WHAT I TOOK AWAY FROM THE STUCK DOCUMENTARY

Last night, I watched the Stuck Documentary.  I highly recommend it.  But be prepared, it literally will break your heart.  This is what I took away from it.

1. "Man made orphanages for children, but God made the family for children."

I couldn't think of a better way to put it then to quote one one of the best books, Orphan Justice. I'm just going to be brutally honest.

We need to stop building orphanages. We need to stop funding orphanages. We need to stop patting ourselves on the back because we wrote a check for X amount of money to that orphanage your church built in Africa. Because it's doing the exact opposite of what God wants.

Yes, orphanages are amazing places. They provide safe places with food and a bed for children that don't have that otherwise. But too many Christians think we are doing this amazing thing by building yet another orphanage, not realizing the damage we are creating when we continue to do that. It's not helping, it's actually making the problem worse. Yes, there is definitely a place for orphanages, and we need a few of them. But celebrating the fact that we just built another orphanage, the fact that we just provided a place for at least one hundred kids to live probably permanently because the government is corrupt and/or because there are no families stepping forward is not okay.

We should be celebrating the closing of an orphanage because all of the children are placed in families. We should be pushing people to adopt these children, not pushing them to build an Institution. It is ridiculous that the body of Christ funds these Institutions while these kids sit in ruins waiting for someone to love them. We are not helping anyone in building more orphanages, we are only making the problem worse.

2. We can get more than half of the kids in orphanages back to their birth families.

In the documentary, they interviewed a woman who left her son in an orphanage when he was two days old. When asked why she placed her son there, she said it was because she couldn't feed another child.

Did you read that right? She placed her son in an orphanage because she didn't have the means to feed another child.

I am confident that that is not the only child who was placed in an Institution for that reason. And I am also confident that something better can be done about it.

Why don't we teach this woman how to grow/find food? Why don't we sponsor her and give her food? If we actually want to build God's Kingdom, the answer is not one more orphanage. When they are not double orphans (meaning both parents are dead), there is no reason why children should be in orphanages. Especially for reasons such as the lack of food. Can you imagine if we told this woman that we would provide her with a lifetime of food and her son? Can you imagine telling her son that he doesn't have to wait to be loved anymore, his mother got a second chance?

3. Christians aren't doing their jobs. At all.

It's a bit ridiculous to think of all the children that are literally living in ruins as we live here in our comfortable lives living extravagantly. They're sitting in darkness while we choose luxury.


And that's all I'll say about that.

4. It is proven that early institutionalization damages brain development.

Charles Nelson was interviewed and brought up a super interesting point about the effects of early institutionalization to the brain. You can read the article HERE. It's worth the read.

It's a horrible thing.  Especially when I think of all the orphanages that are being built, thought to be great places.  And it's not okay with me, and shouldn't be with anyone.

"Babies develop rapidly in response to environment during their first months. Living in an environment devoid of stimulation can lead to developmental delays in a variety of areas. "

Countless issues are brought up... psychiatric problems... reactive attachment disorder... physically stunted... the list goes on.  and on.  and on.

And it's ridiculous, friends!!  It makes me so mad!!  

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Please don't get me wrong.  I understand the orphanage's place, and I know that they're beautiful things for children, and I know that many children don't have issues because of this.  But I know that we can be doing more, and we can stop jumping to conclusions.  I know that orphanages are needed and necessary parts of the system, but I also know that placing kids in families is way more important than building another place for them to go because of tangible needs that can be met for their birthparents (i.e. food, water, etc).  I know that God is in control, and I know that His will will always be done, but that doesn't make me stop.  And I will be part of this story one day.  You heard it here first.  xo

Kim Thompson  – (May 5, 2013 at 12:37 PM)  

I for one cannot wait to see where God takes you with your passionate heart!! xo

Gifts of Grace  – (May 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM)  

My mom was just reading a book that was saying the same thing (Orphan Justice)! I definitely agree. Johnny Carr describes it well: "Do I think we should shut down all orphanages today? Of course not. Again, we can’t be SATISFIED with children living in orphanages." (http://orphanjustice.com/the-book/chapter-resources/chapter-4-orphans-and-orphanages/).

Emilie

Brynn Schwartz  – (May 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM)  

Emma this is awesome! This is what our family have felt for a little over a year now and had to break some relationships with close friends over seas because my dad tried to approach them about trying to find home for the orphans and helping in that aspect and it was tough. and this just awesome that you can speak out about this. the church is called to take care of the orphans and widows, not send them to a big building filled with hundreds of other orphans. really look up to you and admire your courage to speak out on issues like this. thanks

Brynn Schwartz  – (May 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM)  

Emma this is awesome! This is what our family have felt for a little over a year now and had to break some relationships with close friends over seas because my dad tried to approach them about trying to find home for the orphans and helping in that aspect and it was tough. and this just awesome that you can speak out about this. the church is called to take care of the orphans and widows, not send them to a big building filled with hundreds of other orphans. really look up to you and admire your courage to speak out on issues like this. thanks

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