This blog covers our wait, travel, and adjustment to our 4 year old adopted Chinese daughter Sarah Shui Qing from Nanjing. There are over 1000 posts. I have moved my blog to Catching Butterflies 2. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog. It has alot of information on Special needs adoption. Follow us to our new address Catching Butterflies 2! Thank you for reading!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Starfish Story
adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley
1907 - 1977

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

Juergen took the kids to see a model car race after church today. I am at home alone with Jessica. Jessica is our oldest daughter, and she has autism. I got to see TD Jakes preach a sermon on TV. He talked about the resurrection of Lazarus. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus didn't need to start a prophetic ministry. All he needed to do is sit in a chair, and the simple fact (or testimony) that he was alive spoke powerfully. I think about my life. Can my life be a sermon even without words? So many of us have to experience difficulty and struggle. But when we get through it, we can sit down in our own chair...Gods power to deliver us, and even resurrect us will speak more powerfully then any words!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired"

I just read this statement on a web site. Having kids can make a person tired.
without kids, I would sleep in on Saturday morning (well, at least sleep in longer).
The love of my life, Juergen, always manages to put a smile on my face even when I am tired.
We have our PA, and I am smiling pretty big because of this too! I received some pretty nice words of Congratulations over the last 24 hours. The adoption community is such a great
community ! I couldn't desire to be associated with a nicer group of people. Most people see the world as dark, and going down. Adoption is a great picture of hope and restoration. It is such a powerful feeling to change a another persons world for good (and have them change your world too). Our second son Thomas has been with our family two years this week. We took the kids to toys are us to celebrate. Everyone got a new (small) toy. Then we spent the whole afternoon playing.

Friday, April 28, 2006

We received this e-mail just now...I have no words to express my happiness!!!

We received your pre-approval from the CCAA today!


Well, I decided I don't want to go back to my doctor. Juergen went to his doctor, and got the exam, and blood work done at one shot, a week later he had the form for the adoption. I respect that! I decided to get an appointment with Juergens doctor too! I wasted a day angry over this "rip off". I decided I don't need to play the victim. I am going to have to wait two weeks for my appointment, but I think it was the correct move!

On another note, I found out that annual sponsorship for a Hugging Granny in a Chinese orphanage is only $544, which covers only their most basic expenses. These men and women come to the orphanages and help give the children the extra input they need to thrive! This program is Christian, and the Hugging grandparents are Christian. Perhaps I can set up some kind of fund raiser before we go? Maybe we could help raise the money for 3 or 4 Hugging grandparents? If you have interest in this, let me know!

for more information about the Hugging grandparents program look at this site!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I had my medical exam today. Well, it was suppose to be the exam, but the doctor only interviewed me. Maybe she thought I was crazy for wanting to adopt. German's have a negative birth rate. We can not all be full time career power doctors!!!! Some one has to raise the future patients of the world! Any way, I get the blood work done next week, and the exam the week after. Personally I think my doctor is milking the insurance company for two extra visits. Can you tell, I am a little upset? It is a small hurdle to go over. I have an amazing goal. I have to fix my eyes on the prize at the end of this race. I can hang out at the doctors office. I am just a stay at home mother of four. I had nothing else to do! :-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Could this be Sarah? I just got some new pictures from Sarah childrens home. I think this girl looks like Sarah, only with hair. She has the same nose, and pouty lips. What do you think?

Monday, April 24, 2006

I just read the post of someone who is trying to find a family for this 10 year old sweet heart from China. She has some weakness in one of her legs, but can get around just fine! I think she is beautiful! I read she is in a super family type environment. The women who is advocating for her, and has met her wrote, "she has a
great personality to fit into a family. She is bright, compassionate, but
not too shy nor is she too pushy. She knows how to wait her turn,
has manners, and is spontaneous. She will be a true joy to a
family. I could see her as an only child, or fitting into a large
family.! You can get more information about her from Heritage Adoption Services

Her name is Gao Lian

Up date...looks like she has found a family!!! Praise God!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Well, no PA for us yet! What can I say, the wait is never easy. I sure hope I can say we got our PA soon!!! I had a great day with my family! I will just keep on waiting!

