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What to do about the orphan

January 22, 2010

I’ve had several people ask me if I have any information on how to adopt one of the Haitian orphans.  It’s heartbreaking to watch the news coverage of these little ones sleeping outside, going hungry and thirsty and all without the love of a family to help soften the blows.  And apparently I’m not the only one getting these questions, it appears as if thousands of people have called adoption agencies all across the country asking for information on taking one of these precious kiddos home with them.

While they have expedited the process for those Haitian children that were already IN PROCESS of adoption, they are being cautious about the next steps for the other thousands of orphans.  The danger in rushing these kids through the adoption process is two-fold:  one, they have to insure that they are in fact, orphans.  There are many parents that are still searching for their children, unsure of their safety or even if they are alive.  And the second danger is the sad reality that this is a prime opportunity for those involved in human trafficking.  Even though the adoption process is tedious and bureaucratic at times, these are measures put in place to protect the kiddos from those that aren’t seeking their well being.

So what can we do?

There are several things you can do immediately.

-Give.  You can give directly to the orphanages or indirectly through agencies such as the Red Cross or Wyclef’s Yele Foundation.

-Pray.  Pray for these little ones.  Pray that their physical needs are being met, but that also their emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs are being met.

-Support adoption.  Adoption is expensive.  Support families you know that are in the process of bringing home one of these sweet little ones.

But there are a few things that may not be immediate, but that I would challenge you to consider.

-Foster Care Certification.  Honestly, it’s my guess that after they get some of these children to the States, their safest move would be to find foster homes.  That buys them time to really search for family members and determine the status of each child.

And even if you don’t foster a Haitian child, there are 510,00 foster children in the U.S. and over 31,000 in Texas alone. Foster care is free, and in fact, you receive a daily stipend to help you care for the child in your home.  Often times, the child’s parental rights are terminated and you are eligible at that time to adopt.  It’s the cheapest route to adoption by far.

-Consider adoption.  If your heart has been moved by the images of these children, I would remind us that there are 147 million orphans worldwide who face VERY similar circumstances to these poverty stricken Haitian children.  It’s easy to forget them when we don’t have their pictures plastered all over the news and the internet.

If you have realized through this process that you are able to care for an orphan – I challenge you to take the next steps.  Read up, pray about it, consider how you can get involved.  And maybe God isn’t calling you to adopt, but I BET he’s calling you to care for the orphan in some capacity. It just seems to be something He cares a whole lot about.

In you the orphan finds mercy.

Hosea 14:3

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