Where are the limits? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. As Tim and I learn more about Rwanda’s painful history and the overwhelming need of the orphans, we struggle with our decision to adopt just one child. After all, there are 618,000 orphans in a country the size of Maryland. That translates to one parentless child for every thirteen people! How can we open our hearts and home to one precious soul and shut the rest of them out?
I know we can’t save the world. Or, as Mother Teresa (who founded the orphanage from which we’ll be adopting) said, “We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.” But it still breaks my heart to imagine the day we will arrive at the orphanage to claim our son or daughter, knowing that when we leave we’ll be turning our backs on hundreds of other love-starved children.
We have a small house, relatively speaking. Two bedrooms when we moved in, until we turned the 1-car garage into a third bedroom while I was pregnant with Liam. We figure it won’t hurt our kids to share a room once our adopted child comes home, and for the time being all five of us can share the house’s only bathroom. But surely five people in a home that was designed for two bedrooms is pushing it, right? Six people would be impractical, wouldn’t it?
To us, maybe, but to most of the world we live in a palace. Sometimes I wonder how superficial our view of life really is. How many resources do we waste on things that have no eternal value? How many adoptions (besides our own) could we help to fund if we shopped at used clothing stores, stopped buying junk food, kept the air conditioning off once in a while, and slashed our entertainment budget. What if we (gasp) scrapped the birthday and Christmas gifts for a year or two?
Every few weeks we reevaluate our budget, and we’ve already trimmed what little fat we could find. Until recently I saw this as a temporary tightening of the monetary belt, but the farther we travel on this journey, the more I understand that God has called us to care for the orphans – plural. Adopting one of them is a start, but not the fulfillment of our responsibility. As long as there are children in need of loving parents, Tim and I want to channel our resources into bringing them home. Whether that means fitting more tiny bodies into our little/large house, or financially assisting other adoptive families, I have a feeling this path we’re on will lead through a lifetime.