Friday, April 21, 2006

We have raised money for A Hope, an organization in Ethiopia that helps AIDS orphans for the past 5 years. I am following the blog of one crazy family(and I mean crazy in the nicest way) that just went to Ethiopia to adopt 4 children. They already had 4 children at home (I think all adopted, but I am not sure of this). What a great family. They even took their kids with them to Ethiopia! Imagine traveling with 8 kids. They had to change plans 3 times! Amazing! You can follow their blog at

You can also give money to A hope (run by Adoption Advocates International, the wonderfully agency that helped us adopt our two sons, Philip and Thomas) at this address

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"In the cities of China, tucked somewhere off the beaten path, are the buildings that house the social welfare institutions, and inside the small faces of the children left behind in the shadow of progress. Walk through an orphanage and you'll be forever changed. Newborns, newly found. Toddlers in their wheelie chairs. Older children who have been there for years and will be there years more. Little ones with cleft palates, burns and other scars visible and invisible. Totally undeserving of the world's hardship. They represent each of us at our smallest and most vulnerable. The human family is meant to fill such immense primal loneliness. A mother's embrace is needed, a father's hug, a grandparent's indulgent smile. Yet these children have lost everyone at once." - Karin Evans from the book "Mei Mei, little sister"

The worth of a person.....
A pastor stood in front of his people one Sunday and held up a brand new $100 bill. He asked the question, "who would like to have this money"? Every hand was raised. He then took the bill and crumbled it up in his hands, and asked again, "ok, now who would like this money"? Again, every hand was raised. Everyone wanted the money. Finally, he took the bill, and placed it on the ground, and stepped all over it with his dirty shoes. He asked again, "now, who wants this money"? Still, every hand was raised. Even though the money was crushed, a little torn,, and dirty everyone still knew it had value. I wish everyone could also recognize the value in people, even if they are crushed or dirty!
(the photo is of aids orphans)

Monday, April 17, 2006

60 mins had a story called "Too many Men". You can watch this video at

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I just read this statement on a yahoo adoption web group about someone saying that maybe she was to old to adopt,
"If I adopt this year, when my daughter graduates high school, I'll be 60.
If I don't adopt, in 18 years I'll be 60 anyway."..., I thought this was so funny and so true! I will also be 60 years old when Sarah turns 18 years old. There are plenty of grandmothers in the US raising their own grand children. I know by age I will be an old mom. Still, I think it is far better to have a mom that is older, then no mom at all! My kids manage to keep me young!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Well, I saw from some Yahoo adoption web groups that at least 2 families from IAAP got their PA's this week. A PA is a pre approval to adopt a Chinese child. We sent our PA request at the same time as these families, so I'm hoping our PA is not far behind them! Today is good Friday (the day Jesus died for our sins). It is hard for me personally to dwell on the cross of Christ. I love Jesus, and hate to think of the pain He suffered for me. I am grateful for the cross, but I would rather think of the empty tomb! I am also looking forward to the hope that awaits my new daughter. The PA will be good news! I hope we don't have to wait much longer!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

In honor of tax day, Here are some IRS jokes I just read. We pay 50% of our income in taxes living in Germany. Know matter how hard the US government taxes you, I bet Germany does it better (squeezes us that is).

One day, at a local buffet, a man suddenly called out, "My son's choking! He swallowed a quarter! Help! Please, anyone! Help!"

A man from a nearby table stood up and announced that he was quite experienced at this sort of thing. He stepped over with almost no look of concern at all, wrapped his arms around the boy, and squeezed. Out popped the quarter. The man then went back to his table as though nothing had happened.

"Thank you! Thank you!" the father cried. "Are you a paramedic?"

"No," replied the man. "I work for the IRS."


The local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1000 bet. The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money.

Many people had tried over time (weightlifters, longshoremen, etc.) but nobody could do it. One day this scrawny little man came into the bar, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny squeaky voice "I'd like to try the bet." After the laughter had died down, the bartender said OK, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man.

But the crowd's laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass. As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man, "What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weightlifter, what?"

The man replied, "I'm an IRS Agent

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here is a link to Gift of Adoption. They have a great video. They provide grant money for families who want to adopt. If you need money for adoption, you can contact them. If you can not adopt, but want to help someone else adopt, you can donate money to them.

Here are some do's and don'ts in China...

The order of Chinese names is family name first, then given name.
Among some 440 family names, the 100 most common ones account for 90%
of the total population. Brides in China do not adopt their husband's
Among Chinese, a popular way to address each other, regardless of
gender, is to add an age-related term of honor before the family
name. These include : lao (honorable old one), xiao (honorable young
one) or occasionally da (honorable middle-aged one).

