Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Green Planet Thoughts

A friend of mine has adopted six kids and is considering adopting a seventh. She has eight kids total so far, ranging from four to twenty-one. Regularly, she sends up a cry of distress for orphans all over the world. I read one of her outcries one day, and then I read the news which was filled with concern over global warming.

The two ideas were mixed together in my head, and I wrote a poem. It's about orphans and child soldiers, and our obsession with saving . . . trees.

I'm not against saving trees. I've planted a number of them on Earth Day, and on other days. I've volunteered at animal shelters. I've picked up trash off my street and at public parks. I recycle and grew up recycling before it became an expected norm.

However, I don't think that any of those activities comes close to the life-empowering, world-changing, transformative action of adopting a child.

Saving a life is a far greater act than planting a tree.

It just is, and that feels obvious to me.

That's what my poem at Every Day Poets is about today. It's one of the harshest things I've written in a while. It's critical and I know it's going to bring a storm of criticism my way.

However, if you feel strongly about needing to save the life of a child, and for whatever reason you can't actually adopt or foster a child like I can't (my husband feels a need to serve God and community in other ways), I highly suggest checking out these options:

World Vision - child sponsorship and other giving opportunities. They have specific funds to fight against human trafficking and child soldiers.

Project AK-47 - the main emphasis of this group is to rescue and rehabilitate child soldiers.

Compassion International - child sponsorship and other giving opportunities.

Children of the Nations - food packaging and child sponsorship programs

Youth With a Mission (YWAM) -    ways to give financially to help and serve orphans and widows. They also have an adoption ministry.

I wish I could be like my friend and open my home to six more kids. Instead, I'm giving financially to organizations that I know have a good record of making a difference. I write letters to our sponsored child. I pray. I support others who adopt and foster kids.

And sometimes I write highly charged, angry poetry and hope that it stirs up ideas and not just anger.