Friday, January 27, 2012

The Million Dollar Question

Dear Ones, I don't do guilt well. 

I truly try to avoid creating it as I blog:
you don't need my good days making your day seem bad, 
and I don't need my bad days making you all smug. 

I make a smashing attempt at keeping guilt out of my wifing.
I am becoming more sensitive about not using guilt in my parenting.
Some of you may disagree, but I don't think I use guilt in my friending, either. 
.at least, not often. at least, not intentionally.

So I guess this preface is just to say, work with me on this one.
Creating action based in guilt, especially stemming from someone else's passion,
 is NOT my agenda.
 And this post may create more Angst than Answers, but it's where I am.

I'm still struggling to find my place regarding this "Issue:"

Why does our world, our country, 
still have children without forever parents?

...and what can I do?

I recognize there are other truly devastating social issues 
that abound in our society,
but, you understand, that this one 
has my heart.

And I don't know what to do.
I can't fix it.

I sit at my almost new Mac near a pantry full of food,
with a bag of clothes nearby that my children are discarding. 
Each child asleep under this roof has more toothbrushes in their 
bathroom drawer than their dental check up would have you believe.
We drive to Grandma's (a mere two doors away) if it's raining,
in the van we can keep filled with gas easier than we can 
keep clean--often because we left our excess behind us.

This post isn't about our wastefulness, or our consumerism. It isn't about whether we love Jesus enough to use fewer squares of toilet paper with each flush so we can send $10 more each year to an under privileged country to put a band-aid on human suffering.
(That's another post...wait, that's someone's whole book...)

I recently read a blogger who stated that in a perfect world, 
                                                  all children would stay with their birth parents. 

That sat very hard on me. for a long time.
I still flinch as I type it.

No, in a perfect world, I'd still have my Beth. Right? 
In a perfect world, Ben and Matthew are still Derschs and Maylin comes home.
In a perfect world, maybe she was not discarded for her imperfection,
  but still, somehow, she's ours.
She is OURS, she is US, so how could there be a different plan and it be perfect?

And in a perfect world, our daughter, Ashley, arrived right on time with a completely whole body
...which means Anne was never born.
Maybe I don't want perfect.
But the blogger was right: God's intention wasn't for children to
grow up without direction, love, and care
from the persons who birthed them.

The sin issues of my world have created a void in our families 
as disease and 
self-centeredness and
a multitude of other issues that are sometimes out of one's control
shift the value of family far off course.

We're broken.
We didn't start here.
And I know I cannot fix it.

It takes very little time to Google search
orphan care
children's homes
parentless children

Try an image search of the same topics,
and see faces instead of numbers.

I can't make it go away.
Taking another Dear One into our arms leaves at least 
147 million

And while I repeat, I don't know the right thing to do,
I'm certain that doing is the right thing.

The book of James lets me know that my Faith will naturally put shoes on, and go do

When I look at my options, I don't want the financial resources
entrusted to our family to feed a child so he or she can be healthy
yet leave him or her still unreached with God's Truth.
I am interested in helping provide physical needs like health care,
and clean water, and school supplies to orphans, but the thought
 of only delaying their Christless death horrifies me.

Humanitarian efforts are, ironically, Human.
I want to join a God Thing.

Hmmm...actually, I want to BE a God Thing.

In being good stewards of God's earthly "treasure," I am seeking ways to impact need
while giving opportunity for planting the seed of the Good News
that Christ died to bring us life.
I  am seeking ways I can impact need while being
the Messenger of Hope with my time and God's love.

I am certain that God doesn't look at the Children of His World and say, "Uhhhm , that one doesn't really need a parent. I think I'll leave that one to fend for himself."
 He does, apparently, allow us that grim possibility. Which child should we leave
without care.
without direction.
without correction.
without hope.
without parents.
without Him.

The options are endless in how we can affect our country's orphans foster children.
The possibilities in helping to bring a kid into her forever family gives me a thrill,
but it isn't the only way I might be called to nurture her, protect her, love her.
The need is staggering when you look at the numbers.
The need is heart-breaking when you look at the faces.
Domestically and internationally (that's "here" and "there" for those of you who hate big words)
I can choose to impact ONE. Just one more.

"If we don't take him, Mom, how will he learn about Jesus?"
Jonathan, in answer to my question whether he thought 
this baby we were being asked to adopt was his brother,  October 2000

"Old parents are better than no parents."
A frequent saying on adoption groups electronic boards.

"You can't bring them all home with you."
Who hasn't heard that one before leaving on a m*sson trip?

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
         Helen Keller

My question for me (directed at God) is 
"What else does He want me to do?"

A quick disclaimer: This post is in no way preparing you 
for the announcement that we're bringing home another child. I don't see that in our future. 
Believe it or not, I don't even consider this post as an ad specifically for adoption.
I just want to impact one more. 
I'd love for you to drop a line with what He is showing you regarding where You get to join Him in the work He is doing. I'd love a quick word in the comment box to stretch us all into thinking 
outside the box and into His glory...
and a prayer for me as I continue to be open to where and when He says, 
"Jump in, Girl. You won't be perfect, but I will."

Finishing a post about a topic dear to my heart may be my one weakness.


  1. stop. ask God a question about what He is doing and how you can be a part today.

    and then...

    wait. listen. be still. silent. WITH EXPECTATION that He will speak.

    and He will.

    ...write it down and obey!

  2. Buy fair trade. Educate myself as much as possible about the companies from which I buy.

  3. Guardian ad litem was at the top of my list too! Here are some of the others (notice I said "some" - I might be back)...

    1. An amazing ministry doing amazing things to bring physical AND spiritual life...

    2. Musha Wevana is an orphanage being run by a local church in Zimbabwe. The members of this local church are hands-on in the lives of these children. We can help be a part of their ministry too...

    3. This is an intriguing family who after adopting from Haiti chose to return to live in Haiti so they could parent Haitian children who aren't available for adoption. Americans in Haiti helping Haitian children heal and thrive so that these children can one day be a part of helping Haiti heal and thrive. Unconventionally beautiful.

    4. Reeces Rainbow - orphans with Down Syndrome and other special needs. - adoption isn't the only way to help though! Here's one of my favorites...

    I loved this post. Loved it. And though it's been less than a month since we had a face-to-face, I'd love to chat soon! I've been pondering the "in a perfect world children would stay with their birth parents" comment since before our trip to the States and there just wasn't. enough. time. to talk about everything!

  4. I love Erika and Elizabeth's replies...that is what I'm thinking. I visited Reese's Rainbow quite a bit before Maylin's arrival. Unconventionally beautiful is a perfect description of the Mangine family. And I must say, God does speak when I ask Him, then SHUT UP and listen.
    After reading this post, someone encouraged me to be content...and Mark put it well when he said, "You are content. We just don't want to become complacent." Well said, Dear One.