Friday, January 28, 2011

ADOPT(ED)

Have you ever thought about adoption?
Ever prayed about it?
Ever asked God what your role was in caring for orphans?


We did.
3 years ago.
And our family will never be the same.
It will forever be different.
Better.


There are 163 million orphans in the world and God's Word has much to say about them.

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,
and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
{James 1:27}

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
{John 14:18}

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in His holy dwelling."
{Psalm 68:5}

"Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed."
{Psalm 82:3}

Our adoption story began with Keith and I praying about our role caring for the fatherless. We knew we were called to do something, but we just weren't sure what. We weren't looking to adopt. Adoption was never part of our plan. But, then again, my plan is never God's plan.

"For my thoughts are nothing like you thoughts," says the Lord.
"And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher that yours ways
and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts."
{Isaiah 55:8-9}

We were fully prepared to give our finances to help others adopt, to sponsor more children, or to give to organizations that supported orphan care. But God called us to give more than our money.

He called us to give our hearts.
Our lives.

So our prayers immediately changed from What? to Where?

It didn't take long for us to narrow it down to Ethiopia.
We were drawn to it.
The more we prayed, the more we read, the more researched,
the more God stirred our hearts.

A FEW FACTS ABOUT ETHIOPIA...
  • There are currently 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia- with around 540,000 having been orphaned by HIV/AIDS
  • 1 in 10 children die before their 1st birthday
  • 1 in 6 children die before their 5th birthday
  • Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school and 88% will never attend secondary school
  • Approx. 300,000 children live on the streets
  • 82% of the population survives on less than 1 dollar a day
  • 1 in 4 women dies in pregnancy or childbirth
In some of my research, I read that many children are orphaned because their families cannot provide for them and if they don't give them up, they will die of starvation. That did it for me. As a mom, I could not imagine making that decision. So we decided that since these mom's are giving their babies up to give them a chance to live, than we would help them.

That was the beginning of an 18 month journey that ended on February 15, 2010 in Ethiopia when we held Miles Misikir for the first time.


{Song in video is "This Love" by Mandi Mapes}

I am not one who believes that God has called everyone to adopt, but I do believe He has call us all to do something. Caring for orphans through adoption is normal... according to the Word of God. Please take time to pray about your role in caring for the orphans of the world.

We were asked recently when will we tell Miles he is adopted.
That question always makes me laugh... for obvious reasons :)
What they are asking, I think, is when will we tell him his story.
And the answer is, everyday.

He will always know where he's from.
He will always know he was chosen.
He will always know he is dearly loved.
We will always tell him his adoption story and we will spend the rest of our lives telling him ours.

You see, God's word tells us that if you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, than you are adopted into God's family.

"Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son."
{Ephesians 1:4-6}
Having an adopted son makes me so much more grateful for God's adoption.
It makes it that much more real.
I love Miles like my own.
He is mine.
And to think that God feels the same way about me is so amazing.
So humbling.

So whether it's bringing a child into your family or making a decision to accept Christ... make adoption an option.

{What to read more adoption stories? Head over to Kelly's Korner Blog and check them out.}

17 comments :

  1. LOVED THIS!!! what a great video, I just boohooed! I love you guys and I love that little guy!
    julie

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  2. Miles is adorable! Our adoption story has done so much of the same in our hearts as what you wrote, and has been such a blessing to us! It is something I am SO passionate about!

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  3. SO good!! the video totally brought tears to my eyes... I sent the link to mandi so she can see it! I'm so grateful to you and keith for your example and obedience! love yall!

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  4. So very sweet!! John and I just watched the video, a couple of things... 1) we both commented how sweet Alex is with Miles, what an awesome big brother!, 2) LOVE the closing picture (inc, your awesome outfit and shoes). Jackie, thank you so much for posting so much about your adoption journey. Your posts have helped lots of people, like us, know how to direct their prayers. We have been praying for the Lord to show us our role!

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  5. Loved your post and the video! I love that song :)

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  6. Great post, and I absolutely LOVE the video! I can't wait to be posting pictures and videos of picking up our kiddo.

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  7. I love this so much, and cannot WAIT to be a mother to some beautiful, precious, God-chosen adopted babies one day!!

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  8. I am crying because my heart is FULL! I love you guys!

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  9. love, love, love the post & the video is awesome! it is so overwhelming to see the adoption community in nw ar growing!!

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  11. Beautifully spoken! Can I get an AMEN!

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  12. Love your story, LOVE the video and the song- wow!

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  13. Thank you for sharing your story! God is so good!

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  14. Jackie, this is absolutely beautiful. I loved so much watching your video...I LOVED the way Miles looks at Alex with joy in every picture that Alex is holding him in :) Thank you for this post...for your hearts. Thankful to know you in this journey!

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  15. Jackie, I love your post & video! The song is so perfect too. Seeing your two boys together makes me melt. I can't wait to see my boys wrapping their arms around their sister when she comes home. Thanks for sharing your sweet story & heart for orphans.

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  16. My heart is so full of joy for your precious family!!! What an honor and privilege it was to watch you begin to bond those first few days in Ethiopia. I pray that many are blessed through your family's radical obedience. I know I am! :-) Sending love to the four of you!

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