Moving Story in the Washington Post: The Christian Orphan Care Movement and One Unforgettable Expression of It

The Washington Post Magazine this weekend will carry a deeply moving story of the adoption of Russian girl with Down’s Syndrome.  The piece also provides yet another compelling a window into one expression of the growing Christian orphan care movement.  This story, “Adopting a New Purpose,” went live online today.

Pregnant with their fourth child, Nina and Jon Clark learned that the little girl growing inside Nina had Down’s Syndrome.  As the article describes, “After Emma was born, Nina, a member of Neelsville Presbyterian Church in Germantown, had searched the Bible for guidance, especially its command to care for orphans and widows. She began to believe that her seeming misfortune might be part of a divine plan…”

How that “divine plan” unfolded is a thing of both sacrifice and beauty—captured with remarkable sensitivity by writer Julia Duin.  I won’t steal any more of the story’s surprises, but it’s also beautiful to read Duin’s honest description of the way Christians are rising for the fatherless:

 “[The Clark’s are] not alone in seeing adoption as a divine calling. An evangelical Protestant ‘orphan care’ movement has spawned conferences, Web sites, books and an annual “Orphan Sunday” in November (National Adoption Month) involving 2,000 churches.

The McLean-based Christian Alliance for Orphans includes 100 organizations nationwide and urges Christians to adopt, foster or help care for children who might otherwise be aborted.

‘Christians wanted to put their lives where their mouths were — both aiding mothers that chose to keep a child and standing willing to adopt whenever a child needed a family,” says Alliance President Jedd Medefind. “God adopted us and invited us to live as His children. When Christians take concern for children without parents — either by adoption or fostering — they feel they are reflecting God’s character.’

Some of these believers have opened their homes to Down syndrome children. Robin Steele, adoption coordinator for the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network in Cincinnati, arranges 26 adoptions a year for a pool of 200 waiting families. The majority identify themselves as Christians…”

You won’t want to miss the full article HERE.