Saturday, March 16, 2013

i like adoption

What is your passion? Do you have that "one thing" you just can't shake? It's the gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach that aches for that one cause, people group, interest, hobby, etc.  It's often the subject that evokes an involuntary response when it is brought to your attention.

For me, it's adoption.  Several years ago I attended a leadership conference in Atlanta. During a session, the emcee brought a couple up on stage to share their story of adoption.  I'm sure everyone in the stadium heard me...I was the lady weeping in her seat. Not the quiet, lady-like cry. It was the ugly cry. I couldn't contain myself.  

Through the journey of adopting our Sugarbee and fostering others, those deep feelings have not lessened, in fact, they have grown all the more.  As I parent my four-year-old adopted daughter, I cannot imagine her being any more mine, and me hers.  I know I could not love her any more than I do at this moment.  It's makes me a little weepy even now as I watch her playing with her princesses on daddy's lap.  She is my wish come true.

In James 1:27 it says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Caring for the fatherless, for the orphan, was and is important to the Lord.  He even goes as far to tell us that "anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."-Matthew 18:5

Foster Care and Adoption Stats:
There are 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.
650,000 children spent time in out-of-home care last year.
Currently, there are 9,294 children in Indiana in foster care. 2,886 of the children in foster care are available and awaiting adoptive families.
There are a total of 153,000,000 orphans worldwide.

The need is great.  

Here is a great video of an adopted family:

At a Foster Care and Adoption Symposium today they showed a trailer for a documentary called STUCK.  The documentary highlights the way International Adoption is on the decline in our country because of various closed countries and the laws that coincide, while over 10 million children in orphanages wait for a family.  I felt so moved as I watched.  There are many children who need homes and yet it is so difficult to get to them. Please, take two minutes and watch this:

Yes, the need is great, but I believe we can make a difference.  Is God asking you to get involved? I'd love to talk with you more if you're interested.  Feel free to leave a comment or email if you'd like to talk more about adoption.

i really like adoption,


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Love in the Everyday Shabbiness

It's been a minute("a minute" is what my kids say when they mean a long time) since I last blogged.  I've struggled lately to know when to blog and what to blog about.  When I first moved to Keller Park, I wanted to share everything just as fast as it was happening.  Life in Keller Park was new and it brought with it an excitement that came from the fury of activity. Over time, it became more difficult to put my fingers on the keys of the keyboard to share what had been taking place in our ministry and in our neighborhood.  After lots of thought, I believe that the difficulty came because of one of two reasons:

  1. The more I get to know the people in the KP, the more I respect and love them.  My neighbors, like yours, have incredible life stories and each have experiences that are unlike anyone else's.  As I get to know the people in my neighborhood, whether adults or children, it is clear that they alone are the owner of their stories.  I want to be so careful not to share someone else's story.  I value deeply their confidence and trust and I want to do nothing that will hinder that.  So...when I question whether or not the story is mine or theirs to share, I will error on the side of caution and not put my fingers to the keys.
  2. The "flash in the pan" moments are few and far between. The newness and fury of eighteen months ago has turned into a more steady, everyday commitment to the people of Keller Park.  Someone once told me that the deepest moments in ministry don't always look good on a newsletter...I have found this to be true in my life and ministry.
A few weekends ago, I attended a Live simulcast of The Justice Conference that took place in Philadelphia, PA. One of the presenters, Gary Haugen, President of International Justice Mission (IJM), presented on the topic of LOVE.  He seemed to speak right to my #2.  He said things like this:
We must love in the everyday shabbiness.
We need a love that overcomes monotony, far from the public eye that the Lord sees and honors in secret.
Love that changes the world is long and laborious.
It will cost time and tedium to really make a difference. 
I'm really thankful that I was able to hear the words of Gary Haugen.  Because, in reality, most days in my life and ministry are not at all flashy. Each week looks much like the week before, the days come and go. There are times when things seem overly difficult and I wish I could find my rose-colored glasses so I could wear them for a few minutes. Gary reminded me that I just need to be faithful in the everyday shabbiness because it is the love that is long and laborious that will change the neighborhood of Keller Park.

Over the next several months, I would like to share with you some of the ways that God has shown Himself to me through our ministry in Keller Park.  They are mostly "everyday moments" that are headlines in my life.  I've also asked some of the students I work with to share with you as guest writers.  I'll let them share their stories.

Thanks for taking the time to read.