National Adoption Month 2010, Week Four: Practice Your Gratitude
Note: This blog post is part four of a five-part, month-long series by the Miriam Project intended to celebrate and treasure the miracle of adoption during National Adoption Month. We hope that you will check back each week in our effort to improve awareness, education and perspectives about adoption. You can view subsequent parts of our blog series as they become available by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, or bookmarking the NAM2010 link.
By Rob Heaton, Miriam Project Student Assistant
This week, most Americans will gather around their relatives and fellow football fans to celebrate the harvest festival holiday known as Thanksgiving. This celebration has evolved over the years to appear mostly stripped of its religious connotations, but the original intent of the holiday – according to the ubiquitously knowledgeable Wikipedia – was to “express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends” for the year that was.
How appropriate it is, then, to practice our gratitude for the life-giving miracle of adoption during this week! Perhaps you have adopted in the last few years, or you yourself are an adoptee. Either way, we think you’ll agree with us that you have much to be thankful for. As an agency, we are blessed to work with so many wonderful adoptive families and selfless, caring birth mothers.
If your connection to and perspective on adoption is less obvious, it may be necessary to think back through your life to friends and families who have either adopted children or were themselves adopted. Maybe your thankfulness is a measure of intercession; surely you would not have known a certain friend here or there if not for the gift of adoption!
Moreover, if you believe that our practice of adoption in the world today is a reflection of God’s adoption of humanity through the life of Jesus, then it is absolutely impossible to divorce our celebration of Thanksgiving from adoption and our nature as adoptees.
This past Sunday at Madison Park Church of God, we practiced our gratitude for adoption and the ministry of the Miriam Project through “Adoption Celebration Sunday.” Many of our adoptive families were on hand to share their stories and express thankfulness for the blessing of their adopted children. They were also kind enough to let us into their lives by lending us handfuls of pictures, which we used for an Adoption Celebration Video unveiled on Sunday! Click the “video picture” below to visit our Multimedia section and view our 2010 video for yourself!
(Please feel free to share our video with your friends and family through the links and the Multimedia section.)
Yet, we must not celebrate adoption this Thanksgiving feeling as though we have arrived, or that the work of adoption is completed. The statistics don’t lie: some 13 million children around the world have lost both of their parents, and around 5 percent (650,000) of these are spending their days and nights in orphanages. In North America, over 500,000 children constitute the foster care system, and some 115,000 are available for adoption in the United States alone. Indeed, both the church and the society at large have to roll up their sleeves to ensure that the motherless and fatherless are cared for and loved.
But this week, when celebrating everything for which you are thankful, don’t forget to practice your gratitude for adoption.