Don't You Want a Younger Child??
July 17, 2013
It has been almost 3 weeks since we announced our commitment to bring Pippa home and we couldn't be more excited! God has started to grow our love for her in amazing ways! Thank you all for your prayers and outpouring of support! There has been one question that we have been asked quite a bit, so I thought I would take this opportunity to give you a little insight into our thoughts about it. The question(s) go like this, "Don't you want to adopt a younger child?" "Why are you adopting an older child?" And the answer, to the latter version is
Don't all children deserve a loving home and parents to take care of them? Regardless of what age they are when they come into a family they can benefit from the love, care, and attention that is provided, whether that is for 5-6 years as an adolescent or 16-18 years if a child is adopted as an infant or toddler. There are challenges and milestones at every stage of life, so even if we have missed a few, there are plenty more to come!
There are also some alarming statistics out there for kids that are not adopted and "age-out" or "graduate" from the system. In most Eastern European countries the age at which children are no longer able to be adopted is 15-16 years old. In 2010 there were 11,100 international adoptions completed by American Families, of those only 2,211 were over the age of 5. That is only 19.9% of all international adoptions! I can only imagine that the older they get the smaller their chance of finding their forever family becomes. The other statistics that are so alarming and really cause our hearts to ache for these children as they get closer and closer to aging out is what life looks like for them when they leave the orphanage any time between the ages of 15-17 years old.
- 15% Commit Suicide during the first two years on their own
- 60% of Girls end up in Prostitution (Those who run prostitution rings target orphaned girls, who are especially vulnerable due to their lack of options and lack of people who care what happens to them. Though promised good jobs, they end up on the streets and brothels of cities across Europe.)
- 70% of Boys end up in Jail or on the streets
- The rate of drug and alcohol abuse/addiction among these kids is astounding
- 50% of orphans in Eastern Europe will not live to see their 20th birthday
- Only 16% of orphanage graduates have families
- Only 25% of orphanage graduates have stable employment
- Only 1% of orphanage graduates obtain higher education (University)
- Only 44% of orphanage graduates receive some kind of technical training (completion)
With statistics like these, how could we say "No" to God when he placed Pippa on our hearts and really, if you think about it, how could we say "No" to any child he placed on our hearts when we said "Yes" to adoption. If we were not obedient, there may not be another family to say "Yes" and Pippa or Sydney or (fill in the blank) , could become one of these sad statistics.
So, here is a young lady that is close to aging out, her name is Ally. She is in the same orphanage as Pippa and she has just a few weeks left until her birthday in August before her opportunity to be loved by a family is lost forever. Maybe one of you reading this blog today is her family, but even if you aren't, pass along her picture so that hopefully somewhere out there her Mom and Dad will see her and give her the chance to be loved by a family and avoid becoming one of these statistics.
"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."
~ David Platt