an amazing plan for your life and it’s going to be “far beyond all you could ask or imagine!”
Trying to figure out what needs to be moderated about my above comment.
Thank you for this….I have 2 older bio sons and then was finally old enough to adopt. Hubby said no for a decade, we then did foster care for a few years which he agreed too, while I still held my ground and told him, I will not have anymore biological kids until we adopt. Finally, 14 years of asking about adoption, when I was about to turn 40, he finally said yes! We have since then adopted 4 kids from China. During our last adoption I herniated a disc in my neck and needed emergency surgery, I still have pain in my spine, but we managed to still bring my latest daughter home despite the situation. Now, hubby is getting surgery for his arm. Finances are tighter then ever, debt abounds too. But still, like you, I get up every single day thinking kids wait and if we dont adopt again, someone may never get a family. Like you too, I dont want to stand in front of God someday and tell him I did nothing that mattered. Kids without homes matter. We have had the very worst of adoption with one child and the very best of adoption with the other three. Yet, still…my heart aches for adoption. I see the obstacles in front of us, I fear my health, I wonder how we could afford more, I mean the list is endless. Yet, I feel in my heart we still arent done yet. My brother always jokes and says, well you cant adopt them all..with my response being…No I dont want to adopt them all, just most of them! 😁 I used to get people wondering why we are adopting again, now the response is….why not they say as they get truly excited for us. In all honesty, if I did not have so many truly legitimate reasons, I think for sure we wold adopt a ton. Yet, in my heart I still want to adopt again. I have never looked at any of my children and thought I was “saving” them…instead I always felt like, I jusr want a family and they need parents, win-win for us all. I myself am partially adopted being adopted by my Dad and raised with my bio Mom. I can not imagine my life had my Dad not said yes…I would have grown up without a Daddy. I can not even fathom that or then imagine a child with medical special needs growing up with not even one parent. No one to be with them, to love them, no one to live life out with them. A few weeks ago, I told my daughter who was adopted 6 months ago, that we almost did not get her because of my health. She was adopted at nearly 9 years old, she looked at me in horror, and understood how close she came to never being adopted, but as she looked up at me, sat really close and hugged me, we both were crying. The magnitude of what she and I could have missed hit us both. All of us sat in our prayer room as a family and just took in the weight of the situation. What almost did not happen. None of us could ever imagine our lives without her. And that thought now makes adoption to me even more important…despite my circumstances. Because somewhere out there, another older child wonders, when will it be my turn, when will I get a family? 😢😢😢 I look at so many people who have tons of money, incredible homes, perfect health, zero debt and think,wow…if that could just be me, I could adopt more. But then here I am in my situation, adopting. Anyways. And by the way, hubby and I ended the biological route soon after we began adopting. Hubby now too loves adoption so much, it became our Plan A. Right now, we are praying somehow, someway God will open the door again to adoption…because God does provide. But oh how hard it has been. Thank you for posting and saying all you said, confirmation for me to still keep my life open to more kiddos…despite my circumstances. God Bless.
Oh Lisa!! Thank you for commenting!! We surely have kindred hearts! I am thrilled that you persevered and brought home treasures!! And I’m even more thrilled that you want to adopt again, despite the situation you are going through!! God is faithful and I pray that He heals you, or carries you through! Bless you my friend.
