How Do You Make a Family?

“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”
–Carl Sandburg

Has your life been touched by adoption? Were you adopted? Have you adopted someone? Have you released a child to be adopted? Once you are part of the adoption triangle (child, birth parents, and adoptive parents) you tend to meet others who have intimate knowledge of that “condition.”

At seven weeks, Steven did not seem as happy to meet us as we were to meet him.

At seven weeks, Steven did not seem as happy to meet us as we were to meet him.

November is National Adoption Awareness month. I do not know who is responsible for establishing this observance but I am happy that it exists. Most people probably think of adoption as something for babies. But there are many variations on the basic combination which deserve our attention, consideration and support. Adoptions of older children, sibling groups, infants or children from other countries, as well as adoption by single adults or non-traditional couples – all of these are viable ways to grow a family. Even bearded, pony-tailed Eliot of Jordan’s Furniture boosts the notion. This icon of our times (in the Boston area) emphasizes on the big silver screen that there are many children available and waiting to be adopted. While families grown through adoption are no more insured to be perfect than are biological families, growing up as part of a family is clearly a better start in life than growing up in a “what happens next?” condition.

Daughter Teresa is now a beautiful adult, and her hair no longer stands on end as it did  thirty years ago.

Daughter Teresa is now a beautiful adult, and her hair no longer stands on end as it did thirty years ago.

Our family’s particular niche is international adoption. In 1980 my husband and I adopted our son from Colombia. In 1982 our daughter joined us from the same orphanage. We have always known that these were absolutely the best decisions we could have made – but I admit we do have a great deal invested in that belief.

Do people who like to travel come more easily to the conclusion of international adoption? Does adoption from another part of the world make people into international travelers? We are discussing subsets of small populations, but I wonder if there has been any research on this question. I am confident that being part of an international triangle does raise your awareness of life conditions in the foreign birthplace. I would hope that this sensitivity would bring a determination to improve conditions in that society as well as here in the child’s new home.

In this season of thankfulness, I am very grateful that adoption was possible for us. I thank the Florence Crittenton League of Lowell (now closed) and the Fundación para la Asistencia de la Niñez Abandonada (FANA) in Bogota for their years of diligent work, matching children with homes. Vital services to society such as they provide are often under-funded and under-appreciated. I urge you to support adoption support systems in your area.

Let’s hear it for Adoption Awareness! Hug your adoptee or adopter today!

Boundaries divide. Travel unites.

14 November 2013

About Travel Unites

A travel agent since 1994, I want people to get together for greater understanding across boundaries.
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2 Responses to How Do You Make a Family?

  1. Judith Land says:

    The world needs more ‘huggers’ with warm hearts like you.

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