Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adoption is Not the Answer

I'm going to admit something. When we first decided to adopt I felt like we had decided to do this really great, really beautiful thing and that this adoption was going to be pretty much awesome because we were a piece (all be it a very, very small piece) of solving the orphan crisis. Wrong. We aren't solving the orphan crisis at all.

Now that I'm in it. Now that I'm experiencing it I have come to realize that no matter how many Christians adopt (and I know that if I do the numbers that if a certain number of Christians adopt then there will be no more orphans, but I'm sure you can google that if you want to) it won't SOLVE the orphan crisis. SURE, there would be no more orphans. At least for the day.  Until the next day when a mother in Ethiopia loses her life giving birth to her child without medical care. Or the next day when a mother in Uganda dies of AIDS and leaves three children behind. Or when a family living on the streets and off of garbage decides it's best to leave their child at an orphanage where they can have shelter, clothing and food. All of us Christians adopting the orphans wouldn't solve the problem. The problem would still be there. Poverty. AIDS. Malaria. War. Death.  It would all. still. be. there.

We CAN be part of the solution. We can help to bring medical clinics to impoverished areas, start or support clean water initiatives, birth control education, sponsor a child (providing a child with food, clothes, education, shelter), start programs that find a way for families to have a sustainable income through micro business grants, etc. And there are many, many organizations out there that are doing each of these things.  Find one. Support one. Or start your own.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not discouraging adoption. I ENCOURAGE has been the most amazing God led journey and we CAN'T wait to bring home our son! I still think adoption is a beautiful thing. A God designed thing and a necessary thing because there ARE orphans and they DO need homes. But it's the result of something sad, something heartbreaking, and something that is, at times, preventable.

Ways that WE can help:

Community development: Project 61The Raining Season
Child Sponsorship: There are over 100 children HERE who need sponsors through Lifesong for Orphans. Another amazing ministry and child sponsorship program is Amazima
Clean water initiatives: Give WaterGlimmer of Hope
The basis of sustained health and economic development comes from access to clean water. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases. A recent UN publication reports that water contributes to poverty alleviation. Orphan Epidemic clean water initiatives work to provide access to clean water to help fight extreme poverty and protect people from disease.
Sustainable Income: Ugandan Bead Necklaces 
GO: Visiting Orphans
Organizations in Nashville that support a number of these things147 Million OrphansOrdinary Hero


Sarah Ezell said...

You gave me tears before 9am :)

chris anne said...

Ashley, thank you for sharing this today. I am so proud you are my friend.

The Whitfields said...

unbelievable!! that gives me chills thinking about this post and our conversation today. God is pretty amazing!!!