Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Least of These

I've written a few times lately about reading Amy's blog and how much I love it. I discovered it totally by accident, which is how so many awesome things start. Amy writes about lots of things concerning her family life (like most blogs do I suppose!) but it's a lot about adoption. Amy and her husband Andrew have one biological son, who is 3 or 4, and then adopted two children from Russia: a girl who was 10 at the time (who is now 12) and a son who was 18 months at the time and who is now also 3 or 4. I think her boys are about 6-9 months apart. At any rate, Amy is about my age, so obviously adopting a 10-year-old makes Amy a really young mom. But she writes so beautifully about her experiences.

Because Amy's two adopted children are from Russia, she definitely has a special place in her heart for Russian orphans. Imagine her dismay when President Putin outlawed all American adoptions of Russian children. What is worse is all the families who had MET THEIR CHILD and told him or her they'd be back ... and now can't bring their child home. My heart is ripped out. Guys ... I had NO IDEA how bad the odds are that Russian orphans will survive if they are not adopted before they are basically kicked out of their orphanages when they age out. Look at these statistics Amy shared:

- Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home.  These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

- In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen.

- Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years

Guys... GUYS. Are you reading this? These are children. Go and read Amy's stories and look at these photos. Your heart will stop. These are the faces of those statistics.

I didn't know much about adoption or even think about orphans that often (I am ashamed to admit) before I started reading Amy's blog. Now I really think about adoption all the time. Amy and her husband found their daughter through Reece's Rainbow, and from time to time I look through the site, just reading about the children and looking at their faces. Is that weird? I don't know. I feel something stirring in my heart to adopt an orphan - especially an older one whose chances of adoption are not good - but I know that now is not the season of my life for that. But I thought maybe I could spiritually adopt one, pick one from Reece's Rainbow and pray for that sweet face until he or she is adopted.

Amy has a real adoption experience and her whole blog is one heartbreaking, inspiring, gut-wrenching, joyful post after another, and I really suggest you read. We've all heard the saying "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called." Well here's another one for you: God doesn't look at your ability as much as your availability. 

Wow.

Amy said that on her blog and it's really stuck with me.

Maybe you're available? I know adopting a kid is a ton of work, very expensive and will change your life forever. But what I think about myself all the time is -- I am spending money on clothes and eating out and whatever else, and there are children out there who are literally dying. Can you imagine never knowing the love of a mom or dad? Like I truly cannot even imagine that. I can't imagine it at all. And it breaks my heart.

How much does God love His children, especially the orphaned ones?

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

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
- Acts 20:35

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
- Matthew 18 

You get the picture. Also, I heard this on the radio today and, after having read Amy's blog, it is weighing heavily on my mind: Russian just annexed (or whatever) Crimea from the Ukraine. Ukraine allows adoptions by Americans ... Russia does not. So now even more orphans will not have homes and more mommies and daddies have met their children and then weren't able to bring them home. My heart hurts. 

This little fella was an orphan once ... then his mommy found him! It is not at all lost on me that Snicks is better fed, better cared for and better loved than many children in the world -- children in my own city. 

Join me in praying for these children with no moms or dads? Pray for the older ones especially who are less likely to be adopted and the ones who, today, will be kicked out of their orphanages for being too old. 

Oh, and guys -- this little boy had touched my heart and I would look at his profile from time to time. I just went back to check because I decided he would be my heart kid. And I saw HIS FAMILY FOUND HIM. So now, of course, I'm crying. 

So now I'm signing up to be an official prayer warrior and I will tell you just as soon as I know who my little one is. Maybe you'd like to sign up to pray for one also? 

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"

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