When Mr. Beaver and I launched into adopting our first older Russian child 11 years ago (yes, at first we set our sights on one older child--but the Lord had vastly other--and more wonderful--plans), we knew of NO ONE who was considering adopting for the sake of Christ's name. We were ALONE. We were utterly alone. And we often felt LONELY and MISUNDERSTOOD, even by Christians...even by friends.
How things have changed! This weekend my friend, Heather Nordstrom, and I are surrounded by more than 400 adoptive moms and women waiting-to-adopt at a conference in northern Georgia. These women (and the husbands they represent) share a heart for seeing that the least-of-these are cared for, just as Jesus commanded.
I wish I had some pictures to share of the long registration lines. I could have easily taken photos filled with the bright colors of the t-shirts and jewelry and other items that vendors are selling to raise money for orphan care. I had hours wandering the conference center hallways with this opportunity. However, I didn't take a single picture of those sights.
Instead, I walked around in a awe-filled stupor. I was overwhelmed by the change in the adoption landscape since we began our first Russian adoption just a little more than 11 years ago. I stood amongst the crowds of women and quietly wept over God's goodness in answering our family's many prayers that He would raise up His church to provide homes for at least some small portions of the staggering 147 million orphans globally. He has done just that. Mr. Beaver and I are no longer ALONE.
Interestingly, it hasn't been our peers who have answered God's call. Many, if not most, of the women at this conference were in their twenties or early thirties. I'm old enough to be the mother of many of them! These couples, who've had their hearts moved by God and have said, "Yes!" to His call to "deny self and take up their cross daily and follow him" Luke (9:23), aren't the same generation as Mr. Beaver and me. They're the next generation. Often they already have three or four very young children in tow. Despite the heavy demands on their lives, they are ready to make a difference for orphaned children, to make a difference for Christ. Our prayers of 11 years have been answered; the Father of the Fatherless is on the move!
Since I don't have photos of first-day conference sights, I'll post pictures from a walk Heather and I took this morning on the beautiful lodge grounds. Georgians probably wouldn't have considered the weather balmy, but it sure felt good to two women from the upper mid west.
My friend and fellow-adoptive-mom, Heather