Tons of starfish were dying on a beach and a boy was picking up one at a time and throwing it back into the ocean. A man came up to the boy and told the boy that what he was doing didn’t matter since there were thousands. The boy picked up another starfish and said, “Well, it matters to this one.” And he threw it into the ocean.
“The miracle of being chosen by my adoptive parents filled me with love and gratitude, and there was no longer any room for self-pity or bitterness.” -Elaine Pinkerton
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Building a family can happen in more ways than one and every child deserves to be nurtured and loved by a family—biological or not. Currently, there are over 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted. Organizations such as the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute advocate for and provide information and resources about adoption. Here are ways you can raise awareness with your family and community from adoption.com:
1. Share a cherished childhood memory or tradition with your children
2. Teach your child how to make a traditional family meal.
3. Ask your local library to display adoption-related books.
4. Watch an adoption-related movie. (Lilo & Stitch, Annie, Angels in the Outfield)
5. Mentor someone aging out of the foster system.
The following PSA was created by the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption. Thomas (founder of Wendy’s restaurants) was adopted and made it his life’s work to become an advocate for children.
Elaine Pinkerton, journalist and author of, The Goodbye Baby, A Diary About Adoption, shared some of her experiences as an adoptee with P&N. She lists some excellent parenting basics that are mostly applicable to all children—adopted or not.
•LOVE is always the answer.
• REPLY to even the most difficult questions.
• LAUGH with your child.
• KEEP your expectations high but do not make your child feel “not good enough.”
• AVOID comparisons with other children who were NOT adopted.
• TELL your little one, if he or she asks, why he was adopted.
• Even if the birth parents were not not good people, BE HONEST. You might say, “they weren’t good parent material” or they “lacked the skills” to raise a child.
• SHARE your hobbies and passions.
• READ to your child every day.
Once more, with feeling, LOVE is always the answer.