"Break my heart for what breaks Yours" -Psalm 28:7
I came home from China with some wonderful things. I came home with a beautiful, wonderful daughter. I came home with a new appreciation for all that I have. I came home with amazing new friendships and a taste of life halfway across the world.
I also came home with a broken heart. And this is one thing I did not anticipate coming home with.
I can't seem to forget. I can't seem to just "move one". I can't seem to stop thinking about what Vivian's life was like before we brought her home. Mostly, I can't seem to stop thinking about the millions of other children living that same life and especially the ones who will NOT come home.
It is such a burden. And I'm not exactly sure what I am supposed to do with it.
I am not adopting again. Our family is complete. I can't handle any more children and, more importantly, I just don't feel in my heart that is what I am supposed to do. BUT, I know that I want to do something with this burden. I NEED to do something. I am not going to say, "thank you for this wonderful child" and go back to my life forgetting those who are left behind. I think I am supposed to listen to my broken heart.
Right now the only thing I can see that I can do is to try to use my experience, and use my small voice here on this blog, to urge others to consider helping these children who are facing so much and who are all alone in this world.
Before we went to China, I was saddened by the idea that there are so many orphans in this world. But now, when I see pictures and hear stories of orphans, I am devastated. I see in all these children a piece of my own children, especially Vivian. I know the reality is that with any small twist of fate she could've ended up growing up in institution...all alone and it is unbearable to think about that.
For example, these children. They may not understand exactly what adoption is, but they will break your heart with their desire for a family
And sad "Emily", who represents so many children who have grown up in orphanages, watching others be adopted and wondering when, and if, their turn will ever come
These kids need people to see them and hear their stories and help them.
How? There are so many ways. I will just give you a few.
-Pray for these children. That is so easy and requires so little.
-Sponsor a child.
This is such a great way to make a huge impact on an orphan's life. Rob and I sponsor two children: This little cutie through our wonderful adoption agency, CCAI,
And this sweet guy through another great organization, Pearl River Outreach
It is pretty awesome to know that, because of our monthly support, both of these children are out of their orphanages and in foster care. It is so much better for them. I recommend both of these organizations if you are interested in sponsoring and I will list a few others that do wonderful things for orphans in China. Yes, it is a monthly sacrifice, but it means so much in the lives of these kids. It is very rewarding to get the updates on these kids and see them thriving in an environment that is so much better than their orphanage. Please consider sponsoring. And you don't have to do continuous sponsorships, many of these organizations will take one time donations.
Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI) www.ccaifamily.org
Pearl River Outreach www.pearlriveoutreach.com
Love Without Boundaries www.lovewithoutboundaries.com
Half the Sky www.halfthesky.org
An Orphan's Wish www.anorphanswish.org
Show Hope www.showhope.org
-Host a child.
Want to make a difference in an orphan's life, but aren't ready to make the lifelong commitment to adopt? How about hosting a child for just a few weeks. You can view the photolisting of orphans from several counties available for hosting and find more information here:
Project 143 www.p143.org
-Adopt a child.
I never want this blog to be place where it seems like I am trying to talk people into adopting. You don't "talk someone into" something so huge. Adoption is not for everyone and I understand that. HOWEVER, it is something I wish more people would consider. Being it is Nation Adoption Month, I am going to go ahead and speak to those out there who might consider opening their hearts and homes to an orphan. Don't think you can do it? Oh, I promise, if we can, you can! If you are someone who feels a "tug" at your heart, if you are someone who hears a "call" (whether it be a loud voice or a soft whisper), if you are someone who feels you have more love to give, if these children "break your heart" I urge you to seriously consider changing a child's life by adopting. It will change your life even more.
Research. Ask questions. Talk to your spouse. Reach out to adoptive families. Listen to your heart. Follow your faith. Take the leap.
These kids need people to come for them. They deserve so much more than life in an institution. They need love. Plain and simple. And I know that so many people reading this right now have that to give.
Yes, it is scary. Yes, it is a long and hard process. Yes, it is risky. And yes, it is expensive. But it is SO WORTH IT. Adoption will bless your life in ways you can't even imagine. It will break your heart, but it will also change your heart and fill your heart with incredible joy. If you feel adoption is in your heart, I feel pretty confident saying that you might have regrets if you don't move forward, but you won't have any if you do.
I am always thrilled to talk to people about adoption. If there are any questions I can answer please feel free to leave me a comment or message me on Facebook and I would be happy to get back to you (make sure to leave an email address or way for me to contact you).