Orphan Care Beyond Adoption

Matt Laughlin Unadopted blog

At Lifeline we believe that it is God’s design for children to be raised in families, where they are loved and cared for holistically, having their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs met. The reality of what we see is that we live in a broken world, in which the sin of mankind has affected God’s design for families. However, we can rejoice in the knowledge that we have a Redeemer! Christ has paid the penalty for sin and we know that one day soon all wrongs will be made right. We know that what God has called Lifeline to do is to shine light in the darkness, to take the message of Jesus to the nations, to see children placed in families that will love and care for them, and to care for those who won’t be adopted.

James 1:27 is clear in its call for the believer to care for the orphaned and vulnerable child. For (un)adopted®, we know that there are more than 153 million orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. We also know that while some of these children will end up in loving families, the majority of them will not. 38,493 orphans age out EVERY DAY, and God has uniquely positioned (un)adopted® to minister to this group of children that won’t be adopted. Our vision is as we take the gospel to these places that the Lord leads us, these children whom God has created as special, unique, and with purpose would become beacons of light in their community for Him! We don’t believe that God will solve the orphan crisis through Lifeline; we know that will only happen when He returns, but we believe we can make a difference in the places that the Lord has called (un)adopted® by investing in the few to impact the many!

Every country we work in is different with unique cultures, rich histories, tragic stories, and challenging languages, but what we are called to do in each country is the same: to love these orphaned and vulnerable children as Christ loves them; to equip those that care for these children; and to see these children prepared for life on their own so that the cycle of fatherlessness can be broken. In most countries, we are working within the government system, often within local orphanages, to see that children have the opportunity to experience family and the love that God desires for His children to receive.

For example, in the Dominican Republic we work with boys who previously lived on the streets and are now living in a boys’ home with Dominican “house parents.” They have a mom and a dad who love them, provide routine and order for their lives, and show them the love of Christ. In China, we provide foster families within the orphanages, or as is the case with our foster center, we work with an orphanage for permission to have a larger group of children experiencing holistic care in a culturally appropriate, family-style setting.

The life change that we see happening for the orphaned and vulnerable children we work with is amazing! We know ultimately that it is the Lord, and we are blessed to play a small role in His ministry! These children’s lives aren’t changed by (un)adopted® visiting them; rather, the change comes from investment into the lives of those who are influential to the children. For example, we work to invest in the caregivers and family or extended family of the children, sharing with them the importance of their role in the lives of these children. We do this by teaching biblical foundations of caring for children who have experienced trauma so early in life, equipping those who are influential in the lives of these children with the tools and skills they need to invest deeply and richly into the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children.

As the Lord continues to expand the reach of Lifeline’s (un)adopted® ministry, we are humbled at the role that we get to play in Christ’s redemption story! His love for these children is so much greater than we can imagine! Will you consider how the Lord may be leading you to be involved in His story? We would love to talk to you more about opportunities to join what Lifeline is doing, whether it is through adoption, fostering, or ministering to children who won’t be adopted. Join the story!

Written by: Matt Laughlin, Director of (un)adopted