A few weeks ago I (Matt) had the unfortunate experience of passing a kidney stone.  For those of you who have also experienced this “opportunity for growth,” you know what I am talking about.  For those of you who have not had this experience, I can sum it up in one word: PAINFUL!

As I was writhing in pain my lovely wife was trying to help by reading all sorts of different things people have done to get rid of kidney stones.  Here are a few that she shared with me:

1. Drink 100% pure cranberry juice
2. Drink apple cider vinegar mixed with honey and warm water (it was disgusting)
3. Jump up and down
4. Drink lots of water
5. Add lemon to your water
6. Drink wheat grass
7. Keep moving

And the list goes on.  Everyone swore by the remedy that removed their pain.  What cured my problem was a mixture of several home remedies.  I don’t really know which one was most effective, because I was willing to try anything and everything to ease the pain. 

Thankfully, the stone passed and I was pain free.  So how does this relate to orphan care?  Let me try to explain:

When I see children without families, children placed in orphanages due to poverty, families breaking apart and the children suffering, families being faced with excruciating decisions because of poverty, war and disease, I feel a strong pain for these kids and their families.  I search the internet looking for remedies to help ease their pain.  I read books and talk to people that live among those hurting.  Sometimes the best remedy is providing basic needs, counseling, adoption, reunification, orphanage care, foster care, a group home, etc.  It’s not possible to say that one remedy works every time.  Sometimes it seems “cool” to criticize what others are trying when it comes to orphan care.  Unfortunately, it is not that simple.  Children suffer because families suffer because cities suffer because nations suffer because our world suffers.  When it comes to orphan care it seems similar to a kidney stone to me because there are many things you can try to do to help remove the pain; some may help and some may not.  Sometimes you try one thing and tweek it a little or move on to something else entirely when it doesn’t seem to work.  But to leave the body in pain because you might choose the wrong remedy is silly.  You try something, you listen to others, you learn and make changes, and you pray the pain will go away.

I am truly thankful for the great people behind the amazing organizations we are working with.  They are trying to ease the pain of hurting children and families.  Thank you New Day Creations, A Heart for Korah, The Crossing, Samuel’s Home, Holy Savior Children Helping Association and all the adopting families for loving and caring for children in your own unique ways…because they matter.