I am so excited about all the prayers little Johnny Pepper is receiving and that people are sharing his story all over the interwebs, encouraging others to do the same. I love it! (He is pictured here with my friend Betsy, who loves him as much as we do and directed us to Real Hope to get him care.) The responses I see on Facebook are awesome – people with a heart for this little boy, who is now the example of malnourishment here that they can see, follow-up on, and connect with. It warms my heart to see so many who care.
But, there have been some responses that need addressing – not because they are cruel or unkind, but because they lack sufficient knowledge to understand that their idea of a solution is not at all the best one. Yes, Johnny Pepper will one day be available for adoption. Yes, adoption can be a beautiful thing. But the solution for him, and others like him, is not always to be adopted by rich, white people. [That is not a judgement, simply a fact – if you are American and can afford an international adoption, you will be considered rich amongst the vast majority of the world.]
My BFF, Jen Hatmaker, (ok, so she doesn’t even know that I exist) wrote a fantastic post about adoption in Today’s Christian Woman. And she’s right on target. We see these things happen in Haiti, and know of others who have seen them happen in other countries all over the world. I hesitate to start, because I fear my post will become a rant. However, I feel the need to say this:
I believe that God intended for mommas to raise for their own babies. Let’s work out a way for them to do that. Let’s empower them to do that. Let’s place priority on the welfare of a nation of kids. Let’s empower a country to keep their kids. Let’s change the mindset – the solution is never to just adopt them all and “save” them from their poor country. Instead, let’s help that country emerge from its poverty traps and empower it to thrive! When we do that, nationals can foster and adopt their own children. Not because international adoption is wrong, but because it shouldn’t be the first solution only a last resort. Because adopting all of [insert poor country name here]’s kids isn’t a solution – all that does is rob that country of its future. Let’s focus on the deeper issues, rather than surface ones.
Today, on #GivingTuesday, we encourage you to consider giving to one of the following organizations that are working to help eliminate hunger, poverty and disease – these organizations are already in place and doing great work to lift our neighbors in need. By giving to one of these, you are giving to organizations that have established relationships in the countries where they work. This means that they are in touch with the deep-felt needs of the communities where they serve. These are small organizations making BIG impacts! And of course, we would be honored if you chose Pfamily Mission or Harvest107 for your #GivingTuesday donation as well.