Music is sort of a foreign field to me.  I took piano lessons and sang in choirs… oh, and there was that 1-year stint with my nemesis, Clarinet.  But beyond the basics, I’m not too knowledgeable. 

However, when my 9-year-old is practicing her piano lesson, I can recognize a perfectly plucked melody… and my teeth grit when a disharmonious chord is struck.  I much prefer the former of the two.  I appreciate notes that meld together, even if the tune is a melancholy one.

In short, when my daughter plays a song the way it’s meant to be played, I really enjoy it.

My husband and I adopted our youngest child internationally.  He joined our family permanently almost 3 years ago as a toddler.  The adoption experience bonds folks forever – I made friends in “real life” and online.  They were a great treasure.

When we announced this winter that we were hammering away at adoption number two, many of those old dormant friendships blossomed again.  This time we were led in an entirely different direction – domestic infant adoption.  I will never forget one of the first emails I received following our “announcement” (which I posted on my private blog that, like, 6 people read).

One of my friends replied with her own announcement – she and her husband were adopting again too… internationally again.  And here is the statement she included, which has left an indelible mark:  We thought about domestic too, but I realized that kids in the U.S. have access to so much more “stuff”, even if they never get adopted.  It makes me sick to think of people lined up to adopt American babies, when African children are starving to death every day.

Whoa.  She included a disclaimer that went a little something like this:  Please don’t take offense.  It’s just not right for “us”.

Not being offended was not an option for me.  (Something about failing miserably with Clarinet 25 years ago has left me a very defensive woman!).  Immediately I mentally composed a response.  As it grew in length and verbiage, I decided to transcribe my thoughts on my blog that 6 people read.  The post was filled with justifications for domestic infant adoption.  In the end, I pretty much made myself look saint-like for embarking on this journey.  And threw every internationally-adopting family under the bus in doing so.

Blehhhh.  (That, by the way, is the sick sound I made as I reread it and the audacity of my reaction began to sink in.)  I promptly deleted everything, took some time away from the poisonous thought cycle, and prayed.  As God’s comfort penetrated me through that time in prayer, a thought came to my mind:  this friend, as hurtful as her comments were, is His child and He loves her.  And He loves me.  AND… (and this is big) He loves each of the 145 million + orphans in this world too no matter where they are.

In Matthew 18, Jesus teaches his disciples about the importance of caring for his precious little ones.  He shares the parable of the lost sheep saying, 12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”

In so doing, Jesus lets his followers know that He loves each one.  Let me say that again:  He Loves Each One.  Jesus doesn’t discern between the waiting children of this world.  Not one is more worthy of a home than any other.  I’ll say it one last time (‘cause if I learned anything from my brush with Clarinet, it’s that repetition reaps rewards):  He loves each one.

I don’t know much about music.  But I know it makes for a great illustration of life.  God, the great composer and conductor, directs our life songs… precisely.  Even when they’re melancholy and filled with B-flats, He is at work.  He cares about the details.  He enjoys harmony – the harmony of His people. 

There really are around 145 million children waiting for loving permanency in this world.  God loves each of them deeply and perfectly – not one more than another.  Plenty of orphan care work remains to be done, more than any of us can do alone.  I can’t help 145 million children, but I can make a difference to one.  You can too.  Let’s come together and weave our lives into a lovely tune that glorifies His name.

I just ask one thing.  No clarinets.

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  (Matthew 18:1-5)

Guest Post by Heather V.