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Making A Difference In The Lives Of Orphans

Updated on June 4, 2013
ladydeonne profile image

Deonne Anderson is a retired Child and Family Therapist, Free Lance Writer, and Motivational Speaker who lives in Florence, SC.

Liberian Boys Choir Performance

Age of Children Adopted Internationally- FY 1998

Ages of Children Adopted Internationally - FY 1998
Ages of Children Adopted From Foster Care
 
under 1 year old 2%
under 1 year old 2%
 
1 - 4 years old 43%
1-5 years old 46%
 
5 - 9 years old 8%
6 - 10 years old 37%
 
Over 9 years old 3%
11 - 15 14%
 
 
16 - 18 2%
 
Children adopted internationally tend to be younger than children adopted from foster care. About 90 % of children adopted internationally are less than (5). A majority of those adopted from foster care are more than (5). About one-half of the chi

Orphans All Over The World Need Love

Catholic Services Adoptions - Children all over the world need loving and caring homs
Catholic Services Adoptions - Children all over the world need loving and caring homs | Source

An Adoption Alternative For You

My daughter and I have been talking about adopting a foster child for over two years now. After recently under going surgery for fibroid tumors, she has accepted that she can never be a birth mother. At this time in her life, she has made a decision to not get married again. Yet, she wants to have a family of her own. So I decided to do some research on adoption for single mothers.

In doing my research, I found the most amazing story about a woman in North Carolina who spearheaded a movement that resulted in (45) boys from Liberia being given new lives by individuals in her community. I was so affected by the story that I wanted to share it with you.

In 2003, a woman by the name of Lysa Terkeurst and her two daughters attended a performance by a boys choir from an orphanage in Liberia, West Africa, a country in the midst of a (14) year civil war. She reports that as the boys sang, God spoke to her heart and said, "Lisa, two of these boys are yours." She later said that she had not gone to the concert for a major life change but expected only to enjoy a concert.

"Sometimes when we least expect it, God speaks to our heart in ways we don't understand and gently nudges us to do a certain thing, to help some one...to be a blessing to someone.... to get out of our comfort zones."

I refer to this nudge as "the call." When we obey and answer "the call," we bring joy and light to our own souls as well as to those that we reach out and touch. We, in turn, receive immeasurable blessings and abundance. We change the world."

Lysa shared what God had said with her daughters and they managed to meet two of the members of the choir. Of this experience she said, "They just wrapped their arms around me and gave me a big hug and they just called me mom."

Coincidence? Were the boys accustomed to calling all females mom? I was unable to find the answer to that question. Only the boys know the answer to that one. Lysa believed that their calling her "mom" was validation that it was God's will that she adopt the boys and raise them as her own. I believe the same as Lysa as there are no coincidences in our lives....just nudges from God and our intuition, a gift from God.

Lysa's was so convicted that God wanted her to adopt the boys that she called her husband who listened to her story over the phone and agreed to adopt the boys. Her close friend Gina and her husband Rob had two adopted children of their own but were skeptical about her decision. However, after hearing the boys choir sing and meeting the two boys, they too were smitten with them. They decided to adopt Robert, another Liberian Choir orphan.

Gina described the effect the boy's singing had on her, "As they started to sing, I just realized there is a strength in them that resonates with me," she said. Soon, three other of Lysa's friends adopted Liberian orphans. One couple adopted six.

By 2009, a total of (44) boys from Liberia had been adopted by Lysa's friends and neighbors in the North Carolina community. One family, the Schwag-Hearts has adopted (11) children from the orphanage.

Mind you now, these are individuals... every day kind of people, not celebrities or wealthy people....not agencies or businesses.....just people with spare bed rooms and big hearts. In June of 2009, (10) of the orphans graduated high school. Some chose to go to college. Others found jobs in the community. The following is a video spotlighting Jackson, who was adopted by our heroine Lysa and her husband Art who is now (24) and a college student.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/495770


Some Adoption Facts

  • Today there are1.5 million adopted children in America.
  • Approximately 60% of all Americans have a personal connection to adoption. The Adoption Institute's Public Opinion Benchmark survey found in (1997) that 58% of Americans knew someone who has been adopted, has an adopted child,or has given up a child for adoption.
  • There are 150,000 children in America waiting to be adopted.
  • Many adults in America believe that in order to adopt a child you have to have lots of money or own a big home.

