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Friday, January 22, 2010

Waiting Children Here At Home

My heart beats true for the good old red, white, and blue. And, I'm deeply saddened by the numbers of children waiting for families in the US and the lack of foster families here. Of course my heart is especially tender for those special needs kids and those who have earned themselves a "harder to place" tag simply for being older that 4 years or having chronic but manageable diseases like HIV.

From time to time I'll run across people who are pretty defensive about domestic adoption and who feel rather negatively about international adoptions. I find I can usually chalk it up to one of two reasons.

1) Some people feel it's very unpatriotic to adopt internationally. (I'm not sure if it's because they don't like the idea of immigrants or what. )

2) Some people have a BURNING passion for US foster kids/orphans and somehow feel that all the families going overseas will detract from families adopting here. I get that. I also understand it is a hotly divided topic for which I have no time to discuss here.

I can often be heard telling those people who are against international adoption that I'd never want to discourage ANYONE from adopting, be it domestic or international, so long as they are educated and truly have the best interest of the child at heart.

Certainly, if those people who are so very concerned about orphans in the US finding homes on the issue of patriotism they should go ahead and provide one. (Insert slight sarcastic grin forming at the corner of my mouth. For I have NEVER encountered that argument from a person or family that was ACTUALLY fostering or adopting a US citizen) Surely there are plenty of orphans (all 4.2 million of them) to go around. To those folks I say: Don't just give lip service and say, "Someone really ought to give those kids a chance." Educate yourselves and then DO something. (Stepping off my little soapbox now)

To the families who are concerned about the lack of foster/adoptive families in the US all I can say is that I don't know why God directs some people over seas and not at home. Being one of those people who was TOTALLY open to domestic adoption I have no real answer as to why the Lord ended up sending us to Ethiopia. It's a question I have a hunch I might never have an answer to. Except, that my sons were in Ethiopia and I could NEVER imagine life without them.

That is not to say that their precious Ethiopian lives were more valuable to the Lord than the precious US lives here at home. All I'm sayin' is that God is mysterious. I'm okay with that.

But, that doesn't mean I'll stop trying to find families to foster or adopt kids in the US!

In an effort to highlight opportunities for families interested in domestic adoption I wanted to shine a light on one possibility that many people aren't aware of. Interstate adoption is the process whereby families can adopt from other states within the union. There is a national photo listing* where families can view children who are available RIGHT NOW.

That's correct, I said RIGHT NOW.

There are agencies within your state that can facilitate interstate adoptions. A simple google search will turn some up, or you can contact the folks at Adopt US Kids

*I'm kinda partial to waiting lists since that is how we found our precious son A*, and I think they can be an effective tool in connecting waiting children with their forever families, BUT I want to just put my disclaimer in here and say that families should NEVER make a decision to adopt simply because they have seen a cute face. I urge you to educate yourself first and pray earnestly about that child's needs and whether or not you believe it would be in their best interest for you to proceed.

4 comments:

positivelyorphaned said...

I'm always perplexed by the "plenty of orphans in our own backyard" argument, too. The only thing I can ever think to say is: "are American orphans more privileged and deserving than European orphans? (My husband is English so they can't really argue with that). Are European orphans more deserving of a family than Eastern European orphans? Are Eastern European orphans any more deserving than African orphans?" I just don't think that man-made division lines on a globe make the World, so the whole starting point for the argument is way beyond my comprehension. But as far as I can tell, it usually stems from an American superiority complex and I only ever hear this argument from people who have never traveled and seen how people live in other parts of the world.

beBOLDjen said...

I love your point of the man made lines on a map being beyond your comprehension! I'm so much more than just a US citizen :-)

ScottieWBourn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Audrey said...

Amen. Well said. You're reading my mind :)