November is Adoption Awareness month and Sunday is Orphan Sunday. As our family has been touched by adoption, now is as good a time as ever to update my blog beginning with an adoption related post. Our sweet little guy spent almost 3 years in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. He was rarely talked to, rarely held, and not loved. He was unwanted. Why? Maybe he was unwanted because he was born with Down syndrome. Maybe because his family couldn’t care for him or support him. I really don’t know exactly why, but my guess is that his birth mother had to make a pretty hard decision that causes her to live daily with some pain from that decision. It is hard for me to understand, but orphanage life is also difficult to understand. I really can’t dwell on Levi’s life before he came home. It makes me too sad to think about what life was like for him. When he cried, no one comforted him so he probably stopped crying. He was hungry, but because he was a “lazy eater,” he just missed out on meals. No one took the time to let him eat at his own pace or help him learn to eat more efficiently. No one rocked him to sleep or prayed with him at bedtime. No one cared for him when he was sick.
Do you know what the craziest thing is? Levi’s orphanage was actually one of the better orphanages in Bulgaria. That means there are countless children receiving even less care than Levi! They are fed less, held less. If you really aren’t sure that this can be true, check out the fb page “Saving Baby Ryan.” This little guy is 7 years old and weighs 11 pounds. 11 pounds!!! How is this even possible? I know we live in a broken world and God’s design for families was not for children to be abandoned.
It is tough because adoption can be expensive. It is time consuming. It is scary. All these children from foster care here in the U.S. to the orphanages in Bulgaria (and all the places in between) desperately need families. They deserve families. They deserve love. The fact is, however, adoption is not all rainbows and unicorns. It is tough. These precious children have experienced abandonment and trauma, and many have been through abusive situations that I can’t even fathom. I also know that adoption is not for everyone but I do know that we can all do something about the orphan crisis.
Have you thought about adoption? Maybe not. Maybe you need another tangible way to help right now. How about delivering a meal to a family with a couple of new foster kids? Could you offer to take the siblings of a newly adopted kiddo to a movie? Could you mow for a family while they are out of the country picking up their newly adopted child? What about dropping off a coffee to a mom who is overwhelmed with the not-so-bright-side of adoption? There are so many ways to help support families who have decided that foster care/adoption is for them. What can you do to help?