Ten thousand plus dogs are now homeless in tsunami-hit Japan. People are going to extraordinary lengths to rescue these dogs. The human rescuers are sneaking into nuclear-radiated areas to bring these dogs to the safe haven of shelters.
Will the already burdened people of Japan adopt these homeless pets? Will people from outside Japan look at the soft, sad eyes of the suddenly owner-less pets and begin to ship them “home” to foreign countries?
Thank goodness for the gentle stranger who is able to bring another creature permanently into his or her life.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”–Gandhi
Now, I’m going to amend Gandhi’s above statement to read:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its homeless children are treated.”
In 2009 in the United States we had:
- 424,000 children in foster care.
- 115,000 children waiting to be adopted.
- 70,000 children having parental rights terminated.
- 57,000 adoptions.*
It seems that we have more than 10,000 children who need a home, but who do not receive the publicity that pets do. I do not believe it isn’t for the lack of committment and passion that we don’t often hear of the need for adoption within our own country, but due to TWO s salient features of adopting a child.
“Raising a child is 22 percent more costly than it was back in 1960, according to a study released recently by the USDA. Adjusted for 2009 dollars, middle-income parents in 1960 spent a total of $182,857 to raise one child through the age of 17. Today, parents spend $222,360.
What accounts for the jump? These days, parents spend more of their family’s wealth on — you guessed it — their child’s health care and education.” www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/16
It isn’t the ability to provide loving, responsible parenting, or the need to provide 24/7 emotional and physical energy and commitment to raising a child, it is simply the logical, rational reasoning of “it costs too much.”
What would happen if our “great nation” actually helped to lessen the financial burden of raising an adopted child? What if that child could have health insurance (including mental and dental health) along with educational resources (if the child needs additional educational instruction) before college? And what about helping with education beyond high school?
Our Great Nation already has in place the ability to help adopting families meet the need for additional financial assistance. It’s our MILITARY. Yes, our men and women serving their country. And adopting children. Special needs children. Children with health issues and learning disabilities. Please Google “Military adoptions” and see for yourself what our country has quietly put in place, for both at home and foreign adoptions. (And please note how many of our military families reach out to children in need of adoption.)
It can be done. We can adopt every child in need of a loving home. It is not beyond our means. To give a child the loving opportunity to “be all that he or she can be”—isn’t that what makes a nation, a GREAT NATION?
*numbers from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/trends.htm