Ultimately, "The Evangelical Adoption Crusade" spotlights many complex questions and sad stories, but misses the far larger reality. That reality is that there are millions of children who will wake tomorrow morning without the love of mother or father. Many of them live in orphanages and on the streets. These children need families. Yes, great wisdom must be applied in discerning what is truly best for each child. Some can be reunited with relatives. Some will need to spend years in an institution. But a great many, we can pray, will find the love and belonging of family via adoption, both local and international.
Christians must always pair compassion with knowledge in caring for orphans, and even an article like "The Evangelical Adoption Crusade" is an important means for weighing how best to do so. But it provides no excuse to ignore the cry of the orphan. The world is hurting, and to address this hurt wisely will always come with difficult questions. But we dare not turn from sacrifice and hard decisions and return to comfortable homes and lives simply because the cost and complexity are too great. That was never Jesus' way—and it must not be ours.
Jedd Medefind is president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans and formerly led the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
"Speaking Out" is Christianity Today's guest opinion column and (unlike an editorial) does not necessarily represent the opinion of the publication.
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Previous articles on adoption include:
Strong on Zeal, Thin in Knowledge | Lessons from Haiti's arrest of American Christians trying to take children out of the country. By Jedd Medefind (Feb. 2, 2010)
Abba Changes Everything | Why every Christian is called to rescue orphans. (July 2, 2010)
Churches Adopt Adoption | Churches are getting real about adoption's challenges—and helping families after the child arrives. (July 6, 2010)
210 Million Reasons to Adopt | Haiti's devastating quake reminds us that orphans matter to God. (April 7, 2010)