A while back, I won a $150 gift certificate from Adoptionshop.com for coming up with some greeting card copy. I don’t think the cards are ready, but they did send me the virtual gift cert, so I did what anyone would do … I went shopping.
Cruising around the adoptionshop was fun, but being out of the ritual of regular shopping has me thinking that there’s not much I can’t live without, so I didn’t find anything I needed to have.
What I did find, however, was an idea.
Those colored wristbands the rest of the world has been wearing for a while to tout various causes are just beginning to appear here in Seychelles, so still have a bit of cachet and give off that insider appeal many like. People enjoy feeling that they’re part of a special club that doesn’t let just anyone wear their colors, after all.
The adoptionshop has quite a collection on offer, and the purple and white number that reads “ADOPTION=LOVE” has just the right balance of flash combined with a simple message that could go a long way in Seychelles.
As long-time readers know, advocating for change in the almost nonexistent adoption system here is one way I spend my time, and I’m always looking for ways to reintroduce the topic in hopes of getting things moving, even if it’s only dialog that first arises from my prodding.
With this in mind, I took my gift certificate and ordered as many purple and white ADOPTION=LOVE wristbands as I could get for $150, then got to work putting together a way to introduce the bands to some wrists that might be able to help. That list of wrists includes the President, Vice President, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the National Assembly, the Anglican Bishop, the Roman Catholic Bishop, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the head of the National Council for Children and more.
The wristbands will be presented with a letter that says various versions of this:
In conjunction with my ongoing efforts to bring adoption of children into loving families to the top of as many agendas as possible, I am sending the enclosed wristband to leaders and thinkers in Seychelles with the hope that many will choose to proudly wear ADOPTION=LOVE while incorporating the motto into action.
As I¹m sure you are aware, far too many young Seychellois lose their childhoods to institutional living or insecure, informal and often casual arrangements because the option of full and legal adoption is not available.
Many potential adoptive families, mine included, were turned away from adopting locally by professionals who deal with the reality of the domestic situation, and others are too intimidated to even approach the possibility.
With families yearning to add children and children desperately needing a safe, secure and caring home, it would seem a simple thing in our small country to bridge the divide and make the connections. Unfortunately, that is not presently the case. It will take education and legislation before a turnaround will be seen in the numbers of children shifted from negative to positive circumstances.
I would also add that families are not only for Seychellois, but for the children of the world. My son and daughter were born in Cambodia, and are now proudly citizens of this country. Their future contributions to this, their homeland, have yet to be seen, but I have no doubt they will be significant.
Adoption on both domestic and international fronts brings children into families, forever families with strong emotional and legal bonds, and the respect and recognition those bonds convey.
I sincerely hope that those who receive an ADOPTION=LOVE wristband will take the slogan to heart and do all they can to promote advances in Seychelles that will make it possible for children to have the option of a permanent home.
I’ll keep everyone posted on how … and if … this plays out into action.