What is calling?

 I get into very weird conversations sometimes. Conversations that make me shake my head and say, “really?”

Like the one that starts with – “Haiti? Oh, yeah, that’s nice that you want to build schools in Haiti, but what about all of the homeless/hungry/undereducated people Right Here In The United States? I don’t understand why people need to go to foreign countries to help poor people; we have enough poor people here.”

This is not an original response. Much smarter and more theo-logical people than me said this way before I did, but the answer that I give every time is “Yes, you are right. I am glad that you have such a heart for the poor here, and I pray that your efforts on their behalf will be blessed.” Because if it is that big of a deal to them that the homeless people in downtown Fort Lauderdale or rural Tennessee are getting taken care of, then I really hope that they are doing something to take care of them. I mean, something besides berating me.

I am friends with a wonderful family who have a beautiful daughter. They adopted. She was born in China. They are starting the process now to adopt again, and this time they feel led to adopt a child born in Africa.

I am friends with another family who have an adopted son and a brand new adopted daughter, both born right here in the good ol’ U S of A.

Is one of these families somehow “better” than the other? Is there an intrinsic “goodness” to pouring your heart (and the bank account that it is attached to) out locally that is diminished when you do so somewhere foreign? Or is it just true that four beautiful and precious children, who for some reason or another could not grow up in their biological families, are growing up in loving happy families anyways. Does it matter where they are from? Or does it matter more that these families did what they believed in their hearts was right, necessary, and true for them in line with their passion?

And on the adoption subject – NWHCM has orphanages. The children in these orphanages are sponsored, fed, clothed, educated, and loved. They grow up happy, healthy, and usually very employable (that is a big blessing in Haiti!) What NWHCM orphanages do NOT do is offer their orphans for adoption. And I have been taken to task for supporting this, by a friend who has way too much unpleasant experience with the U.S. foster care/orphanage/child services beauracracy machine. I can understand why she believes that adoption is the only possible positive outcome for an orphan. Really. But in Haiti – it is different.  The children in NWHCM’s orphanage have a very good life by Haitian children standards.

Don’t get me wrong – if I could bring Kerly and Malia to the states to live with me right now, I would. In a heartbeat. I love them and would love to raise them myself and give them everything that my own boys had. But… for one thing, if I had the kind of money that doing that would take, I could sponsor every orphan in the NW peninsula. And for another thing, if I brought them here, they would be Haitian-born American children. They would lose a great deal of their own culture, language, traditions – and there is good reason to fear that they would trade it for a lust for the latest xstationwiithousand thingy. And two children’s lives would be changed. If they get the best possible education IN HAITI, and go on to become doctor/lawyer/pastor/social worker/advocate whatevers IN HAITI, they have the potential to impact thousands of lives. Just sayin’. There are Haitian orphanages that do put children up for overseas adoption, and they are great and I am a big fan. NWHCM is doing what they believe to be in the children’s best interests, I agree with them in their case, and I will not apologize for supporting something that some disagree with.

My point, and I actually did have one when I started this, is:

Everybody I know has a particular passion for something – stray cats and dogs, or the rain forest, or human trafficking victims, or juvenile diabetes, or rehabilitating heroin addicts, or freeing Tibet… the list of possible things to support and care about and work to bring positive change to is nearly as long as the list of names of humans on the planet.  It is a very personal thing. I cannot, should not, and will not try to make everyone I know care as much about secondary education in Northwest Haiti as I do. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it would be great if everyone did because then I could build a vocational high school in every town starting tomorrow! But I know that other people have other calls, and that is as it should be. My prayer for you is that your personal passionate cause feels your impact.

But I do want to ask – what are you passionate about? And what are you doing about it?

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