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Is Adoption Right For You?

Updated on October 4, 2013

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About the Author

"Too many children in foster care are falling through cracks. Be a hero, take the time learn about adoption today."
Bruce Willis

I am not an adoption professional. I have no reason for writing this article other than the fact that adoption is an important decision, one with long-lasting ramifications, and I want to help in the process in any way that I can.

Sixty-four years ago I was adopted. Twenty-eight years ago I adopted my son. I have what you might call insider’s knowledge about the institution of adoption, so I feel what I have to say carries some weight. If what I have to say helps you in any way then I will be satisfied.

Adopting a child is a life-long commitment, and it should be approached as one of the most important decisions you will ever make. There are no mulligans in adoption like there are in golf. There are no do-overs, no oops, and no taking back the decision. When an adoption occurs it occurs till death do us part. The psychological, emotional and physical well-being of a child is in your hands, and you, the parent, will be the most influential teacher of that child. Adoption carries with it the heaviest of responsibilities, for you literally hold the life and welfare of another human being in your hands.

Are you ready for that commitment?

I am one of the lucky ones. I was adopted by parents who understood the responsibility that they were undertaking, and they provided a loving atmosphere in which I grew strong and happy. My son would say the same thing.

However, there are also countless horror stories of parents who adopted when they shouldn’t have, and the results were predictable and painful to see. I have known children who were adopted and lived their childhood in a damaging environment. I do not want that to happen to you or the child you adopt, and so I write this article.

A satisfied adopted child
A satisfied adopted child | Source

There Is Really Only One Reason Why You Would Adopt

At the risk of over-simplification, I submit to you that there is only one reason to adopt. If you read other articles you will see other reasons listed. They will include:

· Unable to physically have another child

· Unable to find a suitable partner

· Medical history of the parents

· A desire to save a life

All are understandable and all have a degree of validity, but I would say to you the only reason for adopting is because you want to share your love with another human being. Parenting is all about unconditional love, whether you are the biological parents or adopted parents. Everything else is window dressing in this discussion. If you have so much love inside of you that you want to share it for a lifetime with a child then I say you are a good candidate for adoption.

My loving adopted family
My loving adopted family

There Are Many Reasons for Not Adopting

I knew a couple once who adopted a child in an attempt to save their marriage. The results were, as you might expect, disastrous. The marriage ended and then there was a long court battle for custody of the child. Welcome to the first reason for not adopting! Children do not save marriages; couples do that, and a child has no business being in the middle of that struggle. I feel fairly safe in saying that a marriage that is falling apart is doing so because of some serious issues between husband and wife, issues that the child had nothing to do with. Do not consider adopting if your marriage is hanging by a thread. It will not work.

I also knew a couple who adopted because they could not have children and they wanted to make sure that their lineage continued. I would say to them and to any of you that love is the reason for adopting a child and not a desperate attempt to keep your family name alive.

How about adoptions for humanitarian reasons? You know, those darling kids we see online from war-damaged nations who are homeless and without parents. Is there anything wrong with adopting them? Although I am a huge advocate for humanitarian actions, I still refer you to the number one reason for adopting. If you are adopting out of love then I say go for it. If you are adopting simply because the child looks pitiful, then I think you really need to think long and hard about your motives. You are signing on for a lifetime of care and support; that is a huge commitment based only on the desire to help someone.

I could go on and on but we keep coming back to the main point of this article: Adoptions should only happen where love is the driving force.

Let's chat about adoption

My son, another satisfied adoptee
My son, another satisfied adoptee | Source

There Will Be Problems

Oh my goodness yes, there will be problems. Please be aware that not all adoptions have a happy ending. If you adopt an older child you are adopting the emotional scars that child may have.

Do you choose to have an open or closed adoption? What happens if the birth parents want to find their child….your child…sixteen years after the adoption?

What happens when your adopted child expresses an interest in finding their birth parents?

How do you tell your child that they are adopted? My parents handled it beautifully; they handled it so well that I don’t even remember the talk that they had with me. It seems I have always known that I was adopted, and I opted to tell my son as early as possible. You need to be prepared for this talk and it needs to be handled gently and honestly.

Are you prepared to accept this child as if you gave birth to them? Is your family willing to embrace the adopted child? You cannot adopt a child and then treat them any differently from anyone else in the immediate or extended family. It is not fair to the child and it is not fair to the rest of the family.

