163 Million.

This is the latest estimate on how many orphans there are living on planet Earth.  163 million.  That’s a big number.  Granted, the definition of an orphan encompasses my childrens’ situations too.  Each of the seven children that I get the privilege of calling mine had one living/engaged birth parent.  This birth parent either felt they couldn’t provide them care or wanted them to have a two parent home.  The other birth parent was either dead or unwilling to provide them care at all (ie they had abandoned them).

163 million does NOT mean that there are 163 million children who need to be adopted.  That number is much less.  Christian Alliance for Orphans gives a wonderful break down of the numbers HERE.  They also suggest the possible limitations of trying to count orphans.  Let’s face it, 163 million is a guess.

No one can possibly count the number of children who live in neglect, abuse or other appalling situations.  Children in the U.S., in your city, live in homes with parents who simply just don’t feel like parenting.  Are those children orphans?  Technically, no.  Do they need you?  Yes.  Part of taking care of the 163 million involves not only adopting, but supporting programs that give families coping skills, that teach parents how to be the mother or father their kids deserve, then, when all else fails, programs that support adoption.

It’s odd to hear this from an adoptive mother, someone who is so thankful for the seven children she has been gifted, but I’m going to say it anyway.  Adoption should be a last resort.  Adoption should be the choice of a birth parent who knows they could parent, that they have the support to do it, but that they choose to give their child a life outside of their home.

FPD and I are going to move forward to try to adopt from China.  This will be the first time that we will have no clue about the whereabouts or origin of our child’s birth parents.  This hurts my mama heart.  It used to be that girls were placed for adoption in China simply because they were girls.  This isn’t the case anymore.  Now lack of medical care drives a lot of birth parents to make adoption plans.  Adoption is shrouded in shame in China, so bio parents abandon their baby in a place where they know they’ll be found, and then they wait for the government or not-for-profit to provide their life-saving surgery.  They live the rest of their lives not knowing what happened to their son or daughter.  Did they live or die?  I can’t even imagine.

I dream of the day when that isn’t necessary.  Programs like The Unity Fund will get us there faster.  Consider supporting the 163 million by making sure we’re doing everything we can to make that number ZERO.

–FullPlateMom,
who just taught her children what “wo ai ni” means.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. the H family says:

    YES YES YES YEEEESSSSS!!! Yes to your feelings on adoption, and orphans, and especially YES to China! You know my feelings there. I so agree with your emotions about the unknown birthfamily. It is so heartbreaking to think of a mother knowing that her child’s only chance is away from her, forever. The H Fam is going to be jumping up and down the day you bring your little one(s) home from China. Seriously and literally and with both feet off the ground. Until that day, we’re praying for all of you and especially for the people who need to say “yes.”

    Like

  2. dropped by after so much time ….wanted to says congrats on hearing you are adopting from China. May your path be free and unencumbered. What a brave woman and family you are. May it be a blessed journey.

    Like

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