Chances are that most of us have felt “too old” for something at some point in time. We’re too old to act a certain way, watch a certain TV show, wear a miniskirt….the list goes on and on about what we’re “too old” to be, to want or to do.
When, though, do we become “too old” for family? Some of you are busy thinking about what a ridiculous question that is…too old for family??? That is a strange concept. Whether you get along with your family or not, there are things family can provide that we simply can’t get anywhere else. Family provides history…the story of who you are and how you got to wherever it is you are! Family provides a safety net…people who will be there for you, through thick and thin, even if they’re the ones that you drive the most crazy! (or vice versa) Family provides a sense of identity and belonging…more so than any other group that we belong to.
In the world of adoption, though, many children already feel (or some would argue that they know) that it doesn’t take long to be “too old” to hope for a family of their own. Open Arms Adoptions works in the state of Ohio. Here in Ohio, there are over 4000 children every single day who need a family to call their own. Throughout the United States, the numbers of children hoping every night for a mom or a dad to claim them as their own is a staggering 104,000! The number bears repeating because it’s almost unfathomable. We claim to be among the most wealthy, charitable and enlightened countries in the world. Yet, in our own backyards 104,000 children go to bed every night hopeless about their chances of getting a family of their own. Heartbreaking…and almost unbelievable.
Many of these children are school aged, many part of sibling groups and LOTS who are preteens or teenagers. Clearly they’re “too old” to be adopted….right? Everyone needs a sense of belonging, no matter how old. Children who have the benefit of adoption are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to enroll in higher education and, in general, have a higher level of emotional health.
Family….the good, the bad and the ugly….is something most of us take for granted. We know that there’s somewhere to go for Thanksgiving, someone who will always remember our birthday, someone to call when we need advice about a job, a relationship or about parenting. Being a part of a family is a RIGHT that all children have…not a privilege.
You’re never too old…..
Not for family.