This “Why Ethiopia”question is one we have already gotten a lot of–and one we fully expect and anticipate answering many times during our lives. My answer is really a question right back: Why not? The simplicity of it all is that we love children, our biological children desire this as much as we do, and we feel it is our responsibility as Christians to love these children deeply as they were our own…so much so, even bringing one (or two eventually) to live with us forever.
In just a month’s time, I have gotten much encouragement in our step of faith to follow God in our choosing to adopt. How thankful I am for those who stand with us and behind us! I have also already gotten some resistance–and surprisingly some comments from other believers who I look up to…but even for these I am thankful. I am reminded that I must keep my eyes on the cross–on what God is calling us to–and to not look to man or worry about what man thinks.
Our love to orphans should show no boundaries. I feel we should love them whole heartedly as we love our own. We should not only give our money and time–but also our hearts. To love them as Jesus calls us to requires sacrifice–maybe some of us will feel led to sacrifice to the point of lifestyle change by giving sacrificially so they may live until they are grafted in a forever family; some may be called to family change through adoption or others may change to the point of moving across the world to serve the orphan (www.kissesfromkate.blogspot.com) But one thing we must remember, is that when we follow Jesus wholeheartedly we will no longer be living as the world lives and our lives will look different–and thus, not everyone will agree with us…even some who call themselves Christians.
I overheard a recent opinion about our adoption that truthfully caught me off guard but how thankful I was to hear it so early in the process. It was said that we should take care of our own children first before we adopt. This was puzzling to hear from a believer–but I have to say that we truly already believe the children in Ethiopia that God has set apart for us are OURS…and we are actually trying to take care of our “own” children first by persuing them now whole-heartedly…to rescue them from the dying and to graft them forevermore into THEIR/OUR family! We also feel we are taking care of our biological children by persuing this with them and not allowing ourselves to get too comfortable in our world. They are getting to see firsthand the gospel of Christ–a tranformation from orphan to son/daughter forever. How thankful I am that God didn’t take care of His own flesh “first” or wait until life seemed perfect and peaceful to persue us. How thankful I am that He made sacrifices and chose to rescue the dying…even at the very expense of his own flesh, His Son. How thankful I am that I am no longer an orphan because He was willing to fight for me at any cost. These children are our OWN. We love them already, and we are willing to fight for them because they are OURS.
The UN now estimates 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone and approxiamately 132 million worldwide. So while we can’t rescue them all–we can rescue one. And now is as good of a time as any. We are not promised tomorrow, so today is really the best time for us to begin. Mother Theresa said it well–if you can’t feed 100, then feed 1. And it is our prayer that God will use this one to one day make a difference in the lives of many. When looking at those numbers the question to ask is not “why” but more obviously “why not”. And to that question we were left with no answers…and joyfully the paperwork has begun. Help us all Lord to love beyond borders, to show no boundaries and to love orphans as they are our own. Call us Lord deeply into your heart…and help us to love sacrificially as you do.