Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Adoption Carousel

Credit: @LisaLFlowers
We all have an idea in our heads of what a family should look like. What our family should look like. And if we're lucky, that idea becomes a reality. But for some, such as children in foster care, the only reality they know is an ever-changing view of family life. Shuffled from foster family to foster family, their view of family is short-lived. Often times siblings are separated, each off to a different family.

The children are separated for a variety of reasons, but the trauma of that separation is always the same. Another loss. Only this time, they are truly alone. Sibling relations are critical not only in childhood but for the rest of a child's life. Most sibling relationships form the longest relationships a person will have in their lifetime which is why it's important that siblings stay together.

Credit: @LisaLFlowers
ChildWelfare.gov shared a few entries from an essay contest done by the North Carolina Division of Social Services. Foster children were asked to answer this questions, “Why are your siblings important to you?” Here are some of the responses:
 "My sister is only three years old, but she has a big heart with me in it. Jayden is braver than me—she is not scared of the dark like me. When I was left alone in a big house all I had was my sister to keep me company till someone returned. I love her…" –Joseph, age 7
• "[When they] moved us and placed us all in different homes I felt as if God was punishing me for something. It broke my heart." –Arlene, age 16

According to AdoptUsKids.org, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care and more than 100,000 waiting for adoption. They wait for a forever family and hope they will be adopted with their siblings. As we hurry along into the holiday season, visiting families, siblings, and friends, can you take a moment to watch this short video and share with your family what it means to you? Or more importantly, share what a family might mean to these children? 

Credit: @LisaLFlowers
Yes, each of these children has a past. And they are always looking back to what might have been as they ride the foster care carousel to another new home. Watching and sharing this video as well as talking about how these children might feel, can make a difference. Not only in your life, but in their lives. Perhaps you'll go one step more and give some of these children a reason to look ahead. 

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.AdoptUSKids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter

Be sure to comment below and let me know what you think about the video and AdoptUsKids.org.