Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Catch Up - Final Edition - A Home For the Holidays

On December 28th we celebrated the 3rd anniversary of Raider's adoption into our family. We always have a mini-birthday party for him with just our family. We do small gifts and go out to dinner to celebrate his special day.

The next day I watched my TiVo'd version of a CBS special called "A Home For the Holidays" and his special day meant that much more to me than ever before. This was the 10th anniversary of the program but for some reason I never recall seeing it before. It was a great program about foster care and adoption, helping to bring awareness and advocacy to an important cause in our nation / world.

I wanted to highlight some of what was shared in the program because it is something I am so passionate about. There are over 500,000 kids in the US alone that are in Foster Care, waiting for a family, someone to care about them and love them.

The program opened up with a very touching story about a man named Fred Milner who was in Foster Care from the age of 3. He bounced around from home to home and never found a family who was willing to adopt him. At 18 he went into the Military and and shortly after he met his wife. For the first time in his life he had a family. In the program he said as he was growing up "I had no one." As the years passed he just longed to be adopted. He said, "No matter how old one is - everyone needs to be loved." It made me realize even after 18 when a child no longer technically needs to be "adopted" they still have no one. Who do they spend Christmas with? and Thanksgiving? No matter how old these children get - there is still a deep need to have a family - people who care about them. It really breaks my heart to think about it!

The next story was about a 16 year old boy named Haisten and an 11-year old girl named Katy who were adopted by a family. In the segment Haisten said "The best part of my life now is coming home to a family that loves me." And Katy said "I am always smiling now...I'm happy, because I'm loved." Another boy Dakota, who was adopted said, "It's just really great. because you're not alone; you have your family to count on, they're always there for you." The program then shared stories of kids who are still in Foster Care waiting to be adopted (with ID numbers and everything). I sware if I was watching the program live I would have called in. Micah and I know that we will adopt again soon. We weren't quite ready yet because James is still young but the stories shared in the program were so compelling and heartbreaking I just got so anxious for that day.

Despite the fact that I was in tears for most of the show this was the absolute best program. On Raider's adoption day he gave Micah and I this very thoughtful note which touched us so significantly I cannot even express! (click on the images below to read the front and back of the letter - by the way Raider gave me permission to post this):

I share this not to toot our own horn in ANY WAY. We all have the ability to make a difference in a child's life and provide a home for a child who may otherwise go unloved. In fact during the program one of the adoptive fathers said, "Everybody always tells me what a wonderful thing we're doing for the children and I always follow with 'what a wonderful thing they've done for us.'" I feel the same way. Adopting Raider has been a blessing in our lives and it was simply an answer to where we felt God was leading us.
"A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27
If you feel that God is leading you to adopt, there are numerous resources to get started. The purpose of the "A Home For the Holidays" is to inspire families to adopt and over the years thousands of children have been adopted because of the program. You can go to their website here to get connected and learn more about becoming an adoptive parent.
If you made it this far thank you so much for reading about one of my greatest passions!


It's Dangerous to Pick a Nurses Brain said...

We are blessed by Raider too! And I'm blessed to have such amazing friends to share my passions. Praise God for your obediance. Thank you for sharing your story and your passion. (Please don't get rid of the program off tevo yet, I missed it this year). You will never know how you have changed the coarse of history by changing the coarse of a child.

matt & april said...

this is so great! i too have this passion and have been working on matt for YEARS to agree to far with no luck! thank God for people like you & micah who actually live your passion!