This week the Stromberg and Judge family will celebrate the 3rd birthday of our granddaughter, Lydia DanQing Stromberg. This little sweetheart came into our family from China last January 26, 2014. On that day she arrived with her adoptive parents (our daughter, Katie, and son-in-law, Lars) at O’Hare Airport from China to her two brothers, Quinn and Albin and the rest of us.
The story is a beautiful one. Hundreds of people followed the adoption process through their blog. The story will make you smile and weep with joy, as we continue to do; we realize that God has given our family this beautiful gift of little Lydia to love and nurture. The sunshine she brings into our lives is warm and wonderful….every single day. And we are blessed to live nearby.
The redemptive nature of earthly adoption stories helps us humbly accept our own adoption story into God’s family…an act of grace that still shocks me when I consider the depth of how much God loves us. As believers in Jesus Christ, every one of us experiences adoption, though often we don’t appreciate or understand it…our life and our destiny is changed in every way when we put our trust in Him. With the story of Easter ringing in our ears, the sacrifice of Christ that allows us to be adopted into this eternal family of the body of Christ is precious. By His sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf, we receive an eternal family, as we accept this gift.
Just minutes ago, I heard a radio interview with Brian Evie, who wrote and filmed a movie called The Drop Box. The website describes this story of redemption like this:
“The Drop Box tells the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect the most vulnerable members of society. It is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical, emotional and financial toll associated with providing refuge to orphans that would otherwise be abandoned on the streets. ButThe Drop Box movie is also a story of hope—a reminder that every human life is sacred and worthy of love.”
The Award-winning Director of “The Drop Box” talks about how his life was changed by making this movie. Watch the YouTube interview (under Documentaries). The movie will be out on DVD this summer. And a book is coming as well. What an incredible story.
In this world of ours there are more than 150 million orphans who suffer the loss of parents through violence, war and disease. Jesus said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” It is incumbent on us to understand and relate to this issue as we are the hands and feet of Jesus. As Paul dictates in James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress…”
As you are aware if you are reading this blog, I am involved with an orphan care center in Kenya called Hope for Life. Orphan sponsorship was introduced to me by World Vision and Compassion and Jim and I continue to sponsor children in Africa through both of these organizations as well as Hope for Life Kenya. Supporting these children through their school years is one of the most effective way to change a life, something each of us can do. Then there is the much larger commitment of adopting either domestically or internationally.
And to address another angle, I want to say something about the wonder of young families in adopting. We all know that the desire of anyone to adopt requires a serious commitment to rescuing a child. It is also a commitment to lengthy research and study.
My favorite blogger, Jen Hatmaker has adopted two children from Ethiopia. During their process, she blogged about the pitfalls of adoption when agencies are not trustworthy and children are actually trafficked away from their parents in order to be “sold” to well-meaning westerners, who don’t have any idea this is happening. Their good intentions are sometimes ripping children away from their parents. Jen writes about what she has learned about this reality. It can be a complicated subject.
It is a sobering thought and one that can be prevented by performing the due diligence in the process. If you know anyone beginning this process, a good place to begin would be to read the three-part blog/story of the Hatmaker’s learning curve.
Please consider how you can become more commited to understanding and supporting the most vulnerable among us…orphaned children.