With the world’s population growing ridiculously fast, it is estimated that by 2040 there will be over nine billion people living on Earth. Looking at the big picture, fewer people will have safe food and drinking water, energy and other resources will be depleted, and there will be more crime and inequality. This is all just the beginning. There’s really not much we can do about it, population growth is just a part of nature. But at what point does having multiple children become selfish and irresponsible? There are families having six to over twenty children. Then you have to think about those children having children and their children having children and it starts to spiral out of control. China has already put out a one-child policy, leaving many children abandoned, aborted, or living in low-quality orphanages. Because Chinese society is patriarchal, these children are mostly girls. Hopefully, the rest of the world can avoid this situation as long as possible.
Mother nature has always found ways of slowing down population, with war, famine, and disease at the top of the list. As horrible as those all sound, it is bound to happen eventually. But without such extremities, how can we all help this issue? Let’s start by not having twenty children, how about that? Now, it is estimated that 18 million children are living in orphanages today. Perfectly good children who never had the loving family that they needed and deserved. So, what would happen if every family started to adopt? Obviously, a lot of people want to have maternal children, and that is understandable. It’s amazing to see yourself in another human being, something you created with someone you love. Many people also want big families, which is also understandable. Maybe they grew up around one or just want to be surrounded by love.
I have wanted to adopt since I was in fourth grade, and I remember the exact moment I decided. I had a friend, whose name shall remain anonymous. It was nine at night, which seemed so late at the time, and you know after a certain time in the night all the secrets and dark thoughts come out. I don’t really remember much of the conversation but one thing she said has been stuck in my head for ten years. You see, my friend had been living with her foster family, who had found her in an orphanage in China. Her mother had left her, at only a few days old, on the side of a bridge on a snowy day. In the nightlight, I spoke of happy times in my family. This brought up a whole other issue, and I had been dying to hear the details. I learned about her struggles, and she was very level-headed for most of the conversation. But, after some discussion, she turned to me with a pained look in her face and said, “I just don’t understand why my mom didn’t love me or even care enough to make sure I was safe.” Even at such a young age that hurt to hear. It’s truly devastating to see a friend hurt because of the lack of love in their life.
After that day I began looking into adoption. I recall watching a National Geographic documentary with Lisa Ling, titled China’s Lost Girls. It showed the process of American families adopting baby girls from small orphanages in China. Lisa talked about the problem with the One-Child Policy and all that sad stuff. It was hard to see, but what really made an impact on me was the families. I watched the anticipation and excitement, as the waited to meet their new daughter. I saw that inexplicable joy on their face when they held them in their arms for the first time. And I wanted that. The idea that I could give a child the life they could never have, the idea that I could make a family and help a beautiful soul at the same time, was incredibly appealing to me.
I have read many stories and articles about adoption and almost every family describe it the same way. When you see your new child for the first time, it’s like your falling in love with them. You give an invaluable gift to a deserving soul; love, a home, and a family. The older I got, I thought more and more about it. I would express my plans to my family, and they were, of course, very supportive. At the age of eighteen, I decided I wanted to adopt a child with down syndrome. I have my reasons, and I could go a lot more into detail, but that’s not exactly the point of the story. But it is my belief that every life has value. Thus, not everyone needs to adopt a newborn baby. There are older children in orphanages that are equally deserving of your love. Without you, they are just another name in the system of millions of others. Without you, there is little hope for them. After all of this, the question of adoption is no longer ‘why?’. It’s, “why not?”
Below you will find a video of one of my favorite adoption stories.
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