"“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – from Radical by David Platt.
I remember hearing this song:
(Sara Groves: I Saw What I Saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt_WpluguwE)
...when Doug and I were really working hard at bringing awareness to our community about the realities of international sex slavery. We planned and held a documentary viewing event, in conjunction, with the International Justice Mission, a non-profit organization that works tirelessly in several nations to crack down on owners of child brothels and free and rehabilitate the child sex slaves there. My little sister interned for a year with IJM in Mumbai, India helping the fight there. (I was so proud of her!) We played this song at the end of the awareness event we held in November 2009. It was DIFFICULT looking into the face of depravity, and the victims, (statistics say nearly 2 MILLION children are held as sex slaves worldwide) and seeing a NEED for abolition and not being able to erase the imprint it left on my soul...The reality of children victimized.
Little did I know how "FULL CIRCLE" this awareness would take us. Little did I know my own child, who could have been another statistic, was less than two months from being born.
I remember when we first saw Qingge's picture (the first little girl we had chosen and lost), and we heard she couldn't walk. I asked an adoption advocate friend what would happen to Qingge if she wasn't adopted. She told me that because she was in a wheelchair, when she became a teenager, she'd be out of the orphanage and in a home for all the elderly and mentally insane, etc., men and women, of all ages, with little supervision. You don't have to spell out what her bleak future would be like. Victimized.
It was then that the NEED for special needs adoption was REAL and in my face, and The Lord pursued my heart relentlessly about this little girl. And I felt Him saying, "I dare you to move like today never happened." Because it did.
Then my Katie Grace Xiatong, she's deaf.... her future? Not a mental/ disabled home. As far as I understand it, at the age of 13 or 14, she would have been turned out of the orphanage, and since her last name and all her official documents indicate that she's an orphan... and because of her inability to communicate verbally, and unfortunately even because of her visual deformities, she most likely would be discriminated against getting a job. What's left as an option for her and children like her? You don't have to spell out what THEIR bleak future would be like either. :/
That's why this is a "full circle" moment for us. We are stepping out and giving a precious child a chance for a FUTURE and a HOPE.
She's not just some statistic.
She's not just an orphan without a face or a name.
And my PRAYER is not that I've upset you or disturbed any of you but that YOUR soul was imprinted forever by another person's soul, another person's existence, nearly 7000 miles away. And that you were changed for the better. We CAN'T all help everyone. But we CAN all do something. And my prayer is that you could start to ask what "small thing with great love" you might be able to do for someone you know. You never know whose life could be changed as a result.
I'm continually humbled and amazed at the small things with GREAT love people are doing to help bring Katie home. They seem BIG to us because they mean the world to us. THANK YOU. We feel your love, tremendously. I've never cried so many happy tears in one month before! thank.you.