noteworthy #4: Aaron Klein

What is it the most significant thing you feel you have done to make a difference in the lives of other people?

There are several important causes I believe in. One is education, because I think it is one of the main drivers of peace and prosperity in the world. But to choose the greatest cause I believe in, I'd turn to orphan care and adoption.

Now, I'll be quick to point out that my son Spencer has been far more of a blessing to me and my wife than we are to him. We don't view our adopting him as something special we did for him...his becoming a part of our family is a hugely special thing that he (and God) did for us.

What motivated your heart?

Isaiah 1:17 has become an important verse for us, calling on those who claim to be Christians to "seek justice, encourage the oppressed, and defend the cause of the fatherless." The church has been great at being pro-life up to the moment children are born, and hasn't been all that focused about the rest of their lives. I think both are critically important.

A true commitment to justice and human rights in our world means that every life is valued, at every stage of life - young and old, rich and poor. And it means that we do something to right the injustices that exist.

The United Nations estimates that at least 143 million children are without a parent and 87 million are without both parents - and those numbers are probably quite low because you can't count street kids.

I don't think it's wrong for the United States to be the richest nation on Earth. I think it gives the most generous country on Earth the continued opportunity to reach out and help those in need in our interconnected world. I continue to see that desire grow, and it excites me and confirms my belief in the greatness of this country.

How did it change you?

Well, putting words into action for us meant adopting Spencer and Emma (who we hope will join us from Ethiopia in early 2010), and becoming parents has certainly been a life changing event! My message to many is, you don't have to become an adoptive parent to engage in the cause of orphan care and adoption. It's an expensive proposition, and we have been incredibly blessed with the resources to afford it.

But there are many willing to become adoptive parents who don't have the finances to do it, and we can all help with that. There are kids who simply need short-term foster care from loving people here in the United States, and many of us can help with that. There are overseas orphanages and shelters that need workers to travel in for two weeks at a time, or financial support, and we can all help with that.

I believe everyone has a stake in orphan care and adoption. And I'll go further for those who are Christians: I believe it's not just in your interests, but I think it's your responsibility to engage if you truly believe in Isaiah 1:17 and James 1:27.

What is your favorite quote?
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
- President Theodore Roosevelt

Favorite photo of yourself:



If you have a cause you're passionate about, what can people do to help?

There are many organizations dedicated to the cause of orphan care and adoption, but my favorite is Show Hope, the foundation created by Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman. You can visit www.showhope.org or text "follow showhopenow" to 40404.

Cacey and I are working to create some opportunities to widen awareness for orphan care and adoption, and I'd love to hear from people as well. You can reach me through my blog at www.aaronklein.com

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