On our first visit to Luz y Vida, Sister Valeriana placed a baby in our arms. She was tiny and had recently undergone open heart surgery to correct a heart defect. Sister said, “She needs a family” and smiled. I’ve come to recognize and appreciate that smile as a divine wink. It felt much more like a commissioning than informational. A few minutes later Sister introduced us to an older and seemingly healthy child (she was 5 years old at the time) and let us know that she had the heart surgery as a baby as well and was still living at Luz y Vida even though now at age 5 she now had no medical issues. After years of praying daily and visiting her, the baby was adopted. Today she is thriving in the security of a loving and amazing family.
The other girl, now 11, still lives at Luz y Vida.
She is cared for and loved by wonderful people, but that isn’t the case for many orphans who age in less positive environments.
Age is a major factor for an orphan. The majority of adoptions in the U.S. are of children 2 and under. This is part of why older orphans, regardless of their health status, are labelled “special needs.” And as we shared a few days ago, UNICEF states that 95% of the world’s orphans are over age 5.
When people think of orphans and adoption, many think of babies, but that is not the reality of most orphans nor the greatest need.
But God will never forget the needy;
the hope of the afflicted will never perish. – Psalm 9:18
Prayer: Father, thank you for never forgetting even one child. Help us remember. God, we pray for orphans who are older. God, we recognize that they present unique challenges, but we ask that you call more people to adopt older orphans. We pray that you strengthen and affirm those families who have. And we pray for each orphan who today is one day older – be near to them and let them know that you are their Father and you will never forget them. In Jesus name, Amen.
For more info about Luz y Vida or to get involved, you can visit www.handsofferinghope.org or shoot us an email at email@example.com about joining us on our next visit to Bogota in 2013.