#10 A few thoughts on Orphan Sunday


November 10th, 2010

Here are a few (very simplified) thoughts on Orphan Sunday.

A few things to clarify:
1. Yes, I am a Christian and I believe that means I am called to care for the orphan and the widow. It’s talked about over and over in the Bible.
2. I am not anti-adoption. (You’ve seen my family, right?)

Now, my thoughts on November 7 – Orphan Sunday
1. Biblically speaking, the church as a whole needs to do more to care for the orphans.
But it needs to be done in a way that is non-manipulative. No staggering statistics, no “before and after” type slide shows, no sappy music. It needs to be a call to action. It needs to have the mind-set that in the future there will not be a need for “Orphan Sunday” because the church has been working towards social change – keeping families together. Providing for the needs of the family– sustainable resources, clean water, access to medical care. Adoption is a last resort.

2. Stop using the Bible as an excuse to dismiss ethics.
Adoption is complicated and heart-breaking. Yes it creates a family and that is a joyful thing but there is grief and loss and sadness and suffering. When your child asks you the tough questions are you going to be able to honestly say to them “We knew that the only option left was adoption.”?

3. No more “rescuing” children.
Every single time some says “Thank you” or “Bless you” to me for adopting our kids, I cringe. I am not a hero. I wanted more kids. And we decided to add to our family through adoption. Period.

4. What I want to see happen
I want to see change. I want to see churches stand up and say that caring for the orphan means fighting for ethics in adoption, ending the sex trade and ending human trafficking
I want to see people providing access to medical care, clean water and an education.
I want to see education on adoption and the complexities that surround it.


13 Responses to “#10 A few thoughts on Orphan Sunday”

  1. Cindy on November 11, 2010 12:01 am

    You are awesome Abby. My thoughts put in words : )

  2. Cathy on November 11, 2010 1:17 pm

    Very nice. I agree with you. I was having a hard time figuring out if I wanted to write about this topic and you have summed it up well.

  3. MM on November 11, 2010 7:44 pm

    mmmmmmmmm-hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I think Orphan Sunday is more like “Orphan Sunday for Dummies.” Church communities have the power to work for social justice like no other…but to keep the discourse on “tucking little girls under warm blankets” is dumbing down a very complicated and enormous dialogue. Yeah, so thanks Abby!

  4. libby jane on November 11, 2010 7:50 pm

    Abby, don’t throw in the towel. Not blogging is not the only alternative to mindless, arcane blogging! Do you get much of people thanking you like a hero? sometimes I think I live in a different world– this concept seems so foreign, and the backstory of adoption as tragedy seems so evident…

  5. abby on November 11, 2010 8:17 pm

    Comments along the lines of “thank you” happen all the time – the grocery store, from family, coworkers, whoever. And I know it happens to other parents as well.

    It’s a learning curve…the more involved I became in adoption the more I learned just how much I didn’t know.

  6. Stefani on November 12, 2010 6:30 am

    Abby thank you for your honest post.

  7. Amanda on November 14, 2010 11:39 am

    You are awesome.

    I think it is very important for every Christian to acknowledge our call to help the poor and disenfranchised, and that many times, adoption simply does not do this as best it could or perpetuates flawed systems that leave entire families and villages without help. Christians tend to favor adoption because of spiritual adoption, we view adoption as “our thing.” But spiritual adoption is nothing like physical adoption. Not at all. Acknowledging real ethics and not the stereotypical message is paramount!

  8. Chris on November 14, 2010 1:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing these ‘thoughts’!
    I pretty much agree with every point you made.

    I also, cringe every time someone says thank you or what a wonderful thing you have done…..

    Actually, it drives me crazy….I am just a mom who is lovin’ her kids, raising them the best I can….just a mom, not a hero…..

  9. The Gang's Momma on November 14, 2010 6:38 pm

    Here! Here! Well said. I love that there is a National Adoption Awareness month. I’m loving less and less that there is an Orphan Sunday. It’s a rock and a hard place – the awareness is crucial and the campaign is important. But there must be a better way to do it…

  10. Dani on November 14, 2010 11:40 pm

    Hear, hear!!! I could not agree more with you! I’ve been struggling to find the balance in the whole Orphan Sunday stuff as a Christian who believes in helping WIDOWS and orphans and doesn’t believe that adoption does much to help either!

  11. claudia on May 3, 2011 9:25 am

    love it! Linking, if I may.

  12. abby on May 3, 2011 3:03 pm

    @claudia – sure, you can link to it.

  13. Tara Livesay on April 20, 2013 4:36 pm

    I am adding this as a link on our adoption tab too. Thanks so much!

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