For the month of November, as we’ve celebrated National Adoption Awareness Month with the Facebook series “Celebrating Superheroes-in-Waiting,” we’ve highlighted the 132 million vulnerable children, abandoned children and orphans around the world and what it takes to change their story.
Maybe God has pricked your heart or opened your eyes, and maybe, just maybe, He’s calling not just “those” families but YOURS to be His hands and feet.
To LOVE those who may have never experienced unconditional love.
To EMBRACE those who may have never been truly held.
To be a VOICE for those whose sounds on the global stage are often silent.
To make that scary left turn.
It doesn’t take perfect people to make perfect parents for precious superheroes-in-waiting; it takes imperfect people relying on the strength of a PERFECT GOD to form the perfect families for perfect-in-His-eyes children.
All it takes is open hands and open hearts to change the orphan story.
God provides the rest.
Maybe you want to foster-to-adopt. Read about Ariele, a former social worker and adoptive mother, and her journey to adopting twins out of the foster care system.
Maybe you want to adopt domestically but don’t know where to begin. Learn about the process HERE with my sweet friends at Amazing Grace Adoptions.
Or maybe you want to adopt internationally but feel overwhelmed by the choices, the agencies, the countries, the children. First, RESEARCH. Child trafficking is a real and serious issue in the international adoption community. Check out THIS EYE-OPENING SERIES of posts by adoptive parent and author Jen Hatmaker, who discusses some of the serious questions all parents should ask before pursuing international adoption. Do your research and evaluate your heart. Then, walk baby step by baby step through the process with my dear friends at Children of All Nations/Great Wall China Adoption HERE. (This is also the process you would use to adopt any host child.)
Maybe your heart is breaking for these sweet children with broken hearts and broken pasts, but fear has stopped you in your tracks.
Maybe you are worried about adopting a child with special needs and how that might affect your family or drastically change your life. Read our story of adopting Superman HERE and what we know NOW about special needs that we wish we would have known THEN HERE. (If we are going to make a real difference in the orphan crisis, it's the SPECIAL NEEDS and OLDER CHILDREN we should be running to!)
Maybe you are concerned that, after having biological children, you will never be able to love your adopted children in the same way. Read this sweet mama’s story of how loving her children when the feelings don’t flow is a choice.
Maybe you’re a military family who doesn’t know how you would balance the demands of military life with the challenges of bringing another child into the family. Read why capes and combat boots actually go PERFECTLY together HERE.
Maybe you’re a family who just doesn’t have $30 - $50K sitting in your back pocket. Read how God provided every dime of our adoption costs, then check out this list of 25 family-tested fundraisers that can get YOUR family fully funded so you can bring a superhero home SOON.
Maybe you’re a family who has already adopted, but your eyes are just now opening to the global orphan and abandoned child crisis. Read how one trip to China turned our hearts from the expansion of OUR family to the urgent need to find FOREVER FAMILIES for the millions of superheroes we left behind.
Or maybe adoption just isn’t an option for you right now.
That doesn’t mean that supporting orphans can’t be.
Orphan hosting is an amazing way to serve these deserving children, love on them in real and raw and intentional ways, update their adoption profiles and give them a 75 to 85 percent better chance of finding a forever family. Check out our everything-you-need-to-know about hosting guide, as well as the story of how hosting changed our family’s life, HERE. Great Wall sponsors one orphan hosting session every Christmas and two every summer.
Volunteer. Serve in organizations that provide aid to orphans and impoverished children. Stand up for superheroes-in-waiting by being a voice for social change — by serving in places where you can change laws that inevitably PREVENT abandonment. By being a voice that changes a culture to one where ALL children are embraced as blessings.
Or spend your vacation time serving orphans on mission trips worldwide. This entire book is filled with stories of families who traveled to China to update adoption profiles and change the orphan story.
Get involved in orphan and First Family care, and find ways to equip and support families in countries where they are abandoning their children. Your care could make the DIFFERENCE in a nuclear family staying together and one more child on an adoption listserve.
And give. Adoptive families couldn’t do what THEY do without those who support them with prayers and with finances. And orphan aid organizations couldn't do what THEY do on the front lines without your dollars.
Maybe this season, in lieu of purchasing gifts from retail stores, you purchase gifts from these adoptive families and orphan-supporting businesses. Purchasing with a purpose blesses not just YOUR superhero but the superhero THESE sweet families are trying to bring home.
Or this year, in lieu of birthday or Christmas gifts, give to amazing orphan care organizations like Love Without Boundaries in the names of those you love. THOSE gifts are ones with lasting and eternal value.
Not everyone can become an adoptive parent, but everyone CAN help change the orphan and abandoned child story.
With open hands. Open hearts. And an availability to be used by the Father to the fatherless.