Sunday, November 3, 2013

Orphan Sunday

Before I started on my adoption journey, I had no idea there was such a thing as "Orphan Sunday."  I knew about adoption, I knew about foster care, I knew about international adoption, but I did not know the magnitude of the orphan crisis in the world today.  The statistics are heartbreaking.  In India alone, there are an estimated 20 million orphans according TO INDIA, which if you know anything about India, that admittance is staggering.

 There is something about the innocent and helpless that  tug at my heartstrings.  These children don't have anyone fighting for them.  I saw with my own eyes and it haunts me.  There is one particular little girl at Munni's orphanage who I pray for constantly, hoping that she will find her forever family.  So far, no one is interested in her simply because of her appearance.  Her crime?  She has albinism.  And she is the most beautiful little girl :)  I spent a lot of time with her when I picked up Munni to bring her home.  She has the sweetest laugh you've ever heard and the most beautiful smile.  She is a little younger than Munni and she and Munni were friends.  She has now seen 5 and soon to be 6 girls in her "room" go home to their forever families while she waits for someone to want her, to cherish her, to call her beloved daughter.  She is stuck in a system of the worst kind of bureaucracy but I will advocate and fight for this little one to find a family because SHE IS WORTHY.

There was a time when Munni was passed over.  Family after family passed on Munni's file.  She was too risky.  Flagged for a future of emotional turmoil that no one was willing to pursue.  Their loss is my incredible gain.

They couldn't see past this:

But God showed me this and burned her face into my heart:
And that started a fire that raged inside me.  That fire burned brighter and brighter which led to biggest battle of my life.  But I didn't do it alone.  Friends, family, strangers... came along beside me and prayed for me, encouraged me, gave me money, cried with me, raged with me, sent me encouraging letters, emails, texts, prayed for Munni, helped distract me when I was overloaded and helped me focus when I need to the most.  They helped me make a gazillion copies and assemble the craziest amount of paperwork you've ever seen in your life!  They wrote letters on my behalf, they allowed me to photograph their families, they bought t-shirts, they bought gear from Ordinary Hero to help me win a grant, they drove to Columbus to help me get my papers apostilled, they made phone calls to the US Embassy in New Delhi, they donated their time and services, they bought me meals to treat me to a night out, they listened to me cry, they hugged me, and most of all, they loved me.  I could have never done this without the community that rose up and surrounded me and supported me.  Adoption is not just about a parent or parents who decide to adopt a child.   It really does take a community to bring a child home.  I think there's a reason for that.  These children have lost so much before they come to their forever families... a loss that many of us could not fathom.  I know that the people who have come along side me are vested in Munni.  I know they love her.  I see it in their eyes when they meet her.  She may not understand this right now, but one day she will and it will be a powerful moment for her- to know that it wasn't just me that fought to bring her home.  She was loved BY MANY.  That is an undeniable and certain truth for the many orphans who do find their forever families.
But what about the ones who don't?  That's what makes me sick to my stomach and why I can't stop thinking and praying about that little girl who is still "stuck."  I know that Munni and now Sweet Baby R. have changed me forever.  I will advocate for the orphan until the day I die.
I know that not everyone is called to adopt but there are many ways you can help.  Here are some suggestions:
If you are feeling a tugging at your heart to adopt, take that next step- it is so worth it :)
Support a family financially.  Adoption is expensive!
Cook them a meal
Donate some of your stuff to their garage sale.  Many families do fundraisers and donations like those help tremendously!
Help assemble paperwork!!!
If they have children, offer to babysit / offer a date night if they are married or selfie if single :)
Send them an encouraging note.  I can't tell you the amount of letters/texts/emails I received at a time when I needed them most.  It is emotionally draining- you need all the encouragement you can get!
Support a child through World Vision
Help spread the word :)
Donate your children's clothes to an orphanage.  I brought two suitcases full of the most beautiful dresses to Munni's orphanages.  If you could have seen the look on the girls' faces... priceless :)
Get creative!  I promise that whatever you do, you will feel fulfilled.  You will be making a difference in a child's life.

I look back over the past 8 months and I am in awe at the change I've seen in Munni.  She has really blossomed into a beautiful person:
I want that for Munni's little friend too.  I want it for all the orphans.  It breaks my heart when I think about the world we live in and that we even have to have "Orphan Sunday," but I also think about 2 things Mother Teresa said:

"If you can't feed 100 people, feed just one."


"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."

So, I'm advocating for one little girl... if you are interested or God pricks your heart about her, please contact me.  I am also casting my stone across the waters and hopefully I am creating many ripples.  My prayer is that there will be a revolution of change.  A true revolt.  That people will stand up and really start fighting for these children- fighting against the system that keeps them stuck.  That wrong ideas and beliefs about adoption will be broken and a new thought foundation put into place.  I hope that in some way I have encouraged you to get involved in the orphan crisis and to "feed the one."  I also hope that you cast your stone and make some ripples :)

And in case you missed it the first time, here is Munni's homecoming video.  She was so worth the battle and so worth the wait.   Every. Single. Minute. 


  1. The transformation of your life, Munni's life, and R's life is inspiring -- I pray that many people will continue to be moved by your story!