Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Once an orphan...

Every Wednesday, our classes are cut a bit short and we have a chapel service after second period at school. Today, it was focusing on praising God. We sang quite a few praise songs and then they opened up the mic to any students who wanted to share. Some amazing stories. The last one was shared by one of the sophomores... I don't think there was a dry eye in the room...

She is the sister of one of my friends. His family adopted her a few years ago from Bela*rus. She was either 11 or 12 at the time she was adopted and is now 17.

She got up and took the mic as she composed herself and started by saying, "I was once an orphan."

With tears streaming down her face, she said something along the lines of, "I want to thank my family because I know I don't always seem grateful, but I want you to know how grateful I really am. If it weren't for you, if I was still an orphan, I would be on the streets. You see, when you turn 17 in Bela*rus, you are kicked out of the orphanage. You are homeless with no one to go to. Yet, I have a family. I'm not on the streets in Bela*rus because of them." Now sobbing, she got out the words, "I love you guys and I thank you so much, even though you might not always know it."

So often, the babies get all the attention. But what about the older kids? The older kids who are about to age out of the system and have little hope unless they are adopted? They will literally be on the streets. Unless they are adopted. They deserve a hope and a future. They deserve a family, too.

Life on the streets... I don't even want to bring myself to think about what that might include. I pray that families are raised up to not only adopt the little ones, but the older ones, too. Everyone deserves a family... no one should have to face being kicked out of an orphanage to be on the streets.

Just feeling convicted today..

8 comments:

Keri said...

Wow. What a brave young lady.

Keri

Kristi said...

I join you in that thought for older children! There is an 11 year old boy on Lifeline's list that has my heart right now...

Amy said...

I love your heart. I love the heart of your generation. I truly believe you will do great things in your time. My son (17yrs old) was trying to talk my husband and I into adopting an older child last night. He wouldn't have to push too hard :)
You are an amazing young lady. I can't wait to see all that you accomplish in the next few years.
Many Blessings,
Amy

Staci said...

Thank you for posting that Emily!! It's so true! Older children need our attention too. What an amazing testimony from the girl! I didn't know that Belarus had an adoption program- very cool!

adoptionroad said...

This is a beautiful testimony and a beautiful account Emily. I can't tell you how many times I refer to your blog and your family when talking about adoption. For one so young, you are truly living out the Gospel in every way. You are an encouragement to us "old folks" through your blogging, designing blogs, and loving on your little sisters!

Andrea (AWAA China family)

Annie said...

Hi!
I found your blog off of Charlene Martin's and just wanted to say how much I resonate with what you posted today! I went to China (actually to PHF!) this past summer to visit my little sponsor baby and the other kids there. Meeting the older orphans gave me this huge sense of urgency, as they only have a few short years left to be adopted. I think many people are leery of accepting these children into their families because of their age, but they are AMAZING kids who are in desperate need of homes of their own! Praise God for people like your friends who give them the chance to be loved, and may He call many more families to step up and do likewise!
Thanks for your post!

Jean said...

Awesome post Emily!! You are so right it is up to us... to everyone that can to offer a home, a family, and love to the children. It s so often the older kids that are forgotten- it is so good to call attention to them!

God Bless your friend and her dear family!!

God Bless you! I love your blog! I hope my children have your heart!

Wife of the Pres. said...

I too am praying for all those families who will one day adopt an older child. We never thought we would until God showed us our son.

Thank you for sharing.