We dearly love our team members from our first Media Mission. We came together as strangers and left as family. Each one is truly, uniquely gifted and all have beautiful hearts to further our cause, to serve the orphan. Here is a beautifully written piece by Katie Jameson that will show you all that, regardless of your stage in life, there is always a way to serve the fatherless!
On this day, four weeks ago, I returned to the United States from a country that touched my heart in ways I could never have imagined. I separated from 10 sweet friends that will forever be the only ones who understand my sentiments and feelings from the trip. My way of thinking has forever been changed by my experiences and my encounters in Uganda. It is hard to believe that a trip I planned for so long is physically over, but will it ever really be “over”? I certainly hope not. I hope that the lessons I learned and emotions I felt while I was there last the rest of my life.
One of the things that I love about The Archibald Media Mission is the way that it has continued on, even after the 11 of us have left Uganda. That was the purpose after all – to capture Uganda and its beautiful people and then spread the stories to our communities. I began my trip hoping to capture emotional pictures of children in order to spread the word about ‘adoption’, but I left the trip hoping to educate people about ‘orphan care’. Adoption is just one part of orphan care. As a single, twenty-three year old, adopting a child is not in the cards for me (right now), so what can I do? What can the older couple, who have already raised their kids and are in retirement, do? What can the young, infertile couple do? What can the person who is learning about how God gave His only son so that He might adopt all of us into His infinite family, do? There is so much! Orphan care includes understanding, education, traveling, talking, love, and support.
1. Everyone can support – either financially or emotionally. Supporting those who are adopting a child or those who are fostering a child and especially ministries who operate off of donations likeThe Archibald Project. You can support them financially (because it is an expensive process) or you can support with your words and time, if giving monetarily is not an option.
2. You can go on service trips (both domestic and internationally) where you love on and serve the fatherless and those who daily take care of these children! Obviously, I am a big advocate for this. There are orphanages all over the world that need help and children that need to be loved on. Help to tell their stories and spread love.
3. Help educate and spread information to others about adoption and orphan care. The more we know, the more we can help! Also, helping to educate women in countries where adopting has a stigma to it. Help to inform them that all children are deserving of love, that blood is not the only thing that can tie you to a child.
4. Talk! Talk to others about their experiences with orphan care or adoption. Get to know families who have adopted or are in the process. They need your support and words of encouragement!
5. Maybe adoption IS in the cards for you! Educate yourself. Read stories, books, anything you can to prepare yourself for the wonderful, heart breaking, fulfilling, convicting experience that is adoption.
As I have mentioned before, sometimes I like to have a theme for my photography – my mind works better when I focus on something to shoot and stick to it. This post contains pictures of touch – the hand that holds, helps someone up, carries, high fives, embraces, and simply says ‘I’m here for you’. There are statistics that have shown how important human contact is within the first few years of life. The aunties at the Arise and Shine Babies Home are so great about loving on these kids, but I am sure it can be overwhelming, as there are about 35-40 kids and only 10 aunties around at a time. I am so glad we could help love on these kids while we were there. It is very hard to not have a smile on your face while holding a sleeping baby. There are not enough words that I can express to the sweet people who donated to and supported my trip. I will never be able to repay you for the experiences I had while in Uganda and the life changing events that occurred. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You have played a part in something so much greater than me and my story, you are playing a part in God’s plan for these children.
(To see more of Katie's work, please click here!)