Obligatory, “so I haven’t posted something in a while” statement. Feeling the urge to write more often. Today just a simple thought on why I can actually post something, freely. It’s Veterans Day and thanks to the many men and women who have served our country, I can write whatever I want…and so can you. The older I get the more I appreciate and am grateful for America and the sacrifice made so that we can have the tremendous freedoms take for granted. If you see a serviceman or woman please thank them for their service.
This last weekend I was able to preach at DC.
We kicked off a new series: AKA God.
I had the name El Roi—the God who Sees.
I was able to preach about adoption with in the sermon. We went on to have our first adoption interest class at DC with 30 people attending! It was a very cool day.
Click here to listen.
I just read the below stats and I am overwhelmed with the immensity of changing the tides. I mean it is staggering/depressing/heart breaking if you begin to let your mind think about what these stats mean…and go beyond the numbers.
I think if i was not sitting in Panera right now I would be crying.
The Plight of the Orphan
- Over 140 million orphans and waiting children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents.i
- Over 13 million double orphans under the age of 18 have lost both parents.ii
- Sub-Saharan Africa, with 48.3 million orphans, has the highest proportion of children who are orphans at 12%
- Asia has the largest total number of orphans with 73.7 million orphans, which represents 6% of all children
- Latin America and the Caribbean has 10.7 million orphans, also representing 6% of all children.iii
- Over 15 million children have lost a parent due to AIDS, and that number is expected to rise to over 20 million by 2010.iv
- Without AIDS, the total number of double orphans in sub-Saharan Africa would have declined between 1990 and 2010. AIDS, however, will push the number of double orphans in the region from 9 million to more than 10 million by 2010.v
- Orphaned children are much more likely than non-orphans to be working in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service and in the sex trade.vi
- Orphans are more vulnerable and at risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking, discrimination, or other abuses.vii
- More than 500,000 children are in United States foster care.viii
- Over 120,000 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted.ix
- Only around 50,000 children, or 18% of those waiting in foster care, are adopted every year.x
- On average, children in foster care wait over 2 years to be adopted.xi
- Over one-third of Americans have ever considered adopting, but no more than 2 percent of Americans have actually adopted.xii
- 48% of the people who have seriously considered adoption indicated that they would first look to a house of worship (church) for information or advice about adopting.xiii
The other day I was telling Jaxon about the first time we saw him in Taiwan.
I told him about the super long plane flight (14 hours). I told him about how excited we were to see our little boy.
I can remember it like it was truly yesterday. We met Ted (www.thehomeofgodslove.org) at the airport and he took us straight to the hotel where Bev, his wife, was watching Jaxon. We went into a YMCA hotel (have no clue why I remember that—probably because I was like why is there a YMCA here). We etered into the elevator and went up to their room.
When we got to the room, I remember feeling nervous, excited and almost a sense of everything is going to be OK type feeling. We went in and there was our little man, wrapped up like a chipotle burrito. I remember thinking holy cow—this is my son. Even though he has a different color of skin than mine and you can’t see any resemblance of me in him physically I knew that this was my son.
God has placed him in our lives and we chose to do adopt him into our family. Which to me is a crazy beautiful thing. I am so excited about the possibilities of what our son can and will do in his life. But what I am more excited about is that he represents, to me at least, living proof that you can adopt and you can love someone even when they are not a biological child. He represents a living out of the scripture verse James 1:27: 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.
I am not patting myself or my wife on the back for following God’s Word, He knows I fail at so many other levels its not even funny. But I think what I am trying to do here is put skin on the fact that this is a real and tangible way to live out God’s Word. And it is possible. It is tough. It can be depressing.
But there can be no greater feeling that when you are handed your son to hold for the very first time and know that this boy who was once fatherless just got a daddy, all because we followed God’s Word. What a huge blessing!
Pray for National Adoption Month!
It has been a challenging week for me, being a dad. I have had a pretty short fuse with the boys. I think it is just one of those weeks.
And once again I have a healthy respect for what my wife does day in and day out.
I think ,sometimes, people believe because we have adopted, that our boys must be different. Kind of like— you guys did a cool deal for them by adopting them so they must be easy to parent. Which is definitely not the case:-). They are still two boys who love to make messes, say no, touch things they aren’t supposed to and well you get the picture.
I think one thing that people also believe is that their love for an adopted child will somehow be different. Kind of like —they are not my biological child so I can’t possibly love them the same as I would a biological child.
As a guy I used to believe that myth: Ant that is this, because an adopted child is not biological then I certainly could not love them the same.
I can say that after I surrendered this type of thought process to the Lord is when I began to see that in fact I would/could love an adopted son/daughter the same. After all God loved us—and we have been adopted by Him.
I have two boys, Jaxon (Taiwan) & Levi (Vietnam) and I can’t imagine loving them more or less because they are adopted. I would die for them. I can’t imagine my life with out them. I have been shocked at the level of love I have for my boys. They are my sons—whom I love just as any other dad loves their kids.
In short I would just say that if you have the feeling, “gosh it just won’t be the same” I would say: surrender that thought process to God and see what He will do with your submission to Him.