As an adoptive mom of a fiery, strong-willed and absolute cutie-pie of a 3-year-old daughter, I am always just a little bit on alert for situations that raise the “I’m adopted” flag. Our sweet little one sings along with the Slugs and Bugs to “I’m Adopted” in the car, but I’m not sure yet that she really grasps the reality of adoption in her story. This reality is all around her, though, and it is all around us.
Tell me a main character in a Disney movie who doesn’t lose one or two parents, suffer tragedy or get somehow separated from his or her family. Aladdin is a orphaned street child. Anna and Elsa’s parents die in a shipwreck. Cinderella is under the care of a non-blood family member who treats her as such. Simba watches his father die right before his eyes. Merida is estranged from her mother. Dory is separated from her family and can’t remember what happened or if it was her fault.
Apparently, separation and loss of family make for good entertainment. Or at least they introduce enough conflict to keep the storyline going.
But this stuff isn’t always made up.
What about thousands of kids for whom this story is their every day reality? Kids who were removed in the middle of the night without a chance to gather their things or say goodbye. Kids who never knew their mother or father and have no way of trying to find them. Kids who witness violent acts that might lead to the death of a parent. Kids who aren’t treated as part of the family, but rather as servants and burdens.
What about those kids? Where is the fairy godmother who will come in and sing a magical song and make everything better? Where is the genie who will grant them three wishes and make all their dreams come true? Where is the team of animal friends who fight for finding the truth and for reunification?
Tragically and unfortunately, the story of many kids who are waiting to be adopted isn’t going to end “happily ever after” like everything does in fairy tales.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and as a foster parent and adoptive mom, I want you, friends, to be aware! When the system works (and believe me, I know that can sometimes feel like a thing that only exists in fairy tales), kids who have faced loss and trauma and defeat can find hope and healing, and a home! There are thousands of kids out there waiting for forever homes. I’m talking they are already to be adopted as soon as you are ready and approved to adopt them! I won’t lie and say that the process is convenient or even totally makes sense all of the time.
Even so, this is a noble – and doable – cause that is worthy of your time and consideration.
The state of Texas offers a TARE website with information about waiting children, plans of actions and resources for further questions. Would you take a look? It doesn’t matter if you ride in like Prince Charming, ready to slay the dragon and save the the damsel in distress, or if you’re more like Dopey from the seven dwarfs. Your willingness to open your heart and your home will make a difference in the life of a child who needs to experience love and stability and care (note, I didn’t say perfection or abundance).
Adoption has shaped our family forever, much more so than we ever imagined when we started down the road of foster parenting three years ago. Our sweet Kamila certainly thinks that she is a princess, and we’ll be with her every step of the way, whether or not her fairy tale dreams come true.
Other adoption resources:
- Circles of Care Adoption and Foster Care Agency
- Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
- Buckner International
- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
- Jason Johnson Blog
- Christian Alliance for Orphans
- The Forgotten Initiative