Everyone Responds to Crisis Differently
Over the last week, Americans have witnessed the devastation of one of the world’s worst natural disasters in history. The aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti has affected Americans of all walks of life. Each American is responding in their own way. There are some that are indifferent; but many have sent money; some send supplies; others gave of their time and many offered prayers. These are all personal decisions, as they should be. While these responses are typical after a crisis, there are some Americans who wanted to make a longer-term commitment to Haiti. These Americans are seeking to adopt a Haitian child from one of it’s many orphanages.
Since the earthquake, adoption requests for Haitian kids have nearly doubled, according to Bethany Christian Services. Bethany is the largest adoption agency in the country and places nearly 2,000 children a year. Many requests were made several months ago if not years ago. Those Americans had already made the commitment to adopting these wonderful children. Prior to the earthquake, Haiti had nearly 400,000 orphans. This number grows daily as the results of the devastation become more clear.
Seeing the Pain
It’s understandable why so many Americans want to adopt these children. The scenes of children in pain, destitute, hungry and alone is difficult to watch. Also, the Haitian children are beautiful. Even in the most dire situations, you still notice their full dark hair and skin, bright white smiles and large brown eyes. The girls typically have traditional braided hair while boys keep their hair cut very short.
Making the Commitment
It’s important that the decision to adopt is not purely an emotional one or impulsive reaction. Adopting a child is a life-long commitment. One must be prepared to accept the lifetime commitment to the well-fare, support, health, education and development of a young life. Also, if the child is of a different ethnic background, one must consider a level of commitment to the child’s culture and identity. Its important that people take a step back from the emotions and make adoption decisions based on deliberation, thought and facts. This is not about discouraging adoption. For adoption can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling life choices you will ever make. Just make sure your making it for the right reasons. These beautiful kids deserve nothing less.
Here are 10 questions to consider before adopting:
1. Why do you want to adopt?
2. Are you ready to make a long-term commitment?
3. Do you know what kind of child (male/ female) is right for you?
4. Can you afford to care for your child’s health and safety?
5. Will you be able to spend quality time together?
6. Are you prepared to deal with any health challenges?
7. Are you willing to invest into your child’s education?
8. Are you prepared to childproof your home?
9. Is your living space adequate for a child?
10. Is your family ready for a new member?
For more info: Check out one of these great resources to find out more information on adoption.
- National Council for Adoption
- Joint Council on International Children’s Services
- Archdiocese of Miami
- U.S. Department of State