A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures elicit an emotional response that even the most well-written sentence cannot bring about. By maintaining a Waiting Child Photolisting, MLJ Adoptions is able to provide older children from Bulgaria, Samoa, Ukraine, and other countries the opportunity to be adopted. For years, families interested in adoption have closed their eyes and pictured what it would look like to add an adopted child to their family photo each Christmas. Because of the landscape of international adoption in the last decade, it’s been easier to picture a younger child in that family photo than an older child or a child with special needs.
A Waiting Child Photolisting gives families the opportunity to learn about children who may otherwise not have the option for a family. By learning more about the child’s interests, demeanor, hopes and dreams for the future, and seeing a photo of them, children who may be overlooked for families receive greater advocacy. Instead of having to close their eyes and imagine what a nine-year-old orphaned girl looks like, prospective adoptive families are able to put a face with the need. Even more than that, they’re able to hear pieces of the child’s story and imagine what it could be like for their family to be part of that child’s story. While adoption does not undo the past, adopting a child, and more specifically an older child, gives an adoptive family the privilege of writing the parts of the child’s story that have not yet been written.
The information shared about each child on the photolisting varies by country and the age of the child. A young child with significant special needs may be on the Waiting Child Photolisting, but he may not be able to communicate his need for a family or what he wants to be when he grows up. Information on the child’s background, which can be made available to interested families, also varies based on how long a child has been in care, the age of the child, and his or her social background. MLJ Adoptions’ Bulgaria program has the largest number of waiting children and the most established waiting child adoption program. Children in Bulgaria who are waiting children are unable to be matched with families currently waiting on referrals due to their age, additional needs or because they’re part of a sibling group. Families interested in adopting a child with special needs or an older child may also be interested in learning about adopting from Samoa and Ukraine.
Regardless of the age of a child or his or her special needs, each and every child is deserving of a forever family. MLJ Adoptions’ Waiting Child Photolisting gives children in the greatest need a greater opportunity for a family.
If your family is interested in adopting a child with special needs, please contact us to learn more.