National Adoption Month: Why Shasta County Foster Adoption Is Important
Steve Jobs was adopted. So was Maya Angelou, Babe Ruth, President Gerald Ford, Nat King Cole, Nelson Mandela, Leo Tolstoy, and many more. Adoption Week began when Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed it in Massachusetts in 1976. It spread from there until 1984 when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed it as National Adoption Week. Chances are, this was influenced by the fact that First Lady Nancy Reagan had been adopted. Then in 1995, President Bill Clinton, also an adoptee, expanded it to National Adoption Month. This November, on the 20th anniversary, National Adoption Month is focusing on older foster children who are still in need of a home. Here’s why foster adoption in Shasta County continues to be important.
Adoption gives a child a chance at life.
Even if that’s all you have to give, it can mean the world to a child. When a child no longer has to fend for his own survival–and possibly the survival of siblings–he can focus on other areas of development. Too many foster children have experienced the trauma of abuse or neglect or other equally damaging situations. As long as they remain in the foster care system, it can be difficult to successfully address these issues since there is the fear of needing to leave a family they love or being moved from place to place. Foster adoption provides a more stable environment of continuity and establishes a point in time from which a child can grieve the loss of their birth family. When children finally feel that they are in a safe place, they can begin to build healthy relationships and dreams for their future.
Adoption produces healthier adults.
Even if children are not adopted until their teen years, the odds of them becoming positive members of society are much higher as adoptees than as foster children. Consider the case of Michael Oher, the professional football player who inspired the movie, The Blind Side. Michael had spent a number of years in and out of foster homes and homelessness and wasn’t adopted until he was 18. Yet, because Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy opened their home and hearts to him, he was able to graduate high school, then college, and continue on as a professional football player. It only takes one positive, loving adult to make a difference. Even single adults can adopt. And many of them have done so successfully.
This November, support National Adoption Month by promoting foster adoption in Shasta County. As Maya Angelou said, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”