My head is spinning. I’m not sure I even know where to begin to talk about Orphan Justice. Major brain overload. And I’m down with adoption. Most of what he said didn’t come as a surprise. In fact, many times I kept thinking, “This dude totally reads my blog (see chapters on racism & foster care).” or “This dude is totally inside my head (see chapters on poverty & abortion).” I have been grappling with orphan care and what that means for a while and my head was still spinning after this book. If you’ve only ever thought of orphan care in passing, take this book slow.
“Foster care is risky. Adoption is risky. Love itself is always risky.”
I admire Johnny Carr. He takes a bold stance in Orphan Justice. He doesn’t let anyone off the hook. He is honest about his personal struggles with adoption and orphan care. He calls believers to the mat and challenges them to wrestle with the reality of orphan care. If you are always full of excuses as to why orphans are someone else’s problem, be prepared to get sucker punched. Sometimes his language was a bit too preachy for my taste. But at the core of his message, you find truth. Truth isn’t always wrapped up in a nice, pretty little present, but we should all crave truth. And that’s what you get in Orphan Justice.
Orphan Justice is timely and necessary. It is definitely a must-read for all believers. He tackles every aspect of orphan care. Not just adoption. Every.single.aspect. From foster care to HIV/Aids to abortion to sex trafficking to special needs adoptions. He left nothing untouched. At least that I can think of right now. But then again, my head is still swimming. Go read the book and you tell me.
One of my favorite parts of this book comes at the end of each chapter. Johnny. I probably shouldn’t call a man I’ve never met by his first name, but I digress. Johnny gives practical ways for everyday people like myself to get involved in orphan care. I got such an adrenaline rush after reading them. Like, I really really needed to go do something or I would explode. So I ran. He didn’t exactly mention running as a way to care for orphans. But I had to semi-clear my head so I could tell you lovely people to go read this book.
I have been an advocate for the orphan for so long. And I know that adoption isn’t right for every family – this frustrates me, but it’s true. However, we are all called to orphan care. Scripture is abundantly clear on that matter. But typical responses to being involved in orphan care without adopting (i.e. donating money to help another family adopt) fall a little flat. Donating money to adoption funds is totally necessary and awesome, by the way. But I’ve always thought, “There has to be more that we, as the Church, can do.” Well. Johnny gives you more. He lays out very specific ways for anyone and everyone to get involved in orphan care. I was so jazzed after reading all of the possibilities. And then I started thinking about other people reading this book being equally as jazzed and I got even more jazzed – if that’s even possible.
On a personal note, I am so blessed to have friends caring for orphans in each of the areas he has mentioned. Domestically, internationally, foster care, HIV/Aids, special needs, sex trafficking and more. As I read each chapter, I was reminded of all the people I know who are actively caring for the least of these. They are in the trenches where we are called to be servants. Will you join them? Will you choose obedience to the Father by caring for the orphans? Will you at least start by reading this incredible book? Read it with your family. Read it with your community group. Read it with your Bible study. Read it with your church staff. Just please, read Orphan Justice. And then I dare you to find a reason to not be involved in orphan care.