International adoption will never solve the orphan crisis. It might be a good answer for a relative handful of children, but it’s not a realistic solution for a global dilemma. One beautiful adoption means an ugly tragedy happened first. A child was orphaned because of poverty or preventable disease or abandonment or some other atrocity. Children don’t want their birth parents to die so they can come to America, live in a two-story house in suburbia, attend private school, play on an iPad, and be a boyscout. Adoption happens for few. And those few represent the faces of millions more who are left alone.
The best scenario is for the birth parents to survive preventable disease or to have a financial situation that doesn’t force them to relinquish their children. The best scenario is not adoption.
Believers, both those who have and have not been called to adopt, must begin to ask ourselves what we can do to play a part in the solution. How can we begin to get at the root of the orphan crisis and keep families together? How can we play a role, be it very small, in alleviating poverty, improving education, and eliminating preventable disease?
Our family found that answer in Compassion International.
He’s the 4-year-old boy we’ve been sponsoring monthly and praying for daily. He lives with his mom and dad in Nazareth, Ethiopia and attends Misrak Wonji Kuriftu Student Center. We write Ferahol letters, and with the help of an adult and a translator, he writes us back! Turns out his favorite animal is a cow, and his favorite sport is soccer. So he and Maddox have two things in common.
Compassion International is a Christian organization working to break the cycle of poverty in countries like Ethiopia. The money we give really does go to Ferahol, helping him receive nutritious meals, educational opportunities, medical checkups, and most importantly, the gospel through the work of a local church.
For the skeptics out there who wonder if child sponsorship really works… A recent study published in the Journal of Political Economy found that sponsored children are more likely to graduate secondary school and college, have salaried employment, and be leaders in their communities.
What’s even cooler is that when we travel to Ethiopia to meet our next child, we can also have the opportunity to meet Ferahol. Compassion coordinates both personal and group visits to meet your sponsored child. We can’t wait to see first hand what a lot of love and little bit of money can do in Ferahol’s life.
If you’ve ever considered sponsoring a child through Compassion, you should totally take the plunge. It’s literally the cost of eating out one less time or getting one less mani/pedi per month, and it makes a huge, eternal impact.
Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:18-19
And some photos of the Oromio region of Ethiopia where Ferahol lives…