1) Friday picture post

Autumn Leaves – by Paul Marsh


A Muslim pilgrim prays atop Mount Al-Noor during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca

In the cholera epidemic sweeping Haiti more than 1,000 have died, but Emmanuel Tima’s small son has been saved. However the future is still uncertain.

2) November is National Adoption Month

Mirette Franklin (l.) and Elsabet Franklin (c.) both biological sisters adopted in Ethiopia, hold flags as they listen to the singing of the national anthem during the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Adoption Day ceremony in New York. In recognition of November as National Adoption Month, USCIS naturalized 17 adopted children from six countries so that they may celebrate their first Thanksgiving with their families as American citizens.

The best adoption resource I found is the Encyclopedia Adoption site, http://tinyurl.com/2an49dx

From an article in the SF Gate with adoption statistics as of October 2009:

There are 423,773 children in the U.S. foster care system; 114,556 of these children are available for adoption. Their birth parent’s legal rights have been permanently terminated and children are left without a family.

More children become available for adoption each year than are adopted. In 2009, 69,947 children had parental rights terminated by the courts, yet only 57,466 were adopted.

Children often wait three years or more to be adopted, move three or more times in foster care and often are separated from siblings. The average age of waiting children is 8 years old.

Last year, 29,471 children turned 18 and left the foster care system without an adoptive family.

Adopting from foster care is affordable. Most child welfare agencies cover the costs of home studies and court fees, and provide post-adoption subsidies. Thousands of employers offer financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt and Federal and/or state adoption tax credits are available to most families.

Every child is adoptable. Many children in foster care have special needs. All of them deserve the chance to grow up in a safe, loving, permanent home. Support and other post-adoption resources are available.

Adopting from foster care is permanent. Once a child is adopted out of foster care, the birth parents cannot attempt to claim them or fight in court for their return. A family formed through foster care adoption is forever.

According to a National Adoption Attitudes Survey commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 63 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of adoption and 78 percent think more should be done to encourage adoption.

Nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the National Adoption Attitudes Survey. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family.

When Love Takes You In – Steven Curtis Chapman