There are ~18 million orphans in the world who fit the dictionary definition of an orphan as a minor with no legal parents. To give you an idea of how big is 18,000,000 people, that is the combined population of New York City and Los Angeles. Those are how many people under the age of 18 who are growing up without parents.
Of these, only 250,000 are adopted each year. Each day, there are ~ 5,800 more children who by no fault of their own become orphans.
All of the major faith traditions call their followers to care for the orphans. As a Christian, my obligation comes from the book of James:
“Religion that is pure and please to God is this: to care for orphans…in their distress”. ~ James 1:27
If all Christians all did our part to help the orphans, there would not be this many children without families. Why don’t more of us help? It seems for many, they just don’t know what they can do to help. My calling is to use my God-given skills to inform people on how to answer this call.
History of the U.S. National Adoption Month
National Adoption Month began Massachusetts in 1976 as a single day celebration to create awareness that children could be adopted from the foster care system. Nationwide, that remains the primary focus of this month. There are over 50,00 American children awaiting adoption from our foster care system. We celebrate National Adoption Day on the third Saturday in November. On this day courthouses throughout the country will be open to finalize adoptions.
As each of us approach adoption and orphan care differently so each of us will celebrate this month differently. If you are not sure how you want to celebrate this month, the folks at Adoption.com have put together a diverse list of activities in the form of calendars you can use as a starting point.