It’s not hard to figure out that I am a huge advocate of adoption and foster care. When you start looking at the staggering statistics it’s easy to see why this is such a ‘hot-button’ for me. According to UNICEF, everyday 5,760 more children become orphans. Every 2.2 seconds a child ages out of “the system” (I write that loosely, aging out and system is very different in say, India). With no family, no place to call home, and often no education millions of these girls (and many boys) end up being part of the sex trade industry.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services website, as of 9/30/2010 there were 408,425 children in the foster care system. Now think for a second what your vision of these children are. These statistics may surprise you:
White: 41% 12-18 years old: 40%
Black: 29% under 4 years old: 31%
Hispanic: 21% 511 yearsold:29%
With that said…
In 2007 we were waiting for the adoption of D&L to be finalized, and to be able to make the trip to bring them home. We waited for 10 long months to bring them home. We watched them grow and change through pictures and videos that our agency gave to us. This was a very challenging time. During this time the tabloids were all about Madonna adopting a baby boy from Malawi. Amidst all the rumors I constantly had people approach me asking my thoughts on the subject. Most of them asked in a tone that sounded like they expected me to go off on a rant about her celebrity giving her special treatment to bring him home, or worse, that she was just doing it for publicity. Whatever the intention behind the questions, I can tell you almost everyone was surprised at my reaction. IF Madonna was able to bring her son home earlier because of her celebrity, that just meant he would be in a family that much sooner, one less night in the orphanage. I don’t pass judgment on any parent that pulls strings, or calls in favors to bring their children home sooner (unless of course it is outside the law and makes it more difficult for future families). We would have done anything we could have to bring L&D home sooner.
Every 15 seconds another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have become a common theme in the monologues of many comedians. I have also heard my friends and acquaintances criticize them for their family choices (which I am always quick to come to their defense). Yes, they have a beautiful family of 8. True, these days a family of 8 is large but, If they have room in their heart and home (which I want to believe they do), then why not. We have indicated that we are open to a sibling group of up to 3, or up to 3 non-siblings. If this happens we will be a family of 7, without the looks and money of the Bradgelina Crew!
I will not share my feelings on The Duggar Family or Octo-Mom.
What does bother me is all the money and marketing that is given to homeless dogs and cats. Don’t get me wrong, Georges and I have added 7 homeless animals to our family since we have been together, and we have a special place in our heart for them. But with 2,102,400 orphaned children in the world, shouldn’t some billboard time be given to them.