Reuniting the Socially Abandoned
There was a story that went viral a few weeks ago that well hit a little close to home. A young lady in Allentown, PA decided to post a picture of her holding a sign pleading for help in finding her birth mother that abandoned her 27 years ago. Click Here For the Story
This got me to thinking, how many other kids that are now adults would take their circumstance to social media in order to reunite themselves with someone who walked away from them many years ago? It is definitely a less expensive option than having your DNA tested and traced, hiring and investigator or researching vital statics hoping to find a match.
In a matter of about three weeks and 30,000 shares this young lady in fact found her birth mom and was able to reunite with her after almost three decades. “Estimates have suggested anywhere from 7,000 to 15,000 children face abandonment a year. These estimates include children who now live within government agencies and foster homes.”
Globally the crisis is even more rampant than here in the states:
■Every 2 seconds, a child becomes an orphan.
■Every 14 seconds, a child is orphaned by AIDS.
■1,000,000,000 of the world’s families live on less than a dollar a day.
■Authorities estimate that child pornography is a $20 billion a year industry; too many abandoned children end up as victims of this deviant activity.
■UNICEF estimates that nearly 1,000,000 children enter the sex trade every year.
■Experts also estimate that nearly 10,000,000 children are working as prostitutes, with nearly 90% of them girls.
■According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition is the single biggest contributor to child mortality rates worldwide.
■Many street children use a number of inhalants (glue, gasoline, lighter fluid) and illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine and heroin).
■Street children are routinely detained illegally, beaten and tortured and sometimes killed by police in some countries.
In this country it has become almost easier for people to give up on their children. We now have systems set up where a child can be dropped off at a local hospital, no questions asked, which is at least better than being abandoned in a Burger King like this young lady was.
Foster families in the United States for the most part provide a safe place for children to grow up while they are in the system waiting for families to maybe one day adopt them. Many of these children will actually age out of foster care before ever being adopted and live normal parentless lives.
Meanwhile many people in the US turn to adoption options in other countries due to costs and less red tape while our own children go hungry and many are homeless. Even those that are adopted end up with an unquenchable longing to understand why they were given up and by whom.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s like I may have done, coming across someone who was a foster kid or adopted was not as common as it is today. Back then if you were one of those kids you were usually ostracized, picked on and called all kinds of colorful names.
Today it is almost common that a brother or sister is adopted or that your neighbor has foster kids that they take care of. This could be a due to there being more caring and loving families out there willing to open their homes to the abandoned, or evidence of system that enables abandonment.
Not all parentless children are necessarily ‘abandoned’, some are by choice for a better or safer environment. There are many children that end up in the system due to their parents being unfit to take care of them or unable to do so due to incarceration or worse.
For some it is a personal choice, others there really is no other choice, but then there are the few that take the easy way out and walk away with no remorse. Either way the child is left with a hole that never will be filled, even if they are adopted, get married, have kids of their own, they will always wonder.
I never held up a sign and posted it on the web in hopes of being reunited with my birth parents as I am sure many of you have not. I am not a ‘Burger King Baby’ but my story is of similar beginnings and I have always wondered as to the why and whom that many do.
You see I like many was abandoned many years ago, lived in foster home for a bit and then was adopted by the parents I have now. Do I regret the way my life has gone, not at all, for I would not be the person that I am today if they did not walk away long ago.
Over the years the wondering and curiosity has faded and I won’t be found posting my plea online any time soon as I am comfortable in not knowing that part of my history. For those that still have that emptiness I pray that they find the fulfillment and ‘pure joy’ in their lives.
I hope and pray that you will come to the understanding as I did a few years ago. Even though I may have been abandoned on this earth, I was adopted long before I was even born by my Father above. There is no human relationship that will be able to provide the comfort during those lonely wondering times as His love.
It’s Your Turn: If you were abandoned, have you searched to find your biological parents? If so how and would you take to social media in the journey?
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.