Chuches, Why Have We Not Yet United?

Russian_orphansPastors, deacons, elders, church members, Sunday school volunteers – I’m curious.

(And please know that I ask myself this same question.)

Two questions, actually.

Two questions that could revolutionize the world.

A question that could shout volumes to the planet of God’s love.

And here’s the first question:

Why are our orphanages so full?

The way I see it is, the fuller the pews are, the emptier the orphanages ought to be.

Doesn’t that just make sense?

Here’s the second question:

It’s a bit more personal.

The last question was directed at the universal Church.

This one’s directed at you. And me. And my wife. And my neighbors. And my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Okay, so here it is:

It’s a scenario, really.

Suppose you received a text message from an unknown sender.

And it said

THERE IS A NEWBORN IN A DUMPSTER SOMEWHERE WITHIN A SIX-MILE RADIUS OF WHERE YOU LIVE.

FIND HIM. SAVE HIM.

Would you not call all your neighbors and friends and family to comb the entire neighborhood, day in and day out, until you found him?

Would you not be dumpster diving in every dark alley?

Folks, there are babies and kids dumped in the orphanages and the hospital every day.

When Sarabeth and I were visiting our Baby A. in the hospital last week, there was a premature baby tucked in the back of the room all that time, crying.

Crying.

Crying.

And no one, that we saw, ever came to visit him.

A newborn left to his own devises in this great big, cruel world.

Our social worker told us that she was on the very brink of calling us the day we brought Baby A. home because, for the life of her, she could find no one to accept the placement of another little boy who needed a home.

But she didn’t want to overwhelm us with two newborns in one day.

The title of this post is, “Churches, Why Have We Not Yet United?”

I think it’s possible, and necessary, for churches to finally come together and encourage, no - admonish, implore  – their members to go out and adopt the local orphans and unwanted children.

We observe Orphan Sunday.

That’s great to name a Sunday after those we’re to care for. But what’s the point if we’re not all going to go out and care for these orphans?

It’s like celebrating Christmas paying no mind to Christ. Or uttering no one word of thanks on Easter.

Or eating pretend food at dinner, Neverland style.

If you smell a universal Chruch-wide calling in the air, if you’re wondering the same things I’m wondering (like why aren’t we as a whole taking this calling seriously), please forward this post on to your pastors, your elders, your deacons, your Bible study groups.

Let’s start something here.

Let’s start a revolution in the name of God.

Let’s flood our country’s orphanages with not only the love, but the presence of believers everywhere, and wash those children into our homes.

Our imperfect, flawed, loving, caring, warm, welcoming, Christ-centered homes.

And change their lives – and the world – to be a little bit more like what God had intended.

If you are interested in joining me in getting the word out to churches everywhere, or if you would like your church to be involved in this, please email me at andrewtoy1208@aol.com.

Please include your church status as a church employee or member,

and please include your name of the church you’re apart of, with their website address, and tell me the city and state.

One last thing, please share your interest in orphan care, by choosing one of the following:

a) I’ve not given it much thought until I read this post

b) I’ve always wanted to be involved, but just didn’t know where to start

c) I’ve adopted/fostered, and would like to educate others about the process

d) I’ve wanted to see something like this happen for a long time – Let’s do it!

Let’s get something started.

 

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About adoptingjames
My lovely wife and I are foster parents, dog owners, home owners, and Christians. I am a blogger, book editor, and author. On my blog you'll read about adoption, faith topics, inspirational thoughts, and a whole lotta Disney/Pixar lovin'! For the most exciting read ever, check out my suspense/adventure novel, The Man in the Box. You. Will. Love it.

28 Responses to Chuches, Why Have We Not Yet United?

  1. Why do I hear so many stories about how hard it is to adopt? My brother and his wife have been trying for years (and had two failed U.S. attempts and one failed China attempt and thousands of $$ later decided to get a dog and love it.). Is it possible for an older couple to adopt a child if they’re not looking for a baby? There just seems to be so much red tape involved, and I know safety is an issue, but is there a way through it?

    • I think, as inconvenient as the red tape is, it is necessary for weeding out ineligible people. But at the same time, it’s far from a perfect system, as very good would-be parents get weeded out and very bad people get through. Nonetheless, it is a necessary process for each and every couple and individual to wade through in order to reach the end goal of having a child placed in the home. There are a lot of messy situations in this world, and somehow the institutions of marriage and adoption seem to be the messiest, and probably because they’re to the two that most closely reveals God’s heart, so Satan is more apt to twist and destroy these two spheres of life.

