“I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”
I loved his point. I did not love the many comments I received scolding me for using the word shit. I don't think they got the point. And I wasn't even using the word. I was quoting. It's different. :-)
But I digress.
So, why does this map piss me off? It's because somehow we as a church have decided that this caring for the most vulnerable of children is no longer our responsibility. Somehow we have decided that the government can raise our children and in case you haven't heard, they aren't doing a very good job of it. I'm pretty sure Jesus is confused as to how we got to the point of thinking it wasn't our problem.
I love the orphan care movement and the fact that we are trying hard to remind the church that it is time to step up.
So, in case you don't know what the map represent, the number at the bottom is the number of churches that are in the state. The number at the top is the number of legally free children there are available for adoption. These are legal "orphans" right here in our country.
So for example, when this map was created in Minnesota there were 5628 churches and 983 children waiting for adoption. So for every ONE child needing a home there are FIVE churches full of people who could adopt them. Those statistics haunt me, motivate me, and make me scream internally sometimes.
One of the reasons I moved to Virginia was because of the fact that Virginia is 50th in the nation at getting kids adopted out of foster care. After moving here I saw this map. There are over 10,000 churches in this state!!! And yet more kids (percentage wise) age out of foster care here in this state than any other.
What in the world are we going to do about that? It has to change!
I love this graphic from a satirical article found in the Babylon Bee. The article, "Report: 95% Of Christians Agree The Other 5% Should Keep Adopting" both made me smile at how clever it is but also made me profoundly sad.
I remember a very significant conversation that I had with Andrew and Michelle Schneidler when I spoke at Refresh the first year. Andrew compared foster care to a pipe. "There are two ways to keep kids from aging out of foster care without a family", Andrew pointed out to me. He went on to explain that we could either find homes for kids who were already in the system -- those in the pipe -- or we could prevent them from entering the pipe in the first place.
I spent the first 16 years of my adoption career working on the first issue... getting kids adopted from foster care and supporting families in their journey. And now I have the privilege of working for an organization that changes that statistic from the other end -- keeping kids from entering the system in the first place. But neither of those things can happen without the mobilization of the church.
There are so many ways to be involved, wherever you are, in this issue, and they don't all involve taking care of a child. If you want to know more, send me a FB message or make a comment on the blog, or email me, or text me, or send me a snapchat, or tweet me, or tag me on instagram, or pick up the phone, or even send me a letter... anyway you can contact me -- and I'll let you know of ways you can help.
OK, Nice to have all that off my chest this morning. :-) (Hope I didn't cause you too much concern by using a few naughty words to make my point).