Everything you say in your post so resonates how I feel. Though, Our first adoption was worst case scenario… and our dream died with our first adoption. Or so we thought. But God opened the door wide for us to adopt more kids. Knowing the struggles we endured, we chose to pre-identify any future kiddos to ensure a way different outcome and then God redeemed it all. He has turned beauty into ashes, not in the way we expected but still God knows best. Now here I sit, today was our newest daughters 6 month post placement report visit today. Our social worker knows all the things we have endured and yet, has given us a green light if we want to ever adopt again. 😲😁 I still need to see how things go in the coming months, but ya, wow…If we can do it again…why not. I even have this issue that keeps popping up…I begin to count heads, panic, and think someone is missing, and then realize…oh no everyones here. But downdeep when that happens, I know no not everyone IS here. Its actually scared me, realizing if I dont adopt again I will always panic and feel this way. Soooo many kiddos need a home, its heart breaking. And I believe truly, another child of mine is waiting and if I dont say yes, he/she will wait and we wont come. Many of nights this has kept me awake. When my health hit this big roadblock I was saddened thinking this is it…we have to be done. I still am praying and believing somehow, someway Gods promises to me about him wanting us to adopt more will come true. Whats the point of life and gathering stuff if we dont share it with others? I hate stuff by the way, but still…we have so much, yet its all worthless. People matter. Its just that simple. I am 47, hubby is 50…we have been adopting every other year since 2012/13….I still font feel done yet. Believing God will heal or carry me through too. Thank you for sharing your heart Linny. Makes me realize I am not alone thinking this way!!! Its not just me. 😁😁😁😁🤗🤗🤗🤗
We wanted 17 children. After just over two years of marriage, we had four. It was soon apparent that one of our daughters had far greater challenges than we’d understood. (We have two medically complex, and that’s a piece of cake, comparatively.) We have tried everything, for four years. We still dreamed of adopting more, but realized that no social worker in their right mind would place another child in this home with her here. Her self-harm has led to four CPS reports in three years. She so steadfastly refused to eat or drink anything I gave her, for over a year, that the medical team finally said she has to have a G-tube because she is losing too much weight. Still, we tried to feed her by mouth…she attacked people who tried, and disrupted any siblings from eating. She’d rather sit all day in a chair with the tube than play with siblings or explore the world…and we can’t let her out of our sight because someone will get hurt. We can’t go out and do things as a family and we take turns at church. We still dreamed about more…and in the meantime, we had another bio baby, whom sure enough, she coolly explains in detail how she’s going to murder. Three years ago she was recommended for residential because of her behaviors, and we wouldn’t do it. An institution was most of the problem to start with, and children need families. She’s only eight. God promised to give her hope and a future….and she has none with us. We meet her new family tonight. Last night, when we told her about them, she lit up and said “oh COOL!” and spent the whole discussion asking about their photo book. This was not our plan, but we want what’s best for her. I’m not sure if we’ll ever be allowed to adopt again after a dissolution, but with her here, we couldn’t’ve anyway. Only God knows the future, and we put our hopes and our trust and our broken hearts in His hands.
Our first adoption was not anything that we expected, all our kids suffered because she came with a very long list of special needs, that were covered up, just to get her a home. But we perservered, despite it all and in the end the dozen special needs she has was the easy part. Truly was. The hard part ended up being very unusual because she thought my Hubby was her Mama and she wanted him to do all her care. Hubby got her alone in China and because she is so mentally challenged, she never could get it right. It made everything so challenging because I as her true Mama could not care for her daily needs. 😢😢😢😢 She loved me, but would not let me change her diapers or feed her, do anything other then play with her. In her mind I was Daddy. Then,Hubby got sick for days pretty badly and she refused to eat….it was so scary. Thankfully, my son got her to eat by Gods grace enough to sustain her till my hubby got better. But the situation with her became apparent to us, more then ever, that something had to be done. We tried for nearly 5 years to get her to understand who was who. It never happened. She was not unattached to us, just attached wrongly. She now has been out of our home for a year and its been so hard. We never thought we could or would adopt again, we love our daughter SO much but our social worker has said, we have done everything we could. Honestly, we still want it to be different but Its hard and so sad to be physically attacked by a child who is only aggressive and panicked just because shes afraid Mama ( her Dad) wont come back. I am very petite and so the hits ended up either landing at teeth level, neck level, or at my upper chest. With an injured neck and surgery for it last year, as you can imagine..it became even more dangerous for me. Sometimes circumstances are beyond our control. In our case, we believe in adoption…still….we love our daughter while trying to give her the help I so desperately still want to give her myself. But she could not allow it. Sometimes terror and pain in children causes them to respond in ways that are beyond comprehension. My daughter just wanted the Mama in her mind who got her out of a bad place in China. Truly I cant blame her, I was never rejected, just replaced. 😔 Honestly, the other 3 have been balm to my wounded heart and I had to decide not to let my one child and such a heartbreaking situation to change my love for other kids out there who desperately need homes. China and our social workers, our agencies all understand, we gave it our all, we always will. Just dont give up. We had to try to view our situation differently. I cant give you all her story as I always will protect my girls privacy, but I can say this….you are not alone…many people walk through a lot when they adopt. Its not always happy or easy and sometimes things cant be fixed no matter hoow much we want them to be. I decided I would be open to adoption again. I have now been blessed with 3 more kiddos who have been completely different. Attached to the correct Mama, me…🤗 and I could have missed this!!! I am so glad I didn’t!! I will be praying for you and your girl, that whatever happens, that God gives you peace. Hugs to you this evening too. God Bless you Sarah. Again, you are not alone. I understand. 💔
Thank you so much for the empathy and for sharing your story. I’m so happy for you that you found healing with your next three blessings! Right now we’ll focus on healing and on our other four, and God will show us what He has in store, in His time.
Well, I just wrote a kinda long comment but my internet is not great and it’s gone. So I will just say, thank you Linny for the reminder that I can do something while we wait for God’s timing to adopt. Pray more and ask hubby about sponsoring monthly as we used to do are on my list. Thank you, your blog is one of several that helped me really want to adopt one day.
