The month of November is winding down, the holiday week of Thanksgiving fizzles out at the tail. It’s the best of times of some and the worst for others. For some, two seasons burst forth a spring of new beginnings with new life and the winter of souls, with loved ones missing at the dinner table.
It’s not truly winter, according to the calendar, but the ground is frozen, frost sparkles on the freshly raked grass and the leaves lie in piles at the edge of the wood or smolder in fire pits, smoke rising in a vapor. We often think of this season as the end of the harvest, a time to gather with family and be thankful. It’s fitting that National Adoption shares this month. There is a great deal to be thankful when it comes to adoption, but like this season, it come with a death of sorts, a loss. There is a sting in death, just as we lose a loved one, a child eligible to fostering or adoption has lost something, a parent, a sister, a brother, acceptance. We long to reach through eternity and grasp the flesh and blood hand of the one who has gone before us, just once more and so do they.
I close the computer while ‘friends’ on social media duke it out over politics, race and religion.
The social orphan knows this fight. The red-faced anger. He has heard it while he hides in his bedroom closet or he is locked away in a cellar. His parents, ruled by fleshly passions cannot or will not parent with love and consistency. They abuse or worse, neglect which says to the child, “you do not exist.”
Blue lights in the dead of night. A social worker. A garbage bag filled with the sum total of his life, the old familiar disappearing in the rear view mirror. A new, strange live begins in a foster home, orphanage or institution.
Survival is the name of the game. The child becomes stuck in the first of Glasser’s five needs, survival. He circles through the broken cycle of attachment and it falls short.
Loss. It is his life. He waits, maybe not for a family. He doesn’t have a strong supposition to support the word family. His loss is real. He still longs for the love, the hug, the flesh and blood touch, the approval, acceptance of those who bore him, yet, it doesn’t come.
He is shuffled from home to home or stays in an orphanage until he ages out.
He is there today, waiting. He has a banner on social media, advertising his need. National Adoption Month. Stories in a feed. And yet… he is real.
In this season of thankfulness or loss and longing or both, shut down the social media arguments. People are hurting, longing for safety, for home.
You can be that safe place. You can be home. That’s what National Adoption Month is about-giving orphans homes.