What’s that, you ask? Why it’s the magical month of Movember. You know, that most sacred and unique of months when men (and I suppose women if they want to) grow out their mustaches to raise funds for men’s health issues. Ridiculous you say? Well if you don’t want to get on board with the Movember craze, you could always participate in National Model Railroad Month, International Drum Month or Peanut Butter Lover’s Month, all happening concurrently in November.
We sure do love enshrining our various hobbies and interests in this country – to the degree that it becomes comical, to the point where I just want there to be a National Nothing Special Here Month. But while we’re on the topic I want to direct your attention to an issue truly deserving of its own month. November is National Adoption Month.
Now to start off, I admit to being biased. My brother and sister are both adopted, and I think adoption to be about the most wonderful thing in the world. Without adoption I’d have been an only child. I wouldn’t have grown up alongside two amazing people. I wouldn’t now be an uncle, something I love so much it’s hard to describe. But setting aside my partisanship, let’s take a look at some of the facts.
Adoption is a huge issue. I don’t want to overwhelm you with numbers, but I’ll need to throw out a few statistics to show the scope of what we’re looking at. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption reports that there are more than 423,000 kids in foster care in America. That’s five times the attendance at last year’s Super Bowl. That’s roughly the population of Atlanta. And more kids become available for adoption each year than get adopted, with 60,900 kids who had parental rights terminated for only 50,600 adopted in 2014.
But numbers aside, on an individual level adoption is a beautiful solution to a terrible problem. I have two friends, we’ll call them John and Jen Smith, who adopted their son Jackson and are planning to adopt two more boys in the coming months. I don’t just say this because we’re friends, but John and Jen are just the best sort of people – selfless, humble and warm.
Their experience with adoption has made them passionate about it. They’ll tell you that kids deserve families, a notion we’d all certainly agree with but which doesn’t hit you until you stop to consider it. They’ll tell you how our very biology is designed to need love, that there are kids in orphanages who don’t get enough physical touch whose development is stunted because of it. They’ll tell you that broken families tend to beget broken families in a tragic pattern.
They’ll tell you that when they adopted their son it broke that pattern. Adopting Jackson changed the whole course of not only his life but of his biological mom’s life who has since beaten her addiction to meth, of the life of his biological mom’s new baby whom she can now take care of, and of the lives of the children he may one day have. The good of that adoption will reverberate on and on for generations.
Now I’m not trying to convince you all to adopt a child this month in lieu of growing a wicked cool mustache. But if you want to do something small for a really good cause this month, I want to give you a couple organizations to look into. It costs between $30,000 and $50,000, not to mention running the gauntlet of bureaucratic processes to, adopt a baby/child. Orphans and adoptive parents can use all the help they can get.
Reeces Rainbow advocates and find families for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs. They raise funds for adoption grants and promote awareness through their online community and special events.
Show Hope, founded by Steven Curtis Chapman, is another organization that helps build financial grants to help with adoptions. It works internationally in more than 53 countries including the U.S.
RODS organizes marathons and other races to advocate for orphans with Down syndrome and raise funds for adoptions.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is one of the largest organizations supporting adoption. It awards grants to other adoption organizations and spreads information about waiting children and the adoption process.
These organizations are just a few of the many. Take a look at them and then keep on looking at the issue. Do you have an adoption story to share? We’d love to hear it.
Thanks for reading!!