Unlike the Japanese, Chinese do not commonly bow as a form of
greeting. Instead, a brief handshake is usual. While meeting elders
or senior officials, your handshake should be even more gentle and
accompanied by a slight nod. Sometimes, as an expression of warmth, a
Chinese will cover the nomal handshake with his left hand. As a sign
of respect, Chinese usually lower their eyes slightly when they meet

Moreover, embracing or kissing when greeting or saying good-bye is
highly unusual. Generally, Chinese do not show their emotions and
feelings in public. Consequently, it is better not to behave in too
carefree a manner in public. Too, it is advisable to be fairly
cautious in political discussions.

Chinese do not usually accept a gift, invitation or favor when it is
first presented. Politely refusing two or three times is thought to
reflect modesty and humility. Accepting something in haste makes a
person look aggressive and greedy, as does opening it in front of the
giver. Traditionally the monetary value of a gift indicated the
importance of a relationship, but due to increasing contact with
foreigners in recent years, the symbolic nature of gifts has taken

Present your gifts with both hands. And when wrapping, be aware that
the Chinese ascribe much importance to color. Red is lucky, pink and
yellow represent happiness and prosperity; white, grey and black are
funeral colors.
The popular items include cigarette lighters, stamps (stamp
collecting is a popular hobby), T-shirt, the exotic coins make a good
gift to Chinese.
And the following gifts should be avoided:

1.White or yellow flowers (especially chrysanthemums), which are used
for funerals.

2.Pears. The word for Pear in Chinese sounds the same as separate and
is considered bad luck.

3.Red ink for writing cards or letters. It symbolizes the end of a

4.Clocks of any kind. The word clock in Chinese sound like the
expression the end of life.

China is one of those wonderful countries where tipping is not
practiced and almost no one asks for tips. The same thing goes even
in Hong Kong and Macao, except in some luxurious hotels.

Traditionally speaking, there are many taboos at Chinese tables, but
these days not many people pay attention to them. However, there are
a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are a guest at a
private home.

1. Don't stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl. Instead, lay
them on your dish. The reason for this is that when somebody dies,
the shrine to them contains a bowl of sand or rice with two sticks of
incense stuck upright in it. So if you stick your chopsticks in the
rice bowl, it looks like this shrine and is equivalent to wishing
death upon person at the table!

2. Make sure the spout of the teapot is not facing anyone. It is
impolite to set the teapot down where the spout is facing towards
somebody. The spout should always be directed to where nobody is
sitting, usually just outward from the table.

3. Don't tap on your bowl with your chopsticks. Beggars tap on their
bowls, so this is not polite. Also, in a restaurant, if the food is
coming too slow people will tap their bowls. If you are in someone's
home, it is like insulting the cook.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Well, it has been one month since we faxed our Pre approval letter to our agency. I've read it takes one month to 7 weeks for a reply. So we are entering into the some day soon zone! I am trying not to get to anxious, but I am not winning this battle. I basically think about going to China day and night. Some nights I find it hard to sleep. I have never been too good about waiting. I hope and pray for a reply soon. I don't think they will say no, but it could happen. I pray they say yes. We are nearly finished with all the paper work. We only need to see the doctor for a check up and a health report. I guess I need to pour myself into a short term project just to see the time fly by fast. If the weather would improve, I would work on my garden. Today it feels like winter.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

This is taken from a blog called It is called the tale of two birth mothers....

I remember feeling that my job was getting just a tad routine. Not to the point of boredom, but after visiting more than 50 orphanages, photographing hundreds (if not thousands) of finding locations, and talking with scores of finders, it was all becoming a bit predictable. At least I thought so as I climbed out of the taxi in front of the home of "Hua Mei Xiao" (not her real name). "OK," I said to my wife, "Let's hurry and get this done." I was anxious to wrap up our last finding location -- this little farm house in a village in eastern Jiangxi Province.

We introduced ourselves to the finder, a grand-motherly woman who greeted us in the courtyard of her one-room house. We explained that we were there to find out more about the child she had found 2 years earlier. We had learned that she had also fostered the child after she was found, and wondered how that had come to be.

She explained that when she had found the child, she had contacted the orphanage and reported her. She had been fostering children for many years, so Mei Xiao speculated that the birth parents had probably known that, and that is why they had abandoned the child in her courtyard. It all seemed very logical.

I asked her to point out exactly where the child had been found, and she responded with a sweep of her hand. "Over there" she stated matter-of-factly. Thinking I had missed something, I asked her to show me again. Again she proffered only a wide sweep of her hand. A bell went off in my head.

