I guess I should explain a little bit about how we came to the decision to adopt and what our passion is regarding adoption. How we came to the place where we knew God was calling-asking-commanding us to adopt is a very sudden, out of the clear blue, long time coming, much prayed over journey all rolled into one. I plan on sharing the story in its entirety soon...but not today. Today I am going to share the passion and drive behind our adoption, and where we foresee it taking us.
We are open to whatever God brings our way, and as we have already learned, you NEVER know what that might be. But our heart is with orphans with special needs. The term "Special Needs" covers a vast array of criteria that classifies a child as having special needs. Of course, it means any child with a physical or mental handicap,(that is probably typically what people think of a "special needs"), but it also covers siblings, miniorities, emotional issues, and even healthy children over a certain age. (The age that classifies a child as special needs varries from different adoption agencies, countries, and races, and is anywhere from being over the age of 2 to being over the age of 5.) Our heart is with orphans with special needs because they are the group that people are least likely to adopt. Many of them age out of the system and end up being adults that never had the opportunity to experience love and a family.
"Aging out of the system" is a merciful way of being rejected as not being good enough and worthy enough to be a part of a family and be loved. In some countries, predominately countries in Eastern Europe, children with profound special needs who are not adopted by age 4-5 are placed in mental institutions where they live out the rest of their life usually drugged and tied to a bed. Grown men and women in beds the size of cribs. But why would they need a bigger bed when they are the size of small children? Most die within the first few years of being institutionalized, usually from malnourishment and dehydration.
That being said, our heart is with orphans with special needs. Whether that special need is a physical or mental handicap, or something as simple as having the wrong skin color or being the wrong age to be considered "adoptable". They are just as much humans who are worthy of love and a family as you and I are. Jesus died for them. Oh, how it must break his heart to see the way they are cast aside as garbage! I firmly believe that every single orphan deserves the chance to be loved by a family and know about Jesus. Since there are about 147 MILLION orphans in the world, I definitely can't adopt them all, but I can make a difference in the life of at least one. (Although, Josh did say that he doesn't foresee this being just a one time thing for our family.)
Besides special needs, we also want to adopt a waiting child. A waiting child simply means that it is an orphan that is waiting to be adopted. Their parental rights have already been terminated and they are leagally available to be adopted. We aren't the ones waiting for a child with certain age, gender, or health requirements to become available. Instead we want to adopt a child who is waiting. Waiting for a family. Waiting to be loved. Waiting to hear about Jesus and what he did for them. At this very moment, there are thousands upon thousands of waiting children. Children who wait day after day for the love of a forever family. Doesn't seem fair, does it?
God is good though. He will provide a way where there seems to be no way. Early yesterday morning Josh was driving to work. We had been up late earlier that night, with the burden for orphans on both our heart. It seems so impossible at times, in our faulty limited human thinking. 3am found Josh driving to work, in the fog, with a burden still on his heart. He was fervently praying as he drove to work. He cried out to the Lord, "We hear theri cries and can't get to them! But YOU can get us there!" No sooner than the words had left his mouth, he saw a shooting star right in front of him!
The Lord is good to encourage us just when we need him the most. To remind us that he is listening and that he will be faithful to make a way where there seems to be no way.