Saturday, October 23, 2010

A heart for orphans

Since I can remember, I have known that I will one day be an adoptive parent.  I can remember the very day when I knew without a doubt that the Lord had called me to adopt and be a part of orphan care as my life's work.  It was the summer after my freshman year of college .  I was driving to my 8 a.m. statistics class (what was I thinking?), and I was listening to Atlanta's 104.7 The Fish.  The morning show had Steven Curtis Chapman as a guest, and he was telling his family's adoption story. 

I was so enthralled by his family's story, and I could sense his heart for orphans just by the tone in his voice.  The love in his voice.  He talked about the organization that he and his family had started called Shaohannah's Hope (now Show Hope) and their mission to provide adoption grants for families waiting to bring their children home.  I ended up sitting in my car through the first hour of my class, knowing that I, too, felt that same sense of calling to care for orphans, to adopt and to share Christ's love with orphans.

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer for Show Hope at the "A Night with the Chapmans" concert in Thomasville, Georgia.  It was a joy.   Their heart, their honesty, their passion for the Lord and for adoption was made so clear.  I met a few families who had received adoption grants from Show Hope as well.  It was an excellent experience. 

During the concert, Steven Curtis and his wife Mary Beth shared their story of adopting their three Chinese daughters and the loss they experienced two years ago when the youngest was tragically killed in an accident. God is doing amazing things through this family.

Mary Beth talked about the day they adopted their first Chinese daughter, Shaohannah.  Her words resonated so clearly to me and should be the reason that we, as believers, should care about the world's orphans.  She said that, as she was standing in a hallway, about to received Shaohannah into her arms, the Lord clearly spoke to her and confirmed that she and her family were called to adopt.

She thought to herself, "This little girl had no name, no inheritance, no future.  And, now she is our daughter, and our family is giving her that."  Then she heard God say to her, "Don't you see, Mary Beth? That was you.  You were an orphan.  You had no name, and I gave you a name.  You had no inheritance, and I gave you an inheritance.  No future, no hope, no love.  Now you are a daughter of the King!"

Such a sweet family, whose story is amazingly beautiful, tragic and full of grace.  You can read more about their story in Mary Beth's new book Choosing to SEE.

There are more than 140 million orphans in the world.  I encourage you to visit, read Mary Beth's book, find out more about how you can make an impact on the world's orphans.  Consider adoption.  Become a partner in orphan care.  Align your heart with God's.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after their distress..." (James 1:27a).

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