Monday, October 14, 2013

Opening eyes

For our family, the path to our second adoption began with the awareness of a need.  We learned information about the plight of orphans in China that we could not ignore.  As the Bible says,

"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act."  
Proverbs 24:12

Here are a few facts about orphans, specifically teen-aged orphans in China, designed to open your eyes:
  • There are approximately 712,000 orphans in China.  Families from the United States adopt .003% of these children each year.
  • Children are no longer eligible for adoption, foreign or domestic, after the age of 14.  
  • Children are allowed to stay in the institution until 16-18, depending on the orphanage. 
  • The amount and type of education for children in orphanages varies widely between orphanages.  
  • Although orphanages do try to help orphans transition to adulthood, there are overwhelming difficulties as these young adults look for work.  The job competition in China is stiff, and the educational training of the orphans is often lacking.  In addition, all individuals in China have an ID number (like a SS number) that they must use on applications and other forms.  This number reflects family of origin and therefore identifies these young adults as orphans which impedes their job search as orphans are considered "bad luck."
  • Of the children who age out, 85% of girls end up involved in human trafficking and 75% of the boys end up as career criminals.

These children who age out are forced to navigate very difficult circumstances without adequate resources, and most importantly without the hope, love, and support that a family provides.

Surprisingly, not every orphan wants to be adopted.  Adoption brings significant change and the thought of it it too overwhelming for some children.  However, the vast majority of teens have seen other children adopted and long to be adopted themselves.

One of these children who has seen his friends adopted, who longs to be adopted is "Ferguson."  He has been a friend of Davina's for 5 years.  He is caring and sweet.  He is an average student, although he has some difficulty expressing himself verbally.  Davina tells me that because she knows him, she does not have trouble communicating with him.  

It is true that adoption is not for everyone...but if you are at all curious, I'd love to chat.  I will tell you the truth...adoption is hard, but soooo totally worth it.  After all, we were adopted once too...

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