Not On My Radar


I’m feeling a little despondent today! I’m sensing the enormity of the challenge and I’m weighed down by the reality of the need. I’m troubled that so many believe and have accepted our own adoption as sons’ and daughters’ into God’s family, and yet the idea of adoption for many is as far from them them as the East is from the West.

We have freely received and therefore should freely give, as Jesus says, but what does this mean?

I’m stuck, I’m confused and I’m a little hurt. Why can we not solve this?

I sent a reminder of this need to a group of friends the other day and one response struck me. It was mad honestly, not selfishly, without any ill meaning, but it stands as a warning sign. This friend of mine simply said “I had forgotten about this need” I ask with all sincerity, HOW? To this person’s credit, this was the only response I received, so at least there was a desire to engage from their part, unlike the others. But how can we not have the orphan crisis firmly and permanently fixed on the radar of our lives? How can a people who hold fast to the Gospel, itself made complete through adoption, not want to extend to others, little children no less, what was freely given to them.

One reason or excuse that consistently rears it’s head is the question of finances. “I would if I could afford it”. We’ve essentially declared that the 560 000 odd adoptable children are not worth the cost. We are sending out a clear message that our present is not worth sacrificing, at least to some degree, for their future and possibly their eternity.

No-ones disputing that children are expensive and some cannot afford the process of adoption or the costs that will rise to the surface as they grow older. I’m not blinkered to the economic crisis of the country or the world and I am acutely aware of the cost of education in South Africa. I am also not blinded by the cultural challenges, the remnants of our past that seek to unsettle our future. The racist ideas that permeate genealogies and cause some to forbid the raising of black children within white families.

I know the challenges that exist. I know money is not the answer and I know it could also be very helpful. I understand some genuinely long to feel equipped and able to take in a child without a family and long for their hearts and circumstances to change so that their dream of opening up their hearts and homes could become a reality. I’m not callous to the real concerns and fears of people, so at the risk of writing yet another piece that assumes the position of the schoolmaster scolding the students for not completing their work, I ask why? Why can we not solve this and why do we as Christians not have this issue at the top of our to do list? Why do we not engage on the topic more, why do we not seek out solutions more robustly, why is this need not on the churches radar and why have we not put it there? After all, it is on God’s radar.

I’d love to hear honest reasons why people feel unable to engage with this crisis, not to criticise, but to better understand the position so many people clearly occupy with the aim of shifting them from I can’t, to I’d like to, to I’m willing!

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