For every child waiting to be adopted, there are many, if not dozens, of adults advocating and working to help that child find a safe, welcoming, healthy family to call their own. The following article was written by one of those advocates, as she explains to her own young son why she must go away, once again, to help children in need.
I was packing for my trip to Bulgaria, with my six-year-old sitting on the bed watching me. His eyes watched my movements carefully as I prepared, once again, to go away to a mysterious place and do something he struggled to understand.
Son: “Mom, why are you going to Bulgaria?”
Me: “To help more kids find Mommies and Daddies.”
Son: “Why don’t all kids have Mommies and Daddies?”
Me: “Well, every kid has a Mommy and Daddy, but sometimes first Mommies and Daddies can’t always raise their kids.”
Son: “Why not? Don’t they love their kids?”
Me: “They do love their kids. Usually, very much. But, it takes more than love to take care of a kid. It takes resources, and support, and community, and a home, and access to doctors, and food, and so much more.”
Son: “But it takes love too, right?”
Me: “Yes, of course it takes love too. And, a lot of times, it is that love that drives these Mommies and Daddies to hope that a new Mommy and Daddy can be found for their kid. They love them so much, they want them to have a Mommy and Daddy who can give them the things that they can’t.”
Son: “And that’s why you’re going to Bulgaria? Because the old Mommies and Daddies need you to find new Mommies and Daddies?”
Me: “Kind of, I guess.”
Son: “That’s good Mom. I hope you find Mommies and Daddies for kids who need Mommies and Daddies.”
Me: “Me too buddy. Me too.”
Of course we all know summarizing the orphan crisis isn’t this easy. And the solution isn’t this simple. But then again, maybe it is. Maybe my six-year-old is onto something. Maybe it is just that the ‘old Mommies and Daddies’ need ‘new Mommies and Daddies’ to be found. And please know I don’t say that to imply that ‘old’ means disposable, or that first families shouldn’t always be the first choice, or that it means anything derogatory at all towards first families. But that this is simply the word of a six-year-old. A six-year-old trying to justify in his innocent mind how a child like him could end up without a Mommy and Daddy.
And as much as I too have tried to justify it to my 38-year-old self over the past 16 years working in the field, his simple explanation makes more sense than anything I’ve ever come up with.
I often feel like we’re getting buried by new regulations, laws, and rules. And I feel like it’s harder and harder to find families for waiting children.
But over the past several weeks I keep coming back to what my son said – “Because old Mommies and Daddies need you to find new Mommies and Daddies?”
And I can’t help but think Yes. Yes, that is why I do what I do.
That is why I travel across the world. That is why I sometimes answer my phone at dinner. That is why I spend day in and day out searching. Because I am searching for new Mommies and Daddies. New Mommies and Daddies for these children whose first Mommies and Daddies could no longer care for them.
So thank you, sweet son. Thank you for reminding me why each trip matters. Why each phone call matters. Why each email matters. Thank you for bringing me back to the simplicity that regardless of new regulations, new accrediting entities, and new guidelines, that no matter what, kids need Mommies and Daddies.
And please forgive me, sweet son. Forgive me if I am not present for you every moment that I should be. My hope for you one day is that when you are a Daddy, you will fully understand why I do what I do. I truly do it for you, and because of you. I do it because the love that I feel for you is so all-consuming. It is a love that permeates my soul, and I want all kids to feel that same passionate, raw, fierce, pure love of a parent. So, I will keep searching sweet boy. I will keep searching for Mommies and Daddies for kids who don’t have them, and I hope you’ll be sitting on my bed asking me why every step of the way.
Our passion for children drives our work. But our work is useless without families. We can only search for Mommies and Daddies if there are Mommies and Daddies to be found. That’s where you come in. Interested in adoption? Please contact us today. We have programs in Bulgaria, China, Colombia, and Philippines.
Please complete a Prospective Adoptive Parent form, and an adoption consultant will be in touch with you regarding programs that you qualify for. Waiting children need families now. Please do not wait.
Madison Adoption Associates is a Hague accredited, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to bring hope, love, and a permanent family to children in need. By serving children and families through domestic and international adoption, our work is guided by the following core principles:
Our placement goals are to meet the child's needs and best interests, along with a strong commitment to work with the wishes and rights of the prospective adoptive families.