"The Philippines does not allow photos of waiting children to be posted on child advocacy sites to protect the privacy of the children. While this protects the rights of the children it does make it difficult to advocate"
It wasn’t long after I started my position as the Program Manager for Wide Horizons For Children’s Philippines Program that I traveled to the Philippines for the first time. The purpose of the trip was the annual Global Conference. And while the opportunity to meet with the officials, network with other agencies’ teams, visit some orphanages, and see the beautiful country was important – it was the children that forever changed me.
I had always been struck by the child-centered nature of the work done by the Inter-Country Adoption Board in the Philippines. That may sound like it should be the typical practice but there is something unique in the way it is handled in the Philippines. The level of detail provided on each child’s history and needs, and the attention paid to providing services stands out compared to many other countries that prepare children for international adoption.
In visiting several orphanages, it is clear that this focus usually carries over to the day to day lives of the children entrusted in their care. Each orphanage has diverse resources with individual strengths and weaknesses based on the limited resources. It is, after all, orphanage care which is not ideal for any child. The common thread is that they all appear to be doing the very best they can for the children within the limits of an institutional system.
The image that is forever engraved on my heart is of a tour of an orphanage by a caregiver and one of the preteens living in the orphanage. Throughout the entire tour, the young girl was arm and arm with the caregiver and the connection, warmth and love between the two was very clear. I barely could focus on the tour as I watched the interactions between them. To know that these kids could form such wonderfully strong relationships with their care providers makes all the difference.
In the last several years many of our families at Wide Horizons have chosen to wait for referrals rather than reviewing the Philippines’ Special Home Finding list.
The Special Home Finding List showcases the waiting children in the Philippines and the list is full of sibling groups, older children, and children with special needs. The Philippines does not allow photos of these kids to be posted on child advocacy sites to protect the privacy of the children. While this protects the rights of the children it does make it difficult to advocate.
My trip to the Philippines changed our approach to this too! During my trip, I was able to visit with two sibling groups who had been matched with two Wide Horizons families. Again – it was the children who stole my heart and helped me realize that when I returned to the US, we needed to find a way to unite more children from the Special Home Finding list with their forever families! These kids I met while they waited for their families to travel were warm, funny, full of energy, and READY to meet their families!
And there are so many more like them. They simply need families who are open to children who are a bit older or part of a sibling group.
Since that time we continue to have families who chose to wait for a referral while we have also grown and fine-tuned our Special Home Finding program. We are looking forward to several sibling groups and older children being united with their new Moms and Dads! And most of all, my heart is with the children of the Philippines who still hope and dream for a family of their own.
Want to learn more about our $4,000 Fee Reduction for the Philippines adoption program? Schedule a quick consultation call now!
Waiting children Kylie, Kelsey, Kayden are siblings ages 7,8, and 9 who are filled with love and laughter, just waiting to join a family of their own. Visit their waiting child listing now!
Wide Horizons For Children is dedicated to the well-being and security of vulnerable and orphaned children worldwide. To accomplish our mission, we: - Strengthen families to improve their ability to care for their children - Improve outcomes for children living outside of parental care - Place children with loving, adoptive families - Support birth parents, adoptive parents and children throughout their lives