Children are our future. As they grow up, they become us, the adults who work in the factories, bakeries, local businesses, and the leaders of our nation. A truly great life is filled with love and family and those pivotal moments that we get to share with one another. As the holidays are approaching and we get busy thinking about our family get-togethers, cooking food and shopping, I ask that you take a moment to stop and think about the kids who have no family. It may be a somber thing to think about. Maybe it isn’t something you want to think about. But it is so very important.
There is 428,000 youth in the U.S. foster care system and 112,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted. Since the project launched in 2002, more than 26,000 children who were once photo listed on adoptuskids.org have been adopted and nearly 39,000 families have registered to adopt through the website. Nevertheless, older youth are dis-proportionally represented – approximately 43% percent of children and youth photo listed on adoptuskids.org are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17% of those adopted have been in this age group.
Can you imagine? Knowing that because you are too old, you may never have the family that you always hoped for, that you always dreamed of? Older youth and teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. But no matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home and the teenage years are a critical period for growth. While these kids may have the essential things that they need to grow up healthy, like food and a roof over their heads, that does not make up for the kind of love and support that a family can give them. Having a roof over your head doesn’t mean that these kids are being given a truly happy life, one which every child deserves.
|A Few Facts about Adopting from Foster Care:
And best of all? You do NOT have to be perfect to be a perfect parent! Just being there when these teens need you the most, makes you the perfect parent.
The truth is there are kids out there who need YOU. And whether you realize it or not, maybe you need them too. For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.adoptuskids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.
Do you have an adoption story? While we have not personally adopted, we have talked about it recently and are anxious to learn more about what it takes to make it happen.