I do my best thinking as I am falling asleep at night, that semi-conscious state of genius. The problem is, I rarely remember these grand id eas in the morning… Last night I was writing a blog in that state… not sure if I can remember it this morning, but I will try…
I was looking for a quote for my email signature… and I just happen to have pages and pages of favorite quotes for every occasion, so I browsed through them. And of course, I became inspired. There are all these great people who did so many great things for the world. I was inspired. I am going to do great things. You see, I have this task, to find homes for children. Children who do not have homes, parents, siblings, comfort, safety. Children who are growing up in institutions, and the people who care for them do so in shifts. SHIFTS PEOPLE! This is not right.
And it seems simple: I have a child, the child needs a home, I work in an amazing community, rich with resources, love and faith. Yet, something is not working. So I wrack my brain to figure out why I have 500 children on my computer who do not have a family.
Bono says: “You see, idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism, with rolling up your sleeves and making the world bend a bit, is very exciting. It’s very real. It’s very strong.” But he is a rock star, and people listen to him.
Helen Keller says: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” But she is blind and deaf and learned to communicate and has books and movies written about her, so people listen to her. (p.s. this is the quote I chose for my email)
Mother Theresa says: “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” But she is MOTHER THERESA for crying out loud!
And as I read wisdom from Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Ghandi, JK Rowling and many other famous people I went from being inspired to being depressed cause who is Sarah Zuidema and why are people going to listen to her? I have not lead a country or brought peace to a land. I have not overcome adversity or written a book (well I did write a book, it is sitting, unedited and unpublished on my computer cause what the heck do I do with a book when I have no editor or publisher?). I have not started an amazing organization that is education the world about HIV and helping with hunger and disease and prejudice in Africa. I just wake up every morning, try not to ruin my children, over eat, keep a positive attitude and not spend money I do not have. People do not see me and think: “what ever she says I am listening”.
So I wonder, how can I get the message across that there are 500 children on my computer that need to belong? That crave unconditional love? That deserve to be tucked in at night and kissed on their forehead? That should be able to play and get dirty and laugh and fall off bikes and have someone help them back on.
How do I get the message out that the 500 children on my computer are not healthy babies? Which is amazing cause healthy babies have families! People, this was not true 30 years ago. But parents have more resources to parent their children. Adoption is becoming more acceptable in places like Korea and Colombia and China and Ethiopia and Russia… Children do NOT have to leave their countries! But there are children, right now, this very second, who do not have a family. Imagine if it was your 5 year old. And you could not tuck them in, and they had a bad dream, and they were alone? Imagine if it was your 10 year old, and they had an amazing dream, and did not have anyone to share it with? These are the children that need homes. They have diseases. They have baggage. They have disabilities. But they have dreams, they have abilities, they have love and joy to share.
So here is what a regular girl is asking you to do. I am not asking you to adopt. I am not asking you to stand up in front of a group and tell them about the 143 million orphans in the world. I am asking you to be an advocate for these 500 children on my computer. All I need you to do is mention that the adoption world has changed. We need families for 5 year olds and 10 year olds. We need families for children who are not perfect. Children who have heart conditions and have trauma history. Children who have delays and down syndrome. We need homes for a teen age brother and sister who have lived on the streets for the last 3 years. We need homes for children that have hopes and dreams, who want to be president and professional sports starts. We need homes for children who wake up scared in the middle of the night and children who deserve to have their picture taken on the first day of school.
I realize as I am saying this, I am charging you with a difficult task. I may be an easier solution to adopt, because you just have to change your mind, your attitude. But I need your help. I need you to help me shift that thinking of our community. To speak for children who are hard to speak for.
We are not rock stars or presidents or authors. We are just regular people, with regular lives and budgets and deadlines and messy kitchens and cookies in the cupboard begging us to eat them. But I know you, I can relate to you. I need your ideas, I need your words, I need your friends and families. Cause I am not Bono and can not just get on the radio, t.v. or stage and tell millions of people my plight. I am just a girl, writing on a blog, asking a few people to help me. (That is my clever little way of manipulating a line from Notting Hill, so maybe you watched the movie and got it, or maybe you just think I am corny….)