Zane and I are in the process of adopting 2 children from the country of Lesotho. Our pastor gave us 2 books, Orphan Justice and Adopted for Life. These books are both incredible, and go far beyond recommended material for just adoptive parents. I would recommend them to any christian. They are both thought-provoking, scriptural, and...grace-filled. In spite of my heart for orphans and adoption, both have taught me and shown me ways that I'm still...falling short.
But this particular chapter, in Orphan Justice, by Johnny Carr, really has me upset, sorrowful, and repentant. As a church, we claim to be pro-life, but I dare say we don't act the part. No, we definitely do not want unborn babies killed. We can all agree on that. But, what does the pregnant mother see? She sees posters screaming at her that she is a killer, she sees judgement, condemnation, and an unwillingness to hear her side of the story. She is stoned by me, while Jesus is right there writing in the sand with His finger saying, 'let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.' (John 8) And when that mother chooses life and gives her child up for adoption, where is the church in taking care of that child? Where are we when she needs support, and love, and care? When she chooses life, and raises her child alone, are we coming alongside her, helping her, loving her, asking her what she needs? How many children will be born this month alone that go into the foster system because their mother chose life? How many children who go into the foster system will stay there, because we are not taking adoption and caring for orphans seriously? How many children are sitting in a wobbly high-chair, covered in flies, sitting over a bucket that will hold their excrement for the day, not knowing the power of love, and we see them as a statistic in a third-world orphanage instead of a child, made in the image of God.
Johnny Carr says in his book that 'man made orphanages for children. God made the family for children.' Do we *get* that? Here is what I've been struggling through in this book:
"When we speak up against abortion but fail to also actively encourage adoption, foster care, and supporting children in poverty, we present a one-sided view of the issue. In our pursuit of stopping the abortion movement, we have often lost the bigger picture of building a culture of life. Mike Huckabee put it well when he said:
'In today's debates, the issue is often obscured by the debate about abortion, which centers on the right of a pregnant woman to choose the disposition of her unborn child without any interference or input from the father, the family, or the federal government. But the culture of life is so much more. I'm not anti-abortion, I'm pro-life, and there's a fundamental difference. I'm not against something. I'm for something. I'm for the idea that your life and every other life has equal value, and every life should be treated with dignity and respect and honor.'"What are we doing for the babies who are being born into the world? Is it enough that they have the chance to see the light of day and breathe in oxygen? What about the children who are starving every single day, dying of curable medical conditions, living in cramped and unsanitary orphanages, or stuck in the foster care system waiting for a family? Each child matters deeply to our God, but too often, not to us....for every one verse in Scripture about the evil of murder, there are at least ten or twenty verses about taking care of the weak, needy and vulnerable...
"Many children who are waiting to be adopted were likely born into the world after a difficult decision by their birth mother--a decision that we, the church, supported. So now we need to continue our pro-life stance by actually giving these children a loving family...
"If God's people do not step in to offer hope and help, I fear for these children's futures. I fear for their lives. So should you."