I was extolling the virtues of Freecycle.org ("Changing the world one gift at a time") to my neighbor -- a site where people can find someone in their area who needs something the owner no longer does, or can't store or properly care for. The recipient picks up the item and (hopefully) gives a wonderful second life. Suddenly, my thoughts wandered toward adoption.
I think a lot about adoption. I wanted to adopt a child, a while back, and still think about it from time to time. The way I figure it, there's no bigger good deed than adopting (or fostering), no better way to pay it forward, no more visible and concrete way to improve our world. And it is, when you get right down to it, Freecy*cling. Momentous Freecy*cling.
I once saw Angelina Jolie criticized on some Web boards for her brood-gathering ways. "A life at a time is no way to save the world," the poster scoffed.
Au contraire, friend, I say (and many religions would also disagree with you). Given the myriad difficulties of global and domestic aid, it may be the most certain way to help children in need of stable environments, education and basis sustenance. In fact, most aid agencies strive for local delivery; village to village, house to house, life to life.
Each time an adoption happens, so many people benefit: Birth parents who are brave enough to seek a better life for their child, or who at least needed help caring for him; adoptive parents and families, and of course the child. And with so much to fear and hate in these tremulous times, each adoption seems like a miracle of hope. Have a look around the Web for beautiful stories like this the next time you're feeling down.
Photo of Chinese orphan: Wen-Yan King