You do not have to have a six figure income or own your home in order to adopt a child. You simply need to have a stable income and home environment and show that you can adequately provide for a child or children if you plan to adopt more than one.

  • Many individuals believe that you have a squeeky clean record in order to adopt a child.

It is a no brainer that you if you are a convicted felon you will, in all probability not be able to adopt a child. However, misdemeaners are considered on a case by case basis. The most important thing is that you do not have a record involving the abuse of a child. Any behaviors that might put a child at risk for harm are evaluated and may keep you from adopting, i.e.,history of alcohol or drug addiction, DWIs, domestic violence, excessive speeding or tickets for reckless driving.

I served as an In-home Therapist for approximately (8) years working with foster children and their potential adoptive parents during their transition period. I recall one male who admitted that his greatest fear was that the adoption would not go through because of his petty theft conviction for stealing a pack of cards from WalMart when he was age 17. Once we got over that hurdle, he was fine and started to participate more in therapy sessions and expressed that he was excited about the pending adoptions.

There are still some private adoption agencies that charge exorbitant fees, but even that practice is improving. Going the foster care route is the most economical as you receive a small stipend to help with the child's expenses and other perks until the adoption is legal.

So, if you would like to share your home and life with a child that needs love and a home, adoption may just be a fit for you.

Though this article focused on adoptees from Liberia or international adoptions, there are thousands of children right here in America waiting for a good and loving home. If you do not want to go the foster care route and are on a limited budget, international adoptions may be the right way for you. Love does not have a color, race, or creed. It just is. Lysa has already served as an example for you to follow. Start by listening for "the call." Answer it unwaveringly and with your whole heart. You can make a difference and change the world!

The movement that sparked a community in North Carolina to open up their hearts and homes began with ONE VOICE. That voice was Lysa Terkeurst who had the courage to heed "the call" and in doing so made a gigantic difference in the lives of hundreds of orphans throughout Liberia. Many other lives, perhaps thousands were also impacted as several organizations took over the mantel and set up procedures for American families to adopt children from war torn Liberia. Lysa's story is special and teaches us all that we too can spark a movement to help our brothers and sisters who are in need. Love is such a simple but immensely rewarding thing to give and.....it's FREE! It's already within us, spilling over and waiting for us to use and share it.<a

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, since I'm adopted obviously I'm going to agree with this article, but even if I hadn't been adopted, it is a worthy cause and I fully support it. Making a difference for sure....what greater gift can we give a child?

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

      You are my first feature for my June project.

      Random Act of Kindness. This is a great article with much detail in H.O.W we can make a difference. Check it out on my LindkedIn. tweeted, shared and of course, Up +++.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      Thank you for sharing this fine work. My wife and I have adopted two children and were blessed over the years for this.whonu

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      billybuc,

      You are a poster child for adoption. Your parents answered "the call" and then there was you! You have contributed much to the world as you dedicated your life to the teaching of America's children. They too have or will go on to make this world a better place. You are also making a difference in the lives of those who read your articles, including your fellow hubbers. Thank You

      Jo Goldsmith,

      I am thrilled that you are sharing my article! When we read or hear about the generous hearts and kindness in the world it makes us want to be better individuals and to mimic such behaviors. Thank you so much for sharing my article. You are very kind.

      whonunuwho,

      Thanks to you and your wife for loving and caring for two children whose lives may have taken a different turn had it not been for your act of kindness and love. You are a testament that when we give of ourselves to others, we will be blessed ten fold. Thanks for sharing.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a beautiful sentiment--adoption can change a person's life for the good and we have the power in our hands to do it. I have a friend who adopted a little girl and a boy from Honduras. She is so happy with her beautiful family. As you mention, not only those with 6 figure salaries and squeaky clean histories can adopt. Thank you!

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      Thanks very much for your comments. Happy to meet you! Adopted children have touched so many of our lives in a special way. I can't wait to meet my granddaughter or grandson. I plan to get the adoption ball rolling real soon.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 3 years ago from Philippine

      Personally, I don't see any difference between adopted and the real, one, because, as long as you love them they are all the same. Great work my friend. By the way, my aunt has adopted her daughter because she can't have one so such blessing from God, wish all others can find a nice home that will help and love them.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      You are absolutely correct Paolo. These children need to be loved and cared for. Adoptive parents are looking for someone to fill that void in their lives and someone to love who will reciprocate. There are many families that would love to be parents but for reasons of their own have not considered adoption or do not believe that they would be eligible to adopt.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      I have been considering this for a time, barring cultural and financial constraints. It truly is a gift of the heart to be able to do this. Thanks for sharing, Lady Deonne.

