Monday, August 20, 2012

A Day for Wednesday's Child: Children Available for Adoption

The Boy and The Girl meeting Mr. D for the first time. 
Before Mr. D joined our family, I felt like a crazy, obsessed, hopeful adoptive mom. While looking at various adoption agencies, I was searching all of the online galleries of America's waiting children and all of the available adoption situations online. The Gent and I had felt, for over a year, that our next adoption wasn't going to be an infant adoption. While we didn't know at the time how it going to happen, we considered foster care, started our paperwork and met with the social worker from DCFS. Little did we know that Mr. D's adoption was right around the corner through another avenue.

Mr. D joined our family in May of 2011 when he was 17 months old. We are forever grateful for his birth mom for choosing adoption for him rather than allowing him to go into the foster care system. While we are so blessed to have him in our home, there are so many children in the foster care system who do not have a place to call home.

Since I am a numbers girl, here are a few statistics for you from the Utah Adoption Exchange:
  • 53% of children adopted from foster care are adopted by their foster parents.
  • The average age of a child adopted from foster care in Utah is age 5.1.
  • The average age of a waiting child is 8.4.
  • Once a waiting child reaches the age of 9 the likelihood of them being adopted drops dramatically.
  • 11% of waiting children leave the system at age 18 each year without ever finding a family.
  • The Adoption Exchange has placed nearly 7,000 children since opening in 1983.
  • Boys wait on average longer than girls.
  • There are over 104,000 children waiting in foster care nationally to be adopted.
Some of these statistics are shocking really and it always breaks my heart to see the children in the Heart Galleries and think that some of them may never have a family or a place to call home. If it was feasible for me to adopt them all I would. 
KSL is holding a telethon coming up this Wednesday, August 22, 2012 called "A Day for Wednesday's Child." This special event is to raise money and awareness for the Adoption Exchange and directly benefits those in foster care. It is my hope that it will also help in finding families for some of the waiting children in Utah. 

I hope that you will help me spread the word, take some time out of your day to watch the telethon on KSL, donate if you can and learn more about the Adoption Exchange and those children waiting.

There will also be special features throughout the telethon Wednesday on KSL's Facebook page and I will be tweeting throughout the day about adoption and the telethon along with KSL and the Adoption Exchange and others in the adoption community so be sure to follow @KSL5TV or tweet with us and feel free to ask questions. #KSLadopt.