This week, all across America families gathered to celebrate all the things for which they are thankful.  This year, I was overcome with gratitude when I thought about all the ways God has blessed me this year.  I am so thankful. 

In the midst of celebration, I couldn’t help but think of the many orphans that I love… who currently live on the opposite side of the world.  I am thankful for them. 

Although Eastern European orphans do not celebrate Thanksgiving, I wonder what they would say they are thankful for.  They may not be sitting around a table with a loving family, sharing great food, and in a safe home… but I still believe that they have a reason to be thankful.

These are some of the things I imagine a host child would say to their host family if they could find the words to say.

Thank you for your hugs.
Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your sacrifices.
Thank you for giving me a chance.
Thank you for the presents.
Thank you for your presence.
Thank you for treating me like your own.
Thank you for listening to me.
Thank you for your patience with me.
Thank you for caring for me.
Thank you for seeing my worth.
Thank you for including me.
Thank you for thinking of me.
Thank you for being obedient.
Thank you for not giving up on me.
Thank you for your encouragement.
Thank you for teaching me.
Thank you for remembering me.
Thank you for getting to know me.
Thank you for showing me who Jesus is.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for choosing me.
Thank you for being the family I have never known.

So, this is for you – all of you host and adoptive families.  For all the things that you do for these precious children.  The orphans you have come to embrace in your lives may never find the words to say how thankful they are for you.  I believe they would say many of these things to you and more if they could. 

Thank you for what you are doing for orphans. You are showing a piece of God’s heart with everything that you do!

The King will reply,
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’
Matthew 25:40 (NIV)