Adopt a good attitude

Published 11:23 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The goal is to bring attention to the adoption of children generally and particularly to the thousands of children in foster care who are eligible for adoption.

In the Shelby County Probate Office we celebrated adoption awareness with an adoption day on November 13. We scheduled fourteen adoptions. We celebrated with cake, punch and lots of hugs.

Finalizing an adoption is always a moving occasion for me, especially since I am privileged to have been adopted. Excited parents and babies or young children come before me as Probate Judge, and with the stroke of a pen, I proudly declare them to be a family.

It is always a joyous event for the parents who have worked so hard and waited so long to have their family. As time goes by, the adopted child will come to realize how lucky he or she is to have such wonderful, loving parents.

I always say the child is joining a club of the luckiest people on earth.

The adopting parents come to court with excitement and hope. They know that there will be some rocky roads ahead; there always are in raising a child.

But they also know that as long as they stick together as a family and take care of each other, they will be able to work through whatever problems arise and they will have a bright future.

Today, we Americans are a little bit like the adopting parents. We are facing uncertainty in an economy that is struggling. We have just elected a president who speaks inspiring words but faces enormous challenges.

We Americans, like the adopting parents I saw last week, must remember that as long as we take care of each other, our future will be bright. We may not agree with every policy decision but we will continue to be the greatest nation on earth. I am lucky to have been adopted and lucky to be an American.