I don't understand much Chinese, something my wife finds useful when she occasionally lets loose on me in her native tongue. Instead, my wife does the talking, and I do the watching, and as I watched Hua Mei Xiao, I knew that she was hiding something from us.

"Lan," I whispered, "ask her if she knows the birth mother." "Are you nuts?" was her response, but I told her to ask the question. I had a gut feeling.

As my wife posed the question to Mei Xiao she grew instantly quiet and reflective. Finally, after a few moments, she acknowledged that she did.

I grew excited, and machine-gunned questions at Lan to ask. I couldn't believe it! After all these years, I was finally going to be able to find the Holy Grail -- a birth mother of one of my girls.

Mei Xiao led us into her home, and sat us down at her table. I asked her to tell us about the birth mother. She replied that she was about 28, lived on a farm, was married, and had a older girl and a young boy in her family.

As we sat and talked, we discovered that not only did she know the birth mother of the girl we were researching, but also of another unknown child found 9 years ago. After I returned home, I aggressively worked to locate this child, and in September 2005, after watching my project DVD, an adoptive mother contacted me. Her daughter had also been found by Mei Xiao. She was the other girl.

So on this visit we returned to this small village and once again entered the courtyard of Mei Xiao. In my camera bag I carried DNA kits from Genetree in Salt Lake City. Mei Xiao was happy to see us again, and as we reintroduced ourselves, we explained why we had returned. She told us that the birth parents lived a distance away, but that she would arrange a meeting the next morning.

As I sat across from the two women, my heart raced. I wanted to know each of their stories, not just for the families I represented, but for myself. Perhaps the stories they would tell me would parallel those of three other birth mothers, living far away in an unknown place, who in the darkness of a solitary night had also decided to give up their daughters. So, as I addressed these two women, I was asking them questions not just for their daughters, but for my own.

“Li Feng”

Li Feng (not her real name) sat nervously in her brown corduroy jacket and white turtle neck. I assured her that it was safe to talk freely with us, and that no one would ever be able to locate her. I explained why it was important for adoptive families to understand their daughters’ histories, and that what she explained today would be valuable to many families in understanding how their daughters came to be in their lives.

She began by telling me that she was 35 years old, and that she had been married for 15 years. Her oldest child, a girl, was born shortly after she was married and was now 15 years old. A year after the birth of her first child, she became pregnant with her second child. She gave birth to another girl, and so she and her husband placed this child with a family member. Her third daughter was born four years later, and it was this girl who was brought to the orphanage. Soon after giving birth, she contacted a family member that fostered for the orphanage and asked her to see that the child was put in the care of the local orphanage. This foster mother called the orphanage and told them she had found the girl in her courtyard.

The following year Li Feng had another child, this time a boy. They then contacted the family member who was raising their second girl and retrieved their daughter, now 6, bringing her home to live with them.

Their third daughter was adopted by an American family.

“Hai Yue”

Hai Yue (not her real name) was dressed in a burgundy leather jacket with faux-fur lining, covering a light turtle-neck sweater. She had long black hair which was pulled back by a silver broach. Thirty-three and married for 9 years, she also had her first child soon after getting married. This child was a girl. Six years later, she was again pregnant and had another girl. A family friend suggested that she could contact a friend of hers in another village on Hai Yue’s behalf; this friend fostered children for the orphanage. As soon as Hai Yue was brought to the recovery area of the hospital, the fosterer was called and asked to come pick up the child and bring her to the orphanage.

A year later Hai Yue gave birth to a boy.

Her second daughter was adopted into an American family in 2003.

Both women reported that they had registered their pending pregnancies with the village Family Planning Office. Registration is required by law and entitles the family an ID card for their new child. This ID card allows the mother access to prenatal care and will also allow the family to register the child for school when they get older. A person without an ID card is persona non-grata in Chinese society.

I asked them what they had done when their newborn child was a girl and they had decided they wouldn’t keep her. They said that they had returned to the Family Planning Office and reported that their newborn daughter had died. No one questioned their stories and the pregnancy was voided from the records, making them eligible to have another child.

China’s “One-Child” policy allows many rural families to have a second child if their first child is a girl. Since both Li Feng and Hai Yue had given birth to girls as first children, they were allowed another child in order to try and have a boy. Thus, both participated in what Kay Johnson terms China’s “one son or two children” exemption (“Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China [Yeong & Yeong Book Company, St. Paul, MN], p. 55).

