Social media has a power unlike any other. Today, the most effective way to reach the masses is online. Movements have originated on social media and continue to move people to action months and years after their conception. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? That social media movement raised over $88.5 million for the ALS Foundation. Awareness has proven to work time and time again to stir change for the better.
National Adoption Day is a day focused on changing the lives of thousands of kids for the better. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Alliance for Children’s Rights, and Children’s Action Network sponsor National Adoption Day. This joint effort exists to raise awareness of the 100,000 kids in foster care waiting for permanent, loving families. Moreover, it exists to have a day focused on moving people to action in behalf of these waiting kids. In 2014, 4,500 children found their forever families on National Adoption Day.
The average wait for a child in foster care is 4 years. That’s four years of bouncing from home to home, four years of changing schools, four years of seeking the unconditional love of a family that most kids are born into. More than 23,000 kids age out of the foster system without ever finding permanent homes. Part of growing up well requires a solid foundation of how to carry yourself through your teen years, and how to merge into adulthood smoothly. 23,000 kids won’t have the foundation necessary to enter adulthood prepared. Many will not complete high school, and even more won’t go to college. With little support and almost no resources, finding a job will prove to be a daunting task for these kids that are trying to find their place in the real world.
The average wait for a child in foster care is 4 years. More than 23,000 kids age out of the foster system without ever finding permanent homes.
National Adoption Day is an opportunity for our nation to come alongside these kids and raise them up. We should be wrapping our arms around them, inviting them to our dinner tables to listen to their stories and share our love for them. A child’s history shouldn’t define her future. We are these kids’ present tense. It is up to all those with a spare bed and a little left over from dinner to open their homes and say, “I have not forgotten you.” In order to build a better future, we must tackle the orphan crisis head-on. National Adoption Day exists to stir people out of their comfort zones. It exists to put our selfish tendencies aside to recognize the more important things happening. 100,000 kids will go to sleep tonight without a family. How can we sit idly by knowing this statistic exists for our country alone?
A child’s history shouldn’t define her future. We are these kids’ present tense.
National Adoption Day falls on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. What an appropriate time of year to celebrate adoption and advocate for these kids! If you’re looking to do something on this special day, consider how you might be able to share your blessings and what you’re thankful for with a child that misses their family during the holiday season. A family isn’t defined by blood relation, rather it is defined by selfless love and service. What an amazing opportunity we have to practice selflessness during one of the most selfish times of the year.
Imagine a world devoid of orphans! Imagine what that would mean for the future of our nation—kids growing up in healthy homes with good leadership and an understanding of selfless love. Kids who grow up knowing what it means to be loved unconditionally and how to love unconditionally in return. That’s what our nation needs now more than ever: A population so full of love for humanity that they recognize the crisis at hand and do something about it. It’s not up to our government, our teachers, or our neighbors to find the solution, because each and every one of us are the solution.
I challenge you to lift your voice on behalf of the orphan, because thousands of voices raised on this special day will mean new beginnings and stable families for thousands more.
This National Adoption Day, I challenge you to consider opening your home for the voiceless to enter and be heard. I challenge you to contact your local adoption agency and advocacy groups and ask how you can wrap your arms around these kids and families that need it so badly. I challenge you to lift your voice on behalf of the orphan, because thousands of voices raised on this special day will mean new beginnings and stable families for thousands more. National Adoption Day is a day for hope and progress. It is a day to tackle the orphan crisis head on by raising awareness and taking a look within ourselves to discover what we each can do for even just one.
You can help spread awareness by posting about National Adoption Day by posting your National Adoption Day pictures on social media using the #natadoptionday and #onedayproject hashtags.