Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit VIII

Gosh, it’s been over a week since I wrote last. The whole Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit was amazing. I vowed not to overuse that word, but I don’t know what else to say…eye-opening? inspiring? sad yet hopeful? Yes. All of those things, too.

We went to a seminar by the country’s foremost attachment expert, Karyn Purvis, which was fascinating. To see the brain scans and the brain chemistry of traumatized children was so interesting. She pointed out that the lowest chemicals these children displayed were the ones our brains rely on for regulation of behavior and decision making and such…and the sad part was seeing the high levels of chemicals our brains use for stressful or combative situations in these small children. The things she’s doing with hurt children at her university (was it Texas?) were so inspiring. I know there has been a great leap in what we understand of attachment and trauma, and she is paving the way for us to understand even more, and to learn how to treat it.

There were hundreds of vendors there, representing different ministries providing for orphans in some way. All of the speakers had a definitive connection to orphan care, with most of them being adoptive parents themselves. So many different perspectives and stories. All different and inspiring.

But the most amazing thing about the whole conference was the determination on behalf of everyone there that the church be the one to solve this orphan crisis. And I see it. Christians are waking up to the fact that this world is not about us. It is about being Christ’s love to the world.

When people ask how their family will be affected by bringing in another child, and maybe a child with a traumatic past, it is a legitimate question. We need to be good stewards of the gifts (families!) God has given us. It is something to be considered with much prayer and thought. But let’s not forget that it’s not all about us and our own little families. Yes, it will be inconvenient to add another person to your life. Yes, your “normal” will have to change to adapt to another personality and another set of needs and issues (we all have them!) But when those questions have been considered, it’s easy to say, “Nah. It will be too hard. It’s not really the right time. That would be too big of a change for our family.” But if there were a tragedy and it were your niece or your nephew who needed a home, would you make a way? Would you put up with the hassle and the tough transition for the child and for you? Most of the time, the question we’re forgetting isn’t about us at all, it is What will happen to these children if we don’t step in? Sometimes, once we see the need and pray for guidance, we just need to get beyond ourselves and our comfort zones, and it needs to be all about them. The 143,000,000 just plain kids who need a family. Can I give them one?

(geo-cacheing with all six kiddos last weekend…no, this picture wasn’t staged! I promise!)

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