I use James 1:27 in my email signature line, and it's the verse that you see at the top of my blog. I don't take this verse lightly. There are approximately 143 million orphans throughout the world. I've seen where some of them live...the conditions, the lack of nutrition and healthcare, the lack of a decent future, the lack of family and unconditional love, the stares at the "imperfections" that will never be accepted in their society. I could go on and on.
Being an orphan is more than just living in an orphanage. It's a life. A life that's headed for heartache, struggles, and lonliness. A life that won't know the blessings of a family, no matter how imperfect that family may be. A life, that when they come of age, will be wandering the streets, looking for something...love, money, a job. Things that unfortunately may come with a huge price.
We are blessed to be a part of adopting children into our family. We had no idea the journey we were headed on when we adopted Laura almost 6 years ago. Our hearts are truly drawn to adoption, advocating for the orphan, and fulfilling James 1:27. And we know that not all families are called in the same way to care for the orphan through adoption. But we are all called as Christians to care for the orphan, and here are some ways that we've seen that action take place over the past two weeks, all so we could travel to China to bring home our Jenna.
1. Grandparents that cared for Laura for over two weeks, cleaned our house, and had dinner cooking for us when we got home.
2. Another set of grandparents that spent time with Laura, and offered their help whenever it was needed.
3. Aunts, uncles, and cousins who were ready at the drop of a hat to pitch in and help with the kids...even if it meant missing work...and school, too, I'm sure! :)
4. Friends that kept Jacob and Amarin for nearly two weeks...including homeschooling them!
5. Another friend who went out of her way to pick up Jacob for band classes so he didn't have to miss two weeks of lessons.
6. Other friends who kept an eye on our house while no one was home.
7. So many who kept us all in their prayers while we were gone.
8. Bloggy friends who followed our journey, and left encouraging notes.
9. Family and friends who drove us to and from the airport.
So, no. All of these people did not journey to adopt a child, but they did "care for the orphan" by caring for our family so we could adopt. We couldn't have done it without them all! So, if you're wondering how to fulfill James 1:27 when you don't feel called to adopt...here are 9 great examples, and I'm sure there are more. If you have more ideas, feel free to share them by leaving a comment.