Thursday, January 21, 2010

Orphans

In every tragedy there are seeds of opportunity. Our world has been shaken by the pictures of orphans coming to the United States from Haiti. The opportunity for us to examine this issue of orphans was brought home to us when fifty-four children from Haiti landed in Pennsylvania yesterday. Now more than ever adoptive families are needed, and the Haitian children are not the only orphans here. Once children are removed from an American home by a judge and parental rights are terminated, those children become orphans. There are over 130,000 right now, and as part of the disaster relief in Haiti the numbers are growing.

The simplest way to begin the process of adoption is to call your local Department of Social Services office and ask them how soon you can have a "home study" for the purpose of adoption. An experienced social worker from your area will come to your home and give you an interview and help you fill out the necessary paperwork to start the process. They will guide you through the next step of getting a police background check and tour your home to see where you would "house" a new family member. This process should not take more than a month or two to complete, but that may vary in some localities. When the home study is complete you will be ready to receive a child for your safe-keeping. It sounds simple, and it really is. There was a representative from Bethany Christian Services on Foxnews this morning who talked about their program. Going with an established agency is good, but it saves time and money to use your own hometown Social Services office.

The children are right here in foster care ready for adoption. There is no shortage of children of all ages. We do not often hear about the need for homes. In fact, puppies and cats get more adoption attention on our local news station than orphans. But Jesus knew there would be a need in His day, and in the future. The command given to us in scripture is to care for widows and orphans. This post may sound like a repeat of one I wrote not long ago, but the need is so great that I thought it best to revisit this issue. God bless the children, and may we be moved to bless them also.

Kathryn and Qavah, no longer orphans, but daughters