There were so many great comments to the last post on the validity of adoption, I had to continue the discussion. Thanks to all of you who so thoughtfully expressed your hearts and opinions.
One of the roots of this discussion is the whole "Adoption vs. Orphan Care" issue. I've always felt like adoption as 'the' answer is short-sighted. Think of the millions of dollars good organizations have spent on trying to promote adoption. And the results according to the article? The numbers of adoptions have decreased every year from 22,884 in 2004 to 19,400 in 2007. Seems to me this money could have been better spent by keeping the 25,000 children starving to death everyday alive. Don't get me wrong, each child that has been adopted has been given an tremendous gift: a family, a hope, and a future. But adopting 19,400 a year in the US won't put a dent in 150 million orphans.
I agree with many of you, those of us who have adopted need to do whatever we can to help the 99.9% who are left behind. When we adopted our daughter Anya, there were 100 kids left in the orphanage. I couldn't turn away from them and do nothing. If fact, the desire to help them is what led me down the path of doing what I do today. This same heart you are expressing is the reason we are opening ministry in Ethiopia. If we could all come together around an orphan issue as big as what's happening there, we could make a significant impact in the lives of 1000's of kids. Then those 1000's, through holistic programs of education, spiritual development, etc., could become the leaders in their country and change the face of the nation.
The answer, I believe, is orphan care. When you do that right, people get a heart for adoption, but they also get a heart for orphans in general. Once they fall in love with those kids and they are no longer statistics, they are in a position to use their circles of influence to make a difference. This is why I'll live the rest of my life helping to empower others to engage in orphan ministry.
I'm glad we're in this together!