Today there are more orphans in the world than the entire population of Australia, and it’s growing. A mere 54 children were adopted from foster care last year, a startling reality when you consider 18,000 children are still waiting for homes. Deborah Lee Furness, founder of organisation Adopt Change, raises these facts in their community announcement. This is National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW) and her organisation is highlighting the profile of adoption nationwide and addressing critical issues in policy reform.
There are some people who are born to be parents. They have an innate sense of empathy, patience and love, making them ideal candidates to raise a child. For a multitude of reasons they haven’t had their own. Like a pinball they bounce from one doctor to another facing intrusive fertility tests or riding a hormonal rollercoaster. Perhaps they have the intrinsic skills of a parent, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, biology isn’t even a factor. Both situations resonate when I think of my younger sister.
We grew up as diplomat’s brat’s in Asia, witnessing first hand hungry children in poverty begging for food. Often questioning why we were fortunate and others were not. It left an imprint and for as long as I can remember she’s wanted to have her own children and adopt. After running a gauntlet of fertility tests for a year she decided it didn’t matter which happened first and channeled her energy into adoption.
The results were bountiful! In April this year my sister and brother-in-law while living in Singapore, adopted their gorgeous son from Ethiopia. The moment he came into their lives they were instantly transformed into besotted parents. (One look at my sister’s Facebook account will attest to this!) Our lives were forever changed, as we became aunt and uncle to a child who loves to smile, dance to Guns N Roses, suck on lemons and make the cutest roaring sounds like a little lion.
When you see an adoring home with as much love and laughter as what they have it leaves me with a heavy heart for the children who are caught up in the system, waiting for homes just like theirs. Adopt Change believes every child has a right to a family and are advocating positive solutions in achieving that. I wholeheartedly agree and there is positive news on the horizon.
Last week federal and state leaders agreed to a new commonwealth body being formed with it’s intended opening in mid 2015. This development will reduce the lengthy process of adoption from 5 years to 12 months. The Abbott Government has committed to reforming adoption in Australia by streamlining visas and health checks in effort to prevent delays and in turn help more children, which is ultimately the best outcome.
I’ll leave you with this beautiful poem and the wish that all children searching for a home find parents who embrace, nurture and love them with all of their being.
Not flesh of my flesh. Not bone of my bone. But still miraculously my own. And never forget for a minute. You were not born under my heart. You were born in my heart. Unknown
Amanda is a marketing and events professional with a passion for food and travel. She is currently travelling around Europe with her husband, Skip, who is the Head Chef for Cirque Du Soleil’s show ‘Kooza.’ Together they write about their circus adventures around the world on their blog “Graze the Earth”. You can follow their travel escapades at: www.grazetheearth.com.au or Facebook: Graze the Earth.
Featured photograph courtesy of JustJared.com