He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Value of Children

I am writing this three days after a gunman opened fire in the Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and 6 adults.  The news is on behind me with everyone giving their opinion about why this happened and what is wrong with our culture.  I've heard access to guns and lack of mental health care and violence in video games.  But you know what I haven't heard?

I haven't heard anyone speak the truth yet:  our society doesn't value children.

There.  I said it and now I'm crying because it hurt so much to say. 

Oh, we talk a good game.  We buy our children everything under the sun.  We take them to 15 different activities per day.  We make sure they have their Under Armour hoodie and Nike shoes and iPhone before we send them off for the day. 

But we do not value children.

Today, thousands of them will be murdered and we won't blink an eye.  It will not be reported on the news.  The President will not mourn their loss.  In fact, he will encourage it and wants the government to pay for it. 

Today thousands of preborn children will be ripped apart and sucked out and we don't care. 

Is it so hard to see that we live in a culture of death?  We tell our children that babies don't count because they are "unwanted" and "inconvenient"  and then we expect them to have respect for life?  Really?  Are we so blind?

Of course this is not just an American problem.  This is true across the world.  So many countries warehouse their unwanted children, barely meeting their basic needs and certainly not giving them anything close to the nurturing God intended. 

This past week the former director at Nora and Anna's orphanage was reinstated by the courts because what she did was not found to be "significant."  Eighteen children died under her care in the last year or so.  Teenagers were the size of infants.  Broken bones went untreated.  Children were left in cribs to rot.  But their lives were not important.

Children are not "significant."

Contrast this with God's view of children.  Jesus valued them so much that he said that we must become like them to enter the kingdom.  He rebuked his disciples when they tried to prevent the children from seeing Jesus.  Many of the healings recorded in the Gospels were of children. 

God values children!  All children! 

Meet Brandi.  God values her even if her society does not.  Even if no one here thinks she is important enough to rescue.  She is valued!

We can turn this thing around.  We can start to truly value children in this country.  Let's start with Brandi.  If God is prompting your heart, contact Shelley Bedford at shele337@gmail.com and ask about adding her to your family.

She matters to God.  We can have a culture of life.  One child at a time.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Henry and Harvey

I hear a lot "Boy, those kids are sure lucky to have you," about both my current adopted children and the two we are working to bring home.  I like to think that I am a pretty good mother (some days).  But any adoptive parent knows this secret - we are the blessed ones.  We can never give our children more than they give to us. 

And here is a picture of one such little giver.

His name is Henry.  His family adopted him 14 months ago from Ukraine, where he would have lived his short little life in a crib, never knowing love or home.  So it would be easy to think that Henry was the "lucky" one.  But if you've spent any time with his mom Carla, whether in real life or online, you would know immediately that she was the one blessed.  The love she has for Henry spills over in every word she says, every photograph.  And Henry has made a difference for so many other little ones in his situation.  Because Carla has shared Henry's story every step of the way on her blog, many other families have found their children.

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Henry passed on from surgery complications this past week.  His family and many in the adoption community are heartbroken.  But Henry will live forever, not only in the arms of Jesus, but also here on earth as child after child comes home to bless their family the way Henry blessed his.

I thought Henry was adorable.  But in his country, he was seen as a burden, unloveable.  Like Jesus himself,  "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men."  Isaiah 53: 2-3.

So many orphans are not "attractive" by our society's standards.  But Jesus says that what we do for the least of these, we do for him. 

Today I want you to meet Harvey.  Like Henry, Harvey has many needs.  Like Henry, Harvey is not loved in his home country.  He is considered a burden.  But like Henry, Harvey will be a blessing to his family.  He is a child of God who needs to be loved.  Look at him!

He is despised and rejected!  But he is not forgotten!

Who is looking to be blessed today?  Please let's continue Henry's legacy of love.  Inquire about sweet Harvey.  His file has been sent back to his home country but can be requested.  Just contact Shelley Bedford at shele337@gmail.com.