China (MNN) — When’s the last time you were in a ‘race against the clock’?
Maybe it was after a meeting went too long, and you were hard-pressed to arrive at your next appointment in a timely fashion. Or, if you’re a mom, maybe it’s every week as you fight the morning surge to get your kids to school on time.
For one ministry, the clock is ticking right now. President and CEO of Bethany Christian Services, Bill Blacquire, says they only have six months to find parents for special needs children in China.
“When we hear the term ‘special needs’ or a physical or mental impairment, we always think the worst,” says Blacquire. “But, there’s a whole range here of those special needs.”
Dozens of Chinese special needs kids are depending on Bethany to find ‘forever families’ for them within 180 days. Blacquire says the deadline was part of an incentive from the Chinese government.
“They want to see their children exposed to as many families as possible,” Blacquire says. “Many of these children have waited in an orphanage or an institution for a long period of time.”
If they don’t get adopted through Bethany’s 180 campaign, 30 kids face a bleak future.
“[They] will end up growing up in an institution or an orphanage if we don’t find a home for them,” says Blacquire. At 16 or 17 years old, he adds, they’ll be on their own.
“They either go out on the street, maybe have some kind of minimal job from the government, or they will beg,” Blacquire explains. “And, there’s always a potential that the child could be exploited, whether that’s for labor or sex work, or something of that nature.”
While these kids have excellent physical care in Chinese orphanages, Blacquire says a key emotional component is ever-missing.
“The difference is [that] when you have a parent, the child feels belonged to, the child is used to seeing that same parent, and there’s much love that goes on between the child and the parent,” he says.
“That just doesn’t exist in an institution.”
Family plays a key role in the development of any child, but it’s especially important in the lives of children with special needs.
“Until they’re really with a parent and in a family home, we don’t know what their potential will be,” explains Blacquire. “But we do know, by all the research, that their potential will be greatly increased by being part of a family.
“In addition, the children will be exposed to school and they’ll be able to learn, and they’ll be able to learn maybe even job skills.”
Have room in your family for one more? Click here to get the ball rolling by filling out a preliminary application on Bethany’s website.
“They [will] have access then to over 400 waiting children,” Blacquire states. That number includes the special needs children in China.
Pray that whether or not these children find families, they learn about their Heavenly Father and His love for them. Pray against the attempts of Satan to tell these children they are unworthy.