There are children available for adoption. They probably aren’t where you’re looking, unless you happen to be looking behind magic doors. I spend a lot of time in the online adoption community and I hear lots of things that aren’t quite true, but that are accepted as indisputable doctrine: “Abortion has made so few children available for adoption. Adoption is expensive. If you are trying to adopt, you are only creating a market for kidnapping and human trafficking.” Adoption, without qualifying descriptive language attached to the same word, does not relate to those fallacies. There are children available for adoption. These children want and need their own homes and families. They just need someone to use the magic door.
The magic door that we used for five of our adoptions flung open in the confusion that resulted from the crumbling of the iron curtain, which had been rusting away from the inside out. We made multiple passages, both ways through that door, about two thirds of the way into the duration of its availability. Even at that time, we could hear the creaks and groans; even witness sudden downward movements, loud clanks and abrupt jolts as the door shuttered above us, threatening to shut us out and our children in before we could bring them home.
No one involved in adoptions from Russia at that time believed that the door could remain open forever. Of course we hoped it would. Magic doors are… well… they’re magic. There were hundreds of thousands of children whose parents and extended families had left; and they weren’t coming back. These children needed homes. We needed them. Of course it was the fabled lure of healthy Caucasian babies that led most of us there. Some parents, enough to keep the fable alive, returned home with those healthy babies who looked much like themselves. Most of us found something that was different than what we were seeking, though for our families, more beautiful.
There were toddlers and school aged children available for adoption. Yes, even teens waited for magic parents from far-away places to come through magic doors and take them home. Almost every one of them knew someone who had been adopted. Still, odds said it wouldn’t happen for them. Some of those children had physical ailments which would have been corrected in other countries. Others had developed psychological conditions brought on by abuse and neglect in first homes, made worse by years of institutionalization. Whether physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally, many of them were sick. But they were children who needed homes and families. Dear God… they were children! Who wouldn’t help a sick child?
These were the children available for adoption and they were supposed to be in our families.
There were lots of adoptive parents who entered Russia to adopt children with Special Needs. They knew that they would be signing up for a lifetime of special care when they did it. But there were even more who were like I was. We didn’t realize what we were signing up for until we saw it close up, or often, after the adoptions were completed. Even so, when we saw that these children—our children—needed help, we rolled up our sleeves, we got in, and we got dirty while dragging them out of the mud. These were the children available for adoption and they were supposed to be in our families. They were supposed to be in our homes.
It was hard. John Adams, one of the founding fathers of the United States said: “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”
And so it has been with my biological children, my wife and me, as we have brought children from traumatic places and lives into our home and family. We have studied and learned hard things so that these children can study and learn practical things. Perhaps their children will have the opportunity to step even closer to studies that could be considered more frivolous. I hope that there will be many more parents like John Adams, who will choose to do hard things so that their children, and children’s children, may have choices, freedom happy lives, and productive homes and families.
In most cases, babies are not the ones who need you. But there are children available for adoption who do.
After our adoptions from Russia were completed, I realized that there were magic doors to happy families everywhere. It’s just that most are not framed with the illusion of “healthy Caucasian babies.” In most cases, babies are not the ones who need you. But there are children available for adoption who do. I hope that (unlike me) you don’t need an illusion to get you through the magic doors where you will find children available for adoption. I hope that like John Adams, you choose to be there on your own. Adoption doesn’t need to be expensive. The Dave Thomas Foundation can point you in the right direction if you are willing to give your family to someone who really needs it. Don’t be like I was and wait until you find yourself in a position where you stumble into someone who needs your help. Find a magic door and be there with intent.
Four of my daughters are biological sisters who lived in four different orphanages. They rejoined each other as they joined our family. The oldest two were forever holding hands as they got back together. Over the past weekend, I spend some time alone with them at several amusement parks in California. As they joined hands again, to walk through the parks, I remembered their hands rejoined, in Russia, for the first time in over seven years. I saw in my mind, my daughters, walking from one world, through a magic passage, into a world where they were loved and needed.
The magic door to children available for adoption was not Russia. The magic door was older child and sibling adoption. Sure. We missed out on some things when these children didn’t join our family as infants, but it just doesn’t matter. They are my children and I love them as much as the ones I met in a delivery room. While I missed out on a few short years, we have the rest of our lives to make up for it. Some of those children will eventually place infants into my arms, infants who will grow to call me Papa, just like their parents did as older children; children available for adoption.
Find that magic door for your family. It may be in your own state. It may be far away. But there are children who are without families, without their own homes, who need parents to find the magic passage and lead them to it. Those older children available for adoption, more than anything else in the world, need you.
Your comments matter. Please scroll down and share your thoughts!
Read more blogs articles by John M. Simmons on Adoption
Return to John M. Simmons’ Blog
Ensure you don’t miss anything by signing up for Our Weekly Newsletter. This is all you need to be qualified for occasional giveaways like the Kindle Fire that Kristy Goulart won in July!