Daddies

It's June, and in America, we honor fathers during the month of June. There's a reason we refer to the vulnerable children in the title of our book as fatherless. In most societies, developed or developing, mothers seem to bear the larger burden of child care. When mothers are unavailable, it's often grandmothers and aunts who step in to raise the...

How can we address the poverty at the root of the orphan crisis?

Today is day eight of ‪#‎AskBetterQuestions‬. In just a few days Amanda and I will be at CAFO2015. As we prepare for this gathering, we want to engage families, churches, leaders and influencers who are passionate about adoption and orphan care to stop and ask better questions. We would love for you to join in the conversation! While most Christians focus on...

How does God ask us to respond to poverty and injustice?

It's the fifth day of ‪#‎AskBetterQuestions‬. As we prepare for CAFO2015, we want to engage the families, churches, leaders and influencers in a conversation about adoption and orphan care. Today on the In Defense of the Fatherless blog, we have a guest post from Mary Hoyt. Mary adopted a child from DRC in 2011. Today she is a passionate advocate for alternative care...

Weeping Families

Not everyone has a merry Christmas. This is an all too familiar story. A mother is poor and struggling to care for her children. She is approached by a woman who tells her that there’s a place her children can go for help. A place where they can get food, medical care, shelter, and maybe even school. She makes the heroic...

A Mother’s Love

In Rwanda, we are surrounded by adoptive families (yay!) and ministries that support orphans here in Rwanda. Truly, one of the big reasons we wanted to come to Africa was to get a better picture of this orphan crisis we hear so much about in America. I never referred to this article when it came out, but our story was highlighted...

What the Bible doesn’t say about adoption and orphan care

[caption id="attachment_881" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Our adopted daughter Gabrielle and her brother Zephaniah sharing a moment looking out at our garden.[/caption] What is the Biblical foundation for orphan care? Is it James 1:27, which calls orphan care "pure and faultless" religion? Is it the doctrine of adoption - that God has "predestined us for adoption" (Romans 8:15) and promised us a "glorious inheritance" (Ephesians 1:18)...

Who are the fatherless in the world today?

I just checked Facebook and Twitter after a day at work and wow - pretty much everyone who has a blog is writing about adoption ethics, the orphan crisis and what we as Christians can do to help without hurting.  It is time for this conversation to happen! When I took a sabbatical from blogging for a few months this spring,...

We cannot fix a problem we do not understand

[caption id="attachment_872" align="alignleft" width="400"] This is my adopted daughter Ella, now 2.5 years old.[/caption] I want to start by saying I am thankful for Jen Hatmaker, a Christian adoptive mom and writer. She's the author of one of the most thought-provoking books I have read this year, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. She has a huge platform - and something...

Changes in international adoption

Do you feel the tide turning? When I began to speak boldly about corruption in international adoption a year ago, I faced a lot of opposition. The adoption and orphan care movement was growing quickly within the Christian community, as thousands of families and churches where embracing God's heart for orphans. At the same time, there was a lot of fear that talking about corruption in...

The courage to ask better questions

My friend Holly is one of the most fearless voices in the adoption blog world. Holly and her family lived and served in Democratic Republic of Congo for four years. During this time, they supported an orphanage in Eastern DRC called Tumaini - or "Reeds of Hope". While living in DRC, Holly adopted two children and began facilitating international adoptions...

The moment of truth

My last post definitely struck a nerve. I am thankful to see more and more families truly wrestling through the issues with international adoption. Many of you have said something very important - this is not all black and white. Sometimes it is hard to know what is best for a child, even when we are willing to surrender our...

How did we end up here?

I have never met an adoptive parent who began the time-consuming, heart-wrenching, wallet-emptying process of international adoption with a desire to traffic a child. Our family adopted for a few simple reasons. We wanted one more child and could not get pregnant again. We believed we had been adopted by God and that adoption was a demonstration of the gospel. We thought there was...