There are 132 million orphans in the world.
All innocent superheroes-in-waiting. All Supermen and Superwomen just waiting for families to teach them how to fly. All heroes just waiting for someone to help them SEE and discover their “super.”
It doesn’t take perfect families to impact orphans. It doesn’t take perfect people. It simply takes the love of a PERFECT GOD, poured out through the available hearts of flawed families who are willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
If we don’t fight for these superheroes, who will?
If we don’t speak for them, who will?
If we don’t open our hands and our hearts and our homes, WHO WILL?
Not everyone can adopt. But everyone can do SOMETHING.
Like Leia’s family, you can sell or buy jerky.
Like Erin’s family, you can organize, volunteer at or run a 5K to fundraise.
Like the Storyteller Missions team, you can travel to orphanages, share narratives, purchase books that support orphan ministry and make it a passion to TELL and TELL AGAIN THE ORPHAN STORY.
And this summer, you can help us tell ours.
Meet DJ – a Cuthredible for summer 2016.
Three weeks from today, the three superheroes and I will drive to Chicago, where we will pick up the little boy we get to borrow for an entire month this summer!
It’s all part of the Orphan Hosting program, a program where the adoption agency we used for Superman brings children who haven’t yet been placed in forever families from their orphanages in China to host families in the United States. The children come as part of an “international camp” and stay with host families for four weeks. They see this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience away from the confines of their orphanages; the host families see this experience as an opportunity to tell these orphans’ stories.
Seventy-five percent of the orphans who come on these trips find their forever families while they’re here.
That is our prayer.
For four weeks, we will host this precious superhero in our (rather chaotic) home.
We will love on him. We will play with him. We’ll take him hiking and tent camping, swimming and road tripping. We’ll race around the local reservoir, and we’ll hold Nerf gun wars until the summer sun sets. We’ll show him movies and teach him games and jump on trampolines and suffer light saber wounds.
And every Sunday, we’ll take this sweet superhero to our home church, where likely for the first time in his life, he’ll get an opportunity to hear about a Father to the fatherless — about a God who knows him. Sees him. LOVES him.
And then WE will commit to loving him with that perfect Father’s perfect love for every hour of every day we get the privilege of keeping him in our home.
And as we get the opportunity to love on this sweet thing, who has a right "Superman hand" just like Superhero 3’s, we’ll be advocating for him. We’ll be sharing about him. We’ll be taking him to medical appointments, updating his files, documenting his needs and sharing his journey.
Our prayer is that, as we do, his forever family will, like we did the first time we saw our Superman, see his face, catch a glimpse of his precious spirit and know — this is the superhero their family has been missing all along.
But we can’t tell DJ’s story without YOUR HELP!
Whether you are able to adopt or not, whether you’ve ever thought about adopting or just realized five seconds ago there was an orphan crisis in the world, YOU can be a superhero to this little boy this summer.
And all it takes is SHARING HIS STORY.
I’ll be blogging about it weekly. I’ll be posting pictures to Facebook daily. And with every chance our family gets, we will be telling and telling again the story of one precious superhero who is still in need of a forever family.
All we’re asking from you is to help us SHARE.
Share on social media.
Share in conversations with friends.
Share when you’re at work and at home, when you’re at the gym or when you’re at the grocery store. You, too, can annoy everyone in your entire social circle for one summer with the pictures and the posts and the precious personality of one superhero who just needs ONE forever family.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, sharing the narrative of one orphan. How can sharing ONE STORY make a difference when there are 132 million others still to tell? How can ONE FOREVER FAMILY put even the tiniest dent in an orphan crisis that has impacted the entire world?
Because there may be 132 million orphans in the world. But when a forever family steps forward, that’s 132 million – minus one.
Because, as Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
Because it makes a difference to THIS ONE. And because stories are POWERFUL, HIS story has the ability to light other hearts and catch other spirits and renew the lost passions of those thousands of people in this country who once said to themselves, “Someday, I would like to adopt.”
For someone in your life or your people’s lives or THEIR people’s lives, “someday” could be now.
Adoption is expensive.
The cost of leaving a child in an institution where he may never get the privilege of experiencing unconditional love is greater.
Adoption takes a long time.
Forever without a family is longer.
The adoption process is just downright burdensome and inconvenient. There’s no “good time” to start it.
When is there ever a “good time” for a child to go without a family?
