Archive for November, 2010

Since it is Orphan Awareness Month, I thought I’d list some movies that have to do with adoption and orphans.  If you have any others I didn’t think of (since this is off the top of my head), let me know.

The Blind Side– since this movie came out, there has been an increase in adoptions.  Causation?  No idea, but this is a great movie based on a real story about a family moved to compassion for a homeless boy who miraculously attended the private school their children went to.  That teen, given a 2nd chance at life was named Michael Oher who now plays in the NFL.  Sandra Bullock played the mom, said “I finally met people who walk the walk.”

The Cider House Rules– was written as an apologetic for abortion, but I think it fails to make its point.  Tobey MaGuire plays an orphan who helps the doctor who works there.  It is a loving environment.  The doctor, played by Michael Caine, hopes that the boy will take over for him one day.  But first he must explore the world, and leaves with a young couple who just had a ‘procedure’.  The movie is about rebellion against rules written by others who don’t live in your shoes.  But the movie portrays the destruction caused by abortion more consistently and effectively than it does any pain caused by having the children.

Mommy Dearest– a horror film of sorts as actress Joan Crawford adopts children to appear ‘normal’.  Their experience was anything but normal, as they endure abuse at her hands.  All I can remember is “no more wire hangers!”

Rabbit-Proof Fence– The Aboriginal Act ended up in the Australian government placing many “half-caste” children in orphanages (after removing them from their families).  One teenaged girl and her younger sister escape and travel 1,200 miles thru the heart of Australia to return to their mother and grandmother, outwitting a tracker during their lengthy journey.

Tears of the Sun– Bruce Willis is a soldier who finds himself with the unexpected task of protecting orphans and other refugees from government troops while in Nigeria.  It is an action film, with the protection of orphans as a plot device.

Superman & Spider-Man– both of these comic book heroes were adopted.  The Man of Steel was adopted by the older couple that found him, concealing his identity from the world.  Peter Parker’s parents died, and he was adopted by Aunt Mae and his murdered Uncle.


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We’re Grateful

He's King o' the World!

The other day we showed Eli a picture of himself while he was still in China.

“Li-Li hurt” was the response to seeing himself with the cleft lip.

He’s so full of life (too full?).  We’re grateful for our little guy (and our little girl, but this is an adoption blog).

Also, please for Mike and Tonya Davis who are currently in Nepal hoping to bring their adopted son home.

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Although the criminal background checks came through some time ago, we have not yet gotten our home study.  This is holding us up since we hope to adopt by the end of 2011.

The social worker sent us a new batch of questions, most of which I swore we answered already.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.

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New Holiday Products

Our Just Love Coffee Store has some new products for the holiday season.  The proceeds from your gift giving go toward our adoption expenses.  Have fun shopping!

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I’m reading through Zechariah these days.  In chapter 7 some of the people send representatives to Zechariah to hear from God about a particular issue.  Ever since the destruction of Jerusalem, and the exile, the people have celebrated a fast.  Now that they are back in the land, they want to know if they should continue this fast on the anniversary.  It would be like us wondering if there should be a commemorative fasts on 9/11.

God’s response was- you’re missing the boat.  Their fast had nothing to do with seeking God.  It was home, not God, that they missed.  They had not learned their lesson, for this was the same message proclaimed long ago by prophets like Isaiah (see chapter 58 in particular).  Now here is my point-

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: Judge fairly and honestly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.  Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and poor people.  And do not make evil plans to harm each other.” (NLT)

Note the parallelism.  To judge fairly and show mercy & kindness are the opposite of oppressing others.  As a result, the one another includes the widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor- those most likely to be oppressed since they had no means of resisting evil.

We fool ourselves if we think we’re obeying God as long as we aren’t oppressing widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor.  God’s will for us is to show them mercy and kindness as well.  This is part of righteous living, part of bestowing righteousness on them.

Adoption is one way to show kindness and mercy to orphans.  It is a way in which our faith is expressed in love toward God and others (which in Galatians 5:6 is the only thing that matters).  It moves us out of a self-centered quasi- or counterfeit faith.  Or better put, reveals we have genuine saving faith- the kind that results in obedience (James 2, Ephesians 2:10).

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I started reading Generous Justice by Tim Keller today.  While the book is not about adoption and orphan care, it certainly has some great implications for them.

He starts with talking about Micah 6:8, that we walk humbly before God by acting justly and loving mercy.  They are connected, not separate.

“In Micah 6:8, “misphat puts the emphasis on the action, chesedh puts it on the attitude [or motive] behind the action.”  To walk with God, then, we must do justice, out of merciful love.”

In other words, because we love mercy we act justly.  As Christians, we have received mercy (and Jesus received the retributive justice we deserved).  As the gospel transforms us, Jesus makes us people who are merciful (Mt. 5) and pursue the rights of others.

“Over and over again, misphat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor- those who have been called “the quartet of the vulnerable.””

He quotes a number of passages which use justice to describe how we are to treat those who are often defenseless.  Among those are Zechariah 7:10-11, Deuteronomy 27:19, Jeremiah 22:3 and Deuteronomy 4:6-8.

“If believers in God don’t honor the cries and claims of the poor, we don’t honor him, whatever we profess, because we hide his beauty from the eyes of the world.”

In other words, God’s people are supposed to manifest his beauty and glory as we care for such people in great need.  The church, and individual Christians, should want to glorify God by, in part, caring for orphans.  Adoption glorifies God precisely because it is just, in addition to merciful.

Keller makes the argument (which I agree with) that to not do such things is in fact unjust.  We are unrighteous when we close our ears to their cries, and our wallets to their legitimate needs.  Adoption is one way to respond to their cries, and meet the need of orphans for parents to protect and provide for them.  Are you listening?

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Yep, it is National Orphan Awareness Month.  I’d like to encourage churches to make this known.  If you don’t preach through books of the Bible, pastors, why don’t you tackle the end of James 1.

Even though we’re going through tough times economically, Bethany announced a big increase in the number of adoptions.  This is good news, but there are still many children who have no families, no stability.

In the country we hope to adopt from, kids in the good orphanages get a meal a day.  Yes, a meal a day.

Orphan care takes many forms, not just adoption.  But it is time for people to become aware, so perhaps God will open their hearts to the plight of the littlest ones.

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