Dear Stable Person with Love to Share: a child needs you.
You may (or may not) have considered foster care or adoption before. “I don’t know if this is for us,” you may be saying. After all, your lives are secure, your relationships feel solid, and your home life is predictable. Everything is going reasonably well… so why risk changing things now? Why complicate life?
Because a child needs you. (Yes, you.)
Who Needs You & Why?
Abrazo has recently gotten a number of inquiries from those needing to place. We’ve also handled a small flurry of placements lately, leaving our agency needing more qualified families for pending cases. And not all of those cases are about babies.
Granted, baby adoptions are typically what Abrazo does most of, and most people seeking to adopt through Abrazo do want to adopt newborns only.
Yet adoption in its purest form is about finding loving and safe homes for those that need them most, and the need is highest for children of all ages. Like toddlers, and sibling groups, and yes, school-age children, too. (To get an idea of the enormous need out there, check out the Heart Gallery of America.)
Because this need is nationwide. It’s far greater than you know. (And so is your potential to help meet this need, probably. Whether or not you want to admit it.)
We all get complacent. We all want someone else to step up and fix the problem. But if not you, then who? And what could possibly be more important than saving the life of a child that needs you?
So really: What’s Stopping You?
To adopt at Abrazo, you must be over the age of 25, financially sound and emotionally stable, and pass a background check, a physical and homestudy. (Those seeking to adopt as a couple must have been legally married a year or more, and anyone seeking to adopt a healthy infant must have a medical documented infertility diagnosis.)
If your hesitation about adopting has to do with the cost of the process, Abrazo’s charitable program offers special needs adoption services at sharply reduced fees. (And adoptions through the state subsidized programs like the Heart Gallery cost even less, thanks to America’s taxpayers.)
Those who adopt infants typically enjoy the “luxury” of not knowing what needs or issues may arise in the future. But in truth, ignorance isn’t bliss. People who take in older kids have the benefit of being able to communicate with that child to learn his or her needs in advance. They also have greater access to historical records to help them know what to expect.
Many of the children that folks seek to place later in life had been taken in by relatives who have grown too old to keep caring for them. These kids are aware that their grandparents or uncles or aunts are trying to find them a new family, and we work with both the adults and kids to ready them for this transition— however long it takes to find someone to love a kid no longer in diapers.
Can You Be “That Person”?
“I want to live with good people. I’d like to have parents who are active, not boring,” said a twelve-year-old boy to one of Abrazo’s staff this week. “The kind of people who like life in the country, and who get out and do things.”
He lives with an elderly uncle who’s in poor health, and wants his nephew to “finally have something new, for a change… he ain’t never had nothing nice,” They trade off sleeping on the couch or recliner, since neither has a bed. The boy has been out of school for far too long, due to bouncing between homeless shelters. Still, he’s bright and eager to learn, and his uncle tries to “school him in the three R’s” as best he can.
Another set of grandparents contacted Abrazo about finding a loving home for their three grandchildren who lived in hard places prior to their mom’s untimely passing. “We have to know this open adoption thing will really work,” they said. “We know they need more than we can offer, but it would kill us to lose them, too.” They hope another Texas couple will love their grandkids, too– for a lifetime or longer.
Some special needs placements do also involve infants, of course. Abrazo was recently summoned to a hospital out of town. A couple delivered a much-wanted baby, unexpectedly born with a medical condition for which they were gravely unprepared. It wasn’t the newborn’s fault that they were unable to take him home, nor was it theirs. They just wanted for him to have a lifetime of care, along with the sort of medical expertise their small town could not offer.
Step Up Now: A Child Needs You.
One of Abrazo’s waiting families learned of that baby in need, and answered the call without hesitation. (Note that we didn’t say “without questions” or “without concerns,” because both are necessary components of every adoption.)
They had no experience with his condition but what mattered most was that they were willing to learn. They were willing to accept this child, regardless. The adoptive couple and the birthparents have now joined their lives forever, out of love for the son they now share.
Good adoptive homes can be hard to find, so we need your help.
Every child deserves to have “that person” or two in life to serve as loving and stable parents. Whether they become the parents by birth and/or adoption, each child needs parents to guide, nurture and champion them through life… regardless of a child’s history, age or needs.
Could you rise to the challenge, to be that someone?
Can you find the courage to step up, to sign up, and to say yes? Will you, please?
Because somewhere, surely, a child needs you.