Legal issues may arise as well as financial issues. You need to do your diligent homework on all of this and make sure you have all bases covered.

Thoughts on open adoptions

Am I Trying to Scare You Off?

No, not by any means! My intent is to make sure that everything is considered before adoption occurs. I obviously am a huge fan of adoption. If I had my way every child in the world who needs a parent would be adopted, but they would only be adopted by loving parents who enter the transaction with eyes wide open.

The stakes are too high for everyone. Adoption is a sacred contract, one that gives the most beautiful of gifts to another…the gift of love! If that is not your intent then please, do not adopt a child.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Expect, I have nothing but good things to say about adoption, but then I've been pretty fortunate. :) Thank you!

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      Your perspective on this is unique and very appreciated. My family is currently in the process of getting licensed to foster-to-adopt, and I find myself soaking up every article and every piece of advice I can find. We have seen too many sad examples; it is just refreshing to hear your positive one.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great gifts, Phoenix! Well-deserved I might add. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, Bill. They left me a lovely card, white teddy with a bow and a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream. That should last me a year or so.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No kidding, Kindred! The alternative is not something I choose to think about. Let's see, life or death...which do I choose???? Nope, no debate at all on that one. :)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, another important and wonderful article and I am sure glad you were adopted. Look how much I've gained because your Mom and Dad chose you. Hugs!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, Happy Mothers Day....what did they leave you? Enjoy your day and thank you.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Kids are pretty resilient and incredibly understanding; and so quick to forgive.

      Mine left me my Mother's Day gift on my computer desk. The one place they knew I would find it. lol (UK celebrates Mothering Sunday a couple of months earlier than the States.)

      Have a peaceful Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, two steps forward and three back...that's how I parented. LOL Still, my son turned out okay, so go figure.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      'Flying blind without a clue.' So you're like most parents, then. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      :-) :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amazingly Bev says that same way..I tell her I will love her forever and she says "and a day." :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Love is the way, my friend. I love you, too. Forever and a day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, God bless you and your heart. Of course I agree. Parenthood is the best thing I have ever done, and I did it flying blind without a clue....but I have a ton of love and that got us through.

      Have a great weekend my friend and I love you.

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this hub is so important. Natural parents should read it also. Children should be brought into the family, whether by birth or adoption, because they are wanted and loved. Too many birth parents neglect their kids; they very well may have been better off put up for adoption.

      Children are the epitome of love. They are also a lifelong committment, even when they've grown into adults. People NEED to stop and think about whether or not they can stand up to the very demanding position of being a parent.

      I must also state that there is no other thing in life more rewarding than being a parent. No matter what you go through as you are raising your child and giving them a strong foundation, in the end being a parent is a gift from God. Our children are gifts from God. Anyone who does not recognize that or is not willing to hang in there for the long haul, has no business being a parent. To be a parent means:

      Protect

      Always

      Respect

      Entirely

      Never-ending

      Truth

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! It's always nice having you visit.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a useful and important hub, Bill. Your advice on adoption is excellent.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, i understood. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Sacred comment (meant) of course.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchi, if not love then what other reason is there? None that I can see. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I agree completely. Raising a child is not a part-time job as you well know.

      Thank you and have a great day in the UK.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I hope this helps some young couple.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, it was my pleasure, and thank you for stopping by my loyal friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, obviously this is a subject that is important to me. Thank you so much. Now, hopefully, some people thinking about adopting will understand the importance of their decision.

