Monday, July 11, 2011

All the Children of the World

I'm supposed to be preparing right now for the Bible study that I will be leading in 2 days, but I just read this post by a friend of mine and now I find myself unable to think about anything but all of the children in the world. Ya know, the ones that Jesus loves according to the Sunday School song. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.

Stories like this rattle me. I question God's compassion and justice. I question how naive and/or heartless we are in the US.

Maybe the publicity of that blog post will bring in enough sponsorship money that that little boy will be able to have a future with his birth mother. But maybe not. And that is certainly not the case for all of the other children around the world in similar situations who don't have the good fortune of a kind-hearted westerner looking on, ready to tell the blogosphere that there is a little boy in need of help.

What happens to these kids? How do we help?

It seems sponsorship is one of the best and most effective means of help (I know Compassion International is an excellent organization in this regard). But what about the kids who are HIV+ and will be neglected in their home culture? Or who have such severe medical needs that they need medical care that is too hard to get in a poor country? Or those who's parents have died and there is no one nearby to take on their care? What happens to those kids?

International adoption is becoming increasingly popular these days. But why are the majority of these adoptions for young, healthy kids? Why not an older child who has literally no one left to care for them? Why not one of the many children who have medical conditions that could be treated so much more easily in our wealthy country? (and what about all of the kids in the US foster care system who are waiting for adoption?)

The two blogs that I absolutely will not miss a post (we're talking shameless stalking/addiction here) are from families that have adopted internationally and are constantly thinking and evaluating these very questions of mine. Both of them have thought about it and researched it and lived it and written about it and they still don't have answers.

These needs in our world break my heart and I wish I had unlimited money and time to just do something about it. And the wisdom to know what to do with that unlimited time and money. And as I write that, I recall that God has all of that and will give it freely to those who seek Him and follow Him. Maybe I just need to ask Him for the wisdom and resources to follow His heart for all the children of the world.

I welcome any thoughts/discussion.


  1. I have been thinking and thinking about this stuff, too. We're pretty sure that God has called us to and we want more kids, and we're pretty sure that my body can't handle it. So we're pretty sure that we're going to adopt. And we're very sure that we don't care about the race of the rest of our children. But the more we start to talk about it, the more confusing it is. I do babies well. Our family runs smoothly when we introduce a new baby into the mix (well, relatively smoothly). So when I thought about adoption in the back of my mind, I thought baby. But some friends just adopted a seven year old boy from Ethiopia this spring, and their reasons (despite him being older than their three bio children) were really thoughtful and convicting. Ever since we lost a baby between T and E, we've also thought that when we adopted, maybe we'd want to adopt someone the same age as our baby would have been. And maybe a boy for Tommy to hang out with? But having a little boy I haven't trained from day one sounds scary, right? And because my kids have all been pretty perfectly healthy, I've assumed we'd adopt healthy. Yes, if God gave me a biological child with a severe birth defect (like some friends of ours just had), of course I would accept her with total love and know that I was being called to mother a disabled child the rest of my life. But is it selfish to want a healthy child? I see friends who have adopted a pretty disabled child here in the States, and she has a full-time job just taking him to various therapies and doctors. She can do that because he's their first. Could I do that, with three other kids in tow? Could I do it well, like she does? We just spent the night with a college friend whose 27 year old brother is severely disabled. Our 29 year old friend moved back home to help her aging parents take care of him. Spending 24 hours with him made me see how changing diapers and spoon feeding is cute for a couple years but really hard after 27. And when her parents get too old to take care of him, will she need to take him over full-time for the rest of her life? What about her desire to get married and have a family? Am I lazy or selfish to think the prospect sounds overwhelming for me or my current kids? As a Christian who believes in the value of life, should I just plunge in and do that because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength? Or is it something God has to clearly call you to (as he did for our friends who want to adopt all disabled children), and He just hasn't called me? And gosh, the whole domestic/international adoption decision is overwhelming. Our friends with an open domestic adoption think it's great--their daughter knows her half-sister (who is in fact older than her mom), and they have good occasional interaction with her bio dad (who is older than her grandparents). Our friends with 3 bio children and then a daughter from China have such a heart for unwanted little girls in other countries, and they are thrilled that we're considering that, too. Oh yeah, and my mom is convinced I'm already too overstretched wanting to homeschool and doesn't think we should have more kids for awhile, but while we're in kid mode, we might as well be in kid mode, right? And both sets of parents have horror stories of adoptions gone awry. They don't want us going crazy and getting divorced like X and Y, and they don't want us to end up with crazy adopted kids in jail like Z. So maybe we should just be foster parents, because that's more temporary. (But how do you and your kids totally love someone for just weeks or months and then have to say goodbye and never get to see them again? Sounds incredibly hard in its own way.) Basically, I have a ton of questions swirling around in my head, too, and I don't have any answers, either.

  2. Emily, I just sat here nodding in agreement as I read all of that. There are just so many questions and angles and thoughts and through it all a deep brokenhearted feeling as I think of the so many children who just don't have any hope or future. Sigh.