Happy National Adoption Month!
My first thought is always about our family’s adoption experience. My son came home from Russia on a VERY cold winter’s night in 1996. He was a teeny, tiny, bald baby with huge blue eyes that seemed to see everything. He was 11 months old and had never been outside an orphanage. Our extended family was there at the airport with signs, balloons and lots of tears of joy. My Grandma Nina loves to tell about the first time she held him. She always talks about how he “snuggled right up” to her neck, remembering it as a sweet, trusting gesture by this tiny baby. I don’t tell her that our family had actually freaked him out and that he was trying to get away as best as he could!!!!
15, almost 16 years later, he is an amazing young man. I don’t talk about him much on this blog or in other aspects of my work because he is a very private person. He is an old soul in a young body. He has an incredible depth of thinking, sensitivity and interests that go beyond his age and is one of the few people who almost ALWAYS allow themselves to truly be their genuine selves. He is often a contradiction–for example, he professes to dislike little kids, but is the kindest, gentlest big brother and older cousin you can imagine. He is brilliant and can literally do anything he wants to do. He is thinking of being a geological engineer but says his “back up plan” is to be a truck driver. (he is only half kidding) He very, very rarely has the typical teenager angst or anger. He CAN, however make a person crazy with his stubbornness! I just bought him a shirt that says “I May Be Wrong… But I Doubt It”.
Long story short, he is amazing and I have no doubt that he will someday fulfill whatever purpose he is meant to. He may change the world in big ways or small ways, but I am absolutely sure that it will be for the better. None of this could or would be possible without international adoption.
We are some of the lucky ones. There are thousands and thousands of children all over the world whose potential may never be reached because they will not have a family. The statistics for children who age out of foster care or orphanage care are grim. Their lives up to that point are sometimes even worse.
I want us all to remember all these little ones. Whether adoptive parents, birth parents or adults who care about children, we owe it to the children who are still waiting for someone to be their own. In particular, I’d like to ask you to remember and say a prayer for a group of children known as the “Bac Lieu 16” They are not the only children needing our thoughts, prayers and especially ACTIONS., but looking at a tiny cross-section of the bigger problem can help us begin to comprehend the depth, scope and reality of so many children’s existence.