Somehow, November has been designated celebrate adoption month. November 6th is Orphan Care Sunday with much focus given on adoption. While my inner cynic says, "really do we need a month or a day? Even a hot dog gets its own National Hot Dog Day and adoption and orphan care should not be on equal ground with processed pig part.", I do recognize how the designation provides focus and helps to organize orphan care initiatives.
That said, I also see how all too often people hear the stats and see the pictures regarding orphan care and walk away feeling guilty or sad but then don't take action. I don't really know why because it is exactly those things (pictures of kids in a Romanian orphanage viewed during my last year of high school church camp) that brought me to the place I am, a mom of two Haitian kids. But I digress.
The reality is that it is easy to do something.
A lot easier than a lot of us think.
You do not have to choose to adopt. (Even though I will probably go to my grave saying more people ought to.)
The reality is that orphan care can occur in 5 minutes.
Let me give you some 5 minute ideas.
*take 5 minutes from your lunchtime to pray about orphan care. Or better yet, bookmark a waiting child site like Reece's Rainbow, Rainbow Kids, or AdoptUSKids . Then visit there, taking 5 minute to pray for a waiting child by name.
*take 5 minutes during your bill paying to write a check to a ministry directly involved in adoption, orphan care, or orphan prevention (Angel Tree Ministries, a branch of Prison Fellowship, works in the US with the children of incarcerated men and women with the goal being to prevent their families from failing. Reece's Rainbow works to provides grants to families who choose to adopt special needs kids. Heartline Ministries and their Harbor House project encourage Haitian moms to parent rather than place a child for adoption. Or make a donation to your local homeless shelter/women's shelter. Most of those place are serving families who are on the brink of falling apart.)
*take 5 minutes to encourage a family you know who is involved in foster care or adoption. Write them a note. Pray for them by name. Send them a gift that shows you appreciate the way they are using their family as a way to love.
*take 5 minutes and repost my posts. Throughout the month of November, I'm going to share the faces and stories of some children who are waiting for forever. Would you take the time to pass those faces and stories on? By reposting on your blog or on Facebook, you may just be connecting that child to a family who is willing to make a commitment to that child. Ask your friends to repost as well. Wouldn't it be amazing if you were a part of the link that found a home for that child?
*take 5 minutes to have a conversation with someone about orphan care, even if it's a conversation that you know will be difficult. (My first choice would be God but you pick whomever you'd like.) Maybe it's your spouse. Maybe it's your sister. Maybe it's your kids. Share how you know that there are kids who are struggling because their moms and dads aren't around or are unable to provide for their basic needs. Share that you are wanting to help. Take a chance and see what the other person says. Maybe that simple conversation will start a more serious one.