In 2008, out of 17,229 children adopted internationally, 3,181 were five years of age or older. It is estimated that there are over 100 million orphans in the world. I can’t find statistics on age breakdowns for adoptable orphans so I don’t know what percentage of that total are older children. But, if we consider the numbers of young children adopted versus older children, you easily come to the conclusion that there is a great need for families willing to adopt a child over the age of five.
We adopted our girls in 2008 – the year these statistics are from. According to the official list there were 63 children adopted from India that year over the age of five. Our girls are two of those. There were 306 total children adopted from India to the U.S. that year.
There are 120,000 children in the U.S. foster care system who are waiting children – meaning that they are available for adoption. These children need a stable and loving home to call their own. Many of these children are older.
In the United States, children in foster care will be taken care of until they are eighteen. In most foreign countries, children are not eligible for adoption after they turn 14. I am not sure of the fate of children in all these countries when they are not adopted, but think about it.
I watched this video and it was so convicting! It made me think about all those older kids out there that just need someone to claim them as their own and believe in them. Is that easy? Probably not. Is it worth it? Absolutely!
The other group of kids that are languishing in orphanages are children with special needs. Many of these kids can be helped greatly by having a loving family and by having access to the medical care we can offer in the U.S.
I happened to be looking at the list of waiting children on Rainbow Kids website. There was a thirteen year old boy in an orphanage in Asia who, in his description, it says he has watched all the other older boys get adopted, but he is still there – waiting and hoping. He will age out in May of 2010 and will lose his chance to have a family. I cried when I read his thoughts on having a family. Doesn’t this boy deserve to be loved? Doesn’t he deserve hope and a future? I am praying that someone will give it to him.
I am not really sure of the demographic of who comes and reads my blog. Are you thinking about adopting, but aren’t sure? Are you just interested in it? Think about it. Pray about it. Ask God to show you what He wants you to do. Because reaching out to the poor and needy – that isn’t a choice, it is a command. Maybe God is calling you to be the agent for hope in a child’s life. Maybe God is waiting for you to answer His call and ready to shower you with His blessings for obedience.
I find in my life as a mom that I get back double what I give out in love and blessing. God is just like that!