      blessings and love, today and always

      bill

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Bill, I agree with the article insights. I too think that adoption or natural birth, the true motive need to be unconditional love.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This hub could apply to anyone who is considering having a child of their own. Whether a child is adopted or one's own, the only reason for having a child is love.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Adoption is a big decision and has to be carefully considered, a useful hub for any one thinking of adoption.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for your insight.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      What an extensive hub here on adoption! You have covered every aspect from good to bad and in between. Yes, one must be sure without a shadow of a doubt, and as your last awesome line states, it is a scared contract, a beautiful gift of love, and if that is not your intent, please do not adopt a child! Bravo, well said. Being a loving parent involves a lot of sacrifice for a lifetime, as that child deserves to be loved for a lifetime. A child is not a toy, if you get tired of it, just cannot just discard it, or ignore it, no it is a person who needs to feel love and can come to you with anything in trust. There must be 100 percent dedication. Thank you for this dead on hub!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you are a very kind human being and I thank you for that. I love the Clinton Foundation and it does not surprise me that you give to them.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I applaud anyone who adopts a child, God bless them. I have often thought of adoption but never went forward. I do give through the Clinton Foundation that feeds and cares for children. When i see a baby, i always think, oh so beautiful, i wish it were mine, but like you say, be sure..Thank you Bill. I love your writing...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb and obviously I agree completely with your comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, thank you for those words. I have read many a clinical discussion about adoption, but I think it is important to get down to a real level that people can understand. Strip away all the technical talk and it still comes down to love. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thank you for sharing your experience and for pointing out that there are definitely problems involved with adoption. That reality must be faced before entering into this commitment. I am so happy that you raised two wonderful young women.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruchira. I am one of the lucky ones and I think my son would say the same thing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carly, I understand about the reunion reference. :) I was wondering if you would stop by for this hub. I could have gone into much more detail, but I think the message of love and commitment is so important, and oftentimes overlooked. I know you know that. :) Thank you dear lady.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Cyndi! I know you understand where I am coming from with this hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mikeyd, I like your attitude. Take all the time you need, which is the only wise way to enter into an adoption. Thank you for your honesty.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was beautifully done, with obviously a lot of care and forethought put into it. Everyone deserves a parents, and first are foremost love and commitment.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, I love the fact that you decided to write this article from an insider's perspective. "Experts" may have head knowledge, but you know what it's like as an adoptee and an adoptive parent. What a privilege to give a loving home to a child who needs stability and love!

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge, experience and insight.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Not many folks here know this but my two daughters were adopted by my wife and I. It was one of the biggest decisions we ever made but as you state in your article, we did it for all the right reasons. I can't imagine what life would have been like without them. They are adults now and on their own and my wife and I look back with absolutely no regrets. Were there problems? You betcha, and plenty of them. But we all got through it. Thank you for sharing this very important advice for anyone considering adoption.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Excellent pointers, bill.

      Adoption is as difficult a decision than giving birth thus, should be considered after great though.

      I am glad you were brought into a wonderful home and you returned it back with your son.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Bill, I am so thankful for your honesty and candor. As an adoptee I share your viewpoint. Adoption is a great, loving act. However, there are some people who do adopt for the wrong reasons. And there are some mother's who use adoption as a form of birth control. They will put up for adoption numerous babies.

      Adoption has a shadow side, and it is angering for those who choose not to integrate the totality of adoption. Choosing not to integrate the shadow with the light is like saying I only see the day and refuse to see the night. For the adopted child, it can be a very scary and lonely night when the adults and industry of adoption turn their backs on the night.

      If you are going to embrace adoption, you need to embrace all of it.

      And don't even get me started on reunions.... LOL.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      You have great advice, BB. Thank you for sharing your tips and expertise with us; I'm definitely in the same mindset. :)

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

      I think it boils down to making sure that you are ready for the commitment. Someday I want to adopt a kid but not at this moment in time. I think it'll be a while before I am ready for that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MJ, thank you. I learned about love by having it modeled for me, and my son has learned the same lessons. Parenthood is not for the weak of heart for sure, but it is a gift that keeps giving each and every day. I am a very grateful adoptee.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you and I will forever have that bond. We both realize how much different it could have been if it were not for the love of our parents.

      Thank you my dear friend!

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

      I find it beautiful that your parents' legacy, of sharing that abundance of love with an adoptive son, continued in your own legacy. Although I am not adopted and don't have an adoptive sibling, adoptive families seem to have always been part of my life. I am married to a man who was adopted, I have many very close friends who were adopted, and my best friend adopted a brother-sister pair of children a couple of years ago. Most of them have been the "good" adoptions you cite, based on love and commitment. You make some excellent points.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Love. That is what it is all about. We both know that Bill. As you know, I too was adopted and lucky enough to get the best parents that ever walked the face of the earth. Love, parents loving children, children loving their parents in return. If you give love, you get love. I totally agree the number one reason to adopt is for love of a child.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jon, it sounds to me like you understand this parenting thing pretty darn well. With that outlook and philosophy I think you will be one fine parent. Best of luck to you my friend and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I feel pretty strongly about the topic of adoption, but then I feel pretty strongly about having children any. Children should be our lasting legacies and a reflection of the love that they have been given. We give our greatest gift to them, love, or at least that's the way it should work. Sadly we both can see many cases where that does not happen and the results are predictable.

      Thank you my friend!

