We have a litter of orphaned kittens at our house. Allie Cat, beloved mama, was hit by a car earlier this week, and we are faithfully tending her babies. It is quite a time-consuming proposition: they eat every 3 hours, day and night, and haven't taken to the bottle, so we use a baby teaspoon to ladle the milk into their tiny mouths. The children love helping, although Rosy won't even pet them, and Katy is a little nervous holding them. Amelia loves rocking them like babies, wrapped up in a towel so they can't scratch. This little gray beauty she named "Scarlet", and she is the feisty runt of the bunch.

Caring for these "orphans" has reminded me to turn prayer to our human orphan - the one we hope to adopt someday. We received word about a month ago that our adoption plans are on hold for the moment. The state special needs adoption program had their budget slashed for 2010, and can no longer afford to pay for home studies for families who haven't identified a child already existing in the system that they wish to adopt. Since we would wish to wait for an infant or very young child with Down syndrome, we are not eligible to receive a state-sponsored home study. Until we can afford the $2000 or so it would cost to buy one privately, we will have to wait. We trust this is God's direction for our lives, as my health would currently disqualify us regardless. Hopefully by the time the funding issues are cleared up, my health will also be improved! I continue to be drawn to a certain little boy in an Eastern European country, but have no idea if he will still need a family by the time we are ready.

I saw a very cool t-shirt design from Reece's Rainbow, the international Down syndrome adoption group that finds both needy children and willing families and matches them up. These verses are listed on the back of the t-shirt, with the front logo, "Why adopt? Because God said so!":

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:14)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (I John 3:16-18)

"He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?" declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:16)