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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Circling Orphans With Love 2015: Join the Campaign!

        Did you know that over 20,000 U.S. kids age out of foster care every year without ever being able to return home or get adopted. That's 20,000 kids, every year.

        "Tragic. But what can you do about it?" you ask.

          You can't adopt a 16 year old. You don't have room for a sibling set of 4. Adoption is just not something you've ever felt prepared to do.
         That's true! But . . . you have 200 friends on Facebook, 50 followers on Pinterest, maybe another 100 on Twitter or Instagram. Maybe one of your friends is in a different situation. Maybe one of your friends would adopt if they only knew about the kids.
         Let's circle orphans through social media. Me + you + your friends + their friends = no more orphans. Join my "Circling Orphans 2015" campaign.

         Every state in the U.S. has a heart gallery. These heart galleries are a place where pictures and/or videos of all the hardest to place kids are posted. Because of privacy, only kids who have been waiting the longest for a family OR are expected to be hard to place are listed online in the heart galleries.

        So who are these extremely hard to place kids on heart galleries you ask? Sixteen-year-olds with a juvie record?
          No! There are adorable little seven-year-olds on there, sibling groups of a 6 and 8 year old, and some really awesome teens. I know people who entered foster care at 8 years old, 3 years old, even four months old, couldn't go home to family, and were never adopted.
          Nobody adopted them. Nobody.
          Race comes into play too with these hard to place kids. Minority children are harder to find an adoptive home for than Caucasian kids. :(

          Here's a video from the Colorado heart gallery of a 9 year old boy who needs a forever home right now.

          I went to a lecture about foster care once. Two late teens/early-twenty something kids spoke. They had entered the system in early elementary school. They had never re-unified and were never adopted.
         "Did you want to be adopted?" one of the prospective foster parents asked.
          I thought the kids would hesitate, maybe say "no." Perhaps they were too attached to their bio-families to have room in their heart for another family so the county decided it would be best for them to be in long-term foster care instead. Surely if they had wanted to be adopted, some family could have been found for these beautiful, intelligent, very young kids.
         "Heck yeah, I wanted to be adopted," the young man and woman both said without a pause. "But nobody wanted us."
          Nobody. . .
          They were sweet kids. They weren't in trouble. But because they aged out of foster care without any family, their chances of getting a college degree, a good job, a nice house, etc. just became infinitesimally lower.
         I think of myself at 18. What if my intro to adulthood was to be dropped off at a homeless shelter with a suitcase? How good would I have done? How good would you have done?

        Let's put an end to waiting kids and replace them with waiting families. Let's circle orphans through social media.

      If you're in Colorado, here's the Colorado heart gallery link and a sample Facebook status you could share. Tag me and I'll keep track of how many shares we get.

        Photos of U.S. kids waiting for a forever family in Colorado. Please share until no more kids are waiting!  #CircleOrphans2015 @Anne Garboczi Evans

     Live in MD, VA, or D.C.? Here's the MD, VA, & D.C. photo listing link.

       Photos of U.S. kids waiting for a forever family in MD, VA, & D.C. Please share until no more kids are waiting!  #CircleOrphans2015 @Anne Garboczi Evans

       Live in a different state? Here's the list of all the states' heart galleries. Just find your state and add the link to the below status.

       Photos of U.S. kids waiting for a forever family. Please share until no more kids are waiting!  #CircleOrphans2015 @Anne Garboczi Evans

        And guess what? These kids can be adopted out of state too. So you can share heart galleries from other states on your Facebook wall as well.

    Not from the United States? Your country has online pictures of kids waiting to be adopted too. 

Here's a link to Canada's waiting kids. (You have to give them your address and phone number to receive a password to see the photolisting.)

Try this Facebook status

       Photos of Canadian kids waiting for a forever family. Please share until no more kids are waiting!  #CircleOrphans2015 @Anne Garboczi Evans

U.K.'s waiting kids:

       Photos of U.K. kids waiting for a forever family. Please share until no more kids are waiting!  #CircleOrphans2015 @Anne Garboczi Evans

Join the "Circling Orphans With Love 2015" Campaign. Post your state/country/county's photolisting of waiting children. Tag it #CirclingOrphans2015. Tag me @Anne Garboczi Evans and I'll keep track of how many times we get these kids photos circulated.

<3 Ps 68:6a "God sets the lonely in families . . ." <3

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