As you may or may not know, November is orphan awareness month! Well, I think technically it's national adoption month, but I think orphan care constitutes a ton more than adoption, so I decided it was National Orphan Awareness Month :) I have the power to decide these things, you know.
It hit me that right around this time last year, I found out I was going to be traveling to Uganda with The Archibald Project on an orphan care media mission. I had NO idea that that trip would be so life-changing. I had never really thought too much about adoption before. Matt and I had never talked about it as an option for our family. In fact...it's kinda hard to admit this on the internet, but I really wondered how people adopted in the first place, emotionally speaking. In my small, narrow mind, I could not imagine loving "someone else's child." Oh, how grateful I am for the massive heart change the Lord has worked in me. Now, Matt and I chat frequently about adoption. We hope and pray that it is part of our story someday. I have seen firsthand the beauty (and heartbreak) that is adoption. And I am so fired up about this thing we call "orphan care."
The truth is, we are all called to orphan care. A year ago I would have said "well, we're barely married and don't have much money and we aren't called to adopt, so orphan care isn't for us." But that could notttttt be farther from the truth. The call to orphan care is all over the Bible.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5
- "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Psalm 82:3
- "Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless." Proverbs 23:10
- "At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 14:28-29
It has become really clear to me over the last year that orphan care is for everyone. And orphan care doesn't just mean providing food for children whose parents have died. It means investing in communities so families are never disrupted in the first place. It means coming alongside parents who are alive, but can't care for their children, some of whom desperately want to. Orphan care can be as big and complex as foster care or adoption, or as small as purchasing something from a shop whose proceeds benefit orphans. Orphan care can be as small as sharing a blog post on Facebook or as big as traveling overseas to document an orphanage. Orphan care is limitless, and orphan care is for all of us.
In case you don't know where to start, I wanted to share a few resources and opportunities for YOU to become involved in orphan care!
- The documentary "Stuck" was super eye-opening for me about adoption and the process. It's on Netflix
- The Archibald Project is hosting an auction TOMORROW with all proceeds benefitting our orphan care media work. Get some Christmas shopping done, all while caring for the orphan!
- This blog post brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful.
- And this blog post is a really good way to look at adoption. It's worth celebrating, but it's also so very complicated and rooted in deep loss. Food for thought.
- Jamie Ivey writes about adoption and she's super rad
- Casey Chappell is another blogger who writes about adoption and I just want to listen to her talk all day
- Proceeds from the Show Hope store benefit orphans, if you're in the mood to do some shopping
Orphan care isn't something we do one time, for one month. It's a mindset and it's a goal we all should be pursuing, and there are soooo many ways for every single one of us to get involved, no matter your status or income or where you are. Let us be a people that "defends the cause of the weak and the fatherless." It's a challenge to us all
*top photo by The Archibald Project