This past Sunday, my wife Diane and I shared with the congregation the story of our adoption journey – why we feel called to adopt two thirteen year old girls from orphanages in China before they age out of the system and forever lose their chance at having a family.  Diane spoke so eloquently, so passionately as to why we’re doing what we’re doing, and why we believe that all Christians are commanded to “care for the orphan,” I just had to share her talk here on my blog.  So, here it is:

“As many of you know, we are adopting two young girls from China. We’d like to share briefly how God brought us to this point, and then share a little about our girls. I will begin with the beginning, about how God called us to adopt, and then Mark will tell you more about China and the girls.

I always knew there were orphans in the world. I knew they were there like I know the dinosaurs lived or that there is global poverty. But until a few years ago, I really did not comprehend our part in the world orphan crisis.

We have a big family. Early in our marriage, Mark and I decided we would allow God to determine what our family looked like. There were times that was scary for us, and there were many who criticized us for that choice, but we never bought into the modern day, secular world view that promotes the idea that there is lack and not enough to go around. We knew that God was a big God, and that He knew far better how to grow our family than we did.

Our children came so fast that we never really spent much time considering adoption. But when our youngest daughter Olivia, was about three months old, God began to break our hearts with the fatherless.

We became aware of many children who are waiting for families to love them. Seeing the need was easy, but coming to accept that at 46 and with nine children, we were called to step out in faith to meet those needs was huge.

At first, all we could see were our weaknesses. And let me tell you, we have many. But we came to see, as I have written before, “If our lives only take us to a place where we can manage everything in our own strength, then how have we walked by faith? If we will not allow our minds to explore possibilities we have absolutely no clue how we would ever accomplish, then we are reducing God to a limited God who can only work within the blighted scope of His finite creation. It is our own lack of faith that limits God’s miraculous work in our lives, not God’s lack of ability to take us beyond ourselves. And it is Society’s lack of faith that causes it to fear growing a family beyond its comprehension.”

So, we searched the scriptures, and found verse after verse that indicated that God’s heart is for the orphan.

I’ll share a few of the verses here.

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

Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. ~Isaiah 1:17

And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~Matthew 18:5

There are many more. God is referred to as a Father to the fatherless frequently through out the Bible, a defender of the needy, and of “the least of these.”

In the end, we came to realize that we are all called to care for the orphans in some way. Some are called to adopt. Some are called to fund adoptions. Some are called to give financially for their care, but we are called.

As we became a part of the Christian adoption community, we began to see God move huge mountains on behalf of the orphan. We watched story after story of how God resolved impossible situations on their behalf.

We could share many accounts of Christian families who are traveling all over the world to meet the needs of the least of these, but there isn’t time today.

What I do want to say is that children are grieving the lack of parents in their lives. There are children who desperately need surgeries that only can be performed in the United States. They need medical care. Many are sick and cold and alone, and dying without the love of a mother and father, and without ever knowing the Savior.

We live in the wealthiest country in the world. We are among the wealthiest people. And yet we think we have nothing to give. We take care of our own, and we give a little and believe we are walking with JESUS. We spend our resources amusing and indulging our own children who are among the world’s most privileged, and close our eyes to the lonely and hurting children who want only to belong and to know love.

Jesus poured out His life for us, and we are called to nothing less. If our children were on the other side of the world, alone and starving, NOTHINGwould stop us from going to them.

God’s children are alone and needy and dying.

We are His hands and feet.

We must go and get them whatever the cost

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– Mark