Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Face of Adoption

It's the end of National Adoption Month. I appreciate your readership. When I first started blogging about adoption many people told me I was depressing them with the facts I provided and I have changed to lighten things up more.
But the truth is that foster care, orphans and adoptions all start off as very sad events. I do think adoption is a miracle, but in order for an adoption to take place hearts must first be broken and that's never fun.

First/Birth/Bio parents and families either make the loving decision to place their child for adoption, breaking their hearts in the process. My good friend Ellie, who is a bio-mom, said, " I held her, alone, and as we watched ‘The Little Mermaid’ together, I imparted to her all the wisdom I had at that age. I held her for what I thought would be the last time.  And then it was time to go.  I stood up, walked across the room, and placed her in her mother’s arms.  Somehow, I turned around and walked away.  My mother, father, and brother held me up on the way back to my room..." Her heart broke. She had to heal and years later healing is still a part of the process.

Other times, children are left in orphanages where they receive less than adequate care and end up with attachment disorders, breaking their hearts and the hearts of the families who adopt them. My friend Terry told me last year, "Only 10% of the orphans in Russia get adopted. The rest live their lives in orphanages until age 16, when they are released. Most then turn to lives of crime, if they survive at all. It's hard knowing that my child suffered hardships most American adults have never even known, and all before she was even 2 years old. It has left its scars. Sometimes I wish she hadn't gone through that."

And others still, adopted through foster care, go through the experience of being taken from their first families. I can't imagine how my own son felt as a baby being taken from the only family he had even known, placed with a different family, then as soon as he had adjusted there being taken out again to come home with us. I can't imagine his heartache there, or that of the people in his first family who did love him. And we also had our hearts broken by not only our son's story but all the stories of those in foster care.

But through this brokenness comes joy. Through the heartache comes life. Family. Forged through paperwork, through tears, through plane trips and nervous hours. In our house we say, "Adoption means forever" and it does.

Not everyone is called to adopt, and that's fine. Support those are are. Encourage them. Take them meals, offer to fold their laundry and be their friend.
But if you are called to adopt and you're just waiting for "the right time" - THIS IS IT! This is the right time. There are 147 MILLION orphans in this world. There are over 105,000 children in the US waiting to be adopted. If each adult in my county and the county next to ours opened their homes to ONE orphan in the US - there would be no orphans left. Seriously. Two counties in South Carolina could eliminate the foster care orphan crisis in the United States. NOW IS THE TIME! Don't wait. Your child might be spending the holidays wondering where Mommy & Daddy are.

In our house, adoption month is every month. It's a part of our world every single day.

We are the face of adoption.


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