Sunday, May 11, 2008

What?! Huh? 143 million? 7% EXPLAIN!! ;-)

UPDATED: Okay, first of all I am a math dunce! Someone very kind wrote to me and explained if I would have done the math correctly I would have come up with 6.8% using 2.1 billion Christians and 143 million orphans. So...we don't know for sure where that stat originally came from, but the numbers DO work! Also, someone else kindly wrote in and said they believe that John Piper originally stated that "If 7% of all Christians adopted one child there would be no more orpahans in the world." Of course, as someone else brought up, many of those children are not technically adoptable because of laws in their own countries.

Hi all,

First, THANK YOU for all of the lovely comments on the Mother's Day talk that wasn't. When I wrote that, it was 4am (yes, I am a major insomniac!) and I really felt like it was supposed to be written. When the pastor very kindly said that wasn't exactly what he was looking for, I just couldn't let it sit in my files unused. It's not that I think it's that great--but I thought maybe a few people out there might get something out of it. The response has been overwhelming and very unexpected. I guess the link to the Mother's Day talk is being posted on other blogs and such because I've had several hundred more readers than normal today! Yikes!

First--I need to apologize. Someone asked me where the statistic came from that said "If 7% of the world's Christians adopted 1 orphaned child, there would be no more orphans in the world." I am fairly certain I read this on Tom Davis' Blog. He is the author of the two amazing books: Red Letters, and Fields of the Fatherless. However, I don't have an official source for the stat, as I trusted the source that I read it from. Actually, I know I've read that stat on 3 or 4 other places on the internet.

Second--I need to apologize again! When I couldn't find THE source for the 7% quote I dusted off my math skills and decided to divide the number of Christians on earth with the number of orphans I cited--143 million. That number came from UNICEF (whew! I knew that one!). But the thing with estimating the number of orphans is that the estimates can vary from 50 million all the way up to 200 million--depending on what "kind" of orphans you include. Do you only count kids who have no living parents? Kids with one living parent? Kids that are still IN a family but parents are gone? Only kids in orphanages? All this to say, there are MANY numbers on could come up with for "total orphanage population."

Whomever originally stated that "If only 7% of the world's Christians would adopt 1 adopted child, was not using the same total number of orphans that I cited in my blog post. I pretty consistently found that the "accepted" estimate for number of Christians in the world is 2100000000 (or 2.1 billion if you don't feel like counting zeros!). If you divide 2.1 billion (Christians) by 143 million (orphans) you get a number around 14.

What that tells me is that my stats came from two different sources. The number of orphans used to come up with the original "7%"stat was a lower number, than the 143,000,000 estimated by UNICEF.

That means...YIKES! We have even more work to do! If we use 2.1 billion Christians and 143 million orphans, it's actually about 14% of Christians who need to step up to the plate and adopt one orphaned child. OR..don't forget that LOTS of people adopt 2 orphaned children! We can do it! I mean really...I haven't met very many people who have only adopted one child and don't ever intend to adopt again. There is certainly a unique aspect to adoption that makes one want to do it more than once! =-)

Again, I apologize if any of my stats didn't seem to jive. I was writing for a small audience and never expected the hundred or so folks who usually read this blog to "pass it on." [Although, anyone is welcome to if they wish.]


Hope you all had a great Mother's Day! This was my first Mother's Day since 2006 to have all of my children with me! The family finally feels right with Bright here this year. He is our LOVE child. [Ha! Okay, I just read that and laughed at how it sounds...our LLLOOOOOVEEE child. Groovy man!]

We always say that Taevy is our nurturer. She has a gift when it comes to all things sensitive/emotional/heart-burdening. She senses others' emotions and is very perceptive when someone isn't feeling quite right. Then she come to the rescue--the ultimate caregiver in our family.

Samren has been given the gift of JOY for the Lord. Truly, he brightens people's day with his pure uninhibited joy. He has a special connections with big standoffish men. They can't resist him coming up with his pure and innocent love and giving high fives or hugs. He takes such JOY in the small stuff. "Mom! You got me a new $3 T-shirt?! Mom, you are the best most beautiful and fluffy mommy in the world!" What 6 year old boy gets such joy out of a new T-shirt?! Samren.

Bright...his gift is simply to LOVE. We had every reason to believe that it would be difficult for him to attach to us. He never attached to a caregiver during his first year, and was not having his needs met (food). But as soon as he got the chance for love he took it and has never let go!! The child loves me FIERCELY! Constant hugs and kisses and cuddles and laying his head on my shoulder. He is LOVE.

Oh I could just BURST I'm so blessed!!!
P.S. The talk at church went really well (I think). Tears at church are always a good thing, right?! ;-) I will post that talk here (with the slides I used) in a few day--just because this blog is where I record all of he cool happenings in our lives.


Rebecca 5:46 AM  

Hey Anita,
I have seen the stat you stated on multiple blogs over the last few months and the last credit I saw given was to John Piper- but I haven't been able to track that down either.
One thing people need to keep in mind is that the far overwhelming majority of orphans in the world are not adoptable because the country has no adoption authority established, the country is closed or the children can't be processed because they don't have an "identity." In Africa the only countries processing children to US citizens I think are Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda and until a few months ago Liberia. And some of those are processing a handful per year. I think I read that in Sub-saharan Africa there are 65 million orphans....
It is critical for all of us called to adopt or not to be involoved in orphan care or projects that help to preserve the family unit like water projects, microenterprise, medical care, feeding etc....
And not to mention that adoption workers must operate with the highest level of integrity to ensure positive working relationships and trust with the sending country.
Thanks for the clarification and for always being so transparent.