Sunday

A special message from FamilyLife, Focus on the Family, and Shaohannah’s Hope

143 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents …
…. from AIDS, war, ethnic cleansing, natural disasters …
… and now many are condemned to lives of crime, prostitution, and killing in order to survive.

The Orphan Crisis
Orphans. The world’s waiting children — waiting for love, waiting for family, waiting for someone to care.
Many wait in vain. And the world pays a terrible price.
Orphaned girls are often recruited into brothels … orphaned boys, as young as 5, are recruited into gangs, armies, and terrorist groups.

“If you have large numbers of orphans who are rootless and homeless and foodless, and bewildered by their position, and feeling pretty angry and anti-social about what has happened to them … you have a possibility of real instability… Poverty can be the basis for the attraction of extremist groups.”

— Ambassador Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy on HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Why This Matters
Even in the U.S., the consequences of neglecting our waiting children are horrifying.

30% of all the homeless adults in the United States spent time in foster care.

One in three youth who turn 18 and leave foster care resort to stealing, prostitution, or selling drugs. One in four spend time in jail or prison.
The children wait. Does anyone care?

What We’re Doing
The Bible is clear. God cares deeply. And because of God’s special concern for these vulnerable children, we care, as well. That’s why FamilyLife, Focus on the Family and Shaohannah’s Hope have joined together to launch a long-term, nationwide campaign called Voice of the Orphan. This campaign seeks to raise awareness of the orphan crisis and spur fellow Christians to action.

What You Can Do
Together, we are helping to educate concerned Christians worldwide regarding this important crisis, and we offer practical and effective ideas on how every Christian can get involved in caring for the world’s orphans.

We invite you to join us — and learn more about God’s heart and what you can do for these special children.

Here’s How You Can Help

Learn about the issue — Tune into the broadcasts
Find ways to help orphans at www.voiceoftheorphan.org
Inform your family and friends by forwarding this message

Family Life and Focus on the Family Broadcasts

November 13th – 17th
Featured guests:

Dr. Dobson & Jim Daly
Dennis & Barbara Rainey
Steven Curtis Chapman
Stephanie Fast

Focus on the Family Broadcast Schedule

… You are the defender of orphans … LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them.

— Psalm 10:14, 17-18

www.voiceoftheorphan.org

{ 12 Comments }

  1. And just to add on to your great message since November in National Adoption month . . .

    * There are an estimated 523,000 child in foster care in the United States, and more than 119,000 of them are waiting to be adopted.

    * A national survey showed that 4 in 10 Americans have considered adoption.

    * If only 1 out of 500 Americans adopted from the foster care system, all these waiting children would have homes.

    * Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child languishes in foster care before being adopted has lengthened to nearly five years.

    * Each year, approximately 20,000 children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family.

    Of course, that’s just in the United States. There are orphans worldwide who need love, homes and families.

    You might be able to make a difference to one of them.

    Thanks for the wonderful links Owlhaven.

    Sandy.

  2. I have a friend who works with, is friends with, the homeless in East Vancouver. She was asked by the city once about what she would do if she could do anything at all, and she said she would reform the foster care system. THey expected her to say something about drug rehab, which is when she informed them that most of the people she met on the streets most of whom had addictions were graduates of the foster care system.

    She had a great idea that has haunted me ever since. If say one in every 10 Christian families were willing to take care of children no one else wanted, and those other 9 families supported that family, emotionally and financially, there would be vast numbers of children helped who have no hope now. That went together with what a seminary prof once said in a lecture about the early Christians changing the face of Roman society by going to the garbage dumps and taking the babies that were rejected by their own families and caring for them themselves, it was unheard of then.

  3. Martina Fahrner says:

    Let me asked a stupid question then: Why is it so darn hard to adopt? While I am all for checking out the parents and insuring the safety of the kids, adoption takes about a year (if you are not Madonna!)?
    Sorry, I am frustrated about my china adoption process, but I feel that this is where we could also a big difference:
    — more aid for parents to want to adopt to speed up the process
    — limited foster agreements (foster/host kids from development countries for a year etc. similar to a student exchange.
    — more programs to support the children within the country (I would love to see an adoption program for chinese girls in CHINA)

    (sign) back to edit my home study for the 100mhpiest time!

  4. Martina Fahrner says:

    Let me asked a stupid question then: Why is it so darn hard to adopt? While I am all for checking out the parents and insuring the safety of the kids, adoption takes about a year (if you are not Madonna!)?
    Sorry, I am frustrated about my china adoption process, but I feel that this is where we could also a big difference:
    — more aid for parents to want to adopt to speed up the process
    — limited foster agreements (foster/host kids from development countries for a year etc. similar to a student exchange.
    — more programs to support the children within the country (I would love to see an adoption program for chinese girls in CHINA)

    (sigh) back to edit my home study for the 100mhpiest time!

  5. Thank you for giving us all of this information. The number of kids out there who need families is heartbreaking.

  6. I agree with Martina – I hate the hoops adoptive parents are expected to jump through. We are at the beginning stages of adoption. Starting with construction on our place to make room for more (pictures on my blog) No one asked me all these questions about my 3 bio babies!?

  7. Sorry that was a cheap plug to my blog =)

  8. Oh, I agree that adoption isn’t easy. I always described it as being an emotional roller coaster ride of a lifetime. But much like labor, the pain lessens once you’re holding your little one in your arms. (Okay, I’ve never actually been in labor, but so I hear. On the other hand, I have adopted a handful of times – or maybe a handful and a half.) 🙂

    Sandy.

  9. Mary,
    Thanks for sharing this information! We created our family through adoption and do not plan to adopt again (notice how I said “plan”…that leaves me open to convince my hubby otherwise), but I cannot and will not forget the children who are left behind. I wish that countries around the world, including the US, would make it easier for families to adopt children who live in foster care and orphanages. I’m adding links to my blogs now to get the word out!
    Thanks again!

  10. Thanks for the post and links. Although my baby is only 7 1/2 months I’ve been thinking so much lately about future adoption plans, wondering which way the Lord will lead us and hoping that we will be able to adopt sooner rather than later. Both our adoptions were domestic so the wait wasn’t as long, I honestly can’t imagine what strength it must take to get the referral and picture of your child in another country and not be able to hold them for months – maybe one day I will know. But as I look at the possibility of adopting again, I get so frustrated because of how expensive it is. Then I’ve been looking at all the foster kids in the “system” and I know there must be all kinds of hoops you have to go through. I know you “can’t put a price” on a child, but somehow this world has and it does make the process harder. I loved Carrien’s thought about other Christian families helping out other families. We are not all called to adopt, but we are all called to help take care of orphans (James 1:27)

  11. We just went to FamilyLife’s “If you were mine” adoption conference this weekend. It was absolutely wonderful and full of wisdom and biblical counsel. Unfortunately, some of our family members reacted with dismay with the prospect of actually having more children. Just like Dennis Rainey said this weekend, for the church “adoption should not be abnormal, it should be the norm.”

    One of the gems from the weekend was the use of the term “ransom” regarding the cost of adoption. Beautiful.

  12. I hope more and more Christians feel motivated to pray about it and see if the Lord is leading them to adopt. It’s the only place in the Bible that defines religion (“pure and undefiled religion, tending to widows and orphans” – my paraphrase). It’s easy to get caught up in the excuses as to why we can’t do it (not that some people are not called to do this, that’s understandable). Adoption can be hard work and a blessing all at the same time. I think blogs like Mary’s are definately INSPIRING more folks to see what a joy it can be to add to your family through adoption.