  2. Alyce-Kay says:

    I think you’re so right, James. Okay, my honest (and self-humiliating reasons why I don’t consider adoption): I’m struggling as a single mom, 53 years old, to barely support my own children. AND I’m totally exhausted and discouraged by parenting. The idealist side of me jumps up and wants to join you. But mostly, I don’t think I could survive. That’s the ugly truth. Feel free to pray that God will change my heart, because I think you’re very right.

  3. estyree says:

    We are a selfish people:

    There are two things that my church (Church of Christ in NW Oklahoma) does that I really enjoy.
    1) There are two orphanages and a boy’s home within a few hours drive. We gather goods, collect money, go on visits, etc. The older ladies, especially a few widows we have that didn’t have children, go to spend time with the children every few months. Almost like a visit from Grandma. When kids get adopted out, they are usually allowed to tell us where so cards and visits still have a chance of happening.

    2)We take care of the kids in town. There is no orphanage here. There are people, especially children, who don’t have enough clothing or food. We send clothing, we give food, we offer free meals on Sundays and will pick you up. We help. A lot of our people are elderly, unable to do much for themselves, and yet they quilt blankets and buy clothing or food. They make visits. And I am proud to be learning from them.

    Thank you for your great posts and thought provoking comments.

    http://alaynabellesmom.wordpress.com
    http://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes

  4. Alyce-Kay says:

    I want to continue to prayerfully consider this question for myself (yes, I’m taking your post VERY seriously, and yes, it pulls at my heartstrings, which makes me think maybe the Holy Spirit is trying to say something here), but in the meantime, may I ask some questions, James (and his readers)?

    Would every Christian make a good parent, regardless of personality, income, life circumstances? (That’s not a rhetorical question. Maybe even bad parents would be better than no parents? Or all Christians have the potential to be good parents? And love is what matters, not the financial ability to supply a child’s needs? [My children would probably disagree. I'm a single mom, trying to raise my final two out of five teens on about $13K a year. No amount of love seems to make up for what my son especially feels is lacking.] And whatever the answer, I suspect that a LOT more people COULD BE adopting than are.)

    In the case of people who are willing to adopt, but don’t have the money to do so or possibly don’t have the finances to properly raise a child, what would be the role of the church? Would you suggest that they go on welfare, etc? Find a church that’s willing to stand behind them in a long-term commitment to financial help? How would they go about this?

    Do you think single people should adopt (maybe a single parent is better than no parent?) … and again, what kind of support (not just financial) would be necessary? (For example, reality: I have a son — the last of 5 children — one would think that I would be able to find Christian men who might be willing to spend time with him? Over 10 years, I’ve had 1 young man in his early 20s take him out for short talks a number of times, and 1 post-parenting-age man take him out once. I’ve begged men in 2 excellent churches and other men who are my personal friends to help with him … and he’s a wonderful boy. So I would have strong hesitations about expecting that the church would help a single person raise their adopted children. More likely, they would say, “You made your bed, so sleep in it.”)

    In the case of overseas orphans … would it be better for the child to be brought to the states … or what about the possibility of the parents moving to that country? (In my own circumstances, I’m hoping to move to most likely Uganda after I’ve raised my children. So with the question of adoption, you’ve made me ponder whether I should maybe adopt a child there … or if it would be better to adopt and bring the child back to the States?) (Mind you, I’m still praying about whether I even could survive another 18+ years of parenting. My family tends to live into their 90s and 100s, so that’s not the question; just that I’ve raised 5 children and the last 10 years have been alone, and I just really am not sure I could do it again.)

    James, I’m not asking any of these things to suggest that your ideas aren’t valid and good. They are EXCELLENT! I think you’re onto something very, VERY important. Maybe fleshing it out with realistic questions, getting a strong discussion about the logistics involved, could make this a reality. I’m going to also add your post to a pastors’ discussion group and see if some ideas can be generated there. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, my friend. The Holy Spirit is strong on this one!

    • No, not every Christian would make a good parent, sadly, as we are all prone to fall into the ways of the selfishness and the flesh. But that’s why the states spend so much money on weeding out potentially bad parents or unfit people for the foster-care system. Background checks are taken very seriously, home visits are performed on a regular basis, and so on. The states even take into account if the families would even be able to supper a child or children.

      I think single parents should be encouraging couples that they know and are childless to adopt or foster to adopt. Their encouragement and insight could be very helpful in moving couples to make the right decision or take that next step. Otherwise, single parents already have enough on their plate, and single childless people will need the extra help of a spouse to raise that child in a balanced home.

      As far as overseas adoption, I know many countries require that the future adopter move to their country for a year or two or three. But if those aren’t a requirement, then I have no issue with the adopter moving to that country to be with their child or bringing their child here to America. That, I think, is totally up to the couple or family wanting to adopt.

      I hope this answers some of your questions.

