God sets the lonely in families.
--- Psalm 68:6
Why are we adopting? Why are we adopting a little girl with Down Syndrome? Do we know someone with Down Syndrome? Have we worked with special needs children? What brought us here? These are the questions we have fielded in the last couple of days. And, these are the questions I would probaly have been asking a year ago if I found out someone I knew was adopting a child with special needs. So I thought I would give this a shot. Here is the story of how we got to Allysen.
Adopting a child has been something that would cross my mind sometimes. When our oldest was small, I mentioned adopting and my husband was not interested in even discussing it. And then we found out we were having twin boys (the shock was immense I can tell you). For several years after that we focused on keeping our heads above water. Zone defense. That is how my girl friend and I describe it. But then as they tend to do, my children grew. They just grew and grew and grew. The babies, as we called them, are now turning five!!! Our sweet oldest is going into third grade. Unbelievable!
And as the kids grew, life has gotten easier. No more heads just above water, dog paddling for our life. We are swimming right along and really settling into just plain enjoying our family. I have felt a longing for more children now and then, but just wrote it off. I knew in my heart that I would never have another baby. I am getting to old for that honestly. And, part of me was glad to be done with those early first years that are so intense.
Then, God began His work. I started running into people who had and were adopting children internationally. I thought, "How wonderful, but my husband will never do that." I started hearing and reading random things about orphans and the real crisis that exists today for children all across the world. I thought, "How terrible, I will support organizations that help." Then adoption came to rest very close to home. My dearest friend in the world began to feel strongly called to do something to answer God's call to "...look after orphans and widows in their distress..."James 1:27. She began to talk passionately about the 147 million children who are orphans right now today. How so many of them never find families to love them. How many will be hungry and not receive life-saving medical care in their orphanages. How so many will be turned out on the street when they are still essentially children (14 years old in Ethiopia). And she urged me to ask God what he would have ME do. So I did. And, he gave me the verse above, "God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:6
How does God set the lonely in families? It is clear from His Word that he intends for all of us, as it says in the Book of James, to care for the orphan. But, how? Is it enough to donate to your church or pray? Yes, it is. And, maybe no it is not. Because I believe that we are all called to help, but each has a piece. The Body of Christ made of different parts. So, some warriors will pray, some will give, and some will go.
God responded in my heart that we were to go.
Part II to come...