Imagine waking up each morning surrounded by people, but totally alone.
Imagine walking to and from school and home each day knowing that you could disappear and no one would really care.
Imagine going to bed at night without saying goodnight to anyone.
Imagine the doors being opened for you, and walking out into the world without any support system, without anyone to advocate for you, anyone to fight on your behalf.
Imagine being thrust into adulthood without the tools necessary to survive.
Imagine a world full of light into which you cannot walk.
Imagine being trapped in darkness with no real hope.
The plight of those without family is more real to me than it’s ever been before. I’ve known the statistics for a long time – Girls who ago out of an orphanage are 60% more likely to end up in prostitution. Boys who age out are 70% more likely to end up in prison. The suicide rate for children who have exited an orphanage without a support system are sky-high.
I knew these things, but I’d never touched them.
This is a fight that we cannot ignore. I’m a huge proponent of adoption. I absolutely believe that adoption is a necessary and important tool in orphan care. I’m also, however, passionate about supporting orphans within their own countries. We must help them from both ends of this spectrum.
I do believe that it’s best for children to be raised in their own countries, amidst their own cultures. I also believe that’s not always possible, and for those who are called, I fully support you in your quest for adoption.
There has to be more, though. We must advocate for the fatherless with zeal, and we cannot give up on this quest because too much is at stake. I heard it said not long ago that growing up without a family is toxic to a child’s soul. There is, perhaps, no greater loneliness than that of knowing that no one cares.
This isn’t a post that’s meant to incite guilt. The truth is, I don’t really know what the next step is for our family. When we put “K” on the plane next week, what happens next?
I don’t know. But I’m asking and I’m seeking, because now I know and once you know the truth, action is required.
The orphan crisis is big – it’s so big. Bigger than any one person, or any one organization. But results are tangible, and there is hope to be found. (<—Click this to tweet) Hope may be slow, but it’s alive and it’s real and it’s the only thing that can shatter the darkness.
All I ask today is that you imagine the feeling of being totally and completely alone. Imagine, just for a second.
What can you do?
What can I do?