Friday, June 22, 2007

A Heart for Orphans

My favorite book when I was young ( okay, one of my favorites - I was a big reader ) was The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss, the autobiographical story of a young couple who adopted 12 children, most considered "unadoptable" because they were of mixed-race. As a young teen, I must have read this little dog-eared paperback dozens of times, and I still have it. I always thought I would someday adopt children, just like the Dosses.
Well, I got married fresh out of college, and having babies wasn't a problem for us. We struggled a bit ( mostly he ) with how big our family should be, but ended up with 5 precious children, spread over 13 years. They are a joy and a pleasure and a gift - and costly and frustrating and time consuming. But I can't think of a better way to spend my life than in pouring myself into raising and teaching and loving these unique gifts from God. I hadn't given adoption much thought until this past year, when I started to spend a lot of time with friends who have felt God's call to enlarge their family through adoption. Suddenly it seems that God is doing some serious shaking up of the Christian community in regards to the plight of orphans. Family Life and Focus on the Family have recently joined together with Shaohannah's Hope ( started by Christian recording star Steven Curtis Chapman ) to form Voice of the Orphan, to raise awareness of the orphan crisis worldwide and to spur Christians to action. Family Life also has their own Hope for the Orphans, to provide information and assistance for individuals and churches interested in adoption and adoption ministry. Oprah Winfrey has featured orphans and adoption stories on her TV show. Of course, celebrities Madonna and Angelina Jolie have also gotten lots of media attention for their international adoptions.
Most amazing to me is the subtle work going on the hearts of everyday people like you and me ~ people with busy families and full lives, who are feeling their hearts being pulled toward the orphan. Several people in my own circle of friends have been surprised to learn that each was feeling similar stirrings in their hearts. The need is huge, gigantic, overwhelming. But one family can totally transform the life of one child ~ giving them hope and a future that they otherwise would not have. Many families can rescue many children. Hundreds of families, hundreds of kids....
God doesn't ask us to save the world. But he might be calling us to stretch out of our comfort zone and share our abundance with one desperately needy child, and give them a FAMILY. Or to come alongside and help others in that task.


1 comment:

Ellie said...

You are sooo... right! So, when are you gonna adopt? heehee!
C'mon Mr.Herbert!!!!!!!
Love ya!