Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Orphan

November is Adoption Month. This month brings awareness not only to the blessings of adoption but also to the millions of orphans in the world and yes that also means here in America. For those who know me this is my heart. From the moment we began the adoption process for our first daughter I knew God was calling me to be an advocate not only for adoption but for the orphan. The sad reality is that most orphans will not be adopted. Here are just a few of the reasons.
  • The child was older when they went to the orphanage...everyone desires to adopt the younger ones.
  • The child may have a special need.
  • They are a sibling group
  • People are afraid they can't afford adoption
  • Can't deal with all the paperwork
  • People like the way things are at home and don't want to rock the boat.
  • People are afraid of the "unknown."
  • People think they are to old to become parents
Here are some orphan statistics:
It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide
The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million)
Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone 
Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan
There are an estimated 14 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa (a number higher than the total of every under-eighteen year old in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland combined)
This figure is estimated to reach 18 million orphans in Africa alone by 2010 (only two and a half years away)
8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-Sahara Africa
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but… 
Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
Each day 38,493 orphans age out
Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals 
Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years
In America there are an estimated 423, 773 in foster care
Almost a quarter (24 percent) were in relative homes, and nearly half (47 percent) were in nonrelative foster family homes.
Almost half (49 percent) had a case goal of reunification with their families.
The majority of children left the system to be reunited with their families (52 percent).
Close to half of the children (46 percent) who left foster care in FY 2008 were in care for less than 1 year.

This little guy hung around the church we visited. The 3 days I saw him all he had to play with was a small plastic lid.

I always tell people that not everyone is called to adopt but as believers we are all called to help. Here is a list of suggestions for those who feel called to adopt and those who feel called to help.

 Called to Adopt
  • If you feel God is calling you to adopt trust Him and step out in faith! He will meet your needs.
  • Surround yourself with believers to pray for you and your future child.
  • Adoption is a roller coaster ride with your emotions! This too shall pass.
  • Look for ways to raise money. Get the word out.
Called to help
  • Encourage families adopting
  • Pray for families adopting
  • Donate to their adoption fund
  • Help with their fundraisers
You can make a difference in the life of a child through a sponsorship program. There are many to choose from. We founded the Hug Away Foundation. For $30 a month a child will receive a education, food and have minor medical needs met. These kids are so grateful and you are making a difference in their lives.

 God builds families in many ways. Adoption is one of them. This month please pray for the orphans of the world. Pray for birth mothers who choose life and make an adoption plan and pray for families who choose to adopt.

 We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
--- Kristi Larson

1 comment:

Maree said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the post - it was really interesting. Have you adopted all of your children?

I am also very passionate about the plight of orphans, in particular Russian orphans. I've read the statistics before but they continue to astound me each time I see them.

Keep up the good work!