Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Little Step Towards Orphan Prevention

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of online chatter concerning adoption.  The discussion seems to center around the ethical murkiness of adoption and the concern that American (often evangelical) demand for adoptable babies leads to certain parties creating supply, which can result in families being tricked, payed, or robbed of babies they would otherwise raise.  I am not about to wade into this controversy, and I don't need to, as Jen Hatmaker has been taking the subject head-on on her blog.

This discussion is relevant to my husband and I as we have talked about adoption since before we were married.  It will be a couple years until we are in a place to pursue that goal tangibly, and even after all the reading and research I have done, I don't know what our plan is going to be (international, domestic, single child, sibling group, boy, girl, age, etc.).  We will cross that bridge later.

One idea that keeps circulating in all the controversy, though, is that as beautiful as an ethical adoption is, it should always be Plan B.  Plan A should focus on supporting birth mothers and biological families in caring for the baby if they feel inclined to do so.  Basically, the best way to care for an orphan is to prevent a child from becoming an orphan in the first place.

Learn more about sponsoring a child.With this in mind, Ian and I decided that while we aren't prepared to adopt an orphan today, we can prevent an orphan today.  We signed up to sponsor a child through Compassion International, an organization that has been recommended to us over and over again from various sources.  A Compassion advocate (and friend of ours) was looking for sponsors at church a couple Sundays ago, so we signed up!

We are sponsoring a 7-year-old girl from Rwanda.  She has a single mother and one other sibling.  I wrote her a letter telling her about our family and including a picture of us.  I know it can take quite awhile to hear back (often months), but I am very much looking forward to it.

Anyway, we have wanted to do this for a long time, but our financial situation was too tight for us to be comfortable committing to a child.  My husband was recently blessed with a new job, though, and we felt that part of this blessing was an opportunity to help in this small way.  Whether or not we ever adopt a child ourselves, I know that we are helping at least one child stay with a mother who loves her.

Disclaimer:  I have no professional connections with Compassion.  I just wanted to share this exciting development in our life.

6 comments:

  1. Great post and a great blessing to that little girl!

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    1. Thank you, Moriah! I sure hope it will be a blessing to her, and I think it will. I KNOW it's already been a blessing for us. =)

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  2. It's a great step! We've sponsored a little boy in the Philippines for the last 4 years. It's so fun to get letters now that he's old enough to write some and draw pictures. I think he has EIGHT brothers and sisters (and thankfully both a mama and daddy). Wowee!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, everyone I know who sponsors a child (especially through Compassion, though other organizations as well) seems to get so much joy out of the opportunity. We never did it when I was a kid (I think my parents trusted local charities over sponsorship programs), but I'm excited to have my kids grow up connected with a child (or more) on the other side of the globe.

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  3. I love this idea of orphan prevention. I've had two Compassion children over the past several years, and my parents sponsor one as well. It's a great organization, and I wholeheartedly agree with doing what we can to help birth families raise their children themselves.

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    1. I love how this option is available to everybody: singles, young married couples, families, empty nesters, etc. Our friend who is an advocate for Compassion is a single guy in his 40's who sponsored a child for years until he "graduated" out of the program. I am so glad to hear you have had such a positive experience with Compassion.

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