It has been a long, arduous journey for Julie and David for the last three years in the world of international adoption. They had no idea in September of 2007 when they embarked upon this journey that the country they felt led to adopt from, El Salvador, was the slowest in the world to cut through the red tape and procrastination, and would allow its children to languish in orphanages for years rather than releasing them into good, loving families who were eagerly willing, ready and able to provide good homes for them. After three years they were still waiting on approval from the two agencies in El Salvador that handled international adoptions.
So many times they questioned if they should try a different country or quit altogether, but over and over as they fervently prayed, the answer always came back to them, “Be still, and know that I am God. Wait on the Lord.” They determined that until God closed the door on El Salvador completely, or showed them clearly some other direction, they would hang in there. Lately they had wondered if the door might actually be closing. Their adoption agency, fed up with dealing with El Salvador and seeing almost no movement over the last three years, was talking about pulling out if something didn’t start happening very soon. David and Julie started talking about their options if that happened and looking at different avenues. They must renew their application with Immigration again very soon and they were beginning to wonder if they even should.
This week the call finally came. They had been approved by both agencies! Oh, the joy! They were ecstatic! I was thrilled—more grandchildren! Whoo-Hoo! The good news didn’t stop there. Not only were they approved, but because they were willing to take a sibling group of up to three, they were promising to put their application aside for special processing in order to speed it up. (That remains to be seen. We’ve heard those kinds of promises before.)
Soon,, we hope, they will be matched up with the children God has for them. Who knows how long that will take, but perhaps now that they are fully approved, and with sibling groups so hard to place, it won’t take months for it to happen. Even then, there is normally still a ten month (at least) waiting period after they are matched before the adoption is finalized and they can bring the children home. But at least there is light at the end of the tunnel now.
Please pray for Julie and David as they continue the rest of their quest to bring children out of orphanages and into a loving home. Please pray for wisdom to know God’s will, patience and strength for the journey, and peace with decisions made. Pray for Benjamin, Joshua and Hannah, who are so willing to share their mommy and daddy and home. Pray for the children who are waiting for a family who will love and care for them and have no idea that Julie and David are waiting eargerly for them, too. And pray for the children in orphanages all around the world or out on the streets all alone. We cannot help all of them but we can help some, and if we cannot help some of them, perhaps we can help one.
The Bible says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress.” (James 1:27) We generally hear very little in our churches about caring for orphans. My own church supports Compassion International and the Baptist Children’s Home, but in my whole life I doubt I’ve heard more than one or two messages on the subject. Even if we are not called to actually adopt children or be foster parents, it is the duty of us all–churches and individuals–to in some way demonstrate our love and kindness to orphans, whether it is by supporting a child through Compassion International, or doing a Christmas shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse, or just taking an interest in the kids on our block who have no father in their home. We show our love for Jesus when we show our love for the “least of these.”

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