Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it
— Fleur Conkling Heylinger
Some of the most cherished experiences of our life, the happiest times, are those which we spend with our family. Right from the time of our birth, we are surrounded by our family – our father, mother, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, grandparents… the list just goes on. And they raise us, nurturing us with lots of love and care. Home is the only place where we feel accepted, wanted, loved and cherished, in spite of all our faults and shortcomings.
This is a rare luxury not every child is blessed enough to enjoy. Sometimes, an accident of fate may snatch away both their parents, leaving the child an orphan; sometimes, some other family crisis may force a single parent to give his or her child up. Many times, a single mother might be forced to give up her child soon after birth, while at times, poverty may induce parents to give their child away for adoption, hoping to give their child a better life.
Whatever the reason, there are children in orphanages all over the world. In poorer countries, there are young children forced to work to earn their bread, most times, even to beg. If we were to imagine ourselves with no roof above our head, without a family to provide for us and fall back on, having to work, steal or beg even to earn barely enough to keep ourselves alive, we might be able to appreciate what we have been bestowed with.
Understanding this fact, isn’t it our responsibility to do something for such children? Obviously, it is not possible for everyone to sponsor or adopt many children, in the way that many celebrities do. But both, couples and single men and women, can do their little bit by providing one child with a family? It would be our way to give something back to society for all that it has bestowed us with.
Imagine bringing home a child, showering her with love and care, making her feel included, a part of the family, letting her know that she is loved and wanted. And when she returns your love and care with equal enthusiasm, what more could anyone want? An adopted child isn’t going to treat her parents any different.
If we adopt a baby, we can experience parenthood right from the beginning, learning everything that comes with being first time parents. Everything proceeds the same way, minus having given birth to that child. If we adopt a child a little older, we can experience bonding with a little stranger who has suddenly become a part of our family. It might take a little time getting used to, but we’d grow to love and trust each other very soon. If we bring home a kid in his early teens, it would be like bonding with a friend, where it would be up to our love to convince them that they are a part of the family and not simply a burden. If we adopt a kid in late teens, then its more like bonding with a new friend. It might not be one of those ‘deeply loved’ and ‘closely bonded’ family – which is usually the case when we adopt a younger child – but it would still be nice to have someone to call family and depend upon.
Adopted children are the answer to fill the gap in the life of a childless couple or individual. Growing with a family, they can be the perfect siblings to their adoptive parents’ biological children. They are bundles of joy, nature’s gifts to those people who cannot have a child of their own, because they let such people experience all the joys of motherhood and fatherhood.
No one really wants to imagine those worse fates that await orphans, no one really likes to admit that but for fate’s kindness, they could have ended up the same way – without a family to provide for and care. If we are rewarded with fate’s kindness, isn’t it also fair that we do our best to help at least one child live a better and happier life? Isn’t it our responsibility to spread some of that love we ourselves have received from our families?
What could be more satisfying in life than knowing that you brought a child home and that child grew into a wonderful person, full of happy and cheerful memories made with you, and who loves you as much as you love him?
Is there anything that could be more satisfying than knowing that though you didn’t give birth to that child, you still gave him life?