It’s my 26th Birthday!

And I don’t want you to get me anything.

Well, scratch that. I do want a present, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

I am already blessed in every aspect of my life. God has placed me in a position to be a blessing to others and I want you to join me in experiencing that joy. So this year for my birthday I’m giving it up. Instead, I want you to help me help an organization that I’m close to and support wholeheartedly. Both Ends Burning is a non profit organization tackling the mess that is international adoption.

According to UNICEF, there are 160 million orphans around the world. In 2006, over 20,000 of them were adopted into loving families. In 2010, only 11,000. There is a problem with the adoption process. There is no shortage of families that want to adopt, but the process they must go through is excruciating. In Kyrgyzstan, the average family has to wait over 2 years AFTER adopting a child, before they get to meet them and take them home. 2 YEARS! This is unacceptable.

Cross-cultural studies of children have found that the length of time spent in conditions of social deprivation, like orphanages, correlates with a wide array of psychological and developmental challenges. Children living in institutional settings are at significantly higher risk for developing learning problems, behavioral issues and language disorders. If a child spends more than 2 years in an institution, research has shown that they will NEVER fully recover and reach their full potential. The timing involved with getting these children into homes with families who love them and desperately want them is critical.

So that’s my pitch, and here’s the deal. I’m turning 26, and I want you to donate $26 to help fund Both Ends Burning. They are currently in the process of filming a feature length documentary. They have been blessed with a challenge made by one of their biggest supporters, who said that he will match every dollar raised between now and the end of the year, up to $500,000. I want to say we helped get them there. So, click on the button below, donate $26 instead spending it on things you probably don’t need anyway. I may not have $500,000 BUT I promise to match all donations raised through my site up, up to $2600! Get the word out! Tweet this post! Share it on Facebook. Talk about it to your friends and family and co workers.

Get these children home!