Sunday, November 2, 2014

Musings On Orphan Sunday

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. ~ James 1:27


We're not special. Not super-spiritual. Not phenomenal parents.

We are normal, average, middle-class parents.

We made mistakes with our natural-born children.

We make mistakes now.

Some days, this is really, really hard.

It's hard for us as parents -- we doubt, pray, cry, debate. At times -- we feel like we've been abandoned by the system that promised to support us in this; we wonder if we're really making a difference; we wonder if our love is enough.


It's hard for Thomas. He's never done this before either.

He has to daily choose to trust us - when he has no history or reason to do so.

He has to daily choose to obey us - when he has no reason to trust the outcome.

He has to choose to stay, when he knows he's capable of running.

He has to choose to forgive us when we make mistakes - because we do.

He's had to learn what "family" looks like, feels like, acts like.

He's had to make new friends, start a new school, new activities, new family, new everything.


"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes..." David Platt

I'll not sugar coat this. Our love may not be enough. Statistics are not in his favor. But we choose to love completely anyway... And Thomas is much more than a statistic. He has a name. A face. He's my son. He's a young man, made in the image and likeness of our God. He deserves a chance to break cycles and live a life surrounded by people that love him. He deserves to belong. He deserves a family.

This is hard.

But it's one of the best hardest thing we've ever done.

We - all of us - have learned more of God's love in the last eight months than ever before. We have learned that life is about much more than being comfortable. We've seen our selfishness and begun to allow God to root it out of us.

We have cried and screamed, laughed and loved, learned and grown. Together.

We have learned to forgive and start over - as many times as it takes.

We are not special. We are not super-spiritual. We are not phenomenal parents.

We said yes.


Today is Orphan Sunday.  Please consider how you can be a part of the answer. Every child - every child - deserves a family.

You can say yes in a lot of different ways.

You can foster, as we have.
You can adopt.
You can mentor - there are so. many. kids without positive, faithful, role models.
You can support families that choose to foster and adopt - because they need it.
You can support vulnerable families that are in danger of losing their children without additional support.

We can all say yes - "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."

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