Ready or Not, we have a Platform

It's really amazing to me the opportunities that have come up recently for our family. At the beginning of November I visited my dad's church and spoke for a few minutes about adoption. (It's the first 5 minutes of the "I have you in my heart" Nov 2 sermon if you want to hear it!) Being an adoption advocate is just a role that happens when you become an adoptive parent. I didn't know that when we signed the papers back in 2010, we would be come spokespeople or a point of reference for others. We just wanted to step out in faith to do what God called us.

I am not one to say that everyone should adopt. Adoption is hard work, and it requires a lot of sacrifice and dying to self. You can't passively adopt and the road is not always easy. There's attachment and cocooning and unexpected issues that come with not knowing health backgrounds or how to fully incorporate your child's birth culture. There's potential for identity issues or emotional trauma. But as I wrote many years ago, the pain is all worth it. Our adoption/parenthood journey has humbled me and made me realize the depth of my need for God.

So what does this have to do with a platform? Well, when you are a conspicuous family, you're going to be an adoption advocate. Because people will have questions! You have the opportunity to talk about your story (whatever parts you want to share) and say "you see this amazing kid? there are millions out there like him, with no mommies or daddies to revel in their cuteness." Our family picture is a glimpse of the potential redemption for millions of orphans who need advocates, moms, dads and caregivers. Not every child is adoptable but many are and many need sponsors or adoptive parents to love and fight for them!

Our second platform is special needs. This platform has come as Israel has been a part of the United Cerebral Palsy center. This summer he was one of the poster children for our local UCP Telethon (read here and here). I'm really thrilled to share that Israel was chosen by the NATIONAL UCP office for their adoption awareness in November and a blog was posted and shared to the whole nation! You can read that blog here ("From an Orphanage in Africa to a Life Without Limits).

If THAT wasn't exciting enough, he was chosen to be the face of the UCP NATIONAL #GivingTuesday campaign!!! His picture was used to promote donations to UCP on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving! It was on the head of their twitter page and their national donation website.

All this to say... we are so humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to speak and advocate for vulnerable people. I never would have known back in 2010 that we would be speaking or writing publicly on behalf of orphans and those with disabilities. It's a platform that we were given and we are grateful that God is writing our story. He has given us the opportunities to share what hope and redemption can be like. We desire that by sharing our story, we will point to the One who writes it and redeems it.