The heart of adoption will be beating loudly in southern California Thursday and Friday (May 3rd and 4th). Adoption advocates from across the nation will gather at Rick Warren’s Saddleback mega-church for a powerful conference about justice, mercy and love. Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) is holding its eighth annual adoption conference, entitled “SUMMIT VIII”.
Jedd Medefind, CAFO president, is a passionate advocate for orphans and leads the largest coalition of adoption-related, pro-life, faith-based organizations in the world. The conference will stream many key sessions live at https://www.SummitVIII.org in case you can’t be in sunny California.
I’ve been invited to share an adoptee’s perspective on life, transracial adoption, and the pro-life/pro-adoption work my wife Bethany and I do through The Radiance Foundation. It’s an honor to join such champions of Life like Rick and Kay Warren, Francis Chan, Dennis Rainey, Steven Curtis Chapman, Crawford Loritts and many others. Two elements of the adoption journey seem to frequently be missing from the conversation—an adoptee’s perspective and a focus on birth moms.
The Radiance Foundation allows people to see and hear a tangible example of Possibility realized, and the abortion industry hates this reality. We find, as we speak on college campuses, in high schools, churches, conferences and through mainstream media, “pro-choice” ideology disintegrates when the rhetoric is a living human being who supposedly “should have been aborted.” This is what happened last summer when I debated the former CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), Carlton Veazey, on NPR’s “Tell Me More”. Like many other pro-abortion activists, Veazey had nothing to say to defend the defenseless slaughter of unborn children under the guise of “choice”. Instead, Veazey spewed a predictable tirade of how pro-life advocates “don’t care about children once they’re born.”
Perhaps he’s never heard of adoption.
Despite the RCRC’s nonsense and NPR’s deliberate bias, Jedd understood there was more to the story and wanted to know more. Since then, we’ve found we have quite a lot in common, most importantly our faith and our passion, as adoptive fathers, to address the orphan crisis.
In the United States, where The Radiance Foundation focuses its efforts, finding forever families for children in the foster care system isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s so ridiculously possible that it’s hard to believe that only 53,000 are adopted out of 107,000 children waiting for adoption.
Adoption is the essence of salvation. No adoption. No salvation. This should be part of a Christian worldview and inextricably woven into our DNA. There are, for instance, 117,057,366 American Evangelical adults who claim to have been adopted by God. There are 54,000 children who are not adopted on an annual basis. This means there are 2168 Evangelical adults for every single child in the foster care system who has not had a mommy and daddy to open their hearts and their home.
That doesn’t even begin to factor in nearly 55 million Catholics, or those of other faiths, into this incredibly solvable equation.
The Summit VIII conference tackles the global orphan crisis in powerful and comprehensive efforts effusing justice and mercy. It equips people and churches to implement initiatives to see these numbers, and lives, change.
We invite you to listen, learn and leave a little room in your heart to consider being part of this solution of compassion.
Adopt. Be the Hope.