Four years ago my wife and I along with our two daughters boarded a plane bound for China. It had literally been twenty-four months in the planning. God had spoke to us about orphans and adoption. And, after all the praying, planning, fund-raising, crying, and more praying, we were on thirteen hour journey to the other side of the world.
I thought I knew a lot about orphans and adoption. But I was wrong. The truth is I had read some about the topic. I had talked with people who had been adopted or adopted. But I only understood things from the surface.
That journey four years ago changed me and my family. As we literally opened our arms, eyes, and hearts to a little girl with dark brown eyes and black hair, God began to reveal Himself to us in so many new ways.
Part of that sixteen day experience in China led me and three other dads on a one day journey into the deep south to see our daughters orphanage. We were the very first Westerners allowed to visit this new site. It was an amazing trip and I could go on and on about all we experienced. That’s another blog post.
For me, that day was the first time I had ever stepped into an orphanage. The vivid memories make it extremely difficult for me to write or talk about even four years later. The tears are flowing even now as I type this blog. I saw first hand the babies, the cribs, the toys, the incredible nanny’s that cared for the children. And I saw the faces - faces of little boys and girls that I so desperately wanted to bring home but couldn’t. I felt helpless and that feeling still haunts me at times today.
You see, with knowledge comes many things. With knowledge you can take action or still refuse to get involved. With knowledge comes accountability or the ability to run from the truth that you now know.
For me, I thought I knew about orphans and God’s call to care for them. But until I stepped out on faith, followed His call to the other side of the world, and brought this precious little girl into our family, I had no idea.
Now, I know adoption is not for everyone- I’m saying that at all. But God’s word is clear that true religion does include a call to impact the lives of orphans.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27 ESV
With knowledge comes many things - I hope for you it’s means the opportunity to help make a difference in caring for orphans - maybe through adoption - maybe through helping support someone else who is led to adopt - maybe through visiting an orphanage here in the states or on the other side of the world and volunteering your time to impact lives. I can tell you this from personal experience, you won’t regret it!