Recently, my wife Christie and I were sitting down at the dinner table with my daughter Mia, who we adopted from Thailand. Before joining our family, Mia spent the early years of her life in an institution. We brought her home in October 2014, shortly after her twelfth birthday, and she’s now 17.
That evening, Mia began asking questions about the adoption of one of our other daughters, Sydney. We adopted Sydney from Korea more than twenty years ago, and she joined our family when she was four months old. Mia had several questions about how old you have to be to adopt a baby and how old a child must be before they can be adopted.
As we talked, Mia mentioned that she could have been adopted as a baby but that nobody wanted her. I immediately stopped her and explained that wasn’t true. Because of issues surrounding Mia’s paperwork in Thailand, she was not legally eligible to be adopted until she was eight years old.
I looked at Mia and told her, “You were able to be adopted for the first time when you were eight. We found out about you when you were 10. After that, it took two years for all the paperwork to get done. Then we were able to get you when you turned 12.”
Christie then chimed in and told Mia we wished we could have adopted her as a baby. We would have loved to have her with us so much earlier. We wish we’d been able to love, support, and raise her in our family and our home during those first 12 years.
This information changed Mia’s story! For her entire life, she believed that nobody wanted her all those years. In reality, it only took two years for her parents to find her and welcome her into a loving family.
No Unwanted Children
Mia’s story is far too common. In many developing countries, children often wait in orphanages because of legal issues or paperwork delays. If those legal issues don’t get resolved, it could be several years before a child is able to be adopted. At that point, the child has been in institutionalized care for years, resulting in damage to their physical, emotional, and psychological development. And tragically, as children get older, their chances of adoption decrease significantly.
These children are not unwanted! Often, they have just fallen through the cracks in a broken system. These children need advocates — and that’s where we come in!
We believe every child deserves a family. That’s why we are working hard to get orphaned and vulnerable children out of institutions and into families while their legal situations get resolved. With your support and partnership, we are currently pioneering and expanding family-style care in several locations in Mexico and Honduras.
But none of this would happen without you — we are so grateful for your partnership! You can learn more about how you are making a difference in the lives of children around the world by visiting the projects page on our website.
Thank you for your generosity. Together, we are changing the way the world cares for orphans!