  5. Allison Jakes says:

    Reblogged this on Make A Wish and commented:
    Although I am not Christian and do not always agree with the Christian faith on many levels, I can still find myself being moved by this message. Why limit the gift of adoption to Christians? What about Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Hinduism, or any other “unofficial” religions? What about Atheism? Or I-can’t-bothered-with-things-like-religion…-ism? Why don’t we all think about adoption as a blessing and a gift, not some taboo plan Z that inspires pity in others? Even if you can still have biological children, go and give a child a home they could only dream of. Give them the family–and the life–they deserve.

    • I’m only limiting this to Christians, because that is my primary audience. That all married heterosexual couples would be moved to adopt a child into their homes and families, regardless of their faith or religion, would, I think, be better than leaving these kids as orphans. I love your closing remarks.

  6. We have to be careful to remember that the purpose of the church is not to be a cure all for the social problems in the world. Our churches are full of people who are not really Christians because of the rather recent movement of bringing in the masses so they can have a better life ‘through Christ’, so that is likely one reason people in the church are not as concerned with the things of God as they ought. Church is for sinners who have repented and are now following the true God. We could create churches, and are creating them, where many social problems will be solved, but believers are to first know God, which takes personal time and effort, and then they are to go out from the building and make disciples, who will then also attend (where they will be exhorted and encouraged) and go out and do l likewise. I agree that true Christians should pray for orphans and consider adopting. But I also think that even if all the people in the churches were adopting, that could be a real problem because people may still be lost and going to hell when they die. I think the point you are making is that Christians should not turn their back on ‘widows and orphans’, but there are so many who want to go to church just so they can be involved with ‘community’ and feel good about doing ‘good works’ that it is causing a sweeping amount of works righteousness (the new legalism) and a lot of people are experiencing a false conversion. All this to say, I am adopted and am a huge fan of it, but I think we can be very solid Christians and not adopt ourselves. We are all told to pray for all men in 1 Tim 2:1-3, so perhaps we need to exhort one another to be in prayer for orphans. My heart breaks hearing about that child that just cried and cried, and it surely grieves the Father as well.

    • You bring up some very valid points. The issue I have is the fact that church is now about “sin avoidance” and not so much carrying out the will of God. If people are claiming to be Christ followers (myself included), then we need not so much a nudge, but a push from the pulpit, so saturated are we in this me-me-me world. It’s so easy for many Christians to not take up God’s calling because we’re comfortable. Heaven knows all the opportunities I’ve missed in my life.

  7. Shannon says:

    Thank you for this post. I just got home from cleaning my office out to prepare to be a stay home mom to a newborn we are fostering. I was met with some horrible comments and a very angry boss. I needed this reminder just now that what I’m doing is much more important than any perceived obligation to that agency.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the terrible reactions you received. May you find comfort and encouragement, at least, from those at church. I think what you’re doing is the best work God has assigned to anyone – even more so than to any working man. Bless you.

  8. Pingback: Chuches, Why Have We Not Yet United? | A Wife Reinvented

  9. laurabennet says:

    Thank you for voicing your concerns and spurring us on to good deeds, as the Bible says. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Your post is very timely for my husband and I as we were talking about this only a few days ago. We have 7 kids and 7 grand kids. Our last 2 are still at home, 11 & 13. We’ve been foster parents in the past (a long story) and have been impressed with the sense that maybe we could consider adopting. It is something we are seriously praying about as our hearts break with the need out there. It seems that in the past few months, I’ve stumbled upon a number of situations in which families have adopted. Some close friends, who never had children, have been blessed with 2 this past year. We wondered what would happen if each stable family took in one orphan. It seems the children would all be cared for. We’ve also thought about the cost (we’ve been out of work until this week) and the red tape. It seems far more complicated than simply being willing. But then, I think if God puts it on someone’s heart to do that, he must have a way to make it happen. In any case, thank you for your willingness to challenge us to ask God what our role is whether prayer, financial support, foster care or adoption.

  10. Vera says:

    I love this post. However reality sets in. I wanted to adopt for a long time into our little family of 3. However – money. Adoption costs money and not a lot of people have the funds to do this. I certainly don’t. I’m struggling with the costs of 1 due to life circumstances. I wish my perceived obligation to an agency was less important but in our circumstances, it feeds us.

    As for the other comment I read, churches are the social help that many need as not-for-profits get less and less financial assistance to run. This I think will be a trend that continues and churches will be more and more relied upon to help the less fortunate. Churches were the not-for-profits even before not-for-profits existed.

    • Adoption is ridiculously and unjustifiably expensive, which is part of the reason my wife and I decided to foster-to-adopt, which doesn’t cost anything. The big risk, however, is the chance that our little girl could return home to her birth family, and we end up with broken hearts – but at least for the right reason.

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