When I was in high school, George Clooney won an award. In his acceptance speech, he said he’s made his life about challenging those with more power than him, and sticking up for those with less. I was sixteen at the time and I remember thinking, “Yes, that’s what I want my life to be about.” As a twenty three year old white, female American, people listen to my voice. Just today, I used my voice to express my opinion, voice concern about something, complain to my roommate about being hungry and communicate to someone about an emotional hurt. When I talk, there are people around me to hear what I say and respond.
Unfortunately, when the world’s most vulnerable children, children without families, speak, there’s no one there to listen or to respond. These children have never been taught to communicate hurt – physical or emotional. Even if they at one point knew how to, time in an institution and without their basic needs being met has left them numb. Instead of being told that they have value, the actions of others have communicated to them that they do not have value. Even those who do speak do not have people to listen. Because these children do not have people to listen to them, we must advocate for them; we must speak up for them.
In the age of the internet, speaking up for a cause or a person has become a whole lot easier. Videos on YouTube go viral, blogs are easily shared on Facebook and Twitter. The world is increasingly connected, and yet somehow, the voices that are heard are of those with power. During the 1960’s the Civil Rights Movement was successful because those in power started to use their voices for the powerless. People, just like you and me, spoke out against injustice and other listened. Children belong in families; children living in institutions and going to bed hungry is unjust.
When George Clooney talked about challenging those with more power than him, and sticking up for those with less, he was, in essence talking about advocacy. What would it look like for you and for me, those of us with people listening, started speaking for those whose voices need to be heard?
MLJ Adoptions believes strongly that all children belong in families. This is why we encourage everyone to advocate for Children in Families First Act and in the Adoption Tax Credit. Click here for information on how you can advocate for these important pieces of legislation.
For more information on international adoption, please contact us.
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