Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

A guest post by Sue Barber:

It’s hard to explain why we adopted our boys. We felt God’s call to do it, but I don’t think we even understood it ourselves. We were adopting, but what we were actually doing was watching two boys miraculously transform before our very eyes, learning about who were are as a family, and seeing more of who God is. Seven years later, we still don’t have the whole picture, but we are starting to get some glimpses.

We are becoming convinced that we are treading on holy ground.

This video, (<–click here!) about two special needs Russian orphans who were reunited by the New York Yankees this summer, is amazing. When these former crib mates were reunited, my heart saw a little glimpse of what heaven will be like.

You can watch in the video how these boys were chosen, transformed, and honored. They had a fantastic time with the Yankees in New York. They met the baseball players, and had a wonderful trip. They could have never imagined such a thing when they were starving, and imprisoned in their crib.

Yet the amazing happened. Because God moved His people to work in those boys’ lives, their families, other orphans, the Yankees– were all blessed.

What if those families hadn’t chosen to adopt? What if we didn’t adopt our boys?

Joshua would not have survived much longer without intervention; and Caleb would be in a residential treatment facility, according to his former case worker. Suicide, lives of crime, prostitution, starvation, and early death awaits the orphan in most cases, both here and abroad. Less than one percent of American foster children go on to finish college.

There aren’t any uplifting videos to link for you on that topic.

But in this case, parents did come for those boys. The adoptions (and the special needs) illustrate what God promises to you, personally. We are fallen people, and we have problems, until God comes and chooses us and frees us through His Son Jesus. Christians have a loving Father who cares for us, who teaches us to love and to trust, and enables us to walk. We fall down, we limp, we take wrong turns, but think of the difference in us since we’ve been chosen!

The day will come when we will arrive in the eternal city. Believers will all have a moment when we are shown the city of God and are made new. Can you see yourself being given the tour? Oh how my heart yearns for that moment. That moment when Joshua will be healed of his fears and insecurities, and when his crumbling, nutrient deprived teeth will be solid. Caleb will get up and he will run unencumbered into the arms of the one who was his Great Physician all along. With two strong arms he will embrace his God. All of my children, they will be together, and whole. And then we will know why we adopted.

It will be better than we ever imagined.

Sue Barber is a blogger and the mother of six children. She has never sky dived, run for office, or been unloved. She writes at www.suebarber.wordpress.com.

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I don’t know about you, but so many thoughts have raced through my mind since first hearing about the seven-year old boy who was adopted and then returned to Russia…How could someone put a 7 year-old child on an 18+ hour plane ride by himself? How could someone disrupt their adoption without seeking professional help? How could someone pursue another adoption while simultaneously being at wits’ end? How did the boy feel, being rejected again? Will he recover? Will his life be consistent with the statistics of Russian children exiting their orphanages? All of these questions strike me at my core.  Still, one question lingers…and the answer seems so simple.

What, if anything, could have been done to avoid this tragedy? Professional psychiatric help, adoption agency assistance, and respite care through the state of Tennessee have all been addressed by the media. All are viable options, but there is still one more option that is missing. To me, this option is simple – THE CHURCH.  What if the adoptive mom knew about an Orphan Ministry in her church or in her community? Adoption circles run close and tight, we all know that. What if a church, that was active in adoption and foster care, had a real presence in Shelbyville? Is it unrealistic for adoptive families to be advocates and voices of reason for people going through the various stages of adoption?  Could this instance with this seven year-old boy have been totally avoided – maybe?  To bring it to a personal level, can I do a better job of reaching out in my community, to show 2 Corinthians 5:17? Yes.  Am I vocal enough, in my day to day life, to reach out to others considering adoption or going through an adoption?  Perhaps not, but I need to be.

It has been reported that the adoptive mom made no attempts to gain help, even though she is in the medical field and holds a Masters Degree.  Even though her adoption agency checked in with her just weeks prior to the incident, is it possible she might not have felt safe disclosing her extreme issues with them, as she alleges she was lied to? The Church is a safe place; we are a safe haven for people going through life issues, additions, and illnesses.  Wrap around families are vital to the adoption process, not just for foster care. If you have adopted, you know the feeling of isolation, and that you need someone to come alongside you. The simple act of engaging someone and walking next to them can make all the difference in the world.  I am not minimizing the need for professional counseling and other assistance, but I am suggesting that the church might have been the place that this mom and her family could have begun the road to recovery and perhaps avoided what became a tragedy and international incident.

Let me encourage you to not forget this story. With thousands of Russian children adopted every year, and tens of thousands of child adopted domestically and internationally, let us be more proactive and engaging in our community.  A vibrant mobilized Church adoption ministry is the answer.  If you want more information on creating an orphan ministry, adoption support group, or foster care ministry in your church, please visit http://www.HopeForOrphans.org. We are here to help.

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