The Power of One
This being National Adoption Month, we can’t help but be reminded of the power of one.
What is the power of one? It’s the amazing potential that every single living individual has to effect meaningful change in the life of another, given the right intention(s) and some effort on their part.
All it takes is one person to change the world– one child, one family, one case at a time.
How One Person Can Make a Change
For example, there’s this one woman we know. We’ll call her “Maria.”
Years ago, Maria’s teenage daughter was facing a catastrophic diagnosis; she was battling a brain tumor, when the family discovered she was also pregnant. Maria and her husband came to see adoption as the best possible option for the coming baby, and their daughter agreed. An open adoption through Abrazo gave them all the opportunity to continue a lasting family bond with this beloved child and her adoptive parents, but Maria’s commitment didn’t stop there. Maria, a skilled jewelry maker, now donates some of her artwork to help raise funds for the Angel Account at the Camp Abrazo raffle in the summer. Beyond that, Maria has spoken at Abrazo’s orientation weekends, and also is one of the Elite members of our Forum, mentoring others in the adoption process. Maria’s generosity in continuing to support her adoption community is just one example of the power of one birthgrandmother to positively impact the world around her.
Then there’s a couple in Abrazo’s program, who had prayed for years for a child to love. They were good, hardworking people. They didn’t live in a gigantic mansion. They don’t travel to exotic places on vacation. They weren’t certain that adoption would work out for them any better than fertility treatment did(n’t.) Yet they longed to be parents– and all it took was one special birthmother, who saw in them the stable, secure home she wanted for her child. “Alexis” worked in fast food and she didn’t need her child to grow up as a trust fund baby; rather, she wanted for her child to have the traditional, down-home kind of life she wished she could’ve had. “Alexis,” in making the enormous sacrifice she did on her baby’s behalf, demonstrated the power of one birthmother to change not just the life of her own child, but the life of her child’s new family, as well.
That family, in turn, has found their own way to harness the power of one to do good for others. After their prayers were answered and their baby came home, they opted to pay it forward by creating a series of lovely “baby baskets” as a welcome gift to celebrate the arrivals of other babies in the Abrazo community. Each month, their generosity has enabled another Abrazo couple who has taken placement to start out their parenting journey with some extra supplies and provisions– again, illustrating the power of one family to touch the lives of others in the course of adoption.
Another father-by-adoption named Walt Manis contacted Abrazo this week to encourage our agency to share the message of his adoption of their beloved daughter Chloe. Walt and his wife now live in Austin and since adopting, they have made it their mission to help others better understand how adoption works. As Walt wrote Abrazo: “We love adoption and have talked to so many people who have come to us who are having fears or questions. It’s been good to walk alongside them.” They don’t do this because it benefits them in any way. They do it because they believe in The Power of the One whose love inspires love to be shared, all through the power of one.
Year after year, here in Texas, one former foster kid who finally got adopted summons the troops and marches up to the Texas State Capitol for a cause near and dear to all our hearts. Her name is Connie, and she is the reckoning force behind S.T.A.R. (Support Texas Adoptee Rights.) Connie already has found her own birthfamily, so this isn’t just about her. It’s about helping make adoption better for generations of Texas adoptees (past and present) who are denied access to their own original birth certificates, and come 2018, Connie and S.T.A.R. (including Abrazo) will again prevail upon the Texas Legislature to use the power of one bill to finally make things right for all adoptees (past and future) in the Lone Star State.
What Can You Change for Good?
We are reminded of the power of one person to educate the world around them when we see all the Abrazofolks posting adoption quotes and photos and memes online for National Adoption Month. If just one person sees one of those posts and comes to understand open adoption in a whole new light, then the power of one will have proven itself again! This week, one brave Abrazo birthmom even went public with the story of her adoption decision for the very first time. On her Facebook page, she wrote “I wanted to share something with y’all that is so personal to me. For a long time, I was afraid of the back lash I would receive but I’m not afraid anymore. (Five years ago) I made a decision, the hardest decision I have had to do” and shared a picture of herself and her children with her birthson and his adoptive family. It was an amazingly courageous act depicting the power of one first mom to bear witness to the fact that even out of life’s hardest choices, good things can grow.
And speaking of pictures, next week, on November 9, all across America, moviegoers will have a remarkable opportunity to witness what the power of one can do, as the movie Mully makes an encore presentation in select theaters around the country. It is an extraordinary documentary about the power of one abandoned child, Charles Mully, who grew to be a millionaire yet sacrificed nearly everything, to open his heart and his home to children in need… and lots of them. We encourage you to take your family and go see this remarkable movie, which will surely leave you inspired to unleash the power of one in your own special way, whatever that might be.
Not everyone can adopt thousands of homeless children, we know that. Not everyone makes jewelry, or can go public with their adoption story, or can find the resolve to place a child for adoption, or has the time or means to gift others with baby supplies. Not everyone can donate money to launch a birthmother scholarship fund at Abrazo as novelist and adoptive mom Jackie Mitchard has done, and not everyone can seed an adoptee and birthsibling scholarship as basketball legend Dominique Wilkins once did for Abrazo. We understand that. Not everyone can click on a link for the Texas Heart Gallery and pick out a needy child in state foster care to love and parent for a lifetime.
But everyone can do something, and that is the magic of the power of one. Every single individual reading this blog right now can think of one way, however small, to help meet the needs of children or to spread the word about adoption or to support those touched by adoption.
You have the power of one– yes, you! How can you help change the world?