Monday, November 30, 2020
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
I grew up in a Christian home. I was baptized in Jr. High after many wonderful summers of Church camp. Maybe my end mindset had changed, but that didn’t change all my actions on a daily basis. Actually, I became quite wild in high school and ended up having my beautiful daughter at the young age of twenty, ending my college career and my childhood. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets ending those things for my beautiful girl. I truly believe because of her, I am alive and where I am today.
Friday, August 28, 2020
Sometimes we have the privilege of caring for orphaned or abandoned children face to face, when we can speak our love into their very souls. And sometimes it comes not from our own hands directly, but - rather - through the loving actions of others, and it's through our financial provision. As the world turns, will we be the ones to make a difference?
Sometimes "Loving Them All" means acknowledging the plight of child trafficking as it pertains to orphaned and abandoned children. Not surprisingly, orphaned children are among the most at-risk population to be preyed upon. The possibilities for abuse are frightening. Children are sold as cheap labor. Some may end up in the dark world of prostitution, their innocence torn from them.There are even stories of traffickers harvesting human organs for sale on the black market. Children…like yours and mine.
Children in orphanages can be easy targets for traffickers. They are especially vulnerable due to the lack of stable parental figures. The schedules and isolation of orphanages makes it easy to coerce children to leave and find ways to exploit them. Even when orphaned children age out of an institution, vulnerability continues as some of these evil humans will sit and wait for those who children to leave.
Trafficking is a documented global problem that defies borders. This evil does not discriminate in age, race, or skin color. What we can express with confidence is that God designed the family as the best environment for children. Safe, permanent, loving family must be our goal whenever possible. And when it isn’t, we must find solutions that are as close to that as possible, such as foster care. When a child experiences the protection and love of at least one consistent, caring adult relationship, evildoers are far less likely to pursue them. and if we care about human trafficking, we must care for orphaned children and foster youth wherever the need may be.
Monday, August 24, 2020
Do you remember "Fear Factor" from about fifteen years (or so) ago? It was a reality show of challenges that marched contestants into their greatest fears that ranged from plunging off a building, to lying in a bed of snakes, to eating something incredibly disgusting like worms, bugs...or worse. The adoption process has a fear factor, too. The challenges obviously look a little different:
“How can we ever afford this?”
“Is it possible for us to love this child who doesn’t share our DNA?”
“Will we ruin our other kids by adopting?”
These fears are REAL and present factors that can enter into our minds.
One of our personal "fear factors" became special needs, and each one of our adoptions was almost like climbing a ladder with rungs of doubt to overcome that paralyzing word—FEAR.
“I could never parent a child with special needs.”
“I could never adopt a child with a serious heart condition.”
“I could never adopt an older child.”
“I could never parent a child with cognitive delays.”
I'm ashamed to admit that these were all thoughts that, at some point, belonged to me. As much as I hate it, I owned them all. One by one, we climbed another rung and faced those fears head-on. And I, ultimately, realized those were all limitations that I put on myself. God's plans were obviously so much better than mine.
I stand amazed - as I reflect on each one of those objections - how God has used every one of our adoptions as a gateway—a gateway to a more open heart. He knew there was so much more in me - in us. We now live with all of these "I could nevers" in our home, and in our hearts.
You see, alone—I couldn't. But with faith—we could.
God is the source of our strength. God is the source of our courage to say yes to all of the fears and doubts and "I could nevers" that could have stopped us from embracing the biggest blessings of our lives...all five of them. We simply needed to listen, to trust, and to be obedient. Is it always easy? Nope. I would be lying if I said it was. There are days that I literally scrape for grace. But then, there are days when I look at our beautiful crew and the very thought that we could have missed this brings tears to my eyes.
The thing is,
when you walk through that fire—
when you leap over that edge—
when you conquer that fear factor—
the reward you receive is far greater than anything you could ever imagine or dream of.
- Lisa Murphy“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10