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi ladydeonne! I feel this is the best human aspect of a living creature to treat every alike, to feel the pain if anyone amongst us is not fed, to care for someone who is left all alone to fed for himself, to construct shelter for a homeless.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      ladydeonne - thank you for this piece. It is beautiful! I was a foster child for a few years in my mid teens. Since then, I have wanted to foster children or have a group home for girls in need. Because I had three girls of my own, and one with major deficits such as autism and encephalopathy, I have had to put that dream on hold. My youngest graduates this year, and I have been researching more about foster care and adoption... especially since my county has been advertising this more with not enough homes for all the children in need. I look forward to reading more of your hubs, and I'm grateful to know such a compassionate person - you!

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      midget38, pinto2011, Abby Campbell,

      Thanks for all of your comments. Midget, listen to your heart and don't over think your decision. My daughter is going through foster care which entails having a foster child who is eligible for adoption live in your home for say a year or two, and then completing the adoption process.

      Pinto2011, I agree that we humans are at our best when we reach out and touch the lives of those who are hurting around us. The best medicine for all illness is to get outside of ourselves and be of service to someone else. Thanks for visiting my hub and glad to met you.

      Abby,

      I trust that your life is great right now and that ou will be able to eventually follow your dream. Taking care of foster kids can be very rewarding. I had an aunt who took in (6) foster boys . She and my uncle raised them from the time they were babies until they graduated high school. She and my uncle adopted all (6) boys just a week before my uncle died as he said they brought so much joy to him.

      I'm grateful for all three of you. It warms my heart to be able to dialogue with young ladies who are progressive and following their passion of writing.

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Great hub!

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 3 years ago from Morocco

      Very amazing story.God bless your daughter!She has a beautiful heart.

      Yeah,there are many kids all over the world who are in stark need of protection and affection and very true love has nothing to do with race or color.Love is love !!

      And anyone who ever wondered how much they could love a child who did not spring from their own loins, know this: it is the same. The feeling of love is so profound, it's incredible and surprising.

    • kellieshell82 profile image

      Kellie Moses 3 years ago from Arkansas

      I loved this hub! Reading about the choir boys brought tears to my eyes. I hope this hub encourages more people to make a difference in their own lives as well as a child. Who knows maybe someday I can adopt. I voted this hub useful, interesting, awesome, and beautiful.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      James-wolve,

      Forgive me for just now responding to your heart felt comments posted 3 wks ago. I am not receiving information on when I receive postings. Either that or I'm in the midst of an ADHD episode or having a longggggggg Senior moment. LOL

      My daughter is in the beginning stage of adoption. We are both excited and looking forward to all phases of the event. We have decided to adopt (2) children, siblings of any sex, or an unrelated boy and a girl. I am filled to the brim with joy!

      kellieshll82,

      Thanks for reading my hub. Love is such a wonderful gift to give and share with others. I can't wait to meet and love my grandchildren!

      I believe that adoption is a wonderful alternative if you are unable to conceive or if you are single and plan to remain so. If married, that's even better because that's one more individual to love and care for your child. Going the foster car adoption route is easy and much less expensive than going through a private agency. Thanks for reading my hub and commenting.

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 3 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Ladydeonne!

      I so enjoyed this hub and as a resident of North Carolina I join in saying thank you to Lysa and her family and community. Their actions and your story about them provide hope and inspiration to so many and ultimately make this a better planet on which to live.

      Thank You,

      Bruce

    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 3 years ago

      Voted up! Useful!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Wonderful story. In my community, several families have adopted children from Haiti over the last several years. It has been inspiring to watch these children. Adoption is a wonderful way to create family. :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very inspiring story of Lysa and it is heartening to note it has served a very useful example in opening up adoptions for a number of children. Adopting these children can give them a loving family and a better future and in turn give those adopting a sense of satisfaction and love which they otherwise would find missing in their life.

      Great hub.

      Voted up and useful.

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