Regular readers will find this to differ from my usual post, at first glance. Social action that sees light on this blog is often political, but at this time of the year, when everyone is thinking of family, family gatherings, and tradition, I’ve decided to take a moment to consider youths whose family structure is so fragmented that they essentially have no family or are in danger of being torn apart by the foster and adoptive systems from the only loving relationship they know – that of a sibling.
This week U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council are unveiling a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) to encourage the adoption of children from foster care with an emphasis on the importance of keeping siblings together. This is legit. The program itself is 10 years old. The gist of the idea is that no one needs be perfect to be a needed, appreciated, and loved parent.
I said good-bye to a brother last month. But I had him 57 years before he died at age 66. I cannot imagine how I could have survived without family, even my imperfect big brothers. I know there are many mid-lifers who have aged out of biological parenting almost accidentally. It isn’t too late to provide love and all the imperfect parenting you have to offer to older kids and siblings who desperately need you.
Give yourself the gift of checking into adoptuskids.org. Consider: Older parents, older kids. Successful singles of a certain age who thought about being a parent but never found the right partner.
Growing up I knew a brother and sister who were adopted together. I thought that was wonderful then, and I think it is even more wonderful now. I have a friend who lost both parents in High School but she and her brother were not separated. My cousin was adopted. People I care about had people who cared enough to make them family.
Check out AdoptUsKids on Facebook. There are currently 402,000 children in the foster care system in the US. 102,000 children, under 18 years of age, are waiting for adoption. They are waiting to have you share your life, your regular old life, with them.