Today is a day to look at our kids and imagine that they lived a life with out us.
I imagine my son sitting alone on a grubby curb sniffing solvents to numb the piercing cold of the world around him.
I imagine my daughter, a young girl without a voice, being used to satisfy the desires of a sick world.
Or my daughter taking on the responsibilities of a parent to her siblings at age nine.
I imagine my baby laying in a room lined with rusty cribs waiting for human touch.
My little boy scrounging the gutters like stray pup for a scrap of food.
My children clinging to a worn out suitcase as they move into yet another strangers home.
Those are horrible pictures to form in my mind. They evoke strong emotion.
This is not the fate of my children. They are fortunate to have 2 loving parents and a multitude of other people that are able to care for them. They live in a country with safety nets and child protective services (as faulty as they often are.)
The fact is, there are countless children , just as precious, just as worthy, just as silly, adorable and goofy out there that were born into the life I just described for you. Why don't our hearts break for each one of them? Somehow it's different when they are just pathetic faces on the tv or statistics on a page.
These children were left alone because of sickness, poverty, war, addictions, abandonment, abuse, or disaster. They are children born into a broken world.
They long for love
They crave security
They ache to be wanted
Adoption is not the only answer to the crises our world faces. It is one of many ways to 'defend the fatherless'. It is one beautiful option. I think so often people , myself included, make a list of all the reasons why we are not able to adopt, why it wouldn't be wise, why we can't afford it and how we aren't "called" to something that drastic. We assure ourselves that adoption is for other people. That is sometimes true. Not every body is in a position in life where they can or should adopt but we are all "called" to do SOMETHING. Too many people 'don't feel called' because they have never allowed God control over that area of their heart.
My challenge to you today is to let your heart be broken...not in helpless despair.. but to join in the suffering of a child for just a moment. Allow God to break your heart by the things that break His. Allow Him to move you past your self preservation, human reasoning, fear, desire for control, and apathy. That is both a frightening and freeing place to be taken.
Ask him today ,not if you are called to do something but how He desires you to show love to a child that needs love...and then listen with an open heart. I don't say this to sound somehow self righteous or to lay on a guilt trip. I say it as a challenge to move past apathy or shallow guilt appeasement to honest questioning.
Sometimes that answer is a longing that isn't brought to fulfillment for years. Pray. Anticipate. Grow. Wait. Trust.