Without Borders

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.
Helen Keller
I write this today because it’s J’s 8th birthday.  His first birthday was spent alone, without a family in a Kazakhstan orphanage.  Today he is part of our forever family.

There is nothing in this world that makes my blood boil more than when people make border comments.  Those who lack imagination beyond what is American.  I’m referring to the FB posts that get spread from one person to another until there are pages of friends all stating that we are to care for those inside our borders first.  “America has starvation, homeless, orphans, and emergency aids needs too…help our own FIRST.” 


I’m referring to those people who feel the need to comment on oversees adoptions.  Those who need to criticize those of us who have adopted a child from abroad when there are orphans within our borders who need homes. I’ve even been accused of stealing money from American people by adopting a child from Kazakhstan.  “You should’ve adopted from the US and saved our government tax money!”   Those who feel they have a right to say that American children are more important because they are American right in front of my Kazakh child!
Boiling! Boiling! Boiling! 
You are going to compare my Kazakh son (an orphaned human being) to a sum of tax money?!?
And, by the way, I’ve adopted an American orphan too and he’s costing you a hell of a lot more tax money…each month in fact!
I’m referring to those people who criticized my trip to work with orphans in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.  Those people who said I should be cleaning up our neighborhoods instead.  Those people who said they would never be willing to spend money on needs outside of our borders.  “It’s Haiti’s problem.  We can’t fix it.”  “Our orphans should come first.”
Boiling! Boiling! Boiling!
And by the way I often do charity work and fundraising for orphans in my own community but you didn’t bother to ask that!
I don’t have respect for this type of thought process because it’s shallow and in my opinion without much real thought.  I whole-heartedly believe that borders are imaginary.  If god exists in any form do we really believe that he sees these borders that we created?  Or are we all just human beings?  All deserving of the same basic rights?  We ALL deserve water, food, medicines, shelter, love, family.  Those are basic human rights regardless of borders.  
I don’t think Americans often realize how good we really have it.  Even those of us in the most dire of conditions are often better off than millions in other parts of the world.  Our orphans still receive education, food, water, shelter, medicines, and can often go to college on grants.  
There are orphans (many of them toddlers) in Haiti without access to running water or food.  They are malnourished and starving.  They will likely die before they reach the age of 5.  They are sometimes living 40 children under a tent in stifling hot temperatures. They are often “adopted” by long lost relatives who dismember them and put them on the streets to beg for money or they are bought as sex slaves.  America has never experienced a tragedy as devastating as the Haiti earthquake.  It’s a horrible sight to see and those children NEED our help regardless if they live outside our borders.
In Kazakhstan if children are not adopted they are put on the streets by the age of 16 where girls and boys often prostitute to survive.  They live underground in the Ukraine.  
Orphans in Africa are frequently HIV + and orphaned by parents who were also HIV +.  We can easily and inexpensively help put a stop to the spread of this awful disease.
What chance do these children have if we don’t feel the need to see them as humans?
We MUST stop thinking in borders and starting thinking in love.  Only then can compassion and change really begin to take place.  
Orphan Statistics (UNICEF Report)
UNICEF estimates that there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide.  To give you a comparison, that’s about 48-70% of the population of the United States.
Here are the stats:
– Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
– 2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone
– Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan

– 8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-saharan Africa

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…

– Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen

– Each day 38,493 orphans age out

– Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home

– In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit sucide before they reach age eighteen

– These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals

– Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three yea


One response »

  1. You can definitely see your skills within the work
    you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers
    such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.


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