Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adoptions are in a 40% Decline

I often quote Augustine when he says, "Hope has two daughters - anger and courage; anger at the way things are, courage for the way things can be." I have had some things happen recently that push against my optimism for the future of orphan care - people's personal agendas, government bureaucracies and inefficiencies, and apathy to name a few. However, I am also still naive enough - even at 38 years old - to believe that we can do more to care for the orphan, that people really do desire what is best for children, that systemic change takes time, but it is worth it. This blog from my friend, Tom Davis, cites that adoptions are in a 40% decline. Considering the fact that adoptions account for less than a tenth of a percent of all orphans worldwide, this is discouraging. My heart gets angry, but then I feel the courage setting in.

My heart is for the children left behind - for the little girl I held yesterday during my weekly volunteer times at Home for Hope. Many of the children seemed a little under the weather, that happens in orphanages with 100 plus children. But her face was so despondent. She would not engage at all. She just stood in the corner, crying quietly, with food dripping out of her mouth. She is four years old. I tried to get her to eat some of her food, but it wouldn't stay. She never moved. But when I held her, she wouldn't let go. And so I held her, I prayed for her, I whispered in her ear, "Uri umwana mwiza - you are a good and beautiful child" - "Imana urukundo - God loves you." I do believe in evil. I do believe there is an Enemy to God the creator. And every week, when I hold and rock these children, I whisper words of truth into their ears, claiming that evil will have no say in the hearts and minds of these children. But I also know so much damage has been done already. So I want to be about helping find ways to nurture the hearts and minds of these orphans who will never be adopted. I'll wrote more on this later, but if you haven't read any of Dr. Karyn Purvis' work, I encourage you to do so. These children need more than whispered words and weekly hugs. They need courageous people to take a deep breath and pray for the courage to keep fighting on their behalf.

Adoptions are in a 40% Decline

With 150 million orphans in the world, we should be seeing a dramatic increase in the number of orphans who are adopted every year in the United States. But sadly, the opposite is true. Adoptions have been decreasing every year since 2004.

A new article in the May edition of Christianity Today says this, "Since 2004, these and other restrictions have resulted in a 40 percent decline in overseas adoptions by Americans—from an all-time high of almost 23,000 in 2004 to fewer than 12,800 in 2009, according to the U.S. State Department."

Although there are some incredible people who understand God's heart for adoption, they are still the minority when it comes to this issue. If 7% of those claiming to be Christians adopted one child, all 150 million orphans would have homes.

Second, the battle continues to rage over the lives of orphans around the world. Make no mistake about it, "our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour," I Peter 5:8. Orphans are easy targets.

My friend Jedd Medefind from The Christian Alliance for Orphans had this to say, "The drop in international adoptions since 2004 does not signal a stagnating willingness among American families to adopt overseas, and he argues that evangelicals in particular have increased interest."

I would say this is absolutely true. With almost 1,500 people at Summit VI in Minneapolis April 29 & 30, people are more passionate than every about adoption and orphan care.

The reality is that we still have a lot to do. Orphans are worth the fight. We have to press through government regulations, fear, and spiritual warfare to care for the least of these. This is God's heart and it should be the heart of every Christian.

"A Father to the Fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:5,6


Adrianne Thompson said...

thanks for your post, friend. thanks for loving on the beautiful children at Home of Hope. thanks for fighting for God's glory and for fighting for love for children.

Recovering Sociopath said...

I was thinking about this just today. Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that international adoption is getting a really bad name, being recast as a form of imperialism/exploitation, etc. I keep seeing one piece of journalism after another about children trafficked into adoption away from real, extant families who very much desired to keep their children but were coerced or deceived or just plain had their kids abducted by mercenaries.

And all that is a real and horrid problem to be sure, but I gather they also represent a very small percentage of international adoptions. People read the stories and get all het up about how corrupt the "adoption industry" is and start making noises bout suspending international adoptions altogether, when in fact there are millions of true orphans in desperate need of families. It's...frustrating.

Anonymous said...

You log touched me very much. My heart cries for these childeren.
Thank you for loving children like that litle girl.
Just like us there are probably tens of couples who would like to provide a loving home for these children but rwanda lacks enough capacity at a.o. migprof (we are waiting almost 4 months now just for them to answer questions of the dutch ministry of justice)
I hope this will change so these children will all have parents loving them unconditionally and for the rest of their lives.