9:09 PM

Love without Bounderies - Moves me to action

Adoption does not get the best PR, if I were adoption's agent I would tell it to hire a good PR representative.  There are so many misconceptions about adoption in general and many outdated ideas about adoption from China.  Part of the reason for this is that the face of adoption, international adoption and China adoption are changing at lightning speed, so fast that those of us in the trenches of it can sometimes be left in the dust.  Recently Love Without Bounderies did a very informative series of blog posts about what is happening in orphan care right here and now and how things came to be from a program that mostly had healthy young girls to that of special needs program with a lot of boys.
Here is a link to the series, I urge you to read them as they are truly a fascinating glimpse into a country that is changing faster then any we have ever seen and how their population is being affected
and how the children, the babies, the most fragile of the society are paying the price.

The Changing Face of China's Orphans
Changing Attitudes
The Adoption of Boys
Domestic Adoption on the Rise
Birth Defects
"Birth defects in China have risen 70% in the last decade.  Mr. Jiang Fan, of the National Population and Family Planning Commission stated that birth defects now affect one in ten households in China, with a child being born every 30 seconds with a medical need. Chinese reports place the number of children being born with special needs each year at between 1-3 million (See Source 2), compared to the estimate by the March of Dimes that 120,000 babies are born with birth defects each year in the United States."
New Chalanges
Why International Adoption Still Matters
"Americans adopted just 2,587 children…699 boys and 1,888 girls. (Source 1). That number is just 2% of all the children in government institutional care there, and just 0.4% of the total orphaned children in that country. ZERO POINT FOUR PERCENT."

I have drawn out two quotes that really shook me.  The first regarding the sharp increase in birth defects and how many families that now impacts.  There currently exists in China strong discrimination for people who are differently abled, and very few resources or care options and those that do exist cost a lot of money.  When I read how many people are affected now by birth defects my greatest hope is that these attitudes and government support will be forced to change and improve, simply because it will be too common to ignore.

The second quote about the number of children who are adopted each year amazed me.  I thought that number was much higher, more like at least 25%.  Then I thought about it, thought about the hundreds of thousands of children.  Thought about how my daughter was one of them, about how she could have been overlooked if she had not had advocates putting her forward for adoption.  She was one of 3 albinism babies in her orphanage alone, and they told me they could only choose to invest in one of them, to give one of them the chance to have a family.  I am so lucky that they choose her, but the 2 left alone haunt me.  I met them, stroked their faces, chucked their cheeks, tried to get them to look into my eyes.  They said Elora got picked because she was the most "active" of the three.  The other two did look... well ... depressed, and rightly so.  All I keep thinking is my daughter deserves a family because she is plucky little charmer and a fighter?!?
THEY ALL DESERVE A FAMILY!!!!  A family is a basic human right

Having a family, having something and someone who believes in you would have been all that those other kids needed.  I have witnessed the power of love and family.  I have seen the miracle transformation powers in my own child as well as countless other families I have come to know.

I am scared to admit this but after reading that article all I wanted to do was call my social worker and get my paperwork going again so that I could be back in China ASAP.  Now up until reading that last post I was 99% sure we were not going to pursue adoption again, but would instead wait a long while and then become foster parents.  I think for so long I have been so focused on helping my daughter and adapting to our new family of four that I put the other children, the ones left behind in a place in my mind and heart that was just there but under lock and key.  That place is busted open now and I need to do something.  So I am starting with advocating.  Telling about my experience with adoption, in case you have not heard already it is the best thing I have ever done.  The number one reason I would love to do it again is to just be lucky enough to witness that kind of change and growth and resilience in a child again, it is AWEsome, utterly amazing.  I want to be adoption's PR rep and break down some of the myths and misconceptions.  I want to find ways to raise funds for family unification, orphanage staff training, I want to find a way for Canadians to give and get a tax receipt.  I want to share the stories of the children I hear about, so you can learn who they are, each of them, important people who are worthy of a family.  So ya, things are going to start being less about me around here and more about what I feel passionate about, the amazing power of adoption!


Jessica said...

very well written Sylvia!!!

Jodie said...

Hi... great blog! I came across your blog when researching my son's SWI... I believe my son is in the same SWI that your daughter was at. I am a fellow Canadian and we are just awaiting approval before we head over to pick our little one up. I would LOVE to hear about your experience there.... we are trying to best prepare for our little boy. If you don't mind me asking questions, please let me know the best way to contact you! Thanks so much!

Sylvia said...

Hi Jodie, email me at angelika22@hotmail.com I would love to connect!