Joy Casey, Adoption Ministry’s Director, writes from Ethiopia…
Even after wrangling with government officials and regulations that I cannot totally understand, at the end of the day I still say I have the best job in the world! I have rubbed shoulders with some of the highest caliber of parents on earth. It is a joy beyond description to take each family to the orphanage, let them experience the embraces of the widows and meet the staff, and then lead them to a room for them to meet their child. The expressions of wonder and joy when a baby has been placed in her new mommy’s or daddy’s arms are simply beyond description. Video cameras are out and pictures are being snapped non-stop because the emotions of these first moments with their little one need to be captured.
I have learned a lot from these families. They have taken a journey of faith, not just in the area of finances, but the adoption process has deepened their faith and stretched their ability to trust. I read recently that the mark of Christ-followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there. These families have glimpsed God’s heart for the poor and give exuberantly… constantly thinking of others’ needs and asking God how they can meet them. I hear over and over, “I want to do more!” I look at these courageous parents who have sacrificed so much to give a child on the other side of the world a home and I am in awe. These guys get it!
It is easy for the numbers and statistics regarding the poor and needy to seem almost unreal. It is certainly not something that directly affects you and I so it is easy to ignore. The idea of 26,000 children dying from starvation or preventative disease before we lay our heads on our pillows tonight is unimaginable. But now these adoptive families have seen the precious faces of children without parents and discovered that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they are not real before you hold them in your arms. But they have seen, they have held, and their hearts have been broken with what breaks God’s heart.
These families of faith who are adopting from Ethiopia will return to their communities and churches and turn them upside down. They will not be content with life as usual, and are thinking big, radical thoughts of how they can order their lives so they can give more and how they can galvanize their church to begin an orphan care ministry or take a missions trip or adopt an orphanage. I stand back absolutely blown away with the energy, creativity and love that I have seen over these past few days. And these are only three of the ten families that will be flying to Ethiopia for their court appearance over the next week or so! Imagine what else I will hear and experience with each unique couple.
“Thank you, God, for allowing me to be here with these precious, precious families and to play a small part in connecting them with Your heart for children.” A-MEN!