world adoption poster.JPG

As the day comes to a close I hope to remind you all that today is #WorldAdoptionDay. If you’ve never heard of this special day it is a real shame, so keep reading!

November is National Adoption Month, which is a wonderful time to share stories about adoption from birth mothers, adoptive parents, caseworkers, and even the adopted child themselves. How funny is it that there is a #WorldIceCream day, #WorldChocolateDay, and even a #WorldBreastfeedingWeek but no day had been set aside to recognize that every child deserves a family.

Fortunately, the World Adoption Day founder realized the need to recognize every family and the impact adoption can create. His story and purpose are quite amazing and was shared on the World Adoption Day Facebook page so I would like to share it with you here:

“50 years ago an artist named Harvey Bell created the smiley face.

In an effort to raise morale, he wanted to help people feel happy every day.

88 years ago my grandfather was adopted.

No one told him.

The story of adoption was a secret. His adoptive parents never told him he was adopted and he never told them he knew.

Adoption, at its core begins with tragedy.

It starts with a death or a circumstance that prevents a mother caring for her child.

For too long, this story is all that has been told of adoption.

Loss, tragedy, and pain are real and present characters in the story of adoption that often never go away.

But there is another side to that story.

(This is where the smile comes in).

Although tragedy touched all of my brothers ad sisters lives (I have 8 adopted siblings and you can hear the story here: https://vimeo.com/32829152), it was their adoption that redeemed that pain. It was their adoption that brought them into our family.

It was adoption that created our home.

So the smile is an opportunity, for one day, to celebrate.

That amidst all the imperfection and chaos that exists in EVERY family…

We celebrate.

We raise the morale of the conversation.

And say, no matter what is behind us, or what brought us together…

We are family.

Here’s to all the imperfect people you love.

Here’s to all the imperfect holidays and dinners and family moments.

Here’s to your family.

Here’s to #WorldAdoptionDay” –Hank Fortener

You can join the community by drawing a smile on your hand and taking a selfie each year on November 9th! No matter how many followers you have someone will become aware of this day and your voice for those who become a family through adoption with this simple act.

Be on the lookout for our next blog regarding those who may not have a home for the holidays, but until then here are some wonderful resources to help EVERY child find a family:

  • Start donating toward families who need financial help in their adoption at www.adopttogether.org

  • Become an ambassador and a voice for celebrating every family that has come together because of adoption. Post on Facebook, snap a selfie, plan a party, donate, volunteer- its up to you!

  • Help foster families support the children in their homes! The next step is adoption, but we should never forget to appreciate those who have aided in the process. Local organizations such as Austin Angels or national organizations such as Together We Rise are a great place to start.

Here’s to a future where everyone has a home and a family to call their own.

World Adoption Day Selfie .JPG