For the last few years on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I've started the day by reading the original "I Have a Dream" speech from the National Archives. (Want to be totally inspired by this incredible orator and strong man of God? Find the speech HERE.)
It never ceases to amaze me how the words of one Jesus-loving man literally changed the laws.
Changed the culture.
Changed the story for an entire people group in this great country.
This godly man is one of my all-time heroes, because he reminds me of the POWER of our PRAYERS and our WORDS.
The POWER of our ENCOURAGEMENT and our ADVOCACY.
The POWER of our LAVISH LOVE — a love that puts the needs and rights of others before the comfort and desires of ourselves.
And he reminds me that, with God and persistence and passion, change really is possible.
Orphan Warriors, it is OUR mission to change the Chinese orphan story.
But with only the energy and time remaining at the end of long and jam-packed parenting days, it sometimes sounds more like a motto than a mission.
More of a goal than a dream.
After fighting for the last few years for special superheroes in waiting and watching child after advocated child sit on listserves, just waiting for their forevers to begin, there have been times I’ve become almost resigned to the fact that there are 600,000-plus special superheroes still living in orphanages in China.
And not much that I, as an American stay-at-home mama with a blog and some boymom stories, might ACTUALLY be able do about it.
I blog about it.
I talk about it.
I advocate for the superheroes whose faces keep me up at night.
But deep, deep down, in my fear and my doubt, part of me wonders if this dream can actually become more than a motto.
If this mission can really take flight.
There are so many days I feel defeated. Hopeless. Like nothing I can do from behind my computer screen can actually make a difference for the children we’ve now twice left behind.
Like I, as one person with one voice, can do nothing.
I am so thankful Martin Luther King didn’t adopt the same attitude.
Because change doesn’t come through silence, and it doesn’t come through complacency.
It comes through BEING A VOICE for those who do not have one. By sharing the story of those who don’t get the privilege to do so.
By standing up, not shutting up.
By fighting and persisting and praying and speaking out until the plight of the people we represent can no longer be ignored.
Orphan Warriors, this year, we refuse to be complacent. We refuse to be “okay” with the fact that there are 600,000 mostly “special needs” children with no mama and papa to call their own.
That more than 600,000 children will today go to bed, in many places, two to three to a cold, orphanage bed, without a bedtime story.
Without a goodnight kiss.
Without a single human in the world who loves not because they’re paid to do so, but because it is the privilege of their lives to love a child they call their own.
According to the Pew Research Foundation, as of 2014, there are approximately 170 million Christians in the United States. Let’s say only 10 percent, or 17 million of those, are eligible to adopt from China. If just 3.5 percent of the 17 million American Christians who are eligible to adopt from China adopted just ONE child, there would be ZERO orphans left in China.
3.5 percent of the 10 percent of American Christians who are eligible to adopt.
600,000 people out of the 170 million in the United States who have THEMSELVES been adopted into the family of God.
If we who, like Martin Luther King, believe in a God who created ALL His children equal, why are we not rising? Why are we not fighting? Why are we getting so cozy and comfortable in our culture that we’re not willing to fight for change?
Martin Luther King wasn’t willing to sit by while an entire people group were disregarded.
Treated with less dignity than any other group.
And neither are we.
Lord, as we fight to change the story for another people group in a country far away — a group who, like this one from our history, has no PRIVILEGE or PRIORITY or VOICE — give us the passion and persistence and tenacity and COURAGE of a man who wasn't fully appreciated in his generation.
A man who fought and fought and fought when others believed that change wasn't possible.
A man who used HIS VOICE to change an entire people's STORY.
Let us never lose our passion, let us never give up this fight.
Because we, too, have a dream, that someday the Chinese superheroes whose "special needs" are just superpowers in disguise will be seen for the treasures they are.
That they will no longer be abandoned. That their care and acceptance will become part of a country's culture.
That they will be judged not by the diagnoses on their profiles but by the content of their character.
That they will no longer live as orphans but will thrive as sons and daughters — in their home country, in their first families, in adopted families who get out of the boat and say YES for an entire people group of deserving voiceless angels.
Let our band of Orphan Warriors keep PRAYING and ADVOCATING and GIVING and SERVING with the passion and persistence and PURPOSE of a man who never gave up.
Until the orphan story changes.