Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Orphan Sunday...Some Light Shed On The Orphan And Our Little Man

I can't help but think of my son on this day. We brought him home from Ethiopia in September of 2008. He was 4 years old and had lived in an orphanage for 2 years waiting on a family. We showed up and waited anxiously inside the gate for our lives to change forever. Finally those gates opened and being led, hand in hand, by a man was the sweetest little boy my eyes had ever seen. They told us before we met him that he had been watching and waiting for us to arrive.  He had a best friend, whom he watched get picked up first by his adoptive family and then he cried, asking "Where is my Mommy and Daddy?" This little boy walked up to us with big round eyes, looking into ours. You could see it written all over his face. "Is it really you? Are you who I have been waiting for?" We took him in our arms and hugged him and kissed him and told him "We are here for you now. We are Mommy and Daddy."  His little face gave a slight grin as he grabbed our hand and never let go. We left that day with him in our arms and nothing else.  He didn't have a bag. He didn't have a toy or any item that he called his own. He was wearing a little button up shirt with buttons missing, a torn t shirt underneath, pants that hit him above his ankles and he had on girl underwear. It was all he had to his name......but now that would all change. Now he had a family and we had this precious child we had prayed and waited so long for. He literally left and never looked back. He was laughing and playing cars with us in the van on the way back to the hotel and never once asked to go back to the place he had called home for two years. 

We went back to the orphanage a couple of days later to take a tour of the place. He was with us and you should have seen how excited the kids who were left behind were to see him.  They were running up to him and saying his name.  You could see that they were so excited for him. He had found what they all were longing for....a family. Let me tell you that my little boy walked up with his precious backpack filled with all his new toys we had gotten him....the backpack that, as soon as he played with a toy, he would run back to and put it back in it's same place to make sure nothing happened to it. He set that backpack down as the kids circled around him and opened it up. He started pulling every one of his brand new toys out of his back pack and passing them out to his friends until every one of them were gone.  Shane and I were about in tears as we watched.  It was the sweetest thing that he wanted to share all his toys with them to play with. 

As it was time to leave, I asked the interpreter to tell him we were leaving, so that he could gather his toys. He bent down and said something to him and I saw him shake his head. The interpreter looked at us and said "He does not want them back. He wants his friends to have them." About that time, Nathan grabbed my hand, with his empty backpack on his back, looked up at me with those big brown eyes, and was ready to leave. As we walked out all the kids were waving goodbye and calling his name as he turned around and smiled at them one last time, never letting go of my and his Daddy's hand. 

It hit me at that moment, just how much he gets it. He gave away what we thought were his most precious things, to all his friends. It then hit us that those toys that he had been so excited about didn't even compare.  He knew that he had found the most precious thing that each and every one of them desired....a family. He went back to visit, with us by his side, and knew how badly they all wanted the same thing... so he gave them all he had.  My God, what love beyond his years, had been engrained in this child, based on what he had experienced as an orphan


It's been two years now. He is 6 years old, and it is like we have had him forever. God hand picked this child for our family and we couldn't be more blessed. Nathan sees everything we do in Africa and can't wait to go back himself to help pass out things to children in need. He went to the store with me before our last trip in July and helped me pick out everything that he thought they would need. He told me to take toothbrushes because he said they never brushed their teeth. He told me to take little cars because he thought they would like that.  You see, he remembers. We hope he always remembers. We show him pictures. We don't want him to forget. We pray he  becomes an advocate for his home country and takes what he has learned in America to help them one day. He is a special boy and we know God has big plans for him. We plan to take him back in the next couple of years when he gets a wee bit older. He can't wait to go. 
Here we are on Halloween.


Here is our Gotcha Day video of us getting our little man. What an amazing trip it was!

Click here if you would like to go straight to the link or else silence the music at bottom and watch below. 


Now here is a video I've shown before, but it is all taken from our team trip to Ethiopia three months ago. Most all of these children in this video are orphans. They are no different than our own children, except they wait. They wait, just like my son waited...for his family to arrive to come get him. Some children in this video have found families, but some......are still waiting.
Click here to go to the direct link or silence music and watch it below.


Now you all know why I am passionate about the orphan. This is why I want to help all of you bring home your precious little ones.  This is why I want to help open the eyes of the ones who don't know.  I was one that didn't know this was out there for a long time. Maybe it wasn't that I didn't know,but that i never took the time to notice or do anything about it. I believe we can all do something, once our eyes are opened. 


When my eyes were finally opened to the orphan crisis, I looked for scripture on what God's heart was for the orphan.  I have listed some below.  God's heart bleeds for the orphan. That is why He depends on us...His hands and feet... to do something about it. 

May this Orphan Sunday make us all lift up our prayers for those who wait for families, and for those orphans who will never get adopted, but wait for help to arrive to ease the burdens of their living conditions. 

James 1:22-27 (New International Version)


 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


Deuteronomy 10:18
He defends the cause of the 
fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.


Deuteronomy 24:17
Do not deprive the foreigner or the 
fatherless of justice


Deuteronomy 10:18
He defends the cause of the 
fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.



Job 29:11-13 (New International Version)

11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
   and those who saw me commended me, 
12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help,
   and the fatherless who had none to assist them. 
13 The one who was dying blessed me;
   I made the widow’s heart sing.



Psalm 10:14
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the 
fatherless.



Psalm 68:5-6 (New International Version)

5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
   is God in his holy dwelling. 
6 God sets the lonely in families



Psalm 82:3-4 (New International Version)

3 Defend the weak and the fatherless;
   uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. 
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
   deliver them from the hand of the wicked.



Psalm 146:9
The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the 
fatherless and the widow


Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the 
fatherless; plead the case of the widow.


John 14:18
I will not leave you as 
orphans; I will come to you.

5 comments:

  1. i love reading nathan's story. and god's heart for the orphan as you listed off the scripture. such a beautiful reminder on this day of the heart of our god and his call on our lives.

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  2. So beautiful! I have prayed for the orphans for as long as I can remember, but only recently have I felt God calling on me to do more. You and your love as well as that of your family and sisters is so inspiring.

    Another verse that I like to use is Proverbs 3:27 "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."

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  3. LOVE this post! it truly brings back so many memories from being in ET!!! You do such a wonderful job bringing attention to this crisis! Hope, pray, wish that one day there will be no orphans in the world!

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  4. I love this. It made me "ugly" cry. Not because it is sad, but because it is hopeful. I am hopeful that through you advocating and many other bloggers and adoptive families advocating...this can be a reality for more families and children. Thank you for helping others to see how beautiful adoption can be.

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  5. Thank you for sharing Nathan's story!
    You continue to inspire and move us!
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
    Kim

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