Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Heroin and the Life I Never Imagined



"And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" 
Matthew 25:40, ESV

I’m staring at the face of a gorgeous young man with bright eyes and a toddler at his side. His smile is ear to ear. Who doesn’t love a selfie of a father and his son? I don’t know who he is, he could be anyone really. One of his buddies posted this photo on a group page on Facebook called “The Cross Out Heroin Campaign.” This sweet little toddler just lost his father to a heroin addiction. I suppose it will become some kind of treasured photo for this little boy…one of the last happy memories before this drug stole the life of his smiling daddy.

The biological grandmother of our youngest daughter that we adopted shared an article with me that was posted on the page titled, “The Children of the Opioid Crisis.” That’s our baby girl. It’s her biological grandmother’s too…both of us have daughters tied to this drug, we are both mothers praying every night that this drug hasn’t ruined our daughter’s life forever. We are tied by soul as we raise the children of her daughter, we are tied by law as one of her grandchildren has taken my last name, and we are tied by grief as heroin has broken the bodies and minds of our daughters. Only God can save them now.

My husband and I had prayed about adoption several years ago and pursued an international adoption of a child with special needs. When things didn’t work out, we just decided that the Lord had closed this door for a reason. I just gave the reason a bath and my husband is cuddling her to sleep. She’s beautiful. She is a FIGHTER, a living miracle. But in a perfect world, she wouldn’t even be ours. She is ours because drug addiction has changed the landscape of her life, and God chose us to minister to her little body and soul. I feel extremely humbled by that…but if you asked me if I ever thought I’d be raising a disabled child who was born addicted I would have been very surprised.

It takes very little effort to find staggering and mind blowing statistics on the national crisis of heroin addiction. Here is a link to an article on NBC news about a mobile morgue in Ohio. A mobile morgue. How is it possible that I even have to type those words? The article states that, “the number of heroin-involved deaths nearly quadrupled nationwide between 2002 and 2013, federal health officials have reported.”

You’re probably thinking the same thing I am right now, “Kimberly, where is the hope and what does this have to do with me!?” Well, it has everything to do with us because we are the body of Christ. When one part is suffering, we all feel it. Everyone knows someone affected by drug addiction. I want you to consider what you can do to fight this epidemic. Send a card, be a listening ear, volunteer, offer time, educate yourself, write your congressman, donate clothes or money, open your home to a child in need, do something, do anything.

Matthew 25: 31-40 warns, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

I’m broken for this cause. I wish I could do more, but even though we are all championing the care of our children with special needs, and struggling to stay in the fight, we can’t ignore the world around us. It might take five minutes of your day but it will be worth it. Find a way to minister…the “least of these” need us too. For my husband and I, staring at the face of our helpless and innocent baby, our child of the opioid crisis, is uncharted territory but it is also our great reward. She is already holding our hearts in her hands. Her smile has won over an entire community. She’s changing the world as you read this.

Father, give me your heart for the hopeless.

3 comments:

  1. I wish we could do more to raise awareness for this to stop altogether. There is nothing good that comes out of it. And to see innocent lives suffer because of this is heartbreaking.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I pray that Christians will be the hands and feet of God to address drug addiction. Welcome drug addicts into our places of worship and greet them with love not condemnation. Then teach them about the new life we inherit in Christ. It takes real work to help those needing recovery, not just prayers. God bless you in your special needs parenting journey.

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  3. My adopted twin sons have a diagnosis of fetal alcohol and autism. Who knows what else they were exposed to. My oldest son became addicted to meth. He is clean now but still has some strongholds in his life he struggles with. I know the pain. We need to pray for all those in prison due to addiction, too. So many little ones without parents because of a system that incarcerates instead of rehabs. These drugs are straight from the pit of hell. Addicts need our love and compassion. And their babies need our hands and hearts.

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