I was so excited to read this number this morning: over 25,000 children in the foster care system in the United States have been adopted after being photolisted on the website listed below.
I’m so inspired when I hear about families who are welcoming in new children, who sometimes have significant trauma they are carrying from their pasts. After spending almost three months volunteering in an orphanage, I see so clearly the need for “forever families,” not just in-and-out people who may be loving and sweet but are not there for the rest of a child’s life.
In the Honduran orphanage where I volunteered, I was assigned to the small boys room of the Toddler House. That meant that, although I played with and changed diapers for and helped potty train all thirty children in the Toddler House, I only got those seven precious little boys ready for bed. I had to shower them (all at once–picture squirmy little guys ages 2-4 trying to escape the shower or spray the water everywhere), brush their teeth, and try to keep them quietly playing in their bedroom before sleepy-time. I always ended up mostly soaked. Noticing that the children didn’t know how to use their imaginations for play like the children from solid families I was used to, I started telling them stories with the few toys they had, or bringing down books in Spanish to read aloud to them.
One little boy, who I’m going to call Josue, started calling me “Mami” after I’d been there a little over a month. He’s a cute little fellow, much too small for his age. Stubborn as a doorpost but cuddly and loving once he attaches to someone.
Leaving him was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Thank God, a family is currently trying to adopt Josue. His adoptive parents are fighting through a mess of paperwork and requirements that the Honduran government has. They have been waiting out the upheaval of the government agency (IHNFA) that supervised Honduran adoptions and was suspended by the government upon discovery that the vast majority (about 95%) of the budget was going straight into officials’ pockets as salaries or bonuses instead of buying food for orphans. (If you can read Spanish, check out this Honduran article from last year about the liquidation of IHNFA.)
Adoption isn’t easy. But it’s such a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for us by adopting us into the family of God.
What He did wasn’t easy, either.