This was originally a blog post by Stacey Gagnon on her blog Ransom for Israel, and it encapsulates why Lost Sparrows exists.
I admit the orphan crisis is completely overwhelming, the numbers are astounding. It’s an ocean-sized problem and we are standing on the shore unsure what to do. But I know the answer. The answer is seeing ‘the one’.
The ‘one’ is the child sitting in an orphanage without a family.
The ‘one’ is the family being told that their child is broken and deformed and they should not take the baby home.
The ‘one’ is the mama who went against the doctor’s recommendation and brought home the special needs baby and now is floundering without support.
Because when we look at the whole, we lose sight of the ‘one’ and we are overwhelmed. When we don’t see the ‘one’, we see an issue that grows everyday. And we want to say things like, “I didn’t cause this”, “This is not in my backyard”, or “I don’t think I can help”. We say these things because it helps us to not think about the orphan. A child sitting without touch, without love, and without family.
And what it can never be about, is money, borders or politics. It cannot be about the multitude of numbers or the politics of the day. It must be about the ‘one’. The simple picture of one child with a family-sized hole waiting to be filled.
The following was spoken at the 2013 CAFO Summit by a 30 year old man who aged out of an orphanage where he lived his whole life.
“When I grew up in the orphanage it was Christians who came and built nicer buildings. Christians who bought us beds, clothing and provided money monthly for food. It was a Christian, who wrote a letter in a shoebox, who first told me I was loved. It was the Christians who met all my physical and material needs in that orphanage.”
“But it was also Christians who neglected my biggest need. Children in orphanages don’t need more money, nicer buildings or better clothes. I am not an orphan because I lost my home or provisions. I am an orphan because I lost my parents. I needed a mom and a dad. I needed a family. Christians treated all my temporary symptoms of need but never cured my long-term disease of being orphan. I am still an orphan.
Lost Sparrows is a non-profit that is not looking to build nicer buildings or bring better clothes. We are looking to cure the long-term disease of being an orphan. The orphan crisis is complex and requires a multi-faceted approach to provide well equipped families & homes. We do this through education and providing for basic needs. Too many orphans are social orphans that have been abandoned by their families due to poverty or physical disability. We work with local & regional governments to promote family friendly policies, and we support other organizations with similar goals. While not an adoption agency, we support many families through their adoption process, and after they have adopted. It truly takes a village to properly care for children that have experienced early adversity.