National Adoption Month 2010, Week Five: Commit to the Parentless
Note: This blog post is the final installment in 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 your reflections on these posts have improved your awareness, education and perspectives about adoption! You can view the blog series in its entirety via the NAM2010 link, and we hope you will keep remain connected to us by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.
By Rob Heaton, Miriam Project Student Assistant
If you have kept up with the Miriam Project blog throughout November, chances are you have learned a thing or two about adoption facts and figures or have been encouraged to consider the ways that adoption has touched your own life. As a recap of our first four parts of this National Adoption Month 2010 blog series, recall the following:
- [Week 1] Get the Facts About Adoption: National Adoption Month is declared annually by presidential proclamation. UNICEF estimates that some 13 million children worldwide have lost both parents; many end up in orphanages. In the United States alone, almost 115,000 children are awaiting adoption.
- [Week 2] Consider the Scripture About Adoption: In his epistles, Paul regards adoption as a reflection of our reconciliation with God. Adoption, therefore, is a creation-renewing practice; James 1:27 explains that pure faith includes caring for widows and orphans in their distress.
- [Week 3] Share Your Adoption Perspective: Even if you are not an adoptee or an adoptive parent, chances are you are affected somehow by adoption – through a friend, family member, acquaintances, etc. There is power in each unique story about adoption, power that could plant the seed in someone’s mind to eventually adopt!
- [Week 4] Practice Your Gratitude for Adoption: In the spirit of Thanksgiving week, and in consideration of the holiday’s original roots, we believe that it is impossible to separate the practice of adoption from our expression of thankfulness.
The comprehension of these factors and perspectives has, over the years, been known to elicit responses from churches, nations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and couples alike. This Sunday, The Herald-Bulletin of Anderson, Indiana (hometown of the Miriam Project!) profiled one such couple that experienced the miracle of adoption with the help of the Miriam Project. An excerpt of the feature story is reproduced below, but please follow the link to read the full article and view photos that also ran in The Herald-Bulletin‘s Community section!
By Scott L. Miley
November 28, 2010
ANDERSON — Before young Deacon Reinhard was born in Anderson, his future adoptive parents spent time with his birth mother.
In fact, the Reinhards still share updates about Deacon, now 2. The birth parents, both middle-aged, have even visited the Reinhards at their home near Fort Wayne.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Jane Reinhard, 25. “Our family just embraced them and loves them. We consider them part of the family.”
About three years ago, the Reinhards met with the Florida birth mother. Through an intermediary known as the Miriam Project, the birth couple received a scrapbook about the Reinhards before choosing them as the couple to raise Deacon.
The relationship is far different from adoptions decades ago where adoptive parents avoided birth parents. Indeed, some children never knew of their adopted status.
“We believe God didn’t just place these boys into our home but God placed their families into our homes as well,” said Michael Reinhard… [continue reading]
While adoption is beautiful, it is important to acknowledge that it may not be for everyone or even every couple. Indeed, it is just one piece of the solution for the parentless and the orphaned children of the world. Recognizing this, many churches and other organizations have lately been using the broad-reaching term of “orphan care” for their ministries and initiatives.
Such a term includes other approaches to reaching the needs or orphaned children, such as through the foster care system. Perhaps your skills and abilities may guide you to seek licensure as a foster parent in your home state. Alternatively, people with less time to freely devote could become a court-appointed special advocate for a child meandering his or her way through the foster care system. Both are powerful ways to positively impact the life of a child without adopting.
However, your commitment does not have to rely on an organization. If you know an adoptive family in your community – and chances are that you do – offering to watch their children for just one night a month could be instrumental both to their sanity and their ability to refresh and continue to properly raise their children.
After consideration of your resources and talking with your spouse, your response to the plight of the parentless may lead to adoption some time in the future. If this is the case, the Miriam Project applauds and celebrates your commitment to the calling you have embraced, whether or not we help you facilitate a placement! Indeed, the problem of orphaned children goes well beyond the capabilities of any single organization.
The societal quandary of the motherless and the fatherless demands a response, especially from the Christian community. So as we close National Adoption Month for 2010, what is your commitment?