The orphan count that really counts: 5 billion

As time passes, I become increasingly aware that the real number of orphans in the world is about 5 billion.
That's the current number of men and women on planet earth who have not accepted God's plan for adoption.
There are about 7 billion people living on our planet.  It's estimated that about 2 billion of us have said "yes" to God and His plan to adopt us as sons and daughters, and make us joint heirs with His dear son Jesus.
God has made His "family plan" so simple... and the world has made it so complicated.
From the time of God's earliest communication with mankind, God made it very clear:  "Today, I set before you life and death.  Choose life!"
Why have 5 billion current inhabitants of planet earth not yet chosen life?  Why would they prefer "death"?  The reason hasn't changed over the years:  because they believe they know more than God and don't wish to be a part of His eternal family.
God is still issuing His call to be adopted, to a part of His family, daily.  Let us pray that the eyes of 5 billion children will be opened, and that they will accept the invitation to come into God's big family!

Many of the orphans we minister to in Russia have come into God's family!

Lessons from orphan care: God calls us to do very big things in very small ways

Excerpted from the "Six Things Orphan Care Has Taught Me" blog of Jason Johnson, lead pastor of Woodlands Point Community Church, Woodlands, TX.:

"Fostering and adopting abused, neglected, marginalized and orphaned children is a big deal, but it expresses itself primarily through very small, very menial, very hidden tasks that go largely unnoticed. We are daily stopped by people and asked about our foster baby, and we count it a privilege to share with them God’s big heart for the fatherless, His big plan of fully adopting us through Jesus and our big commitment to do the same for orphans. But that’s not the end of the story. The rude realities of orphan care find themselves up for a 3 a.m. feeding, changing a diaper for what seems to be the 100th time that day, on the phone with case-workers, lawyers, doctors and government departmental offices, filling out stacks of paperwork, sitting through court hearings and driving across the city for parent visits.
"Yes, orphan care is a big deal, but its grandness is not measured by the public fame it produces but by the private faithfulness it requires…when no one is around to see, and no one cares. The only way we will make a big difference in this child’s life is if we do the small things she needs us to do for her with eagerness, willingness and joy – whether anyone is around to see it or not."

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who will likely never have chance to be adopted.

Fact sheet for foster families considering adoption

A fact sheet for foster parents considering adoption is available from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.  Click here to read the fact sheet on adoption from foster care.

Included in the fact sheet:
  • Differences between foster parenting and adopting
  • Advantages of foster parent adoption
  • Strategies for foster/adoptive families
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (compiled in 2011):
• Approximately 408,000 children are in foster care in the United States, and it’s estimated that 107,000 are eligible for adoption.
• In FY 2010, about 53,000 children were adopted from foster care. Of those children:
○ 53 percent were adopted by foster parents.
○ 32 percent were adopted by other relatives.
○ 15 percent were adopted by nonrelatives.
• Of the parents who adopt from foster care, 67 percent are married couples and 28 percent are single-parent families.
• Of the children in foster care:
○ 43 percent are White.
○ 25 percent are African-American.
○ 21 percent are Hispanic.

Big Family Mission helps orphans in Russia who may never have chance to be adopted.

You can advocate for adoption tax credit

Many families have benefited from the Adoption Tax Credit that allows a generous credit to be deducted directly from a family's federal (USA) taxes.  This tax credit will be greatly limited if it is not extended by December 31.  Recently, a bill to extend the credit was introduced.   Supporters can now ask their member of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor the bi-partisan H.R. 4373, known as the “Making Adoption Affordable Act.”
You can reach your Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Operator at 202-225-3121 and asking for your Representative's office. (If you need to find your Representative’s name, go here to find it using your zip code.)
You can convey a clear message simply by expressing that you want to see the adoption tax credit extended, and one or more reasons it matters to you.  You can ask your Representative to become a co-sponsor of The Making Adoption Affordable Act, H.R. 4373.
If you want to learn more about the adoption tax credit go to

Orphan Sunday 2012 video now available

It's not too early to begin planning that very special day in November:  orphan Sunday!  November 4, 2012.
Check out this Orphan Sunday video available from the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Big Family Mission ministers to orphans in Russia who may never have opportunity to be adopted.

