As the young man walked along the beach at dawn, he noticed an old man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally catching up with the old man, he asked him why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded fish would die if left in the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” countered the young man. “How can your effort make any difference?” The old man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.
Jumping back to the starfish story, one of the things that became very apparent to me when adopting our son Paul is that none of us can meet the whole need in any sphere entirely by ourselves. But we can do what we CAN do. The young man in the story questioned what difference it would make because there were millions of starfish...the old man wisely answered that his efforts were not in vain "to this one." In the adoption arena, there are well over a million orphans in the world. The need is overwhelming. Will we be rendered useless like the young man who does nothing or will we be like the older man who became a part of the solution by doing what he could? That part may be:
- to consider taking steps to adopt if the Lord gives that desire to your family
- to encourage those who you know who are wanting to adopt
- to remember to pray for the orphans of the world (you may want to subscribe to an adoption newsletter like HOLT's so you can pray for some of these children by name...it helps keep you from falling prey to the "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome)
- to sponsor a child in an orphanage
- to give financially to someone you know who is adopting or support an organization (like Show Hope at http://www.showhope.org/) that is committed to helping Christians overcome the obstacle of funds. We were personally helped by Show Hope in our third adoption and now are able to contribute there to help others.
God is able to make all grace abound...read 2 Corinthians chapter 9 and be encouraged along with me by God, who gives to us freely all things, to be a cheerful giver for Him. Freely we have received [be it money, time, ability to pray and speak words of encouragement, etc.], let us freely give (Matt. 10:8). Everybody wins! The givers get the joy of giving, the receivers get the joy of being loved, God's glory shines.