By: Madeleine Melcher
I know you. You “like” things on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Facebook page, you have looked at the FAQS on the webpage and you have had the pang in your heart. You have heard that little voice that seems to be calling you to adopt. Sometimes you hamper that voice, you busy yourself through the pang and tell yourself you are not enough for a child, you are too old for a child or do not have what you think a child is looking for. When I first met my parents I was 14-months old. Do not think it is lost on me how lucky I am to have found them so early and as someone who was in care prior to my adoption, let me tell you- YOU ARE ENOUGH! There is a child who is waiting, hoping and praying right now that today will be the day they have a permanent place to call home. That there will be people who have chosen to call them family and who will love them. Children who are wondering if they are “enough” to be loved. There are children who have languished for years in the system, over 100-thousand of them that are available for adoption, now. They could have a home, a family, a hope and love TODAY, if only people realized that they are waiting and that you are perfect for one for them just the way you are.
You can change the life path of a human being for the better just by giving them a family. You can change a child’s whole trajectory. Last year almost 30-thousand youth aged out of Foster Care. Those children left care without a family and now have a greater likelihood of being incarcerated, homeless or having an unintended pregnancy. With a family, a child has a chance at staying in school, being employed, owning a home and knowing how to be a parent themselves. They can be better parents themselves one day, which can help end the cycle with which many of their lives began. YOU can be the catalyst for so much positive change.
You can create meaningful firsts and forever memories. You do not have to be a millionaire or to adopt a newborn to create firsts. There are children who have waited in care for simple family moments. Things so many of us take for granted. Family meals together, someone who wants to help with math homework, a bed that they know is theirs and will still be theirs next week, next year and at any point in their life when they want to be with people who love them. Family holidays, Saturday morning pancakes, new shoes, tuck-ins at bedtimes- so many things can be firsts that you can share together and will mean more than you know those simple things could.
You can give them what we all want, no matter how old we are. Family. We ALWAYS need family. Someone who cares. Someone who wants you home for Thanksgiving, who cares what you got on your report card and who will love you no matter what. I know some of you worry about your age. Don’t- the child who you bring into your hearts and home is not thinking about how old you are. My sweet momma was in her 20’s when I was adopted but I lost her when I was in my 20’s. Far too soon , but I would not have traded her for a mother that lived to be 100, for anything.
You can give them the one thing that costs nothing but means everything. LOVE. Without it, we are lost. We all need to know that we are important, valuable, that just the way we are, we are enough to be loved and the thousands of children waiting for their forever family are no different. EVERY child deserves love (and you know what, you will find that you receive it, as well).
You can be the perfect parent for someone, without changing a bit. My sweet mom burned the biscuits nearly every time she made them. When she came home from work she would wear pink sweatpants and often holiday themed socks to make dinner. She mortified me by kissing my good-bye in Junior High and making me wear peach corduroy pants to school. Yet if I whipped out the Mary Poppins measuring stick it would have told you that my mom was practically perfect in every way. She loved me and believed in me like no one in this world. She thought I had a beautiful voice and even when I was away at college wanted to know what I had eaten for every meal. That is perfect. That is why I know you can be perfect for someone too.