I've realized that I touch a lot of families that have adopted children or are planning to adopt in the near future. All of these adoptions have occured with international agencies and I'm fascinated and intrigued at the process and labor of love they endure to adopt a child. Of the families I come in contact with, the countries they have adopted from, or will adopt from, are Russia, China, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Venezuala.
Recently one of my bosses just returned from a trip to China to adopt his second little girl from there - Sarah. The stories he shared were amazing. Little "Mei Mei" (her Chinese name) was left at the orphanage gate at 5 months old. In this orphanage, they begin to potty train the children soon after they can sit on a toilet. They proceed to tie them to the toilet so they know what it's for. At the age of two they begin to teach them to do laundry. If adoption doesn't occur, the life of these little ones get worse. Little Sarah was quick to cling to her Daddy because the male orphanage directors are the ones who play with them and the female "nannies" are the ones that tie them to the toilets. Needless to say, learning to love her Mommy is a bit of a challenge.
Sadly, the laws in the United States make it nearly impossible for an American to adopt children from this country. Every state has different laws, some of which give a biological mother up to a year to change her mind. And, now, even some of the international adoptions are being threatened. Some Russian adoptees have been violently abused by their American parents - enough to cause Russia to want to put a stop to it. The saddest part is that the adoption rate in Russia is so poor that their only hope is to be adopted internationally. If they aren't adopted, statistics show they grow up and enter Russia military, engage in prostitution or commit suicide.
I never thought a lot about adoption until I began to hear the stories and learn the process from others who have. I can't imagine anything sweeter than adopting a child who has no hope and been abandoned and loving them as my own. Big Kudos to couples who spend the time and money to give love and life to an otherwise hopeless child.