That people would share God's GREAT LOVE for the orphan by:
DEFENDING the fatherless
CARING for a child who has no family
VISITING orphans in their distress
So many people, many of you reading this blog post, feel the same way I did. Adoption is something you have considered. Adoption seems neat, but it's totally optional. If it happens, awesome. If not, that's ok, too. You have a house. You have a steady income. You may or may not be married, and you may or may not have children. You're healthy. Your life is already fulfilling.
But I can tell you this - this life is WAY more fulfilling than the life I was living before our adoption journey. Anything that this world tells you is important never satisfies, never quenches the desire for more and different and better. Living out what God asks us to do in His Word provides more fulfillment than I could have ever imagined.
It is so easy to think of excuses. I thought of every single one of them, too.
The time isn't right...
We need to do X first...
How will we ever afford it?
I don't even know where to start...
Let's finish having "our own" kids first, and then we'll adopt.
I don't know if I can love a child who isn't "mine"...
I'm too old to adopt a child. My children are already or almost grown...
I have other plans for my life.
You guys, I have either pondered those same thoughts myself, or I've known others to say/think them. That kind of thinking is a big reason why there continue to be 147 million orphans in the world. Only 8,668 adoptions occurred in the United States last year, 2,696 of them being from China. More than 300 million people live in the United States but a tiny fraction of those people are bringing these children home. I was one of those people for years. Then God rocked my life, and I am praying He is rocking yours.
Adoption into God’s eternal family is the ultimate expression of His love. So what does that mean when we accept an orphan into our earthly families? I think it's one of the best ways to replicate what God has done for us.
I didn't understand that until we saw our son's picture for the first time.
I didn't know until I we fell in love with him over the months while we waited.
I couldn't comprehend until we saw his tiny self on Gotcha Day.
I couldn't fathom until we visited the orphanage.
Now I get it. Adoption is not optional. Adoption is not something people with super powers do. There will never be someone who is more equipped, someone who is wealthier, or someone who is a "better" believer than you. All we have to do is say YES. God then steps in and fills in all the gaps...all the needs. He doesn't want us to do this on our own. God wants to be part of the process, the everyday joys and sorrows. He wants us to lean on Him always. Our world tells us to take care of ourselves on our own. Our God tells us to come to Him for help in all we lack. I lacked so much as we started this journey. God continues to fill me and provide for our needs every step of the way.
I don't believe it is a coincidence that we are celebrating our first week home the weekend of Orphan Sunday. There has been an incredible momentum building this past year as we got closer and closer to bringing Tucker home and then again while we were in China. Between 900-1,400 people are reading each of these blog posts now, and it is my hope that God is using our journey to spread His truth: "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). The world will pollute you with lies to prevent you from taking this journey. That's a promise. But God will equip you His Truth, the love and support of family and friends, and every dollar you need to give these children a family and a home forever.
If we wouldn't have made the decision we did, Tucker wouldn't wake up on a Saturday morning to play with HIS brothers...
...or have HIS picture taken by HIS mommy.
...or have the chance to become friends with HIS pet that initially terrified him.
...or laugh and play ball with HIS daddy.
...or feel the slime inside of HIS very own pumpkin.
...or be "all boy" with HIS shirt off with HIS brothers while carving pumpkins.
...or have a pumpkin on the front porch of HIS house.
...or dress up like a frog and go Trick-or-Treating around HIS neighborhood.
...or pose for the classic Halloween picture with HIS brothers that will end up in HIS wedding slideshow someday.
Today, on this Orphan Sunday, there is one less orphan in the world because God brought Tucker home to a family that will love him forever. I am praying that more of you have the opportunity to feel the fulfillment that comes when you align your life with God's desire for His people to defend the fatherless, care for a child who has no family, and visit orphans in their distress. These children are our future, and it is such an honor to love them every single day.