The actions of these two women has broad implications to the demographic imbalance in China. Consensus views estimate that based on census records and mortality figures obtained from Family Planning, China will experience a demographic imbalance of 40 million men in the coming decades. Since both women reported that their abandoned daughters had died, their deaths were registered in the Family Planning records and permission was given for each to have another child. However, both girls were actually alive and well in an orphanage. Thus, the mortality statistics for girls in each of their villages were inaccurate, being inflated by a false death. If their actions are similar to the thousands of other women who are abandoning their girls each year, it is probable that the mortality figures published by the Chinese Government are largely inaccurate, and the population “bubble” is exaggerated.

Next, I asked both women to elaborate on the causes for their abandoning one of their daughters. There is much speculation about this among adoptive parents. Although the answers provided by these two women are not statistically random, I feel they are representative.

I asked each birth mother to quantify on a scale of 1 to 10 how significant each of four pressures was on them to abandon.. The first was a perceived need by the birth couple to have a son to work on their farm. Both answered that this was not a significant pressure, since they perceived both sexes as being capable of farm work. Each also valued lowly the pressure felt by the birth couple to have a son to carry on the family name, although Li Feng admitted that her husband felt some desire for a son for that reason. When asked if retirement care was a major consideration, both stated that factored very low in their considerations.

Finally, I asked what role paternal grandparents played in their decision, and both indicated that this was the primary reason the birth parents had abandoned their daughter. Li Feng indicated that the paternal grandmother was especially concerned that they have a son, primarily to carry on the family name but also due to fears that the family would not be viewed well if they had two girls. Apparently having a son is viewed by some rural families as a sign of biological success, and failure to have a son is viewed as a source of shame.

When asked if the paternal grandparents had been dead at the time their daughter was born, would they have abandoned that daughter, both adamantly stated that they would have kept the girl.

These answers confirm what I have perceived from many different cultural sources in China, be they Family Planning propaganda in the countryside or answers from orphanage directors and common “man-on-the-street” interviews (see my blog “Why Girls Are Abandoned in China”, 10/26/05, All suggest that the pressure to abandon, at least at this juncture in China’s history, comes primarily from the paternal grandparents of the child. The need for a son to work the farm or provide retirement income in old age appear to be distant secondary influences on a couple faced with keeping a second daughter. Primary is the perceived need to carry on the family name by the husband’s parents.

As we wrapped up our discussion, I posed one last question to Li Feng and Hai Yu. How often does each of them think about their “lost daughter”? The answer from both was immediate and identical: every day. Both showed in their faces the regret and shame they felt for what they had been forced to do – perhaps not forced in any literal sense, but in a cultural one. Out of respect for their elders, both of these women and their husbands felt they could not fight the pressure of their parents. Although they regretted their decisions, both admitted that if the circumstances were the same today, they would probably do it all over again.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

We had our home study today. This was actually a home study update. We met with the social worker for 3 hours to talk about our family, and the up coming adoption. He had to look at our finances, and see our house. I have tried to clean up, but the kids where always one step behind me. It is often a lost cause. I knew he didn't care how perfect the house looked, all that really matters is , are we a good family. The boys (both adopted) are doing so good it makes us look pretty good! Praise God! I told a friend of mine, we look pretty good on paper, but it can get really crazy around here! Any way, we past the test. We are that much closer to finishing our paper chase. Juergen seems to be getting really excited about the whole thing. He is starting to talk about China all the time now! He even wants to eat Chinese food all the time. When he falls in love, boy does he fall! It is really cool to see him so happy about the whole idea of being Sarahs dad. She is getting a real great dad! I am really blessed to be married to him!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

This is taken from a booklet by Shaohannah’s Hope , it is about building a bridge of adoption. This piece is about hearing the need, and Gods heart...

