November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a yearly invitation to learn more about adoption, to support adoptive families and birthparents, and to raise awareness for foster children waiting to be adopted. You know I’m nerdy, so I had to find out the origins of this month of recognition. The history is pretty interesting.
According to adoption.com,
“The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system occurred in Massachusetts. In 1976, then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed Adoption Week and the idea grew in popularity and spread throughout the nation. President Gerald Ford made the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the week was expanded to a month due to the number of states participating and the number of events.
During the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families, and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. Across the nation, activities and observances such as recognition dinners, public awareness and recruitment campaigns, and special events spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. It also includes National Adoption Day, traditionally a Saturday, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.”
We’re not pursuing a foster-to-adopt path for our first adoption, which is what National Adoption Awareness Month really focuses on, but we, and others pursuing the same path to adoption that we are, see this as a great opportunity to share in the adoptive community – in one way or another, we’re all doing the same thing, even if we approach it differently and include different people in our adoption circles. We don’t live close enough to our adoption agency to participate in their planned activities, so we’ll be supporters primarily through blogging about adoption. However you embrace it, a platform like National Adoption Awareness Month provides a great chance to connect with other folks – birthparents, adoptive parents, adopted children (some who are now adults), and other pre-adoptive parents like ourselves.
This month, I’ll be continuing with many of the same themes I’ve started in the past few weeks, often concentrating on the hopes and dreams we have for growing our family and the traditions we long to share with our children. For my part in promoting adoption awareness, I also want to continue sharing some resources – books, websites and people – we have discovered along the way that have helped us through many of the early parts of the adoption process. I’ve written before about the misconceptions about adoption that are out there influencing us all – this is a great time to change the way people think and learn more about people’s real experiences with adoption.