Since November is National Adoption month, and our family has been significantly blessed by adoption, we wanted to devote two blog posts to the subject. This week’s blog post will focus on adoption in more general terms. However, next week’s blog post, which will fittingly be posted on National Adoption Day, November 18th, we will share our story, our heart.
As promised, we will never venture into “political waters,” but it is important to note that on October 31st, President Trump proclaimed November 2017 as National Adoption month:
“Every year, generous and loving families adopt thousands of children and provide them with the affection, attention, and opportunity they deserve. Adoption is a true blessing that greatly enriches the lives of parents and children alike. During National Adoption Month, we celebrate the thousands of families who have expanded through adoption, and we acknowledge the strength and resiliency of the children who are still waiting to find their forever home…” To read more click here:
You may wonder what you can do this month to highlight adoption. The American Adoptions Agency has developed this list of ideas to educate and to commemorate the gift of adoption:
*Ask your public library to create an adoption display. During the children’s reading, hour, adoption stories can be read.
*Attend an adoption even in your area. For a list of events go to American Adoptions online community. http://www.americanadoptions.com/
*Write a letter to your local newspaper or local news station asking them to highlight adoption stories this month. If you know of an inspiring story, share it with them.
*Ask teachers at your school to present lesson plans about adoption. If a teacher assigns a family tree assignment, talk to the teacher about how it may be difficult for adoptees (particularly of closed adoptions) to do the assignment.
*Ask your church leaders to present adoption in their messages. After all, the concept of adoption came from God.
*If you have an adopted child, create a scrapbook or journal documenting their story. Or, if you’re a waiting adoptive couple, create a scrapbook or journal for your future child.
*In addition to these suggestions from the American Adoption Agency, I would like to add that it is important for ALL parents to talk about adoption with their children. Maybe introduce the concept of adoption when taking home a new pet. Read children’s stories about adoption. When you hear of family friends adopting and if you are able, talk about it with your children in a way that is developmentally appropriate, in terms that they can understand. Why? There’s a good chance that your children will encounter adoption at some point. For example, maybe they will learn that a good friend is adopted. Laying the ground work for understanding, so they can have an appropriate response, is VERY important.
Does the name Harpo Marx ring a bell?
Harpo was part of the Marx brothers’ comedy team, who started in Vaudeville, and eventually made their way to the silver screen. If you have never watched a Marx brothers’ movie, you need to do it. Here’s a sampling from some of my favorite Marx brothers’ movies…
Not many people know this, but Harpo and his wife Susan adopted four children. When asked by fellow comedian George Burns how many children he planned to adopt, he answered, “I’d like to adopt as many children as I have windows. So when I leave, I want a kid in every window, waving goodbye.”
(Pictured: Harpo Marx and three of his children wearing Harpo wigs)
Since Harpo’s statement years ago, the need for adoption remains. Within the United States’ foster system, there are over 400,000 children, and over 100,000 are waiting to be adopted. This doesn’t even take into account private adoption situations. There is so much need, and it is truly heartbreaking. You may not be called to adopt; however, consider taking part in ways to further adoption “education,” to commemorate adoption (as listed above), or to support foster programs and/or foster families that you know personally.
Here are some links that explain various ways you and/or church can support adoptive and foster families:
If you are considering adoption, do all you can to learn about the process. Ask friends who have adopted about their experience. Research online. Call reputable agencies. Definitely pray. If you ever want to chat with us, we would feel honored. Next week, we will share our story!