Every Child
10/31/13 at 12:46 PM 1 Comments

November: National Adoption Month

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Photo: Flickr/Dereck Bradley - Creative Commons
A child celebrates the anniversary of her adoption.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, calling attention to the thousands of children in the United States waiting for permanent families. Eleven years later, President Bill Clinton expanded the awareness week to the entire month of November. While I do not expect them to state it in this manner, our government’s National Adoption Month acknowledges the Judeo-Christian belief that “Children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3 NIV). Elected officials, social services workers, faith-based organizations, and churches will join hands this month for the benefit of lonely, vulnerable children who are precious in His sight.

With the weight of the presidency behind it, National Adoption Month has motivated communities in every state to stage events throughout the month, celebrating the joy that is the universal by-product of adoption. Many county courthouses are setting aside a National Adoption Day during the month to finalize adoptions in a special way. For example, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Lancaster County Juvenile Court will finalize fifty adoptions and then treat adoptees and their new families to a day of food and fun.[1] Over the years, approximately 45,000 children have been adopted on National Adoption Day.[2]

One of the goals of this month-long focus is to translate numbers into action. More than 100,000 of the 400,000 children and youth in foster care are waiting for permanent families. Each year, approximately 25,000 of these children “age out” of the system. With little support, approximately thirty percent of these young people experience homelessness or incarceration; more than half of the young women will have children who will one day enter foster care. We are addressing this challenge through Bethany’s N.O.W (No One Without) campaign to find permanent families for these children.

What can you do this month for adoption? Everyone can do something. The theme of this year’s National Adoption Month is “Parenting for Permanency,” and organizers emphasize the use of social media, so here are three digital options for you:

  • Become a “Champion for Children.” We’ll show you how you can act on behalf of children and share prayer requests.
  • Support families who have adopted children with special needs by giving to Bethany’s Caring Connection ministry .
  • Spread the good news about adoption through your social networks. With a few “clicks,” you can become an advocate for vulnerable children. Visit Bethany’s Facebook page each day in November to see a waiting child who is longing for a forever family.

As Christians, we understand adoption better than most because we have all been adopted into God’s family through His son’s sacrifice. If you’ve ever considered opening your heart and home to a child who longs for a family, perhaps you can begin the journey this month.

[1] http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/events/list/page/7

[2] http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/one-day-project/view-stories

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