“My Sheep hear from me, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27
“Pure and undefiled religion that God accepts is to visit orphans …” James 1:27
Hear the great need
There are millions of orphans in the world today. Many of these children are available for adoption, and they are all in need of care.
UNICEF’s Executive Director said that today we are facing the greatest orphans crisis the world has ever seen, and that the world’s
response has been wholly inadequate. The sad reality for so many orphans is that they are unloved, overlooked, and forgotten.
According to UNICEF, there are over 143 million orphans, ages 0-17, who have lost one or both parents in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia,
Latin America, and the Caribbean alone.1 16 million children were newly orphaned in 2003. Another child is orphaned by HIV/AIDS
every 14 seconds. By 2010, 25 million children under the age of 15 will be orphaned due to HIV/AIDS alone.2
When describing the population of children in U.S. government care, we use the term “foster children” even when these children are
living in group homes or other institutional settings rather than in traditional foster homes. There are approximately 500,000 children in
the United States foster care system at any given time (with more than 800,000 children traveling through the system each year), and
approximately 120,000 of these children are currently considered “waiting” children – meaning those which have been determined to be
available for adoption.3 (For more information on how and why children in the United States come into foster care, go to: )
Orphans face a world without family—without hope. If you speak to those children growing up in orphanages, foster homes, and on the
street you will find that they talk of family and belonging. Many hope against hope that their parents will return for them or that someone
new will come to love them. Most significant of all is that they have no father to guide them; no mother to love them; and no one to
celebrate their accomplishments. 3
The future prospects for children who emancipate from orphanages, the foster care system, or who grow up as street children are
profoundly bleak; ironically, the outlook for American kids is almost identical to that of children around the world. Theft, prostitution,
homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, and suicide affect the lives of the majority of those children who grow up as orphans
and never find permanent, loving homes. In short, orphans by definition are children who for whatever reason have found themselves
in need of permanent, safe, and loving families. And for such children, being taken in by a family through the “spirit of adoption” is their
greatest need!
Hear from God – His call to you (The church)
The world is in crisis – if nothing changes…nothing changes. And it is a crisis involving a population which is extremely precious to the
heart of God – orphans. The problem of over 100 million orphans will not be solved by one group, one church or one denomination.
1 UNICEF Press Release document “Children on the Brink– 2004”
2 UNICEF Press Release document “Children on the Brink– 2002”
3 AFCARS Report, National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
3 Children’s Hope Chest
The answer lies in great numbers of believers from many places gathering together, creatively finding solutions, to solve small pieces of
the orphan plight…and saving lives one-by-one! God says that He is the Father of the fatherless; orphans are part of His royal family.
He has asked us, the church, to be His hands extended and to love these children on His behalf. In James 1:27, the Word says:
“Pure and undefiled religion that God, our Father accepts is to visit the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep
oneself unspotted by the world.”
Those of us who attend church regularly have heard innumerable sermons about not living like the world and keeping ourselves
“unspotted.” However, many of us are hard pressed to remember the last time that we heard a sermon about our responsibility to care
for orphans and widows; and some of us may never have heard one. Any good Bible teacher will tell you that not only the words used
in the scriptures were divinely inspired, but so are the order and placement of each of those words. And the first thing listed in the
definition of what true religion (the practice and revelation of our devotion to and faith in God) has to do with our responsibility as
believers to take care of those who have no one to care for them and are too young to care for themselves.
The word “to visit” above comes from the Greek word usually translated bishop, a person who oversees God’s people (I Tim. 3:1.)
Orphans and widows are among the most unprotected people in any society in anytime in history. Pure religion does not merely give
material goods for the relief of the distressed, it also oversees their care.
As you can see from this scripture, orphans are the charge of the church as clearly as a family’s own biological children are their
responsibility. We know God saw Job as a blameless and upright man (Job 1:8), and in the book of Job we are told how he lived out
pure religion by bringing orphan children into his home:
“For from my youth, the fatherless grew up with me as with a father…” Job 31:18
From Genesis to Revelation the scripture mentions the importance of caring for widows, orphans, and aliens more than 60 times. We,
as the body of Christ, must take this message to heart. These children are living on proverbial “islands of loneliness,” in desperate need
of crossing over into a land of love and security. And we as His body must now be about the business of “Building Bridges of HOPE” to
reconnect these children to ourselves.
“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. And if they were all one
member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body…If one member suffers, all the
members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1Corinthians 12:18-26
Surely we all have different giftings and roles to play, but we
all must respond to God’s call in some way. Again, from a
heavenly perspective, we must remember that if one is
suffering, we all are suffering.
Adoption is not about whether or not you can have children

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Last night I told Juergen (my husband) a story I remember from my childhood. As I remember it (and my memory could be wrong) My little brother was in the driveway of our house in Phoenix, Arizona digging a hole to China. The driveway was very hard dry packed dirt. He wasn't making any progress. I decide to help. I dragged the water hose out, and soaked the hold. He was able to dig a pretty big hole. My dad had a big surprise when he almost drove the car into this hole that evening! You see, I have been trying to get to China since I was a child!