Monday, April 7, 2014

"know orphans" by rick morton

About the book (from Litfuse): The global orphan crisis is complex. The church's response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up to Orphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care.

KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect, KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church's role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church's response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans.

KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation as this evangelically based movement of orphan care matures and begins to live out James 1:27 globally.

My take: I both wanted and didn't want to read KnowOrphans—because I have long had a desire to adopt. I'm not at a place personally or financially where adoption is an option, so until God gives me a "go" sign, I'm content to wait. I began reading KnowOrphans with the expectation that I would walk away feeling manipulated. I was afraid that author Rick Morton would try to guilt trip me into adoption, and I would feel horrible, knowing that adoption is my desire but that God is saying "not now." But that's not remotely what this book is about, and Morton makes clear that he's not trying to guilt anyone into anything.

KnowOrphans is a guide book of sorts. It shows how the American Evangelical church can be more proactive when it comes to caring for orphans—and that doesn't just mean adoption. God is indeed calling some people to transnational adoption (Morton's term for what I would previously have called international adoption). But adoption is, as Morton says on page 138, "only one way that a few people care for orphans." Others care for orphans by supporting ministries like Compassion International. Still others prayerfully and financially partner with friends and relatives who are adopting. And others practice purposeful consuming, "buying products that we would buy anyway from sources that support healthy ministries and causes" (58). I think just about everyone can do one (or more) of those things! (One source Morton mentions here is WorldCrafts. Check it out!)

The last part of the book is really a guide for those who are called to adopt transnationally. The author and his wife adopted three children from the Ukraine, so he knows of which he speaks. While this section provides a jumping off point for those about to begin the adoption process, it also serves to enlighten those of us who aren't walking that path but know people who are. Very helpful stuff.

While this book is a wonderful resource, it does lack one thing that I really wish was there: a listing of all the organizations and websites Morton references throughout the book. I would have found such a list to be very helpful.

My rating: 4 stars

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About the author: Rick Morton is the father of three transnational adopted children and coauthor of the popular book Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care. His dedication to the plight of orphans extends beyond his own family. The Mortons were cofounders of Promise 139, an international orphan-hosting ministry based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker for the gospel to be expressed by the church living out God's heart for the fatherless, Rick presents at adoption and orphan-care conferences and pastor's conferences. Rick and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.

Learn more about Rick at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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