I finally launched my ‘secret project’ that I’ve been working on since June. It’s called Dads for Orphans. Here’s a little of the back story to how this all began.
Last year sometime, Jim and Tiffany decided to adopt from Ethiopia. They also decided to make that decision public and share it with the rest of us on their blog and on Facebook and Erica and I are so glad they did. You see, we had thought about adoption years and years ago, before we were married we talked about it. But it was through reading their thoughts, and watching the ‘gotcha day’ videos that they shared that had moved them, that we began to think again about adopting.
After that, we began to see what we hadn’t realized before. There weren’t just a few children who needed to be adopted. There were millions. Tens of millions. An estimated 150,000,000 million to be more specific. But even then this was a slow realization and since we had already decided to adopt we weren’t really sure what all this would mean for us.
Next, we went to the Idea Camp conference on Orphan Care down near Little Rock Arkansas. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a feeling that we needed to go to this conference. I wrote a post about just how amazing that conference was. It literally changed the trajectory of our lives. Not many things do that. But this conference was so powerful for us, it raised so many questions, gave us such a new perspective I knew our lives would never be the same.
And they haven’t. After that conference we began to think about what else we could do? How else could we be involved in caring for the hundred million orphans around the world. One thing we did was sponsor a child through Compassion International. We love getting letters from Kidisit knowing that the money we send to her and her family are helping to keep them together. We realize now how important orphan prevention really is, and how this can help to keep a mom or dad from having to give their children over to an orphanage. We’ve just begun the process to become Compassion International advocates which will mean going to some training sessions and then helping out at their tables when there is a conference nearby and also just speaking out for the need to help fight global poverty which is literally tearing families and lives apart especially in third world countries.
What we noticed, though, was that most of the information on the web seemed to be written by women and for women. That women were the ones to blog about it, they were the ones moved with compassion, and for the most part were the ones pleading for others to show mercy to those without a mom or dad. And I wondered (with some other great guys that I’ve connected with lately) where are the men? Why aren’t more guys involved in talking about this. Why does almost every story about a family deciding to adopt start with “When my wife brought the idea up to me, I hadn’t thought about it before, but…”
So I decided to start a website that would exist to encourage men to get the discussion going on why and how they could be caring for orphans. The idea is pretty simple, but I’m hoping that through this, many men will start to think about this very important topic and bring it up to their wives!
Read my related post: Four Reasons Why Christian Men Should Be Caring for Orphans
So with the help of some close friends and even some people I’ve never met in real life, Dads for Orphans has started as a place were men can come and read about the many different and unique ways they can get involved. Not everyone can or should adopt, and I get that. Not everyone can truly afford to sponsor a child. But that doesn’t mean that the conversation has to end there. I’ve heard some amazing stories lately about people who used their athletic abilities to raise awareness and money for orphanages in South Africa, or others who have been moved to start ministries in their local church.
So come and check it out, I’ve got four stories lined up for the first four weeks and then there will be a new story once a month, and please become a fan of the Dads For Orphans Facebook page that will be linking to more resources and articles related to the orphan crisis and ways to get involved.
Read Jim’s story: Jim Darling – International Adoption from Ethiopia
Thanks to everyone who has already helped to get the word out, and in order for this to really work I would ask that you consider sharing the link on facebook, becoming a fan or tweeting about it. Use the #D4O hashtag, too. Those are some very simple (and free) ways you can show you care about the global orphan crisis. Who knows? Maybe that one tweet or status update will reach someone and make them respond, and change the world for one!
The motto is, you don’t have to be a “Dad” to be a Dad for Orphans. Meaning, a dad is someone who provides, protects, pleads, prizes, not necessarily someone who procreates. (I had help with that alliteration!) Thanks for helping to make this launch a success!
Dads for Orphans blog badges are available HERE!