I first became interested in adopting when a friend of mine from college spent a summer in Romania and blogged, although they didn't call it that then, about her experiences ministering in an orphanage there. There were so many children and so few workers. Many of the children were severely neglected. My friend, who had a Master's degree in Kinesiology, tried to engage the kids in fun games that would also be therapeutic for them. She also just loved on them. We've all heard the heart wrenching stories of Romanian orphanages in the 1990s. It was through following her ministry with these precious children that the Lord started giving me a heart for adoption. As I look back on my childhood, though, I see that the seeds were sown then. I remember wanting to sponsor a child in Africa when I was a child myself. I don't know if something came in the mail or if I saw an ad on tv, but I remember asking my mom if I could do it. She agreed and for a short time (I did say "seeds") I sponsored a child in Africa. I can't remember the country or the child's name or even gender, but I do remember that I had a picture of the child that I kept in my room.
Fast forward to the present and I still have a heart for orphans. I do not believe that orphans should be the responsibility of the State, however I am grateful to live in a country that will care for children when no one else will. In my perfect world, though, the church would take care of orphans. And I don't mean the institutional church, I'm referring to the Christian families that make up the Church. Imagine what the world would be like if every Christian family would adopt one child. There would be no more orphans! I know I'm being idealistic and I realize adoption may not be for everyone, but it's still a sobering thought.
If you're like me and have a heart for orphans, but don't know where to get started, let me suggest All God's Children International. AGCI is almost all things orphan ministry. They are a domestic and international adoption agency (9 countries). They also endeavor to help waiting children (older and special needs) find their forever families. They offer child and orphanage sponsorship in several countries. And they even put together short-term missions trips and allow you to somewhat tailor them to your abilities (from construction to holding babies). I found out about AGCI a couple of years ago and have been so blessed by their ministry. They just started facilitating adoptions in Rwanda and also operate in Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Nepal, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Washington state.
I'm so grateful for the many self-less people who dedicate their lives to orphan care! They've made it so easy for the rest of us to participate along with them. All we have to do is write a check once a month and we can be part of changing a child's life forever. I would love to know about other agencies that are ministering to orphans, both here and abroad. It's a personal dream of mine for my family to go on a short-term orphan care mission trip someday. I know God will open the door for that in His time.
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.