Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Domestic v. International?

One of my wonderful friends from college told me today they were thinking of adopting!  YEA!  I was so excited to hear that!  One of her questions for me was, "How did you decide between domestic or international adoption?"  Good question!  There are different families called to different types of adoption or foster care.  It is definitely not my place to persuade anyone in one direction or the other, as domestic and international adoption are both VERY important.  We have some close friends here in NOLA that just adopted domestically.  Their story is so inspiring, and their call to domestic adoption is undoubted.  There are so many reasons why children should be adopted from one's own country.  As a Ukrainian pastor I heard speak recently said, "You can't take all of our children!  There would be many problems for us if all of our children were adopted by Americans."  His point in saying this was that his country his in the middle of a transformation.  Church members all over the Ukraine are sensing God's call to care for orphans in their country.  The orphan population has gone from 300,000 to 30,000 in the last 5 years because Ukrainian people (pop. approx. 45 mil.) are taking care of Ukranian orphans.  This allows them to raise up a new generation of Ukrainians to be responsible citizens, and compassionate people toward future orphans in the country.  Only an orphan can truely know how to minister to another orphan in need.  The Ukraine is developing an army of orphans that will pay it forward to future generations.  There is something to be said for this.  I think it is vital that American citizens care for American orphans in the same way.  America has a population of approximately 307 million.  There are approximately 123,000 children in foster care.  If the Ukraine can shrink a larger number of orphans by 90% with a population of 45 million, America can definitely place 123,000 children in permanent homes with a population of 307 million!  We should raise up a generation of compassionate children that love others the way that they have been loved.  This will only happen if American people will provide permanent families for foster care children.  The need is great in America, but we don't often see the need glaring at us, as an orphanage building would as you drive to work in the Ukraine.  Many of these children are in foster care homes, which provides a temporary solution, but they ultimately need forever families.
On the other hand, there are many countries, such as Ethiopia, where their citizens are dying of HIV and Malaria.  Children are orphaned by disease and poverty.  Parents are unable to care for their own children, much less the children of neighbors.  It is a crisis situation there.  4.5 million orphans fill orphanages in Ethiopia.  This is only ONE country of many in Africa have the same plight.  Rwanda has 1 million orphans because of war, disease, and famine.  The number of orphans in Africa is a problem that requires global attention.
Recently, I shared a passion I have with our home study worker.  When she asked us how we would keep the culture of Ethiopia alive in our home, I told her that I hope to raise a son that loves his country so much he wants to go back there to minister to others who need God's love.  She gave a beautiful reply, "I don't see how it could be any other way.  With your hearts so impassioned about Ethiopia and your desire for orphans to know the love of God and a forever family, your child will have no other choice than go back to his country."  Then she uttered words that seemed almost prophetic.  "I have seen a lot of people who adopt children from various countries, but the ones who adopt from Ethiopia are different.  There is something different about them...they are passionate about a purpose.  Imagine these parents raising Ethiopian children to love Ethiopia and hear the calling of God to help their country.  You could have an entire generation of Ethiopian adoptees who willingly return to their country and change their country's future."  Wow.  That's exactly the passion of my heart.  As much as it would hurt to see my baby grow up and leave me, I know that God is his inheritance and his destiny is with Him.  I want my child to be wherever God is working, even if it means being a world apart.
In the debate over whether to adopt Domestically or Internationally, there is no question about the bottom line:
"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families."

Psalms 68:5-6
We were made to love God and love people.  Our calling is clear - "Father the fatherless."  What your role is in that no one can know but God.  Whether adopting domestically or internationally the need is great, our mission is clear, our time is short, and lives are at stake.  
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Proverbs 31:8-9 


The Albritton's said...

I definitely agree that both are EXTREMELY important but I think we dont see it GLARING at us here because the national and state government do a GREAT job at keeping it hidden! :)

LOVE reading about everything going on...SO EXCITED for you guys!

Michelle said...

I linked to your coffee thing on my blog. I reach people you might maybe God can bless you that way!

Little Lamb said...

Beautiful response:)