It is a sad time in the world of international adoption. Russia has closed to adoption for political reasons, other countries have closed to adoption in order to implement Hague standards, yet never reopened. A major adoption agency announced last week their closure due to bankruptcy. Another one this week notified their families that they had lost their Hague accreditation and could no longer serve them.
We are deeply saddened by these announcements for so many reasons. Sad for the politicians who put their interests above the lives of children; sad for our colleagues in adoption who will not be able to continue their passion to serve vulnerable children; and sad for the families trying to adopt who have now experienced another roadblock in their journey to grow their family. But most importantly our hearts break for the orphans all of these closures impact.
An estimated 10 million orphans are living in institutions. Over 2 million children are orphaned in Africa alone, mainly due to the AIDS crisis. And in the all orphan statistics you read, the true number is unknown because so many children are never counted. But the impact of closures, bankruptcies, and adoption slowdowns can best be seen in the life of one child.
There’s an orphan lying in a crib today in a government orphanage whose life was changed due to these events. If her adoption had been completed, she would have been welcomed into a loving family who would cherish her. But instead of ballet lessons, school plays, family gatherings, graduation, marriage and creating her own loving family, she faces an uncertain future – lack of brain development, the potential of being a victim of child trafficking, prostitution, and most importantly never feeling loved. Our heart breaks for her today.
Through our faith, we are confident that God has a plan for these children. The words of Jesus resonate for all of us, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) But we also know His work is often done through our hands. Our prayer is that many will rise up in these dark days for the world’s orphans, and reach out for them through your prayers, political advocacy, and financial support.
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