So, it's National Adoption Month. And I am just giddy reading so many adoption stories, seeing faces full of joy over having found each other, remembering our own adoption days.
But also. I think about the 100,000+ kids waiting in foster care for a home to call theirs forever. And the 25,000+ kids a year who leave the system, alone. No adoption proceedings. No party.
The most unsettling statistic of all: 20% will find themselves homeless. 20%. That means that the emancipated teens of 2012 will result in over 4,600 homeless young adults.
That is staggering. Truly.
Imagine what help with college applications and SAT prep would mean to one of the teenagers in care. Imagine what it would mean for a parent to step in and say “I think you need help and we’re going to find it together.” Just think of what could happen if someone sat down with them and helped fill out job applications and practiced for interviews.
The difference a dedicated parent can make in the life of a child is no less significant if that child is 17 days old or 17 years old. And to a child who has endured the trauma of being permanently removed from the care of his or her biological family, who was placed into state care with the expectation that they would be given a more secure, safer situation, the need for that protection is all the more urgent.
Adopting a 17-year-old isn’t about giving them the childhood they never had crammed into one year; it’s about giving them a family to turn to for the rest of their life.
Read the rest here, and if you have thought on the topic, leave a comment. If you've considered adopting but haven't tried it, what is holding you back? I see so many messages saying things like "if only I could afford it" or "I can't be home full time so I can't get licensed." Did you know that the legal fees of adoption from foster care are usually covered by the state? And that not only can you be a working parent, but many places have programs that provide daycare and after school care for working foster parents. It is hard, but it is doable.
Also, if you're in need of some good, honest, real adoption stories in your life, check out the #knittogetherbyadoption photo challenge for November. I am doing it over at my instagram and I've successfully completed 5 days. 5 DAYS, YOU GUYS. That's a record.