It's estimated that there are nearly 150 million orphans in the world. That's a staggering number. It's a number that can make it seem impossible for us to help, or powerless for us to change. But when you look at the faces of those orphans, it becomes a little different. It becomes personal. And when you look at the faces of some of those orphans and see one that calls to your heart, that reaches out across the miles and grabs hold of you and doesn't let go, it becomes more than personal: it becomes family. And what wouldn't you do for your family? What wouldn't I, as a mother, do for my children? Our little boy in Eastern Europe reminds us of Zane; in fact, when most people see his picture, they tell us that he looks like he's already part of the family. And it's true, he does look like he's already part of our family - and in our hearts, he is. But he's not here with us right now. He's in an orphanage. And because of his special needs, he and all the other children there with special needs are in a desperate position: they will age out of their baby house when they turn five (sometimes sooner, if their orphanage is overcrowded) and be transferred to an adult mental institution. Can you imagine? There are no provisions made for children at the institutions - for their special needs or for their care as tiny children. No hugs, no kisses, no treats, no toys. What wouldn't I do to save Zane from a fate like that? When I think of our other little boy waiting in his orphanage - waiting for his family, waiting to be saved from transfer to an institution - it makes me feel frantic. Desperate. And determined.
This is not a road most of us would simply choose for ourselves. It's hard. It's a hard position to be in - we're working with a single-minded purpose to bring our son home, to save him from a life worse than death in a place no child should ever be, and we're working against a ticking clock. When the paper chase seems like a hassle (you've never seen so much paper in your life, I promise you!), when it seems hard to do it all at once, or to find the time for the fingerprints and the passport apps and the social worker visits and the physicals for all six of us, when you feel like all you think about is fundraising and worrying that you're going to annoy everybody with your barrage of blog posts and fundraiser ideas... it's all outside the comfort zone of pretty much anybody you'd ask. And it seems impossible. BUT...
Because I have been given much, I too must give. We cannot see this need, and feel this pull, and turn our backs because it's too hard for us. It is too hard for us, but it is not too hard for our God. He has commanded us in the scriptures to care for orphans, and he has prompted me specifically with a heart for this particular little boy. That still small voice has whispered to my spirit that I must go and do, and I know that when the Lord gives a commandment, He prepares a way for what He commands to be done.
How can we help change the fate of so many children in such desperate need?
One child at a time.