Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Orphan & our home is "open" again!!!

Warner Brothers' new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life...

There are two specific former orphans that have obviously impacted our family and changed our lives for the better, Thiet and Fanose.

Thiet - January 2007, Vietnam

Fanose - February 2009, Ethiopia

Each of these sweet baby girls have brought so much joy, laughter, love and awareness to our family. It is easy to live in our comfortable, landscaped side of town in the middle of our privileged country and forget about how other people live their lives everyday.

To no fault of their own and for various reasons, each of these babies found themselves without a family at a very young age. Thiet at birth and Fanose at four months old. Left without a family, most children in Vietnam and Ethiopia will live a very hard, sad life. Young girls in Vietnam are many times forced into prostitution and/or rummaging through dumpsters for their next meals. Pretty much the same story in Ethiopia. Did you know that one in ten children in Ethiopia die before their first birthday? Or that three out of four children in Ethiopia do not have access to clean drinking water?

Thiet was one of more than two million orphans in Vietnam. Fanose was one of more than five million orphans in Ethiopia (all of these ophans in a country only twice the size of Texas!).

Not anymore! Thiet is now our precious daughter, Sophie Le Thiet and Fanose is forever our loving daughter, Julianne Fanose. Two less orphans in the world.

I usually don't like to focus too much on the stats or the fact that orphans need us and that we are called to care for them (Psalms 68:5). I mostly like to focus on my sweet, beautiful daughters and their bows, accessories and funny antics. However, there are times when the former needs to be brought to light.

Orphans are children just like any other child. They like to cuddle, kiss, hug, laugh, argue, whine, play chase, ride their bike, etc. They want to be loved. They want to be in a family. They want attention. Pretty basic needs, huh?

Sophie Le and Julianne have enriched our lives in ways I never knew possible. Because of these two angels, I love deeper. I care more. My eyes have been opened. These babies complete our family...not that I am saying our family is complete yet :o) We believe God made these children for our family just as he made Hillary Ashton for our family. God knew while these babies were still being woven in their birthmother's womb, they were destined to be our daughters.

That is why it is a shame that Warner Brothers made the decision to depict orphans in a negative light. Orphans have all of the odds stacked against them. The last thing they need is a movie shining a bad light on adoption. Adoption is wonderful. Adoption is amazing. Adoption has changed my life. I am honored to be an adoptive mom. There is a need and anyone who answers the call will be blessed beyond measure.

Sophie Le enjoying her little boat!

And I am happy to report that we officially "re-opened" our house today :o) If you remember, we had to send our foster kiddos to another home back in April so Julianne's adoption wouldn't be delayed. We are so excited! We are getting our feet wet tomorrow with a little respite care :o) Baby boy is coming tomorrow afternoon and will stay until Sunday. I am trying to decide how we will blog about our foster care experience this time around. I loved sharing all of the information via the passworded blog before, but I think I will try to find a good balance and share here this time around. For those of you that followed Little Man and Little Lady on our other blog, Little Man's social worker told me that he is suppose to leave foster care this week and be placed with his godmother. I was hoping that if he couldn't be reunified with his mom, he could come back to our family :o( I know God has a plan for this remarkable little guy!

While not technically orphans, I can tell you that these two little kiddos impacted my life in great ways!

Hillary Ashton, Sophie Le, Little Man (our first foster son) and Little Lady (our first foster daughter) - Easter 2009

So, please join me! Tom Davis, a long-time advocate for orphans around the world, has asked people to blog about how orphans have touched your life as a way to help deflect the negative connotations implied in the new movie, Orphan. Hence, the above blog post :o)

Here is what he wrote on his blog:

I want to challenge my readers and friends to write 500 positive blog posts about how an orphan has impacted and changed your life. Post this on your own blog so that when people search for the movie, they are flooded with positive messages about adoption and orphan care.

Just finish this sentence: "Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life..."

This is the heart of defending orphans. Help push back the darkness and deceit here by holding up as an example the powerful love that adoption and orphan care can unleash.

Here's how you can defend the orphan:

1. Write a "positive protest post" on your blog that references the movie, Orphan.
2. Focus on your orphan care or adoption story that is positive, redeeming, and full of love.
3. Link your post here via a trackback or comment.
4. Send out an e-mail, Facebook message, or tweet to get others to do the same on their blogs.

If you don't have a blog, post your store on the Christian Alliance for Orphans Site.

Make sure you link back or comment here so we can keep track of the 500 posts.