Have you ever felt rejected? Have you felt like you don’t fit in anywhere, and that you have no one to love you? Have you ever felt like you’ve been forgotten?
I spent most of my young life being tortured by all of those horrible feelings. However, after I met Jesus at age 21, I came to know that I am a beloved child of my Papa God. I am a member of a spiritual family; a daughter, not a spiritual orphan.
However, there are many in this world today who have no way of receiving that same healing—because they ARE orphans. They have no parents, and no one to show them the love of Jesus.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there were 13 million children who had lost both parents in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean alone in 2005.
 According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, as of 2012 there were an additional 101,719 children in the United States under the age of 16 in public care, waiting to be adopted.
The life that many orphans in other countries endure is heartbreaking. Stories abound of infant children who are stored in cribs like loaves of bread, never held or loved. Many children are malnourished and ill. Even healthy children may live without stimulation or attentive care.
Orphans in the United States are generally better cared for because of the American foster care system. However, having a roof over one’s head doesn’t provide for the needs of the orphan’s heart. All children deserve a family. All children deserve to be loved. All children were created by God for a purpose, and should have an opportunity to live out that purpose. No one deserves to be a statistic.
So how can you and I help? How can we make a difference, even if it’s only by helping one orphan?
1. Consider adoption.
God has a heart for adoption. He only has one biological Child: Jesus Christ. All of His other children—billions upon billions of them—have been adopted.
God identifies Himself in Scripture as a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). If we as Christians want to demonstrate the heart of God on the earth, the Church has to wake up and adopt. How can we bask in our adoption as children of God without actively working to help others know the blessing of adoption?
One of the deepest desires of my heart is to adopt a child. My husband and I are saving money and praying about possible adoption in the future. If the Lord opens that door for us, I know it will be a challenging road. Adoption is expensive. It’s time-consuming. There may be red tape and bureaucracy to fight through. Nevertheless, adoption is the Father’s heart.
Is God calling you to adopt? Do you have room in your family for more love? Could you embrace a child and free him or her from the misery of orphanhood? I implore you to pray about this, and ask God to show you if adoption is right for your family.
2. Help an adoptive family.
The apostle Paul told us in Romans 10:14-15 that, although some are called to preach, others are called to send. Missionaries and preachers need financial support, and those who support them get to share in the harvest and in the reward.
In the same way, not everyone is able to adopt. However, everyone can help adoptive families. Even if you are not able to adopt a child yourself, you can still work with others to bring a child home.
Adoption can be terribly expensive. If a family is adopting an infant (domestically) or any child internationally, costs begin around $20,000 and may exceed $40,000. You may say, “Well, God will provide,” and that’s true. He will… but He uses people to do it!
If you know a family who is pursuing adoption, they need help! Their costs can include:
- Airfare to visit the child’s home country, sometimes more than once, and sometimes for both adoptive parents;
- Hotel charges;
- Unpaid time off work when long periods of travel are required (some countries require personal visits as long as 4-6 weeks, or even more);
- Fees for home studies, paperwork, more paperwork, and more paperwork;
- Caring for the birth mother (grocery money, utilities, transportation) during a pregnancy; and
- Standard new-child expenses like baby furniture, diapers, etc.
Those are only a few examples of the costs involved with adoption. Obviously, the price tag can be prohibitive. Although some agencies like Stephen Curtis Chapman’s Show Hope™offer grants toward adoption, such grants (if awarded) still do not pay all expenses.
So what do adoptive families do? They pray. They make and sell T-shirts, crafts, and baked goods. They sacrifice. They give up birthday treats, vacations, and cable TV. Then they pray some more.
You can help those adoptive families. You can buy their T-shirts, crafts, and baked goods. You can donate cash. You can book their airfare with your frequent flyer miles. You can donate a hotel stay using your credit card points. You can throw an adoptive family a new-child shower. Everything you do counts. Every penny adds up.
3. Finally, you can pray.
We need to pray fiercely for orphaned children. We need to pray for them by name and by country. We need to pray for the families that are pursuing them and for those that are not pursuing them yet. Prayer changes things.
Our Heavenly Father loves orphans. His heart is moved by their plight. He gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue a world full of orphans and bring them into His family. If our God loves orphans that much, can we do any less?
What can you do today to help bring an orphaned child home?
Learn more about adoption and the plight of orphans here:
Jamie Rohrbaugh is a wife, Bible teacher, intercessor, and unlikely worship leader from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her passion is to see “on earth as it is in heaven” become reality in every Christian’s life. Her blog, www.FromHisPresence.com, focuses on encouraging and equipping people to become spiritual fathers and mothers, function in their gifts, and live a supernatural lifestyle led by the Holy Spirit. Jamie holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and a Master’s in Biblical Studies from Berea Seminary. She is married to Bruce, and together they have one cat.