Every day in our work with orphaned children, we have one hope for the great kids we help — ADOPTION. Whether it is domestic or international, we know that no humanitarian aid program in the world can completely change the life of a child the way a permanent and loving family can. Because of this, we are passionate about adoption advocacy. Did you know that last year special needs adoptions made up 50% of all of the adoptions from China? And yet for all of 2009, that means only 1500 children with special needs found homes.
Right now, on the main special needs list from the CCAA, there are over 1500 Chinese children waiting right at this moment for someone to choose them as their son or daughter. That list can be overwhelming to a lot of people, especially if you just read a line that says “Mei, age 5, Hepatitis B” or “Kai, age 2, limb deformity”. For a lot of people, it is easier to focus on the special need they read than the fact that every line on the shared list is a CHILD waiting for someone to believe in them. This is understandable, as people new to the special needs path to adoption often don’t know which special needs to consider, while others still carry the mistaken belief that the term “special needs” always means a child who will never be able to live independently.
Because we believe education is the key to successful special needs adoptions, LWB created both a website (www.adoptspecialneeds.org) and a video last year called “Adopting the Waiting Child”. Soon after producing it, we realized we needed to do even more. And so we have decided to make a video for every possible special need, starting with those that are often the most frightening to people. Our hope is that people can look beyond the special need and see the kids who are waiting for homes for the beautiful and wonderful children they are.
Our first specific video addresses Thalassemia and can be watched here. We are beginning work on our next video which will cover the special need of albinism. If your family would be willing to be a part of this new educational series, please contact us! And if anyone ever has additional ideas on ways to advocate for every orphaned child to find a home, we are always open to new ideas.
Amy Eldridge is the Executive Director of Love Without Boundaries.
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