On the other side of 14 casts, three addresses and countless surgeries since Superman joined our family, we admit our adoption journey hasn’t been easy. There have been difficult days. Painful days. Days where we felt completely and utterly inadequate as parents and sometimes, even as humans.
But it’s been beautiful. It’s been priceless. It’s been beyond worth it.
And now that Super-Spouse and I actually have a moment to lift our heads from the tornado of surgeries and hospitalizations we’ve experienced over the last two years, our eyes have opened again … to all the superheroes we had to leave behind.
Their sweet hearts brand my soul. Their faces haunt my dreams. And when I picture for one second Superhero 3 still sitting among them in an orphanage in China without a family to call his own, I feel physically ill. I have to push the thought from my head, because just a flickering glimpse of Superman back in a place where he was one of 600 children becomes too painful to even momentarily tolerate.
After bringing Superman home, our eyes have been opened. We’ve seen how one perfect God can use one (REALLY, REALLY) imperfect family to write HIS PERFECT redemption story.
And like Leia and like Erin and like the Storyteller Missions volunteers, we can no longer just do nothing.
Every day in China, boys and girls are turning 14. That’s the age in China that children become ineligible for adoption. The date in China when they “age out” — lose the chance for a forever family to rewrite their story endings.
Without families, many of them will move on to hard labor. Crime. Homelessness. The sex trade. Suicide.
DJ is just three years from this deadline. And we’re believing in a big God and an incredible community to stand up for this superhero and refuse to allow his ending to be one where the villain gets to win.
This summer, we can change DJ’s story.
With an awesome God and His beautiful gift of social media, we can ALL help rewrite the ending of what we’re believing will be yet another beautiful redemption story — the story of a superhero who found his cape when he found his FAMILY.
So don your capes, sweet friends, because whether you are DJ’s family or not, whether you are able to bring home any superhero-in-waiting or not, YOU have the opportunity to BE a superhero to this and other superheroes-in-waiting this summer.
Specific ways you can be a superhero this summer:
- Pray! We have seen a SUPER GOD move some SUPER HUGE mountains on behalf of OUR orphan-no-more, and we are believing He can do the same thing for this superhero-in-waiting!
- SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! I’ll be posting pictures, videos and stories to my Of Capes and Combats Facebook page. (Unlike my private Facebook page, this page is public, which means that those posts can be easily shared.) Like the page now if you want these posts to show up in your newsfeed in June.
- Play with us! If you live in the local area, drop by! Stop in! Help us love on this sweet superhero who has never known the beauty, love or fabulous potluck food of COMMUNITY.
- Love on DJ! (Just don’t ruin life for his future forever family by purchasing him tons of gifts. He can’t take them home when he returns to China, and we don’t want to set his future family up for failure when he realizes that being in a family isn’t just about mass consumerism. Let’s keep him in the dark for a bit longer, America. :))
- Celebrate with us! Join us for a birthday party for this little superhero, who has likely never experienced an individual celebration in his life, on Saturday, June 18. This is a great way for you to not only celebrate this superhero, but also MEET him, play with him and get to know him. Bring friends — especially those interested in adoption. The best way we can CELEBRATE this superhero is by offering him a chance at a forever family. This is a great place for him to meet one. Email me if you’d like a personal invitation to this event.
- Help us! DJ has never had an eye appointment, a dentist appointment or regular well-child checks. While he’s here, we would love to take care of those! Are you a dentist, doctor, optometrist or occupational therapist who lives in the South and might be willing to donate your time and talents to helping this little superhero? (Have vehicle, will travel!) We are also looking for a photographer who would be willing to donate a session to updating the photographs for this sweet superhero’s adoption profile. Really, we would love to take advantage of ANY service you offer that might bless this superhero for the four weeks he is here. Please email us if you’re interested. We will adore you and bring you burnt egg rolls and extra sticky sticky rice forever and ever amen.
- Host a child yourself! If the idea of Orphan Hosting has sparked something in your heart, there are EIGHT sweet superheroes-in-waiting from China coming for the SECOND half of the summer who STILL NEED HOST FAMILIES to advocate for them! (You can live anywhere in the nation, so no excuses!) The deadline is TODAY. (We applied the day of our deadline, too. Embrace procrastination. It’s not too late!) Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Start in your neighborhood. We have a heart for China, but you don’t have to fly an orphan across the ocean to serve one; you can host an orphan right in your state — by fostering. There are almost 400,000 children in the U.S. foster system, about 25 percent of those legally available for adoption. You can be a superhero in your neighborhood TODAY.