I’m in a hotel in Washington DC, about to get a couple hours of sleep before I fly to Ethiopia in the morning with Help One Now. I should be sleeping but I’m not . . . kept awake by a heady mix of excitement and nerves. Tonight our team assembled in the hotel lobby for a “quick meeting” that turned into a 3-hour conversation. There was laughter, there were a few tears, but mostly there was the buzz of being around people who share a similar passion.
(photo by Ty Clark)
At one point, our conversation turned to adoption. Jen Hatmaker, Korie Robertson, Jillian Lauren, and I have all adopted children, and Jillian was adopted herself, so we all have that in common. We talked about the joys and also some of the struggles of adoption, and agreed that one thing we would like to see is an end to poverty orphans. While adoption will continue to be a permanency option for some children, we all believe that poverty should not be a sole reason for parents to have to relinquish their children. Mike Rush, from Pure Charity, also adopted from Ethiopia. He had the chance to visit the community we are focused on back in January, as they were doing interviews with some of the families we’re recruiting donors to support. He said that it was incredibly emotional to sit with these families, as he thought about his own daughter and her birth family and what might have been. This is what drives us to do this . . . we feel incredibly blessed by our children through adoption, but we ultimately want to reduce the number of children who are orphaned in the first place.
Orphan prevention first, adoption as last resort.
Family preservation is the first step in orphan care.
(photo by Jen Hatmaker)
My heart beats strong to see children who need them find a forever family, but my heart also beats for kids to stay with the birth family if possible. This trip is about preventing orphans and strengthening families, and I’m excited to learn and show how Help One Now is doing this work.