Hey it's November! Wow, already? This year is just flying by! So November is National Adoption Month and this is a topic that I love to talk about.
I love adoption! I think it's an amazing gift. My two younger brothers were adopted as babies. My mom had me and my sister biologically but she knew our family wasn't complete. Since she had many health complications that meant she couldn't be pregnant again so our family adopted one baby boy at 5 weeks old then about two years later another baby boy at 2 days old. They were both closed adoptions. As another experience with adoption on the opposite side, my best friend in high school had a baby that she wasn't ready for and gave up to a wonderful family in Washington. This one was an open adoption and my best friend still has occasional visits with her daughter even more than a decade later. I've met many families that have adopted and I've found that the majority of the time you can't even tell that child was adopted because they fit so well into their loving adoptive family. Adoption is all about love. It is about a mother making the hardest decision ever so that her baby can be cared for in a way she isn't ready to give. It's about giving the adoptive family the option to raise a child that they so desperately want but for whatever reason aren't able to do without adoption.
I was lucky enough to document a newborn that was adopted at the beginning of this year for the first time and I hope I'll be lucky to do photograph another adoption baby soon!!
So why is there a National Adoption Awareness month anyway? According to childwelfare.gov "National Adoption Month is an initiative of the Children's Bureau with a goal to increase national awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system. Each year, we focus our outreach and awareness-raising efforts around a new adoption-related theme to help support professionals working each day to find permanency for children and youth in foster care in their community."
I know a lot more people are familiar with adoption as that can be an emotionally easier process to deal with, but Fostering to Adoption can be an option that can help children in difficult situations. I've had a few friends that took care of foster babies and children that eventually led to their adoption. From them I've learned about how burdened the foster system is. Of course we would want children in the foster system to reunite the children with their biological families, the ultimate goal is to provide a safe and stable environment for the children to thrive in. And sometimes that leads to the adoption of the child. If you or someone you know is thinking about fostering (and you live in California where I am based!) please visit Adoptuskids.org for more information. You have to be licensed to foster children in California but it's not a scary process! To become an approved family first you meet with a licensing worker in your home to ensure the space is safe and large enough by law. You will then work with social services to decide what type of child you are best suited to foster, for example girls vs. boys, babies vs. young children vs. middle school or high school children, or to consider any health issues the child might have (for example a woman I know adopted foster children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which was much more difficult than a typical child but she was able to take care of these children well because of how resilient she is). Whether you end up adopting the foster child or not you will at very least be providing them with a little bit of stability for them while their world has been turned upside down. You will be able to show them the love that they need and deserve. I'd encourage you to learn more if you think you are in a time in your life where you can share your love with those in need.
This blog will feature new parent advice, what to expect when working with my business, as well as an ongoing series about safety when interacting with newborns
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