So sorry about your internet Joanna! But thank you for your kindness. God is faithful and good and His timing is always the best! And yes, sponsoring monthly is a great way to help care for the orphan. You could always sponsor a Gem at The Gem Foundation (shameless plug)! Ha! TheGemFoundation.org
It’s been a long time since I last commented! I enjoyed reading your posts every now and then.
I thought you might be interested to know that in James 1:27 where it says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The specific instruction here is to “visit”, not to “adopt”, there is a difference in both, and that may be the answer to your perplexing question, on why most Christians do not adopt. God’s Word actually does not instruct them to adopt, but to visit.
If we look at the Strong’s definition for the Greek word, “visit” in James 1:27, it is G1980, “episkeptomai – middle voice from G1909 and the base of G4649; to inspect, that is, (by implication) to select; by extension to go to see, relieve: – look out, visit.”
So, we see here in James 1:27 that God wants us to be on the lookout for the orphans and widows, especially in their affliction (time of distress), to make sure they are okay and cared for. Maybe a bit like what Emma is doing, to be there for them, to advocate for them. A bit like George Mueller. I don’t know if George or any of his Christian friends adopted any orphans, but we know that George was on the lookout for them and made sure they were cared for, when he had an orphanage for them.
For the word, “adoption”, there is a different Greek word for it, which is G5206, and Strong’s definition of it says: “uihothesia – from a presumed compound of G5207 and a derivative of G5087; the placing as a son, that is, adoption (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God): – adoption (of children, of sons).”
So, in James 1:27, it does not say pure religion is to adopt orphans, but pure religion is to visit orphans.
I hope this will answer some of your puzzling questions on why most Christians do not adopt… because in the Word of God, it only asks them to *visit* the orphans, to make sure they are ok. We know that for some specific people, God *does* place in them a heart to adopt, or a calling to adopt, and that is wonderful. But the fact is, not every one is called to adopt. However, James 1:27 makes it clear that every Christian is required to visit the orphans and widows to make sure they are all ok (this can include visiting orphanages, advocating for their needs, and to help where needed.
I think once Christians are clear on what James 1:27 is asking them to do, it will free them to really go out and be on the lookout for any orphans and widows who are *afflicted* , to be their voice, to advocate for them, and to know that it is pure religion before God (along with being holy before Him).
Hope this helps. Kind regards 🙂
Susan, I’m not going to argue…however I have read James 1:27 hundreds of times and the only people I know who argue the Greek are those who are convicted and want an excuse to turn the other way from the orphan. God’s word says the entire gospel boils down to SIMPLY this: Love Him with all your heart, soul and mind. (LOVE is an action verb)..and the second SIMPLE command IS JUST LIKE IT…LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. And there’s no doubt you, and all the rest of ourselves take care of our physical, emotional and spiritual well beings 24/7.
And frankly if you were sitting in an orphanage and your friend who claims the name of Christ walked by, I wonder if you’d be okay watching them pat the top of your head and walk away quoting the Greek for James 1:27, all the while leaving you sitting rotting in the orphanage, hopeless and alone.
Of course it’s truly impossible to imagine because you’re not sitting alone, starving and rejected, despised and hopeless!! But as a mom to 9 that were alone, despised and hopeless (and some literally starving) I can totally say that ADOPTION is God’s plan for EVERY SINGLE orphan. He said it and He meant it and that means people stepping up to the plate and not making up excuses for turning the other way!
Wow! I love this so much! Thanks for the encouraging and convicting words. I’m from a large family of 11 kids. I’m the oldest at 29 and the youngest is 6. My mom homeschooled all of us for many of the same reasons you mention in another post. I have 4 young kids and have always wanted a large family of my own. However I never really thought about adopting, especially those with special needs. It seemed overwhelming and kind of scary, and to be honest not that fun. However reading your post gave me joy and excitement at the thought of pursuing this. I think I can understand a little bit how you feel that people are missing out, because my family feels that same way sometimes. People constantly make comments questioning why my parents would choose to have another child, but they don’t understand the joy each person brings and that the last child brings no less joy than the first. These treasures are really beyond rubies. Thanks also for sharing your limitations, and why you did not allow those to limit your decision to adopt. It is very encouraging to see what you have been able to do and to think about how that could perhaps look for our family someday. Keep up the encouraging work!
Thank you Rachel for your comment. It’s true, many just don’t understand (or try to). I pray one day you are blessed with a precious miracle little one like our Ruby or Birdie or Jubilee. Your lives will only be better because of that little one!