By Regina Ruopoli
Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Month. It is a time to celebrate adoption and build awareness for the children still waiting for families — all 146 million of them.
American families have opened their hearts and homes to hundreds of thousands of children from the US and dozens of other countries. They have given children the opportunity to thrive, and they have enriched their families by the love of their new children. National Adoption Month joins with groups across the nation to recognize these special families, and the belief that every boy and girl deserves a permanent home and loving family.
Activities and observances spotlight the needs of children who need permanent families. It also includes National Adoption Day, November 19, which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.
Adoption is not for everyone, but we can all honor its importance and the journeys of those involved, as well as support advocacy efforts.
Ritual: Honor National Adoption Month
Whether or not you’ve been touched directly by adoption, you can honor this important observance with one of the following ideas:
Create a tapestry, mosaic, or other work of art that symbolizes the woven threads of adoptive families. Use three colors to represent the adoption triad: the birthparents, the adoptive parents, and the child. Meditate on each of their individual experiences as you work with each color. As you think of birthmothers and birthfathers, imagine their primal heartache as they struggled with this difficult decision, or perhaps the decision that was made for them. As you think of the children, envision those who fall into the depths of sadness, confusion, fear, and trauma as they wait. As you think of the adoptive parents, imagine them trudging through mountains of red tape and years of waiting as they yearned to hold the child of their dreams. As you complete your art piece, feel the soaring sense of joy and love as children are united with their forever families.
Honor adoptive families on National Adoption Day, November 19 [find the Facebook page here], when thousands of adoptions across the country will be finalized. It’s an open event, so you can show your support by attending a local finalization and share in the joy of watching families being formed. Contact your local courthouse or adoption agency for details.
If you are moved to do so, support an orphan-related charity with your time, resources, or talents. There are many reputable organizations doing wonderful work. Or, offer your support to a family who is trying to adopt. You just might even find yourself considering opening your own arms and home to a child who needs you.
Recognizing National Adoption Month and awakening the depths of your compassion for this cause may not just make a difference for children in need, but it can make your own life richer and more rewarding as well.
About the author: Regina Ruopoli is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and the founder of HeartSpeak Ceremonies. She creates and officiates at ceremonies such as funerals, baby welcomings, adoption ceremonies, weddings and commitment ceremonies. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, and their son, whom they joyfully adopted in 2008. She is thrilled to apply her experience and talents to help her clients honor their life’s passages without boundaries, and to offer new traditions in meaningful ceremonies. Regina can be reached at [email protected]; to learn more, visit heartspeakceremonies.com.