After having several days where I was too excited about life to sleep, I believe my manic days are over and I'm back to some sense of normalcy this morning. I'm still excited about my life but today I'm more balanced -- missing my old friends, realizing the huge amounts of stuff I have to get done, and recognizing that it's a good thing I'm not quite as frenetic.
Yesterday I had lunch with a woman who is passionate about the issue of human trafficking. While working her latest job from which she took an early retirement, she traveled extensively and saw enough that she had to say "enough" and get involved.
I love to see passion. I would love to have time and energy to dive into more than a few social issues... but I heard a man speak during a chapel service in college who said something like "a thin wedge drives deeper." He expounded on that to say that if you want to make a deep impact, you have to have a life mission that is very focused. So I took him up on that and have had very centered efforts through my life. My first passion was Christian higher education, my second was Hispanic Ministry and the migrant population, and then we dove into foster care and adoption (OK, that's an understatement) and now for the past 16 years my focus has been on the 20,000+ kids tha age out each year.
So I had lunch with my new friend who is especially plugged into Not For Sale, an impressive non-profit that deals with the issue. She says "Many people have asked me why I even try when the issue is so huge." And we went on to talk about how significant it is if even ONE person finds a way out of slavery -- how that would be worth years of a person's time.
I feel the same way about foster care. 26,286 is a big number, but if I have helped match over 600 kids in the last 9 years -- theoretically that number could have been 26,886 if I hadn't been doing what I do. Those kids would have gotten older and had nobody adopted them -- they'd have been part of the 2011 number.
But really human trafficking -- especially when it involves children -- is all a part of the Orphan and Adoption Umbrella. I talked with my friend Michele at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington on Friday. She and her husband Andrew are amazing advocates for kids and orphan care and adoption ministry. They spearhead the Refresh Conference where Bart and I will be speaking in February. In fact if you go to the website and watch the What Comments do you Get While in Public? video Andrew and Michele are the last couple to speak on the video.
Anyway, we were talking about just how many different things are part of making sure children are secure in functioning families before they become adults. Andrew, who is a lawyer, is opening a non-profit clinic to serve children in the system. It is so exciting to have so many cool people in my life who are passionately doing things to change the world.
I am reminded of this quote by Edward Everett Hale:
I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
So if you don't have a passion yet -- pick one and dive in. Every thing you do makes a difference.