Sunday, November 03, 2013

Orphan Sunday 2013

Today is Orphan Sunday, and a day when many people are called from the pews to the altar as God speaks through their pastor about adoption, fostering, and orphan care. They step up and say “I will go!” and press on toward the vision of smiling babies and energetic toddlers, happy children and well-adjusted teenagers. What they don’t picture is that the challenges that come with a child don’t just turn off. You cannot love the trauma out of a child. You can love a child through their trauma, though.

Most of our daily struggles are not a result of our children having Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. They are not because of hearing loss or vision or mobility difficulties. Our daily struggles are with the results of trauma: early abuse, neglect, starvation, prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol, and lack of bonding during early childhood.

When adoption is looked upon with only the star struck moments highlighted, it’s easy to overlook the difficult times and to think that everything is always sunshine and rainbows.

Don’t get me wrong- adoption is a blessing to both sides. What a joy and challenge it is to raise children that God brought in to our family through less conventional ways than “just” giving birth! What a privilege to be allowed to parent children that have needs that we strive to meet. What a blessing to a child to have a forever home- a family that loves them just as flesh and blood.

Adoption doesn’t end with the finish line of paperwork and the placement of a child in your home, though. Adoption is a commitment to the love and provision of another human being until they are an adult and able to take on their own responsibilities (or in our case, a lifetime commitment). It’s not something to take lightly or something that will end when a fad passes.

Adoption is a gift, a wonderful bond that God ordained and called us to. He also called us to love on, pray for, provide for, serve, and otherwise take care of those who are without family, without hope, and without Jesus.

Let me encourage you, today, to take this Orphan Sunday as a day to look at your life and seek PRAYERFULLY what God has for you. What is your role in orphan care? If it is adoption, walk in to it knowing that it will be the biggest blessing and the biggest challenge that you will ever embrace.

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