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The Church's Response to the Plight of Orphans

Since our teenage romance my wife and I have imagined ourselves being adoptive parents. We’ve been changed by the gospel and compelled by the plight of orphans in Haiti and around the world. We’ve discussed the possibility many times but for one reason or another we’ve never acted on it. It could be because we we started pumping out kids as soon as the honey moon was over, or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that our occupation and our stupidity has kept us near the poverty line.

But in 2010 when we got our personal finances in order and learned we could have no more children naturally. We decided to visit a friend who runs an small orphanage in Haiti and ask the Lord if He’d  allow us to be apart of his plan to realize the desire he’d given us so long ago.

While in Haiti we met two orphans that thawed our hesitations. We came home, with no clue how to pay for the adoption but an resolve do whatever it what it took. Within a few months nearly all of the money was in hand and our adoption proceedings were well under way.

Ever day we think about these two children, we pray for them continually and just like it was with pregnancy, we love them already. This week a worker at the orphanage sent us the following descriptions of their personalities and it made our week.

Betchina is sweet. I may even say that she’s the sweetest kid here. Her little giggle is just the best. She never, and I mean NEVER forgets to say thank you. Just recently, she had a bad cough (all the kids had it) and I would bring her medicine every night when she crawled into bed. Even though it didn’t taste good, she would always say “thank you!” with a sweet smile on her face. She’s such a lovely little girl! I’m really excited that you guys are homeschooling her because I think that it will be a good fit for her especially. She’s very shy. We just got report cards from her school and they told us that she knows the lessons, the problem is that she doesn’t like to talk in class very much. I guess the teachers will ask her questions but she won’t answer all the time. Sue and I were talking about it and how we think she will do really good doing school at home.

Jean is funny. He is literally the biggest three year old I have ever seen. He LOVES to be held. I feel bad for the poor kid because he’s so big that it takes more effort to hold him. I really think he would be happy if I just held him all day long. He’s so big that I can’t walk around holding him so he has to wait until I have time to just sit and be with him. He’ll walk up to me and mumble my name with his big puppy-dog eyes open wide and his arms up. When I pick him up, he just melts. It’s sweet. I think Sue needs to hire a worker just to hold him all day! He also has the best language skills out of any three year old I’ve ever met. He speaks so clearly and knows so many words. I’m amazed whenever I talk to him.

Jean literally will eat everything and anything. After everyone eats we always catch him licking off the trays of the highchairs and eating scraps off the floor. One time I gave him some lotion on his hands and I caught him licking it off. He cracks me up. So, to prepare for him to come home, put up all toxic substances where he can’t find them! Most of his spilled tears are over food. A lot of it comes from his personality I’m sure but he’s not the only kid here obsessed with food. All the kids here can eat more in one sitting than any American kid ever could. I’m discovering that it’s part of growing up in a third world country. Food is so important to these kids. Before they came to here it was a matter of life and death. While kids in the US are complaining about crusts, a lot of kids in Haiti are worried that they might not even get a next meal. I am sure that worrying about food is a habit that a kid doesn’t easily get over.

Our hearts are full of gratitude and joy about what the Lord is allowing us to participate in… but we see something that makes us sad… The American church gives special attention to the sanctity of human life each January but other than that it seems as a whole we don’t take much responsibility for the care of orphans. Meanwhile, our culture is snuffing out human life at a pace that is mind boggling. We are becoming increasingly aware that it’s the privileged and joy of the church to Display the Glory of Christ by responding in force to the plight of orphans.

Maybe you’ve considered adoption at one point or another but have been discouraged by the obstacles. I want to encourage you to do a few things in order to explore the issue further:

  • Read Orphanology or spend a few days studying what the Scripture has to say about orphan care.
  • Contact me or another adoptive family and learn about the process. (
  • Volunteer to provide foster care in your community.
  • Visit an orphanage like THIS ONE.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

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