Thursday, November 11, 2010

November is National Adoption Awareness Month

“Words, phrases and photos that describe who I am?”

That was the posting of one of our now college-age FRUA teens this morning on FaceBook. Friends began to respond with wonderful words and appreciation for this most wonderful teen. We're “friends” so I can share this with you. She and my daughter, who come from the same orphanage, call each other their oldest, best friends. I'm not sure if she remembers that November is National Adoption Awareness Month, but I do.

I consider this post another sign of the positive attitudes and amazing success of so many of our FRUA teens; many of whom have overcome great physical and emotional challenges to become who they are today. The road, for them and for their parents, has not necessarily been easy. But the rewards are life-long and arise not just from the wonderful moments of the journey, but the painful ones as well.

Over the years, I have often been asked odd questions about our decision to parent a child not biologically ours, but never-the-less completely connected to the heart and the soul of our family. For us it was a decision rooted in mysticism and motivated by a fairly unique situation. No need to go in to that here. But it was also firmly based on our conscious, social choice to value a child already IN this world.

It's as simple as that. I believe, as we in FRUA have so strongly asserted, that all children in this world have a right to grow up in a family that loves and values them and tries to get them the help they need to be the most successful they can be. It is heartening to know that our government and the governments of so many nations believe that too. While barriers remain, we look forward to a time when all involved in adoption focus on what is best for the children. It is not wrong to remind ourselves of the over-used “They are our future.” They are.

Today – hug your kids – and help them find the words, with you, to tell others about what adoption has meant for you, for them, and for your family. This month, in your regional FRUA chapters, do something as simple as get together for an Adoption Appreciation Coffee and just share your thoughts with each other. Together, we can all do these simple thing to raise awareness of the power of adoption to change our world.

Jan Johnson Wondra
Vice Chair
National board of Directors
Familes for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption