Friday, November 12, 2010

Video Games and Orphans

I'm sharing today one way adoption has changed me, or at least changed my perspective.  No, we're not any further in the process, and no, no generous benefactor has materialized yet to write the single check that will remove all financial barriers to our adoption.  (I think $30,000 would do it, FYI, and I think this would cover us if we were able to get siblings.)

But as we take baby steps procedurally and fundraising wise, I continue to observe what I consider significant spiritual progress for myself and my family.  And this week, what I've noticed is how I count orphans where I see dollar signs.  Sounds a bit crude, but this article from USA Today illustrated this phenomenon for me this week.  $360 million.  One day sales for a new video game.  $360 million.  A number so big I can't really grasp it.  In one day.  For a video game.

My overriding thought when I saw this massive, obscene number, is that, assuming $30,000 would help one family bring home two orphaned siblings from Ethiopia, then the amount spent in one day on a new video game could unite approximately 24,000 orphans with their forever families.  24,000 orphans.  One day of video game sales.  And still the orphans and their families struggle and wait.

It's not crazy to think that the folks who bought those games would give the price of one game for one less orphan.  So how do we get those discretionary dollars to the families struggling to finance their adoptions?  How do we convince the masses that a relatively small donation, collectively, can have such a profound effect?

I don't know.  But you can bet it keeps me up some nights.  Brighter folks than I have wrestled with this and work to make the funding of expensive adoptions a reality for real families.  They work tirelessly to offer grants, guidance, interest-free loans, and support to families working to finance their adoptions, and for their work I'm grateful.  They make life-changing differences to orphans and their forever families.  But they are able to help so few, and so many more families and orphans wait.

All it takes is one idea, one gift, to make a huge difference.  So, do you have an idea?  What's standing between the people of a church with an attendance of around 4000 each week from helping as many families as are willing to adopt their waiting children?  I'm inviting you to offer ideas and suggestions here in the comment section.  Got an idea for an individual family fundraiser, or a big idea to help fund a church's Orphan Fund?  Share it here!

Thanks for coming back.


  1. Katie:

    I'm sure there's a little knee-jerk reaction in this, and not quite the free-handed generosity that Scripture speaks of, but as one who calls himself a gamer (and a purchaser of the game you're no doubt referencing) I feel pretty clearly moved to donate as much as I spent on it toward your adoption. I'm glad you shared this, because I'm happier to spend it to help you redeem a child.


  2. Bless your heart, Josh! I truly did not at all expect that I was addressing gamers, much less purchasers of this game. I was honestly soliciting ideas for bringing attention to the needs of orphans and their future families. We are so grateful for you and Lauren. You both give so much to our family, our church. We're so blessed because of you. And now I know that at least one gamer visits the blog (at least when Curt tweets, and "Video Games" is in the title). :)

  3. Right, but maybe that's one idea - I can choose not to buy one video game, and use that money to help some friends adopt. We just need to ask people to consider that. Buy one less game, one less pair of shoes, one less cup of coffee - one less something, and look at what it can do.