Top adoption and orphan info websites: National American Council on Adoptable Children

Through advocacy, education, adoption support, and leadership development in the U.S. and Canada, NACAC helps to reform systems, alter viewpoints, and change lives. NACAC services include the following: 

  • Support parent groups and other community leaders in their efforts to advocate for waiting children and adoptive families in their communities;
  •  Host one of the most comprehensive adoption training conferences in North America, with more than 100 accredited workshops for parents and professionals;
  • Inform parents, professionals, and others about waiting children and other issues related to foster care and adoption through our quarterly newsletter Adoptalk and other publications;
  • Conduct training sessions and workshops on adoption subsidy, child welfare reform, transracial adoption, and other issues related to foster care and special needs adoption;
  • Offer leadership training to adoptive, foster, and kinship parents to help create and enhance support groups for families in their communities;
  • Create and disseminate publications that provide resources, information, and support to adoptive families and prospective adopters;
  • Provide phone consultation and materials to address parents' questions about adoption subsidies for children with special needs.
Big Family Mission helps Russian orphans who may never have the opportunity to be adopted.

Top adoption and orphan info websites: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Focusing on adoptions from the foster care system, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption  website provides several comprehensive (and free) guides to adoption.  Finding Forever Families, a Step-by-Step Guide to Adoption, is published in English and in Spanish.  There's also a separate version for Canadian adoptions.  A post-adoption guide is available in English.
You will also find information about financial assistance for adoptions.
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption describes its mission:  "We believe that we have a responsibility to be the voice of foster care adoption, so that every child finds a family. We exist to find homes for children who are waiting to be adopted from foster care in North America. In the process, we work to inform adults who may have misperceptions about foster care adoption that keep them from getting involved. Through the money we raise, we are able to provide free educational resources, promote awareness, assist policymakers and employers, and support adoption professionals and agencies throughout the United States and Canada to ensure that every child finds a forever home."
Goals:  "Every child deserves to live in a safe, loving and permanent family.  No child should linger in foster care or leave the system at age 18 without a permanent family of his or her own.  Every child is adoptable."

Big Family Mission provides love and hugs for children who will never have the opportunity to be adopted.

Top adoption & orphan info websites: U.S. State Department's website on inter-country adoption

Thinking of adopting a child from another country?  You will find an excellent guide to inter-country adoption on the U.S. State Department's Inter-Country adoption website.  The website provides up-to-date information on adoption requirements from many different countries.
Each year thousands of U.S. citizens adopt children from abroad, and many families in other countries adopt U.S. children.
Inter-country adoption is governed by both the laws of the country in which the child lives and the country in which the adoptive parents live. 
Under U.S. law, there are two distinct inter-country adoption processes: the Hague Convention process and the non-Hague Convention process. Which process you will follow will depend on whether or not the other country involved is also a party to the Hague Convention. This website guides you through and answers your questions about these processes.

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who may never have the chance to be adopted.

Top orphan & adoption info websites: Adoptive Families Magazine

Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is a leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.
On the Adoptive Families website, you will find a wealth of information about adoption and may access some of the articles published in the printed version of Adoptive Families Magazine.  The website provides many links to adoption information, as well as sections about books, FAQs, groups, events, blogs, and experts on adoption.
The website also provides a listing of adoption professionals by state for those adopting in the USA.
The website gives you a "taste" of what Adoptive Families Magazine is all about.  Those who wish to learn more about adoption may wish to subscribe to the magazine.

Big Family Mission ministers to Russian orphans who may never have the chance to be adopted.

Top orphan and adoption info websites: Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption

With chapters across the US and members around the world, Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption provides  international adoption support resources for families completed through adoption in Eastern European and Central Asian countries. FRUA provides a community that nurtures children and supports parents, family and adoption education resources, and the world-class FRUA National Education Conference.

The adopted children of FRUA's families come from all former Soviet bloc countries and republics, including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan,  Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania and many more.  FRUA believes that every child deserves a forever family and celebrates the rich heritage of our children's birth countries. Their Orphan Support efforts ensure we never forget the children left behind in those orphanages.

From it's beginnings in 1994 as a local Washington DC parent group to its growth as an international, multi-chapter support resource, FRUA continues to focus on the following goals:
* To improve the lives of children
* To strengthen families
* To share the culture and heritage of our children
* To provide peer group support for our children
* To provide peer group support for parents
* To promote a reality-based perception of our children.

This is an excellent website for those who have adopted or plan to adopt from Eastern European countries.

Big Family Mission ministers to orphans in Russia who may never have the opportunity to be adopted.