Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - Orphan Sunday

Did you know that:

Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa

Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans

Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)

143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…

Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system

Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT

Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home

Take a moment and think about that, really think about that.

In the time it took for you to just think about those unfathomable statistics, another CHILD has "aged out"
with no real home, no family to love them and support them, to encourage them and teach them about love, the love of a family and the love of God. 

It is difficult to wrap my mind around these statistics and I have been there.  I have seen the faces of the children who wait for the love of a family, some of whom will "age out" and become one of those statistics.

Before Lizzie, these children were just that - statistics.  I mean I would hear about them and think, "how sad" and then go back to my life.  I would think, "well, there are other people in the world who are doing something, I'm sure" and I would go back to my life. 

After Lizzie, after seeing those beautiful faces, my thoughts changed to "Oh Lord, what can I do." 


My eyes have been opened and I don't think I will ever be able to shut them again without seeing those faces, those beautiful faces. 

"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

Some of us are called to adopt, some not.  I could talk ALL day about the joys of adoption.  Just meeting our Lizzie is enough to move anyone.  I could try and convince everyone that adoption is something that they should do, but again, not everyone is called to adopt and I get that, but there are so many other ways to help.  You can help by donating to any of the thousands of foster care facilities.  You can help by sponsoring a child.  You can help by donating to the wonderful organizations devoted to helping poverty stricken birth families keep their children.  You can help by donating to a fundraising family, who is trying to make "one less" orphan in the world.  Check out my "Ways to Help" page.

YOU CAN HELP!

Seeing where Lizzie spent the first 2 years of her life, changed me.  It was a "good" orphanage by China standards.  It was clean and it was well run, but it was cold and sterile and there was one nanny to every 18 babies.  I do think they cared about the children but how does one person love and nurture 18 babies?  The answer is - you don't.  You provide for their basic needs - and - that - is - it. 


I remember being on the plane coming home (with 2 two year olds - yeah we were insane - or at least we were by the end of the trip - heh) and Lizzie began to cry.  I picked her up and tried everything to quiet her down, food, movies, games, cuddles, but nothing worked.  As I was holding her, I looked down at her scared little face and I just started to sing.  I sang her the same lullaby that I used to sing to my other children when they were babies and as I sang, the reality of what my precious child had not had those first 2 years of her life came crashing down on me and I began to cry.  I cried for my sweet Lizzie and all the times that she needed her mommie and no one was there, I cried for all the faces that we were leaving behind who needed their mommies and - no - one - would - be - there. 


 Think about all the times that you have rocked and sang to and comforted and loved your children.

Think about the 143,000,000 children in the world who do not have that comfort, that love and the 14,050,000 children who will never have that, will never have a family and...

DO SOMETHING...

PLEASE

If you would like more info on how to help, please feel free to email me.  If you would like to read a bit more about our journey with Lizzie,  you can go back here on my blog to read, "In China, I Cried for You Momma."

If you would like to join in on Stefanie's wonderful Sunday Snapshot, go here,


Ni Hao Y'all

9 comments:

  1. Reading through tears my friend! You so beautifully captured the crisis...
    May we ALL find our part, no matter how big or small!

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  2. May we all find a way to keep families together, to prevent adoption having to happen and for children to loose their mothers.

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  3. Annie, I'm so glad you had a link in today's post to your full adoption video. I've seen your gotcha video on youtube but I wondered if you had a full video and never got a chance to look back through the blog to find it. I'm so glad I finally go to see it.
    Cherie

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  4. ...and...about today's post...my feelings exactly. I am often frustrated because we can't do more. I guess we do exactly what God calls us to do, nothing more, nothing less. I wish I could spread a burden for orphans to everyone I know.

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  5. Thank you so much for your beautiful words! I pray that eyes are opened to this truth and that things change.

    Kayla

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  6. TRUTH, my friend. I LOVE this post. Stunning. Thank you for being their voice, friend.

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  7. wow!!! This was one powerful post {{{{hug}}}}

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  8. You capture the true essence of what orphan day is about. Everyone can do something big or small to help these children. They deserve it. Thank you!

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  9. AMEN and AMEN!! Awesome, beautiful post and once your hearts and lives have been touched, there is NO turning back. Thank you Annie for including us and Kaleb in your Fundraising Families link! We are blessed and you are a blessing to us! :) HUGS!!

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