My son has a huge heart for orphans. His heart aches for children in poverty and without parents. Not a day has gone by without him asking a question about the other children at the orphanage in China where his sister lived. He prays for the other children who were adopted in our travel group, because he’s well aware of many of their physical health concerns and needs. He prays daily for his sister–for her health (physically and spiritually). He also prays that one day we’re able to adopt two more children from China.
God has used this young boy, when he was only three, to wake us up from dreaming about adoption to actually get in gear to turn in an application and begin the long and arduous paperwork process to make growing our family (through adoption) a reality.
We celebrate that Autumn joined our family one year ago, this month. Adoption day or “Gotcha Day” is January 28th.
I’ve been reviewing photos from Gotcha day.
Autumn had terror-filled eyes when she was placed in my arms. She was searching for the comfort of her nannies–of the only life she had ever known. Other families had similar images of their first encounters with their children who faces were tear-streaked.
Yet, only hours later, and for the remaining days of the trip, these contented children were happy to be fed bathed, and doted upon by their new families.
We’re thankful for photographic updates of our friends who adopted in our travel group. Over the past year, it is simply remarkable to me how much all of those children have grown and thrived in their homes. All, except for one, who did not survive long after her heart surgery. We continue to pray for her family during this year of mourning. Meanwhile, I hug my children close, and whisper prayers of gratitude that we spend yet another day together as a family.
Around my son’s sixth birthday in October, he got excited about receiving some birthday cash from grandparents. We advised him to tithe 10% to God, and with the remaining 90%, he could spend up to half, but he should save the other half for something he really wanted that might take more money over time to achieve.
He spent several days considering his options well. Calvin had made up his mind, months ago, that he wanted a dragon figurine that he’d seen at a craft store. So, he and I went and he looked over all the options and prices and picked out the very dragon he wanted. The metallic-purple-scaled “Midnight Fury” stared back with it’s four red eyes, and silver wings with menacing teeth and claws. With a fifty-percent off coupon at the store, the dragon rang up for just over $8 with tax. He also asked to use his birthday money toward a set of three hatchlings, baby dragons emerging from eggs, the exact same color of the Midnight Fury.
Midnight Fury has hardly left his side since he came home with Calvin. He rides along next to him in the car, helps Calvin “read” books by holding pages down, and he stands in as an artistic model when Calvin is drawing dragons.
After satiating his appetite for purchasing the dragon figurine that he’d dreamed of for so long, his thoughts turned to a specific purpose for his long-term savings.
Calvin asked me, “Mama, what can I save up for with my birthday money?”
I didn’t know if there was a particular toy, arts/crafts item, or local day trip outing that fascinated him, but I suggested those things.
Again, he pondered and considered.
After spending a day in thought, Calvin approached his father that evening and told him very specifically what he wanted to use his savings toward . . . adopting a brother and sister.
His father encouraged him that it was a very good use of his money, but gently reminded him that it would take a very long time to once again save up toward an adoption (or two).
Once again, whenever he finds a coin on the ground, or receives gift money, he wants to apply not just part of it, but ALL of it toward a future adoption.
As a family, we’ve been praying about adoption a boy and girl in the next two to three years–assuming we can save up enough to go a long way toward the adoption(s) by then.
To help our son understand the plight of children in poverty, and to remind him that there is a Hope for them just as there is for us, we’ve been praying for children in orphanages and slums on a daily basis.
Calvin’s father reads selected excerpts from No Longer a Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan several times a week.
As a family, we pray for the child we sponsor through Compassion International, for hope for the children living in the slums and orphanages.
One day, we’d like to serve in an orphanage, as a family–providing health care, reading stories, playing and laughing with these children–we pray that one day we may have an opportunity to do so.
Questions for you:
I’m curious, how do you talk with your children about caring for those living in poverty? What books or examples have you found effective at pulling their focus to understand the very different lives and hardships others face?
I’d like to add more books and resources to our reading list!