Saturday, November 15, 2014

Things that make you go hmmm......

The other day I ran across a post on Facebook that linked to an article that described adoption fundraising as tacky and basically wrong.  I have been stewing on that article for a couple of days now and how I would like to respond.  But before I do that let's look at the articles accusation that fundraising for adopting is wrong.

The article draws its conclusion that "if you can't afford, don't do it".  Really?  Let's have a broader look at that mindset.  I do agree that being fiscally responsible is important, but sometimes the need is too great.  As a child my school had us sell candy bars to support the band, should my school, or any other schools who has done music fundraisers eliminate their music programs since they can't afford it?  Should schools quit having "boosters" raise funds for athletic programs since they obviously can't afford it?  Why do Girl Scouts sell cookies?  Why do Boy Scouts sell trash bags and popcorn?  Why does the FOP do an annual campaign to raise money for retired officers?  WOW, we are going to have to quit a lot of things.....because we can't afford it.  I almost forgot, the greatest generation bought and sold war bonds in a fundraising effort so that our soldiers fighting in WWII would have the bullets needed to defeat the Nazi's.  How wrong and tacky was that fundraising effort?  I guess by the writers perspective we shouldn't have fought the war since we couldn't afford it.  David, are you saying war and adoption are the same?  No.  I'm looking at the broader picture and not being narrow minded on how causes are funded, and some causes are worth rising up for, rallying people together to get the job done!

Adoption fundraising in some form or another is needed for most families who go through the process.  The statistics show that wealthy families do not adopt on a large scale compared to middle and lower class families.  They need theses fundraisers to cover essential costs.  They are "not" buying a child.  We all know governments cost money to run, they need money to provide essential services in welfare, immigration, the court system, etc.

Let me go back to some of the examples from above, is adoption just as important?  I would argue yes.  Think of a child growing up with no prospects, he or she is more likely to fall into situations that lead to bad life decisions.  Most of them will not have opportunities for higher education, they may have zero family to go to so in turn they must live on the streets.  I have read the stats that show those individuals who age out of foster or orphanage care put an even larger strain on the system because of the large number who fall into lives of crime and end serving time in prisons.  So what is that worth?  Having someone ask for a donation that could alter not only one persons life, but what about their children?  Studies show that the cycle is hard to break for children who are born to parents with criminal records and pasts.

So, if we treated adoption like school programs, war efforts and so on, then we could greatly diminish the epidemic which is being an orphan.  Most of these people are not doing this for fun, it is a call to be involved in something greater than yourself.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, these children ARE human beings!  They do not deserve the situations they are in, it is not their fault.  The next time you see someone fundraising or complaining that someone is, I want you to think of what your life would have been like without a family.  I have, and it makes me quite sad.  I am not wanting to pull on the heart strings and make anyone feel guilty.  My point in all of this is that we, as a whole, give so readily to causes like those I listed above very generously, but writers like the one in the article I mentioned treat adoption fundraising as taboo.  IT IS NOT.

Is it tacky to help a child find a forever family?  Is it tacky to take a child out of the crib they have been in for 3 years with little to no human contact?  Is it tacky to take a child from the dump they are forced to live in?  Is it tacky to take a child from a place where they are ostracized because of their skin complexion or class status?  Or, is it more tacky to buy cookies, candles, candy bars and bumper stickers and act like everything in our own little worlds is ok?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Series of Firsts...

Hi it's David.  Happy November!  It actually snowed here last night during trick or treat hours!  Sadly, that wasn't a first for us.

We have been out a little more doing normal fall activities and we have been learning a lot about the children.  For example, we took them to an apple orchard and learned they thought it was an all you can eat fruit buffet!  They really did enjoy the hunt for the best apples so that Mommy could make her famous apple pie, because we all know there is nothing more American than that :)

We carved our first pumpkin together earlier this week.  Their favorite part was scooping out the pumpkin brains.  They had their first roasted pumpkin seeds as we roasted them in the oven.  And last night was their first "American" Halloween.  We have so much candy that Willy Wonka called and asked if he could borrow some.  The kids really enjoyed the experience and certainly gained confidence in saying trick or treat as their buckets were filling up.

These are just some of the firsts that we have experienced, some have been big, some have been small, some have been frustrating and some have given us things to ponder for later.  I have to remind myself from time to time that a good deal of what we do is new to these kids, so they may not know what to expect, how to act, how to respond or what to do.  We took a trip to a state park and I could see the anxiety on some of their faces after we had been driving for awhile and not arrived at our destination.  We have to remember to take a step back from time to time and let them absorb what is going on.  They have been doing so well adapting that we just take for granted that they will be OK.  This is still a life altering experience they have to process on a daily basis.

I personally struggle with sitting back and taking things slow.  I keep praying for patience and I do not see the opportunities that God is putting in front of me to be patient....

Until next time....