By Pamela Durso
Growing up November was always my favorite month, and for two really good reasons: Thanksgiving and my birthday! But I now have another reason to like November. It is National Adoption Month.
As an adoptive mother for 16 years now, I should have a built-in awareness of adoption. Every day when I look up into the faces of my two teenagers (both of whom are now much taller than I am) I should remember the joys and challenges of adoption. I should think about the 115,000 children in this country who are waiting for adoptive families. I should be mindful of the thousands and thousands orphans in our world.
But the reality is that I don’t think much about adoption these days. It seems I am too busy chauffeuring my son to and from band practice or explaining to my daughter that she has surpassed me in all math knowledge and is better off not asking for help.
There are days, sometimes even weeks and months, when I give little or no thought to adoption.
So even for me, an adoptive mom, having a National Adoption Month serves as a good reminder to be grateful for my own children and their birth parents, who made an adoption plan for them. It also serves as a reminder of the needs of children around the world and the opportunities that I have to care for them.
So here it is November, and with a renewed sense of awareness, I have begun thinking more about adoption and wondering if we should add National Adoption Month to our church calendars. As people of faith, we need to expand our awareness of adoption, find ways to support adoptive families and be active in supporting children who are in need of families.
Now I am not one who believes that all Christian families have a duty to adopt. Not all families are equipped to take on the legal, financial and emotional complexities involved in adoption. But I do believe that all Christians, both as individuals and families, do have a calling and even an obligation “to care for orphans and widows in their distress.” (James 1:27)
During this month of Adoption Awareness, we can pray for children who are waiting to be adopted. We can spend time with a foster child. We can remember birth parents. We can volunteer at an adoption agency. We can provide a respite for a foster family. We can give generously to support the adoption of a child. We can celebrate with adoptive families.
And maybe in December, we should talk about adding a National Widows Month to our church calendars.