November is National Adoption Month. I could post a million startling statistics, but the truth is that there are far too many children in this world who are without a family. A family to love, encourage, nurture and raise them to be the future of this planet. What can YOU do for this cause...for these children?
Caution: Soap-box issue ahead!
When I was a kid, adoption was a hush-hush subject. Nobody talked about it openly, at least not in my immediate circle. Making a new friend and then finding out they were adopted was like opening a door to a whole new world of curiosities. As a teenager, I fantasized about adopting a child: What would the process be like? Would I pursue international or domestic adoption? Would I meet and marry someone who agreed with this desire? Who knew...?
In college, I met an amazing man. I knew from the beginning that he was a special guy. Fast-forward through a couple years of dating and trying to find our place in the world...we were called to adopt a child. (I am leaving out details out of respect for my child, who has her own story to tell in her own time.) It was, by far, the most amazing experience in so many ways. I have never been through anything that has caused as much personal growth, or inspired more growth in my relationships with others, particularly with my husband.
Since the adoption was finalized, we have been blessed with 2 biological children. Our family dynamic is amazing. Our kids are all ours, treated equally and loved unconditionally. There has never been a question in our minds or our hearts about the growth of our family.
Almost everyone has a cause they're passionate about. I'm passionate about foster care adoption. It is all about what has impacted each individual's life. I became an even stronger advocate of foster care adoption when I learned that hundreds of American babies are adopted OUT of the US each year.
About six years ago, this issue was in the news because there were rumors that the government would ratify the international treaty that allowed this to happen so easily. This change did not occur, and the issue has been pushed to the back burner in recent years.
There are many reasons why this happens so often (the main reason is outlined in the PEOPLE article linked above), but that it happens at all is astonishing to me. To read the words, " ...the US is now the fourth largest 'supplier' of babies for adoption to Canada," made my stomach turn.
This subject obviously runs deep, is emotionally charged, and cannot be fully covered or resolved in my simple blog post. My only hope to help people become aware of this situation, and most importantly to raise awareness and continue to erase the stigma that surrounds adoption.
My next Adoption Month post: Why your joke hurts my feelings, and how I'm learning to overcome.