My America: The Beauty Of Adoption
My America: The Beauty Of Adoption
This week in our My America series, we are reflecting on adoption. It is one of the most profoundly beautiful acts that we see in our society – the joining of a child to parents in the legal creation of a new family.
Over the years, adoption has become more and more celebrated in courtrooms as one of the happiest occasions that need a judge’s gavel. One adoption story went viral this week, as a Michigan boy invited his entire kindergarten class to come and celebrate his adoption – and the class showed up at the courthouse.
“Sometimes their journeys have been very long, they’ve included miracle and change for the children and family and incredible community support as you’re able to see today in Michael’s adoption hearing,” Honorable Judge Patricia Gardner said.”
“His whole kindergarten class and school being here to say ‘we love you,’ and ‘we support you’ and ‘we’ll be here not only today but in all the years in the future.'”
I don’t think a single kid who went to their classmate Michael’s adoption hearing will ever forget it.
It warms my heart to see all those happy faces. Adoption has definitely become something that has been more publicly celebrated in recent years, and it should be. No matter the age of the child involved, it is a formal and legal commitment, born out of love, that creates a family. And deep in the heart of every single child is the desire to love and be loved, and to have that within the security of a family.
Here’s where we also need to give a hearty shout-out to those who have adopted from foster care. Foster parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there, especially when you are fostering and hoping to adopt. Texas recently announced that there are more children leaving foster care in the state than are going into care – and that the adoption numbers are at record levels this year.
“Additional resources combined with a tenacious work ethic have led to unprecedented success for the DFPS this year,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Texas is better because a record number of children have been adopted in 2019 and are experiencing the joy of a loving home this Christmas season. Equally impressive is the increase in the number of children who are reunited with family. The marked improvements demonstrated by DFPS are the result of the passion and commitment by DFPS staff.”
More than 20,000 children left Texas foster care, including more than 6,000 who were adopted, Fiscal Year 2019 data shows.”
More than half of the adoptions – 3,095 – were by relatives, also a new record for CPS, according to a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services news release Wednesday.”
Credit must go to family members who are willing to step up and adopt, but it takes a great deal of grit, heart, and nerves to become a foster parent, and then adopt out of that same system. And during that process of loving and bonding with a child, there is always a risk that the next day, someone else might be caring for that child. A family member might step back into the picture. There might be parental reunification. There are so many unknowns that come with foster parenting, which is why it is not for the faint of heart, but shows just how much heart you have.
In America, we still recognize that a child grows and thrives best when they feel safe and stable in their home environment. For so many kids in foster care, it does mean that they can’t go back to their biological parents to find that safety and stability. We should count it a happy ending when a child like Michael gets to bang a gavel and claim his parents as now legally his own, now and forever – even though it’s really a happy beginning. It is the beginning of a new family. And that is the best gift of all this Christmas season.