As brisk autumn days creep into the month of November, we enter a time of giving thanks. In essence, November represents a period of generosity. Despite chilly nights and oncoming snowstorms, we find warmth within our families and friends. Throughout the month, we discover ways to express gratitude.
Before setting the place cards on the dining table, however, there is one more day that needs to be honored. It’s a day that people know little about. November 23rd happens to be just as incredible as Thanksgiving, if not more. The last Saturday of the month commemorates National Adoption Day, a historical event that has already granted the wishes of thousands of children. That’s why Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is promoting awareness of this holiday, as well as encouraging you to do the same.
National Adoption Day has a rich and powerful history, and observing the holiday’s past is the first step to understanding its meaning. It was originally formed in 2000 by a coalition of partners, including Children’s Action Network, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac Foundation, and The Alliance for Children’s Rights. The commemoration of the holiday coincided with nationwide events to inspire parents to adopt. This enthusiasm motivated communities all across the country to join together and liberate children from the foster care system. People of all different backgrounds flock to supportive organizations and volunteer annually for the cause. As of today, over 75,000 children have found loving homes thanks to efforts from the national holiday.
In the midst of marvelous celebrations, it’s easy to forget the tragic statistics that define our country’s foster care system. At this very moment, thousands of children are awaiting placement and looking to find their forever families. This system can tear children from their siblings, force them to continuously bounce around, and neglect their cries for help. Oftentimes, children are silenced or ignored. According to a census in 2017, there are over 440,000 children intertwined with the foster care system at any given day. These children wait, minute after minute, for a caring parent’s warm embrace. On average, they can go up to three years before adoption. But for some, that’s the best case scenario. Plenty of children age out of the foster care system. They must go the rest of their life without a permanent family to rely on. Rather than returning home each year for a comforting Thanksgiving feast, they may face an empty table.
There are several ways to be a part of this national movement. As of 2014, over 400 cities participated in charitable events. As the holiday quickly approaches, we can focus first and foremost on its publicity. By boosting information about the event, more people will be inclined to partake. To compel consciousness about children in foster care, our society must acknowledge the importance of the occasion.
Social media quickly promotes awareness. By writing hashtags of “#NationalAdoptionDay” or sharing the reasons why you celebrate the holiday, a simple post can ignite a viral trend. When someone sees the tweet or blog post, they may suddenly feel compelled to be part of something bigger than themselves. In order to campaign for the rights of struggling children, people can reach out to larger foundations to help. At rallies, people become advocates for the voiceless. Through adoption exhibits, families may express their personal adoption story. Hundreds of fundraisers spring up across the nation, and any small donation of time or money may change the course of a child’s life.
Every day, struggling birth parents are faced with circumstances that lead to difficult decisions. In many cases, birth parents don’t have the means to support a child. Yet, these parents love their little one enough to let them go. To make the wonderful, selfless and sacrifice choice to place them for adoption. The path to a child’s future is paved by the willingness of a birth parent to give them the future they deserve.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma strives to provide parents with the empathy and consideration that makes the process go smoothly. Prospective parents are consoled by the organization’s commitment to care. On the other hand, other adoptions across the country are not handled quite so easily. This tragedy infects the lives of everyone involved, from distressed parents to heartbroken children — eternally waiting for someone to take them in.
National Adoption Day reminds us of the beauty of lifelong connections. Bonding with a child is a transformative experience. It permanently changes the lives of everyone involved. This raw love evades words on a page; it must be experienced firsthand. The holiday encourages anyone to take a chance and adopt. It may be daunting to bring someone new into your life, but it’s even scarier for a child to spend their rest of their life without a loving home. Another smiling face could sit at your dining table this Thanksgiving, reaching excitedly for the pie. Without a doubt, they’ll be the most thankful of all. But soon enough, you’ll recognize your own endless gratitude for their presence in your life.
Many families use Thanksgiving to bring people together. Plentiful food, dinners by the fire, and reunions with distant relatives comprise this exciting celebration. Children obsess over mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, yet secretly revel in hours with their loved ones. However, not everyone is able to recognize Thanksgiving in a traditional sense. Even though the Betty Crocker family remains deeply ingrained in the American psyche, today’s typical holiday season strays far from the norm.
There is no such thing as a “normal” family. Especially now, families are a ridiculous mix of in-laws, parents, half-brothers, step-sisters, furry friends, and more. So while this upcoming month may seem intimidating for adoptive parents, it can be exciting too. Someone new may be coming home this year.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Kenneal Patterson is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She is currently studying Journalism and Political Science, with a minor in Global Health. She is honored to work with Adoption Choices, and hopes that her journalism will inspire others to be more empathetic and kind. She thinks that writing can convey important messages of hope and love, and wants to share these messages with others.
Kenneal spends her summers at home in Golden, Colorado, with her many cats and dogs. She is eternally grateful to those who read her work!
“Adoption Day.” National Adoption Day, www.nationaladoptionday.org/.
“National Adoption Day 2019.” National Awareness Days Events Calendar 2019 & 2020 – UK & US, www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/national-adoption-day-2019/.
“National Adoption Day.” Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, www.davethomasfoundation.org/our-programs/national-adoption-day/.