Recently, I have noticed people who continue to refer to a child that is orphaned over and over as "orphan".

Here's why that bothers me.

Just like people with disabilities, they are people first.  They are not disabled people.  They are people with disabilities.  When the Lord made them, he made them special and unique in that way, but first and foremost, they are people.  The same goes for orphans.  They are children first.  Not orphans.  And when you continue to refer to them as "orphans" all the time and not "orphaned children" or "children that were orphaned", you begin to make it sound like such a negative thing.  Or even that orphans don't mean as much as a child with parents.

But that's wrong.  Just like people with disabilities say, they are children first.  Hurt, abandoned children.  The orphan part of them, though important to their story, is not what should come first.  The beautiful thing about what God did when He adopted us is that He took that name away from us.  He wiped the word "orphan" off our slates because that's not who we are anymore, with Him.  We are no longer orphans, we are children of God.  And... even though there are kids in other countries matched with families in the U.S. waiting to come home, they were turned into that family's son/daughter the moment they were matched.  They are no longer orphans, even if they are not home yet.  They have a family.  In another country, maybe, but they still have a family.  They are no longer left as orphans.

Please remember that the word "orphan" needs to be said fragilely.  They are as much people as you and me are.  They may be orphaned, but God still has a plan for them as much as he has a plan for me and you.  And even though they don't have a family yet... they have a God who cares.  And don't for a minute ever forget that.

lillian rachel  – (December 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM)  

dear emma, i'm hardly at all a part of this world you are a part of, with adoptions, and so all your words don't neccesarily connect to me, but thank you all the same. they're true words, even if I don't know exactly what it's like, they're still good words, and good for me to hear. thank you.

Hannah Nicole  – (December 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM)  

oh, emma girl. this is really good and really true. everything you write blesses me so much. thanks for speaking truth. xo

Brad Weisman  – (December 6, 2012 at 12:11 PM)  

Amen.... In this world of labels, we forget that the people we're labeling, are people...

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