Thursday, September 22, 2011
"I didn't give you the gift of life, but in my heart I know the love I feel is deep and real...as if it had been real. For us to have each other is like a dream come true. No, I didn't give you the gift of life but life gave me the gift of you." --Unknown
I believe that there are many families in this country who would gladly open their hearts and homes to children domestically and from other countries. But because the process is so difficult, children around the world have been left to fend for themselves.
There have been several times where my husband and I have talked about adopting. We weren't able to have children of our own, even though we both have children from our previous marriages. We both really wanted to have children, but because Greg had a vasectomy that was 15 years old, the reversal didn't work. I was heartbroken and wanted to adopt. The thing that prevented us each time we talked about it was the prohibitive cost of adoption. We had already spent $15,000 on the reversal and because I was 42, the doctor strongly discouraged us from using my eggs for artificial insemination. So we looked into adoption. That's when we realized how expensive the process is. Now, we're definitely not affluent, by American standards. But by some standards, especially 3rd world countries, we'd be considered very wealthy! But the cost of adoption is crazy!
One couple in Genola, UT fell in love with their sponsored orphan, a 14-year-old boy, who they were only having in their home temporarily to introduce him to people here in the States who might potentially want to adopt. They already have 6 children but this boy fit into their family so well and it felt right. Now they are trying to adopt him, along with his younger sister who still lives in the Ukraine. To make this adoption happen, they will have to put up $55,000, a sum which they certainly don't have just hanging around in an extra account somewhere. What they do have is creativity, drive and motivation. Even so, it will definitely take awhile for them to reach that goal.
For these two children, should they be lucky enough to be able to be adopted into this family, their life will be much better than if they were to stay in the Ukraine. According to the family, orphans in the Ukraine have a very bleak outlook. 70% of girls living in orphanages end up in prostitution and 60% of the boys end up in forced labor situations or forced to enlist in the Russian Army. With no one to help them with education or housing they are forced to choose between one of these lifestyles.
In my opinion, the cost of saving these children from those lifestyles seems like it is a very brisk business and profiting some individuals very well. It almost seems like human trafficking but to a different class of people--people who want to help these children and who would love them. Why is it be so expensive to save these children from lives of drudgery, poverty and crime? Not really an answer from anyone other than it takes a lot of agencies to complete an adoption and all of them require money.
But it is what it is. Is there an easier way around that? Most families who are thinking about adoption don't have sufficient and available funds to do so. But over time, they would have the means to raise or accumulate enough funds to complete the adoption process.
Right now there is an idea floating around called the Perpetual Adoption Fund. It is based on the idea of the Perpetual Education Fund, an already tried and proven system to help motivated individuals in 3rd World Countries. Basically it is a collection of donated or otherwise accumulated monies set aside for the purpose of helping individuals or small groups accomplish a common purpose. In the case of the Perpetual Education Fund, it is for the purpose of furthering the education of people in 3rd World Countries. It works like a low-interest loan, with the recipients paying it back when they get their new jobs. The repayment goes back into the pot so that other people can benefit from the fund as well.
With the Perpetual Adoption Fund, people would apply to be helped with the fund as they go through the adoption process and then they would pay it back when the adoption is complete.
I think this is a fabulous idea and I hope that the embryo of this idea will flourish and become a fully developed program someday.
In the meantime, the family who is attempting to adopt the two orphans from the Ukraine are trying to accomplish it the old-fashioned way! It's a noble and worthy cause and I wish them well! Read more about it here!
Monday, September 19, 2011
My son, Eddie, is a pretty talented guy. He is 23 and he completed his degree in Urban and Rural Planning at BYU and now is in the midst of his MPA (Master's of Public Administration) Program, also at BYU! He did it on his own while working and while doing something else he loves--fighting MMA, his chosen sport, with a team called Team Unbreakable. He has done really well with that, winning most of his matches. I attribute a lot of the discipline it takes to accomplish that kind of work to something he learned much earlier in life--when he earned his Eagle Scout Award from Boy Scouts of America.
I remember attending a meeting with him when he was just a little guy and there were several elements that were great. First, it was very patriotic with the habitual flag ceremony. It was great to see how the boys were taught to honor their country and treat the flag reverently and respectfully. Another great thing to see was the recognition these boys received when they earned their merit badges. No effort goes unnoticed and it is always recognized with badges or certificates. I think that the positive recognition for their effort helps to spur on even more elbow grease to achieve greater goals. Last but not least, the refreshments were always there. I love that parents are involved to help their kids achieve goals. Eddie always had a good time whenever we went.
There are so many reasons to Be A Scout, among them just a couple I will mention here! For one thing, are you looking for a way to get your son out and active? Scouting offers activities that help kids stay in shape and educate them on proper nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. It just comes naturally with all of the activities and outings that occur as a result of being a scout! It also involves you, the scout's parent, and helps you teach a wholesome system of values and beliefs, while also building and strengthening relationships among family members. But it isn't all camping and tying knots. There is a new emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. There are 31 STEM-related merit badges, to help Scouts develop critical skills that are relevant in today's competitive world.
I know that we value our sons and want them to do the best they can in this world and in life. I strongly recommend looking into what Boy Scouts has to offer! Boy Scouts of America