During our family mission trip to the Dominican Republic this summer we visited an orphanage. I knew this was part of the trip agenda and was excited about it, after all, I have a heart for orphans!
I totally underestimated how hard it would be, I mean, I had already been to several orphanages in Ethiopia.
But, the difference was, this was the first orphanage I have visited since I left an orphanage with a child in my arms 19 months earlier.
When an orphan becomes a daughter, everything changes. Not just for the newly adopted child, but for the parents, too.
As you watch God's redemption unfold despite your human shortcomings, as you witness the amazing healing the presence of a family has on the life of a child, you want that for every orphan.
The orphanage we visited in the Dominican Republic was MUCH nicer than the orphanages I saw in Ethiopia. The kids were in much better condition. We had a great day of playing with the children, eating lunch with them, and delivering toys, clothes, and supplies to them. Back on the bus, many from our mission group seemed to feel really positive about the good Christian orphanage the children we visited were in and there was talk about how more such orphanages might be developed.
Me? I felt like a mama bear. I wanted to roar, "It is NOT okay! I want more for them than that. Those kids need families! Do you understand the PROFOUND loss it is for a child to be without a family?!! We can deliver dresses and toys and that's great but what those kids really need are families to love them forever!"
The Dominican Republic does not really adopt children to the U.S. right now and adoptions within their own country are few. It is very, very likely all these sweet girls (and several others we met that day) will grow up without a family:
I don't know what to do about it, but I do know I'm not okay with it.
Maybe it starts there. With us all being NOT OKAY with it.
Until every child has a family . . .