These days, it seems like every day, week, month of the calendar year can be attributed to some cause and the campaigns to support said cause fall on many deaf ears.
I get it. You can only feel so much for so many causes. You only have so much time, emotion and effort to support causes outside of your own self, your own home and your own family. Adoption built my family, my home, and myself.
I recently heard a statistic that there are over 5 million corporations with more than 500 employees in the U.S. There are more than 350,000 churches in the U.S., and there are more than 400,000 waiting children in the U.S. foster care system – children waiting for a forever home.
In my heart and in my head, I did the math. Crudely and without finesse, I did the math. If even half of corporations considered that there may be a prospective adoptive family in their midst, if they made Adoption Assistance a benefit, if they rallied around a co-worker who is on a family journey to adoption (like my co-workers did both times), then maybe those 400,000 waiting children wouldn’t have to wait.
If even half of organized churches walked the walk and enveloped a congregational family that is ready to adopt, that 400K number of waiting children would drop.
I am not making light of the inherent challenges that waiting child adoption brings. I cannot make light of it because I didn’t have the guts to pursue a waiting child adoption. I wanted to give a home, a soft place to land, to a child. There is an incredible need for waiting children, especially for the 17 year and 364-day-old child, who needs a forever home more than most.
But, I also knew where my personal role needed to be. And that was to adopt a baby (or 2 as it turned out). If I had a little more gusto, a little more time and a lot less “mommy syndrome,” you can bet there would be a teenager running amuck in my home. But I don’t, so I took my talents elsewhere and brought home 2 amazing babies.
I still worry about the 400,000 waiting children. How long will they wait? Will their wait be so painfully long that they “age out” of the system at 18 years old and get sent packing? Where will they go for Thanksgiving every November? Where is their forever home?
The numbers add up that if half of the corporations and churches (much less private homes) in this country looked around, made one another aware of the need for domestic adoption, and then supported the families that choose it, then maybe, just maybe, some of the 400,000 waiting children will not have to wait much longer.
Happy November. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Adoption Awareness month.
Grateful, Prayerful & Hopeful.
Read more about Baby Jude in the rest of Sarah’s blog posts.