A good friend of ours just got back from her recent trip to Ethiopia to meet her beautiful new son. While there, they visited the orphanage that he had been living in for at least 2 of his sweet 3 years.
She told me it was the worst place she had ever been. Many of the infants had recently been dropped off and still had attached umbilical cord stumps. They all were so filthy with soaking/dirty diapers that the families visiting couldn't even pick them up they were so dirty. The bottles were propped for each baby and with no burping, the tiny infants would throw up all over themselves and would lay there, not being cleaned up. The orphanage told her that they get one new child A DAY.
I am hoping our Olivia would no longer be one of those babies - but my heart still hurts for them. Olivia should already have been moved into our transition home and is being well fed, held, hugged, and cleaned. So to those that say that 'it's all about the money' - yes - we are paying alot of money to our agency in Ethiopia - but it is for the months that my child will be taken care of..... versus the alternative - her staying in an orphanage.
When I told Tony about the orphanage he clammed up until he said, "When we go on our trip - I'm not going to any orphanages. I can't take seeing that." To which I said in a completely not-so-submissive fashion, "Oh we WILL go. We have to. We have to be Jesus to those children, to hold and love them if only for a brief time." Besides that, that is the very purpose of praying and begging God to provide for the kids to go - so that they can visit and play with the older kids in the orphanages and have a love for missions and orphans birthed in them. Or will it be further birthed in us. Time will tell.
And then I got to thinking ----- how much are we just like those precious babies? Covered in our own stench and filth?? Every little white lie, every lustful glance, every gossiped word -- just more and more throw up we are covering ourselves with.
And yet ---- Christ still came to us. When he was a Prince - he left Perfection to come to where we live. To pick us up, getting himself covered in our stinking sin. And then to clean us up, make us new - and adopt us as his own. To take us home with him so that yes, when we mess ourselves again, and we will - or throw up sin all down our shirt - Jesus will wipe us clean once more. Cause that's what loving fathers do. I thank God I am adopted, and I thank God for the picture he has made so clear for us in this process to adopt one of his little ones.
The difference is that Christ comes to us and adopts us - all we had to do was call out to him and ask to be his child. These children don't have the option of asking to have a father. That's where the church needs to step up and follow the command of Christ to look after them. And that's where the church is falling down on the job. Although it is encouraging to see some churches in America now waking up to the orphan crisis.
Months back we had reports from one of our visiting families about the conditions of the babies in one of the orphanages they visited. Babies sleeping on wooden planks in cribs, wet and cold. No diapers. Extreme diaper rash.
A sweet friend of mine started collecting cloth diapers and forming crews to make waterproof diaper covers to send. She then formed teams to take them over to the orphanages in Ethiopia, and now also, Uganda. Did I happen to also mention that this young mom shares the same DTE date as us for a baby girl, has a little boy already, AND had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor??? I don't want to hear anyone else say they don't have the time or the resources, or even the emotional capacity to adopt or help orphans - and that goes for myself as well!!!
We formed our own sewing team with 3 ladies showing up at church with me one Saturday morning to cut, pin, and sew more sweet diaper covers. Thank you ladies!!! (especially kind Debra who took fragments home to finish for me!)
My sweet cousin Jaime then asked her church in Virginia to help contribute and look how many they donated - to help me, who they had never met, and the babies in the Ethiopian orphanages that pulled at their hearts. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus church!!! And thank you Jaime for spear-heading and planning the event!
From reports, we heard later that through so many families from AWAA pulling together and sending donations, the babies at Kids Care Orphanage were doing much better. So all the above donations will go with me when I travel to another orphanage in need - as there are SO many in need. I'm guessing we wont have to go far to find some dirty bottoms in need of a little bit of love from Christ.