Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Cox Family

I love this video.  What joy we can find in bringing these sweet children home.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why not you?

***All of the images in the post are children currently in need of a family.  If you would like more information about any of them - let me know!

I have been writing this post in my head for a long time.   We are adopting so obviously I am a supporter of it.  In fact, most people I meet support my decision and think it is a really good thing.  I'll bet YOU are a supporter of adoption.  But why are more people not adopting?  Why not you?

While I am not suggesting that the decision to adopt should be taken lightly, the decision NOT TO ADOPT shouldn't be either.  Let's talk about some truly heart wrenching statistics:

There are estimated to be between 143 million to 210 million orphans in the world.  To give you some perspective on that number the United States population is just over 300 million.  That number alone is staggering.   Every day 5,760 more children become orphans.   Every year 2,102,400 more children become orphans in Africa alone.

I think part of why people don't adopt is because they think if they don't - surely someone will.  While it may be that way for puppies at the shelter, it just doesn't work that way for orphans.  Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but every year 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and age out of the system.  That means that today 38,493 children aged out of the system and will not have a family - period.  If my math is correct, only 2% of orphans will ever be adopted.   And those are sweet faced, loving, innocent little children.  Children with cute voices and chubby cheeks and sweet hearts.  Each and every one of them is worthy of a loving family.

 What happens to the other 98%?  In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.   And 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution while 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.  Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves.  Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.  And even for the ones who escape these horrors - they will never have a home to visit during the holidays, a father to walk them down the aisle, a mother to call about parenting questions - their family tree will be empty.  Their dark nights will be very, very dark and alone.

I think there are other reasons we don't adopt.  First we might have a fear of a child so affected by the institutionalized life that the child will be unable to love and will destroy the health of the family.  This is not an invalid fear but there are many many children who are emotionally healthy and are able to transition relatively easy into a loving family.  Also, we understand so much more about the attachment process than we did just a few years ago and so families can be supported in learning how to help their children feel and give love.  I am trying to add more and more blogs about families who have adopted older children so that you can see these kids in real time - see that the families are thriving!

Another reason is finances.  We think that adoption - especially international adoption - is for the economically privileged.  It is most assuredly true that adoption is costly but most people who adopt do not have the money when they begin the process.  But it comes.   If God can part the Red Sea - which He did - literally - then He can give you the money to bring one of His precious children home.  There are grants and loans and fundraisers.  Both most especially - there are miracles - MANY of them.

Lastly, we may think that if we adopt we are claiming to have reached near perfection in our parenting.  It's not true.  These children aren't asking for a bread baking, always singing, beautiful mother.  Or an always jovial, baseball throwing, wealthy father.  They are asking for someone to root for them, someone to come to them when they are sick in the night, someone to teach them why the moon always seems to be following them.  Someone to love them.

So I am very boldly asking all of you, why not join us in bringing one or two of these beautiful gifts from our Father in Heaven into your family?  Why not bless your other children, if you have any, with the beauty of another culture or a child with special needs?  I know you will find that they aren't the lucky ones - that you are.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." -Helen Keller