Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Social Responsibility Even in Trying Times

In a few of my previous posts, I have alluded to the idea that my wife and I were “working toward” adopting another child when she passed away. We were in the early stages of this process. We had done most of the preliminary research and were saving money for the myriad expenses adoption often entails. It was exciting to look forward to and it was a dream of mine that died when she did.

Since her death, I have been compelled to keep up with information pertinent to adoption. I have continued to educate myself on processes, programs, country requirements (for international adoptions), statistics, foundations… the list goes on and on. For any of you who have wondered about the adoption-related links in the sidebar, things should now be somewhat clearer.

I realized soon after my wife died that the fact that I was no longer in line to adopt did not mean I should give up any sort of involvement in it. There are so many children out there who are need of a loving, stable home that it didn’t seem right not to do something to help. The easiest thing for me to do was begin to financially support adoption-related organizations. I’m not rich by any means, but I do alright and I seem to have navigated the spending/saving tightrope pretty well up to this point, so I started giving what I could. Then I began to find more organizations and found I simply could not give to all of them.

I thought supporting them financially was all I could do.

Then, after work today, I was listening to my new favorite radio station and I heard about this online report. They talked about the huge number of children who “age-out” of foster care every year without finding a permanent family, as well as how people can donate their time to help, even if they cannot donate financially.

Apparently May is National Foster Care Month. I’m guessing that if I didn’t know that, many of you didn’t either. I’ve worked with and known a few foster kids through my job and have gotten to know some of the foster families as well. Most of the situations I’ve observed have been good ones – loving parents/families providing for and meeting the needs of their foster children. At least two of these families have gone on to adopt their “foster” children.

But not everyone can adopt. Not everyone can foster children. Not everyone can give financially. Not everyone can give of their time.

But everyone can do something.

I’ve included some links to encourage you all to get involved in one way or another. Ironically, I’m not the only one out here reminding people to give of themselves this week (see here and here). I think that it’s important for all of us to help each other, especially in our time of need. We’ve been doing so online and through the llf. Now it’s time to branch out and help orphaned and/or foster children as well if at all possible.

Because if we don’t find ways to help them, who will?

Please take a few minutes to check out these links: