I get it – create a search on Google for “November Holidays” and you’ll find a plethora of options – Aviation History Month, Peanut Butter Lovers Month, National Sleep Comfort month – it’s a little ridiculous. However, there is one diamond in the rough, and I’m not talking about Housewife’s Day (Nov. 3).
Over 100,000 children and youth in the United States are in need of adoption. That’s 100,000 kids without parents. Without someone to love and care for them. Without someone to encourage them to succeed.
I don’t have a sad, depressing adoption story – my adoption was organized long before I was born. On March 24, 1989, I came into this world at DePaul Hospital. If my 16-year-old birth mother even had the chance to hold me, I’ll never know. I went home to my (adoptive) parents on April 14, 1989 and never looked back. On paper, she may seem like a prime candidate for Teen Mom (if it existed in the 80s), but my birth mom wanted more for me – specifically, a nice, catholic home with two loving parents. My parents we’re unable to have children of their own, and after much debate, decided to adopt.
- I wasn’t picked out of a catalog.
- I did not (and still do not) know my birth mother (it was a closed adoption)
- Yes, my parents are my parents.
- I don’t remember when I was told I was adopted, but it was never a secret.
Unfortunately, my story is not the norm. The children who don’t get adopted head into foster care and orphanages throughout the US. By 18, they age out of the system, 25% without a high school diploma. These kids aren’t damaged – they’re in need.
I’m not telling you to adopt – personally, I’m not ready for kids, and when I am, I will be trying to have my own. What I’m asking is to keep an eye out. Organizations like Big Brother, Big Sister, Catholic Charities and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption can use your help in the form of time and monetary donations.
By all means, continue to celebrate Homemade Bread Day (Nov. 17) and Square Dance Day (Nov. 29). Just remember that not every kid has that privilege.