The first of November marks the beginning of National Adoption Awareness Month!
It's an important time of year for the adoption community. It might spur potential adoptive parents into action... there are thousands of children in the United States that are looking for their forever homes (more than 140,000 in foster care RIGHT NOW, actually).
National Adoption Day is a popular deadline for finalizing long awaited adoptions. Last year, 4,700 adoptions were finalized during the 17th annual National Adoption Day celebration in more than 400 cities across the United States. That day falls on the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year (November 18 this year).
You might be asking yourself: Why should I care? I'm not affected by adoption in any way.
If you experienced a childhood, you should care. Right now, hundreds of thousands of childhoods are being stolen from completely innocent kids. More than half a million children spent time in foster care in 2015. That's more than half a million children in the United States who are forced to face very adult problems like drug addiction, prison sentences, even physical and sexual violence. The FBI estimates more than 100,000 kids in the United States have fallen victim to sex trafficking. Of those, 60% spent time in foster care.
If you have a child in school... you should care. Chances are, your son or daughter has a friend who has experienced foster care. They might have a friend that's been adopted. I can't overstate how important it is that your child be educated on adoption themes for the sake of those friendships. Consider setting a goal this November to have a conversation with your child about different family dynamics. It will make a huge difference for your child's classmate not to need to explain their family for once. That touch of empathy will resonate and have an impact for years to come.
This year, it's my hope that adoptees feel encouraged to connect with one another. Nobody understands what it's like to be adopted more than those who have actually been adopted. Fellow adoptees, find an opportunity to educate someone else about adoption from your own perspective. Your perspective is so valuable! Adoptive parents can learn from your truth, even if it isn't pretty. Birth parents may find encouragement to face another day from your love. Learning about the option of adoption might even prompt a woman to choose life for her unborn child.
In the spirit of Adoption Awareness Month, I'm launching a new Facebook page to post blog updates and other adoption content. Throughout the month, I'll be sharing and writing about adoption events going on in my state of Arkansas. It's a dream of mine to see a movement spurred on behalf of kids waiting for families, and those who have found their families through adoption. There is an abundance of resources available for adoptive and fostering parents, and I believe adoptees deserve the same.
Big thank you to Jennifer Hartman, Kristin Robb and Ken Jones for supporting my work on Patreon! Your gifts allow me to dedicate more time and resources to reaching the adoption community and educating others.