Prayer: For Those in the Trenches

This post is a part of our Orphan Awareness Month series in November 2014 to advocate, educate, and spark discussion about topics relating to adoption and orphan care.  To check out the other posts in the OAM series, click here.

 

There is one particular group of people that I think we accidentally overlook a lot of the time.  Especially during the month of November, we spend a lot of time (and rightly so) focusing on waiting kids, adoptive families, birth mothers and fathers … but you don’t hear much about the group that makes it all happen.

The social workers.  The agency professionals.  The adoption attorneys.  The in-country facilitators.  The orphan advocates.

Between every adoptive family and the child they are waiting on, these people are bridging the gap.  They are overcoming cultural divides and language barriers, fighting through miles of red tape, staying up at ridiculous hours to combat time differences, juggling mountains of paperwork, creating loopholes where there were none, and making miracles happen.

And those are just the things written in their job descriptions.

paperwork

On top of all of that, these patient, dedicated individuals are dealing with people at their most emotionally raw and vulnerable.  Speaking from our own experience, the woman orchestrating our adoption has already experienced the best and worst of me in the year we have known each other.  When good news comes in, she is the very first person to celebrate it with me, often before that news has reached even my husband.  She has patiently endured when I occasionally constantly called and emailed for updates even when she and I both knew there were none.  She has worked on nights and weekends for my family, when her own family was waiting.  She has stoically endured my newly-found mama bear wrath, and has (on several occasions) taken the brunt of my anger and frustration when she didn’t deserve it.  And when things have fallen apart, she has sat on the phone with me and just let me weep, and I knew without a doubt that her heart was breaking along with mine.  She has experienced firsthand a spectrum and intensity of my emotions that probably only my husband has previously seen.

If that isn’t enough emotional insanity, they also bear the collective emotional weight of orphans without homes.  For them, every month is Orphan Awareness Month – every day, every moment, every breath.  We have the luxury of changing the channel when something on TV exposes us to the orphan crisis, or politely passing the sponsorship card further down the aisle at church, or scrolling passed a social media plea on behalf of an orphaned child, or deciding it isn’t worth it to help an adoption fund reach its goal.

They don’t have that luxury.

When a referral is declined, when one particular child never seems to be chosen, when a surprise pregnancy cancels an adoption process, when they wonder if they could open their home to every next child who comes across their desk, when files for children come in exponentially faster than new families, when they have to resist the urge to run up to every person they see and demand to know if their financial state, their comfort, their fears about adoption are worth another child sentenced to a life of fear, neglect, abuse, or even death.  They can’t turn it off.

We have all been commanded to care for the orphans of this world, but because we aren’t, these people are picking up our slack.  The emotional weight of 153,000,000 orphans worldwide should be spread over all of us individually, but instead these individuals commit their lives to carrying far more than their fair share.  Because if they don’t, who will?  They know that even children who will likely never have families deserve to have someone – even a faceless social worker a world away – losing sleep over their innocent lives.  This is their daily burden.

And so, this week I’d like to ask you to join me in praying for these people.  If your life has been personally effected, drop him/her a note just to say thank you and that you are praying.  If you haven’t, here are some ways you can pray for those daily doing battle on behalf of children worldwide:

  • … that they would “not grow weary in doing good”. (Galatians 6:9)
  • … that they would find new strength each day.
  • … that they would be given wisdom in decision-making on behalf of children and families.
  • … that they would find regular time to rest and refresh.
  • … that they have solid support systems.
  • … that they would not be burdened or held back by any kind guilt.
  • … that they would be given endless creativity and guidance in uniting children with the right families.
  • … that their lives would inspire others to join the orphan care movement in some way.
  • … that they would be an encouragement to families through the ups and downs of the adoption process.
  • … that they would have the confidence needed advocate boldly.
  • … that they have the tools needed to bring healing to hurting lives.
  • … that they would always be given the right words to say when.
  • … that their work would be a source of joy.
  • … that they would have the wisdom needed to be respectful to governing authorities while challenging the system when needed.
  • … that they would be encouraged in the knowledge that their dedication is changing lives every single day.
  • … that God would bless them for their dedication to His command in James 1:27.

 

 

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