/ Barry York

Why We Should Adopt Them: Personal Thoughts on Deserted Children

The following article was sent to me by Ziyu Wang (not her real name), a former student of mine teaching children in Asia and working with deserted children there. This appeal from her heart and Scripture touched me, so I share it with you.

Christians are different from this world. They are like "little Christs" in the sense that they have Christ living in them. Their lives are transformed by God through the innocent blood of Christ. Christians abide in the vine of Christ as branches, and they ought to bear fruit and bear much fruit if they are truly in the vine. Therefore, they ought to have a heavenly point of view on deserted children, a considerable problem in my land, while their fellow countrymen despise them and consider them as “waste” or “children to be forsaken.”

Three years ago, I heard the testimony of Mephibosheth, a Christian orphanage founded by a Godly couple — Steve and Xinwei. Though Xinwei completed all her earthly toils and was taken by God in 2015, her faith still speaks as though she never passed away from us. The story of Xinwei made me wonder how a little woman like her could become the mother of 50 deserted disabled children, as most couldn’t even feed themselves.

After three years of reflection, I think I understand better all her concerns. She said that "these children were Jesus" (Matt. 25:40). In other words, you could touch Jesus by touching them. I believe Xinwei’s works among the deserted children demonstrate what Jesus meant when He said, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me” (Mark 9:37). Xinwei’s heart was filled with the grace of Jesus. That’s why she could easily see the image of God reflected in all children including those who were forsaken by their birth parents. As for me, “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 19:14). I believe that I have sufficiently appealing reasons to convince myself or even Christian parents to adopt those deserted children as our own, as they truly are the heritages that we should inherit from our Father. When you read along, please focus on all the reasons according to what the Bible says.

First, God reveals Himself as a Father of orphans (Jms 1:27; Ps. 68:5; Deut. 24: 17-22). If we read these verses carefully, we can understand how much the Lord keeps His eyes upon the orphans who are forsaken by their parents. As the representatives of God from Heaven, Christians must have the compassion that their God has for orphans deserted by their biological parents. They deserve our care and attention. But perhaps you will argue that many of these orphans are deserted children with severe diseases. Will you think that this is some kind of second-hand or less-valuable possession? I hope not. You know that God meant it all for good, because He is such a good God. A disabled child does not have less value than any other image-bearer created by God. You know this, but the unbelieving parents who forsake them do not.

Second, as Christians, we learn from the Word that “children are a heritage given by God” (Psalm 127:3). If you believe that children are indeed a heritage, you will not calculate that much difference between your children and your neighbor’s children, because you know that God gave you and your neighbors a similar heritage. Now here comes the problem. You have seen the deserted children in some organizations that have no fear of God, and you think that these children are less valuable than the children who seem to you to be healthier and easier for people to care for. I would love for you to pause and remember that God calls every Christian to love our neighbors as ourselves. Would you allow your handicapped child, if you had one, to be looked at by other people in that way? No, you would not. As a citizen of Heaven you would strive to the end of your strength to do the opposite. You would love your handicapped child as any other healthy child. You would nurture him/her in the way that you would nurture your healthy child, would you not? If you accept the above truth and think truly that every child is a heritage given by God, will you not strive to care for them?

Third, as God’s adopted child, you have inherited possessions not just for this life but for the life to come. You know that God has become your parent, your Heavenly Father. He never forsakes you but loves you with an unfailing love. He keeps His eyes upon you all your life by blessing you with a house filled with people who love you and care for you. Therefore, Christians ought to imitate God and become parents for children, healthy or handicapped, as He has become a parent to you. If these children were left to die not by their own will, would you like to see them die without knowing God? If God calls you to be a parent, he will enable you to be a godly father or mother. When He cares for the needy, the poor, and the forsaken, you will do the same, not by your goodness, but by the riches of God. He will make you be willing and able to do all things, simply because “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

If you know God treats Jesus as His beloved Son, and you are adopted by God through His beloved Jesus, you will naturally like to live this truth out in the midst of this wicked generation. In this way, you will have the opportunity to witness to the children that you adopt. By doing so, they may see God from your actions, your actions of treating them as your beloved.

Last but not least, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (Jms 1:27). True religion which is pure and undefiled before God is to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. Nobody will doubt that the deserted children left in the orphanages are children in affliction. Now, when God calls us to visit them, it means that we should do something to help them out of their affliction. What could be a better way of visiting them than adopting them as our own family members?

I have met a lot of American Christian parents, including the former president of my school, with amazing testimonies of adopting children. The president and his wife adopted two displaced children besides three biological children even including one with mental disabilities. We also hear and see many testimonies of American Christians adopting deserted Chinese children from our orphanages and nurturing them as their own. How I wish as the country with large increasing number of practicing Christians, more and more Chinese Christians will adopt the deserted children from our orphanages and nurture them in the faith. As I believe that God has sufficiently given Chinese brethren enough riches to bring up our Spiritual offspring. Compared to people across the ocean, we are geographically much closer to them, but we act so weakly in our care for them.

All in all, I believe that children with extra needs are children that come with extra blessings, because God will pour out His blessings through the children that you welcome into your hearts. If I am doing something that my Father asks me to do, I do it to obey Him. My reward is that I shall be counted as obedient to my Father. If you haven’t come to this understanding of God’s Fatherhood, that God has adopted you through the blood of Christ, please consider this more and find your own Biblical proofs to verify your case.

May God bless our generation by raising up a group of godly parents to care for these many deserted children as their beloved. Amen!

Barry York

Barry York

Sinner by Nature - Saved by Grace. Husband of Miriam - Grateful for Privilege. Father of Six - Blessed by God. President of RPTS - Serve with Thankfulness. Author - Hitting the Marks.

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