    • jonmcclusk profile image

      Jonathan McCloskey 4 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

      Interesting article, billybuc. Adoption is actually something that I think on a lot in my spare time. I've been playing with the idea that if I ever decided that I wanted a child to nurture and love that I would adopt them into my life. People seem to have the idea that if they raise their children how they were raised by their parents that their children will become exactly like them. However, times change, and so must parenting techniques.

      Children are constantly getting smarter, more interested in things, and are always growing. It's necessary to have a parent who is willing to explore what their child is learning and willing to grow with their child even if they think they're already grown enough. I suppose what I'm saying is that the concept of parenting is similar to surfing. If you don't learn to balance and ride the wave, you'll sink into the water every time.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, I can see that this comes straight from the heart with a lot of good sound advice.

      People adopt children for many reasons, but you are right there should only be one; the need to share love, the same reason for bringing any child into the world. Every child should know that they are loved and needed and that love must be unconditional. An excellent and important piece from someone who have experienced adoption from both perspective.

      Take care now, my best to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Stephanie. It is too large of a commitment to take halfheartedly. Love has to be the driving force behind adoption or it will fail.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Great hub! I couldn't agree more with the most important reason to adopt being to share your abundance of love! Sharing and hoping that those considering adoption read this! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, that is an incredible set of parents. Talk about love? There are some real horror stories, especially when adopting older kids who have some serious emotional baggage. That's why love and commitment to that love is so important.

      Thank you my Dunedin Dynamo!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy! I owe it all to my parents. :)

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Eric!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, you are a good guy, and speaking for adopted children everywhere, thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheri, I am one of the lucky ones. My parents adopted for all the right reasons.

      Thank you my BC friend.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      This is so cool to see the perspective of someone who has both adopted and been adopted. I think you are right on to say that love is at the core of the decision. Years ago, I saw something on TV about a family who adopted two children and one of them had no empathy--he was violent, dangerous, and almost killed his mother on several occasions. They second-guessed their decision to adopt now and then--who wouldn't?--but their love for the boy was stronger, and they dedicated their lives to getting him all the help he needed. Now, that's a family that knew the meaning of adoption!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Such a wonderful read once again and this hub will benefit so many. I vote up,across and share all around .

      Have a great day.

      Eddy.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Awesome.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, as the proud father of 3 adopted children, I am a firm believer in adopting unwanted children. All three have turned out to be upstanding citizens and a joy to have around. Unfortunately, like many familes, we are scattered all over the country but have regular family get togethers around the holiday season.

      If I had it to do over again, I would probably have adopted more children.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      This is excellent information. I know of several couples who adopted for the wrong reasons and it was so sad to watch those poor kids having such a hard life. I am happy to hear of your success with adoption.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Marcy! I will check it out, and I appreciate your kind words and visit.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      You always have such touching and realistic things to say about adoption. FYI - if you haven't seen it yet, the Dear Abby column today (in my paper, at least) has a sweet piece about adoptive parents and children. Hugs to you!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle! You are right on with your comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Comfort, thank you for that comment. There is only one valid reason for adopting....love! If love is there then other problems can be worked through.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thank you for that insight...there are no guarantees for sure. Adoption is a risk, but so is having your own child.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Adoption is a risk. It is something to be done only if one is ready to really go forth and give love to another person. THanks for sharing!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Lots of people go for adoption simply because the pressure is on them to have kids. But as you mentioned, wanting to share ones overflowing love with another being should be the number one reason to want to adopt.

      Excellent hub. Voted up, useful, and beautiful. Enjoyed the video.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting from your perspective both sides of the fence. I know many people who have adopted..One friend who got the daughter from..H...There are no guarantees however there are no guarantees with your own kids. Anyway you did a great job as always voting up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Janine! Obviously it turned out okay for me, and there are millions like me who need a chance in life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Steph! I sure hope everyone in your family is healthy now. It's been a tough winter for you guys.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Said beautifully and quite perfectly, Bill. My cousin is adopted and he was told quite young. He once was quoted as saying that he could care less who is birth parents were, because we were his family and the only one he knew case closed!! So I do agree if done for the right reasons and handled with care, adoption can be a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing and have of course voted up and shared all over!!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you for sharing this hub from your own perspective - both as adoptee and adoptive parent. Excellent advice for anyone who is considering adoption, or just wants to learn about what is involved.

      Rated up and shared my friend! Have a great day, Stephanie