The month of November is National Adoption Awareness Month. It was started in 1976 by Mass. Gov. Michael Dukakis with Adoption week in his state hoping to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care at all ages. President Reagan made Adoption Week a national event in 1984 and was followed by President Clinton expanding it in 1995 to the entire month of November. These facts come from Childwelfare.gov which is where you can find out more information on adoption. You might find yourself wondering why adoption is important and I will provide you with the answer. In the United States alone there are about 400,000 children living without permanent homes. That means that some of these children bounce between foster homes and different foster care centers. More than 100,000 of these children are eligible for adoption but most will spend more than three years in foster care before they are adopted. This is a topic that hits home for me because my mother was adopted. She grew up in a loving home with four other siblings, one of which was also adopted. If you looked at a picture of my mother and her sister, you would swear they were twins. My mom was adopted at two months old but we should also remember that older children are less likely to get adopted. There is an unfortunate myth that older children in foster care are delinquents but these children enter the system through no fault of their own due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was created by the face of Wendy’s to help raise awareness for children who cannot speak up for themselves. The foundation is driven by a single goal: finding a loving family for every child waiting in foster care to get adopted. They are America’s only national non-profit charity dedicated solely to finding permanent homes for the more than 100,000 children in foster care. Children that go through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program are up to 300 percent more likely to get adopted. Nearly 10,000 kids have been matched with homes while more than 800 are in pre-adoptive homes. The Dave Thomas Foundation has helped nearly 6,000 children find their forever homes. Adoption doesn’t just mean bringing a new child into your home. You can also adopt stepchildren or siblings. There are thousands of cases where step parents choose to adopt their stepchildren or siblings adopt their brothers or sisters after incidents with their parents. Adoption and fostering are important things to consider when starting your family in the future. There are hundreds and hundreds of children out there that need families and role models in their lives. If you don’t adopt children in the future, consider fostering a child. You’ll make a world of difference, in your life and theirs.