I've been questioning myself if I wanted to post this video I made of our family. I know that one or two of our teens might not like the fact they're captured in my blog and I struggled wondering if I really wanted to share my family. It seems like facebook takes over in that department anyways - my intent with this pictured video was to not only capture memories but it was originally prepared for adoption pre-placement purposes. Every time we adopted a child/children I made videos like this one. In this video, some of us are missing but it gives you an idea what we'd send to our child/children before being placed. It's all about family. There is some pictures that aren't perfect but the truth is we're a group of people connected as a family. Family always starts with a parent/parents that care, that provide and support. From there, it really doesn't matter where we came from or who we are.....what matters is we're a family. November is Adoption Awareness Month and this is my contribution that adoption matters. (I hope my video worked) As you know we're a large adoptive family with fourteen children. From age 3 to 21 and every where in between. We have several different special needs, different disorders, attachment issues and mental illnesses. Our dynamics can change daily but something I know for sure is my husband and I's dedication as parents will always remain true. Adopting children isn't easy, it's a commitment that changes lives forever. Since we've been advocating for adoption, we've learned that it's not just for other Countries, it's within Canada, within our own Province. It's not just about babies, it's for all ages. I've learned that there is extreme adoptions that happen for young adults, nineteen years and over. Children that age out of foster care without a family, still need a family. A place to call home; too come home during holidays. It's not necessarily about financial support, it's just having a connection. Many teenagers seem confused about adoption which is understandably so. Eventually after those soul searching years, those years of just wanting independence comes the years of needing stable healthy parents to confide in, seek support from and be adults with respectfully. I can honestly write, as I've always written.......we have our challenges, especially with teenagers. I'm also proud to say, especially with our experiences with our oldest son. We're still his family. Two years of confusion, being lost and trying to find himself, coming and going (searching the birth family) He's moving back home. Now this is where adoption is challenging but this is also where our son has a family to come home too. Parents that care. So I would never write that adopting is a piece of pie. It takes an enormous amount of patience, understanding, education and heart break. Then comes the hardest part, forgiveness. If you have all these qualities, adopt. And remember that in our beginning we only wanted to adopt one boy, age eleven with no special needs. (That never happened) If we knew what we know now, we would have adopted what they call, "Severe special needs" from our beginning because for us, we're here for as long as life allows us. Children need permanency. A place to belong no matter what their special needs or age. So here we are with fourteen children doing the best we can. Our usual bunch with us is ten children as our older four are independently moving on. It's our life, we make decisions and choices accordingly on how we feel is the best way to raise our vulnerable children that have come from different forms of neglect and abandonment. Children regardless of their unfortunate pasts that need a future to look forward too. Children that innocently ended up in foster care because there was no other birth family able to care/nor want them during their childhood years, that's why adoption is so important. Us = different individuals forming a family through adoption. I will always be proud to say, "Yes they're all mine" because adoption isn't just signing of legal papers, it's taking on a parent role that was lost from their birth families for good reasons. For the child it's taking on a new journey, a new life with hopefully more positive results, to form a foundation so their futures will shift with having stable connections. So the cycle of children in care lessons because there is family involvement. As you can tell, I can ramble endlessly on why adoption is so important. It's about the children. It's about their future, our world's future and even just adopting one child is making a difference. Opening your heart, your home and be willing to not expect a child to attach immediately (perhaps never) nor be perfect because adoption isn't finding that "perfect child", it's giving love simply because a child needs it. Now what better month to call up the Children of Ministry and Families, contact an adoption worker and start the process then November, the Adoption Awareness Month! Now that I'm finished my advocating, I really have to get going.......and I've noticed that my video I wanted to share wouldn't download. So I apologise and perhaps there's a reason for that too!