Friday, March 06, 2009
We hear much about the notion of international adoptions. American couples spend vast sums of money to get a child from China, Romania, Korea or wherever. They are always heart warming stories of love. Most always God's name is invoked - as having ordained the whole thing. We always know it's of God when an adoption goes through!
But there is another kind of adoption that is less known. I'm talking about the adoption of children from the foster care system. Currently in America, there are tens of thousands of children in foster care --- ready and available for adoption. Most of them have been abused. Many have just been neglected. State child protection agencies work to resolve the unsuitable situations with birth families - including placing the children with relatives (such as grandparents).
Ultimately, when agency efforts fail, the state terminates the parental rights. At that point, the child becomes a ward of the state. After psychological and health exams, the state determines that the child is a good candidate for adoption ... and the child goes "into inventory." They are literally tracked like inventory of goods - and you can shop for them on-line. Here is the link for the on-line shopping sites of all states in the U.S.
Note that most of the larger states have several sites, sorted by region where the children are in foster care. Currently, Texas alone has more than 6,000 children in inventory. They are all ready and available for adoption. In most cases, the State of Texas will offer a financial subsidy to the families that adopt these children. (It works like child support.) Such children will also come with state-paid health insurance (if you want it). They also qualify for free tuition to any state college they might want to attend later in life.
But the truth of the matter is that these 6,000 children in Texas are the children that nobody wants. Their parents have brutalized and terrorized them. Now society rejects them. Instead, we go half way around the world looking for a child to adopt. Meanwhile, these children in our own backyards languish - wishing someone would care enough to adopt them and give them a "forever family."
Jesus said we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means we are to do for others what we would want done for us. If I were an abused child in the foster care system in America --- I would definitely want someone to adopt me, to love me and to care for me. I would want someone to give me a family and give me roots.
My wife and I have already adopted three of these children from the Texas foster care system. How many will you adopt?