Western society was shocked in the mid 1990s when we heard that there were 132 million orphans in the world.
As good hearted people took this number at face value, many rushed out to give homes and families to the vast number of children who needed them. Then we were informed that we were doing wrong by taking these children away from their homes and families. What? Families? We thought they were orphans! The response to our surprise was that the definition of orphan had been changed in order to elicit money from people to help feed and support the vast number of children affected by the aids epidemic, most of whom still had one parent alive, or who lived with extended families. Oh, yes. And their communities. “Orphans” were used as “poster children” to get money for industries which would pass on to communities what they didn’t need to maintain their obese machines.
I guess we were naïve when it came to orphans.
We didn’t know that “double orphan” was the new term that industry had coined to describe a child with two deceased parents. We didn’t know that even many of those orphans had homes and extended family that cared for them. The bottom line was that those who were changing definitions wanted our money, not our help.
Ah, yes… money. Save the orphans!
While many adoption agencies (and charities that feed and educate children) had their hearts in the right place, and did everything they could to help needy children, a monster grew out of the mire and a production industry clamored for money that we could give them for the privilege of giving “orphans” homes.
The monetary battle over orphans intensified.
The industry screeching for us to give them money to feed “orphans” (oh yeah, and communities) cried foul and pointed fingers at the industry who solicited our money to adopt “orphans,” because that wasn’t the kind of “orphan” they were talking about. The industry that sold children pointed fingers at the other industry and accused it of manipulating people with games in semantics.
Society has grown tired of watching the pot and the kettle point fingers.
Adoption numbers have plummeted, at least in part, because good people don’t know what to believe. We heard that there were 132 million orphans and because someone changed a definition without us knowing it, our belief was wrong. There were not 132 million orphans as defined by what nearly everyone thought an orphan was. Then it became evident that many orphans (in every sense of the word); “orphans” as most people understood the definition all along, were already being cared for and receiving parenting by extended families. It appeared that there were not really so many children who needed homes.
If there was not a crisis about children needing homes, why feed fat and ravenous industries?
And THAT is the problem. While greedy industries have been changing definitions and playing games of semantics, needy children have been left out of the picture because the term “orphan” garners so much more money.
Mr. Pot and Mr. Kettle, I hate you both.
I hate you for your manipulation tactics. I hate you for shattering families. I hate you for spewing lies about community and nationality being more important than children having their own homes and families. I hate you for convincing mothers that they are not capable of caring for their babies. I hate you for stealing children. I hate you for breaking hearts. I hate you for feeding “communities” (yourselves and others) with money we sent to help “orphans.” I hate you for saving children from death while refusing to give them a chance at life. I hate you both for being wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Most of all, I hate you for stealing our words.
You have prostituted them out until they have no value. Words we were using to call attention to very real problems, with very real children, are no longer effective because you have abused them to the point of uselessness.
While you were manipulating, I saw the truth.
I walked orphanages buildings filled with orphans children from school ages on up. Most of them have at least one parent person that contributed genetic matter to create them, who is still alive. I see so many other young people in countries where orphanages buildings full of children who don’t have their own active parents, are out of vogue. These children of “systems” are left without the greatest resource that any human being has to draw on. They are without families. They are without their own homes.
The most important resource is not an industry.
It is one of the smallest units that can be created. But a family unit—that is our own—that we can turn to for love and support, no matter how many birthdays we have had, is the greatest resource we could ever possess. It is far more important than money for industries. It is more vital than communities. I believe that it is a basic human right; though it is a right that will go unfulfilled for many.
It is a fact that many children will never have their own families.
But I want to change that for as many of them as I can. I don’t know how many of them there are. I wouldn’t believe a number if I heard it from any industry big enough to gather the data to give me a misleading statistic.
I don’t know what label to use.
There are so many ill-defined children who don’t have their own active families and who need new ones. All of the good labels have been exhausted. I refuse to try to create a complicated sentence in an effort to make a definition that can’t be twisted and misunderstood. And since I can think of no other word to label these children, all I can do is call them my friends.
I hope that if you are reading my weakened and battered words, you feel as frustrated as I do.
If you are confused about what to do without causing more harm than good, the answer is surprisingly simple. Help my friends. Find a child who doesn’t have the support of their own home and family. Then make war on anything that stands in your way as you use any resource at your disposal to change that sad and horrifying fact.
When I first posted this blog, I sent it out on Social Media. I also “boosted” the post (on Facebook) for a very small fee to ensure that the post did not suffer “infant mortality” in going out to people’s news feeds. I received notification that my “ad” had been disapproved because the post claimed false, misleading or unlikely information. I went back to the blog post and without changing a word, inserted the two links. Then I appealed Facebook’s decision and asked them to review the links that I had included and to please reconsider their decision. Two days later, I was informed that the ad had been approved. The tactics used by the industries that I am so frustrated with were so outrageous, it appears that even Facebook couldn’t believe it until it was verified. People who can give children homes need to know the truth; that there really are children, particularly older children and sibling groups, who need new homes, not just money, filtered and depleted through massive industries. Please help me to help children (actual orphans or not), who really do need homes. Please recommend and share this post. Thank you.
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