By Attorney Nicole Moore
Special to THELAW.TV
THELAW.TV features hundreds of videos of lawyers answering questions about the details of adoption, and we cover major legal news surrounding adoption, such as the recent Russian adoption ban. In this guest article, Orlando, Florida adoption attorney Nicole Moore explains why we even need to consider adoption … and what it means for the child.
Once again, Halloween is in the rear-view mirror and the calendar reads November.
For many, the arrival of November conjures up images of family and the gathering together of loved ones for Thanksgiving, a joyous time of togetherness, cutting across and embracing generations. Especially in November, the start of the holiday season, this is a sentiment prominent in hearts and minds across the country.
November also is National Adoption Month and permeating the very fiber of every child welfare professional working the field of adoption is this same sense of family and togetherness, but not so much personally for the individual adoption professional. Rather, it is a yearning this adoption specialist feels for that foster child, or that sibling group, that has no forever family with whom to usher in the holidays and with whom to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Without question, every November, National Adoption Month shines a bright light on adoption on a macro level. There is a proclamation from the President and in Florida there will be National Adoption Day festivities all across our state, dovetailing with a flurry of joyous adoption finalization hearings.
Yet, for that foster child, that sibling group, living day-in and day-out and waiting and yearning for that forever family, National Adoption Month at best, frankly, is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it shines our nation’s brightest lights on adoption through social and traditional media and homes are found for many deserving children. This, in turn, raises awareness and enhances exposure, all unequivocally very good.
Unfortunately, for that child, still in State care after the glitter of National Adoption Month is gone and the calendar reads December, the cold, quiet reality on the most personal and individual of levels is “I’m still here, my fate unclear, with that forever family I am desperate to call my own more elusive than near.” Regrettably, this is the all-too-common scenario.
Rarely has this stark reality more vividly and poignantly been portrayed than it was by Davion Only, a teenager in foster care, who stood tall and courageous in his church and made a plea to be adopted into his forever family. Thanks to the Internet, precious Davion now is the face of hundreds of teenage kids in foster care in Florida, who stand to “age out” of foster care without being adopted.
Our community’s clarion call is to reach out to Davion and to his foster brothers and sisters still in care and, one family at a time, to envelop each of them into that yearned for forever family.
If the legacy of Davion Only is that his impassioned plea yields not just his own forever family, but also spawns a wellspring of forever families for his foster brothers and sisters, then November 2013 and National Adoption Month, indeed, will be remembered as a month for the ages.
Look inward and reach outward. Your world and the world of the child you adopt will be enriched and enhanced.
The author, Nicole Moore, is an adoption attorney in Orlando, Florida at the firm Jeanne T. Tate, P.A.