Two boys play in an orphanage half way around the world. Although there is much sadness in their lives and the conditions they live in are pitiful, they are comforted by their close friendship which has extended for most of their lives. As these boys play they are unaware that both of their worlds are getting ready to radically change.
A Christian family from the United States is boarding an airplane and coming to this distant land to fulfill their dream of rescuing an orphan and growing their family. The family is exceptional in every way, and with much grace and patience they have negotiated the long, expensive, and difficult journey of International Adoption. The family has been matched with one of the two boys. For several months the family has looked with wonder at the cute picture of their boy to be. They have consistently prayed for him and often closed their eyes and imagined how wonderful it will be when he is home playing in their backyard.
No one is coming for the other boy. No eager family has held his picture, prayed for him by name, and imagined with joy a hope and a future for him. You see, for at least one of several potential reasons, the other boy is unadoptable.
Both boys see the strange yet friendly faces of the adoptive parents on the day they arrive at the orphanage. Although this first contact feels a bit unsettling for both, one of the boys quickly adjust, as one amazing never before seen toy is pulled from a large bag. These peculiar sounding adults huddle around one boy smiling, talking, touching, loving. The bonding process that will lead to a successful adoption has began.
The other boy, unknowing, is relieved when the strange people finally leave and things seem to get back to normal. But for next several days the strangers return and interrupt his time with his best friend. Oh how the other boy wishes they would leave and never come back! Then one day it appears his dream has come true, the strangers don’t return. They are finally gone for good. He excitedly goes to play with his buddy, but slowly, sadly, he discovers that he is gone too. He is gone forever!
The boy flying home to America will be celebrated at the airport. He will be known by his parent’s name. He will grow up in a great home, having all the same legal rights as their biological daughter. He will attend a great school and an excellent church.. and he will learn about Jesus and most likely one day become a devoted follower of Christ.
On Orphan Sunday, James 1:27 is preached and when the pastor declares that we are called to rescue orphans in their distress, several families look over at the adoptive family and their new son and smile. The proud parents, almost instinctively put their arm around their sweet boy and give him a squeeze.
The other boy will never be celebrated at an airport or anywhere else. The other boy never knew his parents... He will never know how it feels to have a mommy clean and kiss a skinned up knee and put a “Disney” band-aid over it. No one will sing him a song and hold his hand til tummy ache goes away. The other boy will never hear the voice of a daddy say, “I’m so proud of you son!” He will grow up with little focus or attention on him. The other boy’s personality, his hopes and dreams, his hurts and fears will basically go unknown. He will not be taught, and will not believe, that there is a God and that “other boys” are immeasurably loved by Him. One day he will “age out” of a miserable orphanage, be given a few dollars and perhaps a coat, and sent to the unkind streets without a hint of life or job skills.
He is an orphan in distress! Waiting for him, just steps from the curb of the orphanage, is a pimp who will offer him food, shelter, and a job.. He will have to sell his body to the most disgusting low-life’s in his city just to keep a little food in his stomach. The other boy, who emotionally is still a little child, is full of unspeakable fear. There isn’t a mentor to offer any guidance. There isn’t any hope of a future. He now understands in this stark and terrifying reality why so many orphans have decided to take their own lives.
The Orphan Sunday service has just concluded, there is plenty of glad handing as families make their way to the car. I hear the adoptive parents ask their new son where he’d like to go for dinner. He smiles and shouts, “McDonalds!”
I smile too, In fact I almost laugh. I am so happy for this precious boy and his godly parents! But today, I just don’t feel like eating at McDonald’s or anywhere else. It seems I have lost my appetite because I just can’t get my mind off of the other boy!
Unadopted was launched in early 2010 to go love, share the Gospel, educate in life and job skills, and mentor the other boy. There are a 143 million other boys and girls in our world and the number keeps growing. Less than 1% of these precious children will ever be adopted. Unadopted believes our call from God is to care for ALL orphans in distress. Will you join us in that call?