Today is Orphan Sunday and November is national adoption awareness month. I would like to take some time to discuss changes I have seen since 2007 when I first started going to China. In 2007 we saw many, many babies. There were considerably less older children and the numbers seemed large but there was a lot of movement. Changes in children, comings and goings in great numbers. Special needs adoption was so much less frequent. On one trip to China, two china caseworkers accompanied the Superkids team. They talked a lot about the babies, the little girls who would be adopted as healthy infants. Even then, boys and girls in the orphanages seemed to me to be in roughly equal numbers. I remember being surprised what was considered a special need. Such minor things, a missing finger or arm, a missing ear, heart issues, were all special needs. I cried almost every night on that trip. If everyone was only talking about infant adoption, how would all my kids ever be adopted. Right away I knew who my kids were. Kids with needs who were maybe not perfect in the world's definition but certainly perfect in mine. I waited patiently for them to become someones sons and daughters. Sadly many of them did not find forever families.
Fast forward now to 2013. On our trip this summer we saw 130 children. I know that is a large number. for the first time since 2008, I saw two healthy infants. One boy and one girl. Most of the children we saw had a mild correctable needs or a need that could be improved with rehabilitation. We did see a few children who will have lifelong needs, like children who were deaf mute or children who were born with Downs syndrome. Most of the children were in pretty good shape. We saw an age range of children from three months old to 13 years old. In many ways there has been positive movement here. These children are no longer in orphanages just waiting. I am no longer patiently waiting. I am shouting from the rooftops about all the wonderful children we have met. The entire Superkids team is shouting right along with me. And some of this shouting is getting attention because these children are being adopted. We are all working HARD to show everyone how beautiful, special, and yes, perfect they are. Because they are! They deserve our attention, our love and our consideration. Also there are more boys than girls who wait. you can look at the shared list and see this easily.
I would like to share this thought with you. A very special smart adoptive mom once told me, if I would not reject my biological child with a special need, why would I not adopt a child with a special need if i feel they could be my child. Special need or not they will be my child. So in many ways there is cause to rejoice and cause to work harder. Attitudes are changing. Our world is changing. Children who were sitting in orphanages in 2007 are coming home. They will fit into families and lead full active lives. They will love and be loved. We will never stop shouting from the rooftops about these wonderful children who have found their families and about all those who still wait.
So consider this on Orphan Sunday. Could you parent a child who is waiting? Lets help every child find their forever family.
You can contact me at Patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com. Visit our "Boys Rock" post on the Asia Waiting Child blog by clicking here 30 boys in 30 days because being a boy should not be a special need.