Monday, April 28, 2008

The Effects of Charity

Amy Russell – Caucasian, doctor’s wife, mother of two – sat down at the mall one day to tend the baby in her arms. The newborn was African-American, and Amy was already accustomed to the sidelong glances, the occasional rude stares and the bold questions from strangers.
On this day, she was feeding the baby when an African-American woman sat down nearby. The newcomer watched Amy for a bit, then asked, “Where’d you get that baby?”
“From God,” Amy responded.
“Well, why’d He give ’im to you?”
Amy explained that she and her ophthalmologist-husband Randy were caring for the child until his parents either decided to be mom and dad or to place the child for adoption. The woman continued to try to comprehend the situation.
“But he’s black,” she said, still puzzled.
“Yes, ma’am.”
“And you’re white!”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Well, why do you do that?”
“Well, God doesn’t see color, and we don’t think we should see color either.”
The lady was quiet for a moment, then went on to ask:
“Then why are we always fighting?”
“I have no idea, ma’am.”
Amy’s new friend soon rose to go, then turned back, leaned over, gave Amy a hug and whispered, “Thank you.”
Randy and Amy Russell indeed believe God is color blind. The baby in the story above is one of 92 they have cared for since 1995. The great majority have been of another color or of mixed race.
Why do they do it? Because there’s an urgent need for Christian interim parents. (The Russells said that today, the term interim parent is replacing the earlier foster parent.) Most of the infants they parent are just as she told her friend at the mall, waiting for parents (often single moms) to do one of two things – decide if they’re prepared for parenthood or place the child for adoption. In the latter case, the Russells are committed to keep the child until adoptive parents are located. The average stay of a baby in their Oxford, Mississippi, home is seven to eight weeks.
“We were already pro-life Christians in 1995,” Randy said. “We supported pro-life causes and belonged to pro-life groups. But we felt God was calling us to do more.” They saw a newspaper article that talked about Catholic Charities and the need for interim parents for newborns, usually short-term care.
As they began investigating the possibilities, they prayed and quickly knew God was leading them to apply, and soon they were hosting their first newborn, a child awaiting adoptive parents.
Read the rest here.

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