A Family is the smallest unit of our society. It is common for all Filipinos to have a family from a regular one up to an extended family. Here most families live and stick together, most of the time it comes to a point of building houses in just one “compound” in one location.
Family really matters to me, I can say I do have a complete family. Now that I'm married, I even experienced being part of the extended family. Bonding time is very important to us, constant communication is always there. That's how it works in our family.
Literally, I do have an extended family and that was during my school days. I am one of those lucky students to have a foster parent. It started when I was in Elementary and up to College. My Foster Parent supported me on my studies, from uniforms to tuition fees and even my allowances. Though I wasn't able to meet them face to face I make sure to write them letters just to give thanks and of course update on what had happened to me and with my studies. Basically I can say that I am an adopted child as well! I was fostered by parents from abroad I may not be physically present to my foster parent but I make sure through my letters and pictures I make them well informed about my progress.
Today's generation are having a hard time accepting facts about them when they learned that they are adopted and perhaps that's because they were made to believe that they're naturally born out of their present parents. Just like what happened to my husband's relatives, it was problematic when it was realized that the person was an adopted child. At first the person was having a hard time accepting the fact but due to the love and care of the parents it was then resolved and was accepted. The struggle on adoption are the transition and acceptance. Couples have a hard time on telling the child that he/she is adopted, it is very traumatic that sometimes results to something worst.
Today, there are some organization want to change the notion about Adoption. They wanted to impose to all parents who adopts to tell their adopted child that they are adopted, they did not came from their womb, that they came from another family. This is to lighten the scenario of acceptance.
Adoption Advocacy Campaign was launched by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) and McCann Erickson. Their Advocacy Campaign on Adoption is entitled, “Love Sees Beyond Differences” seeks to spread the positive message about adoption.
“We have long sought to undertake a communications campaign that will advocate legal Adoption. McCann Worldgroup and the Inter-Country Adoption Board had worked closely together for many months to give a new, more relevant perspective about Adoption,: said DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. This advocacy communications campaign seeks to soften the stigma on adoption. “We can help soften this stigma if more adoptive families openly share their joy and happiness as adoptive families,” Soliman said.
In line with these, there were adoptive parents shared their stories about their adoption.
Ms. Nanette Santos shared her story surprisingly and gave her insight about her experiences on adoption by giving meaning on every letter on the name of her adopted daughter, FELICE.
F stands for Family, from being couple for almost ten years to a Family when Felice came in their lives.
E stands for Emotional Bonding, transition, it really matters to Nanette, they need to make some styles or strategies to bond them. “Different personalities bond as Family” according to Nanette.
L stands for Love, they feel the unconditional love when Felice came in. The big question on Nanette, do they have spark or connection with the kid. “We fell in love at first sight with Felice”. Nanette shared.
I stands for Identity, a big change in the identity of Nanette and her husband. “From husband and wife to mommy and Daddy” said Nanette.
C stands for Communication, constant communication is very important to every adopted parents. “Me and my husband have meeting inside in our house on what we need to do with Felice. From day 1, we keep telling Felice that she is adopted and not came from us”. Nanette said.
E stands Enermous joy and rewards,”It's really hard to raise a child but worth it, If not with Felice I am not sharing this” according to Nanette.
Next is Mr. Marvin Narvaez, he shared his story on adoption. They were 4 years married when they decided to adopt. Mr., Narvaez cried when he shared his story, it has been 2 months when his adopted daughter came in their lives. He felt overwhelmed when he went to Cebu to get his daughter, the moment that the child embraced him, he really felt the love came from his daughter. “For me adoption is not just to fill up the emptiness, sayang kasi kung wala kaming pagbuhusan ng pagmamahal” according to Marvin. They attended such forums like this to learn more about adoption and how to tell to his daughter that she is adopted.
Third was Mr. Mike Tripp. They have 3 children, they adopted internationally and locally. They have a foreigner kid and a Filipina kid. According to him, the process of adoption is quite the same either international or local. “It is written in the bible, God said, whoever received this child received me, so that's conclude our works”. Mike said.
The Logan Family shared their experiences as well. They adopted a disabled child named Justin, who is undergoing therapies until now. After 8 years with Justin in their lives, they decided to adopt again and this time, its a girl, she is Ashley. “The process of adoption is all painless, no stretch mark.” according to Mrs. Craig.
The last person who shared her experience with adoption is Ms. Pia Cayetano. After she has lost her child, she decided to adopt, a son. At first, her eldest like the decision but the youngest was hesitant but as the years passed by with their new addition in the family, the relationship turns smoothly.
The process of Adoption according to those who shared their experiences took almost 1 year. One month of attending seminars, 2 months in processing the papers, and 6 months onwards for the matching process which they will have to wait until the orphanage calls them to inform that they already have a kid that will match with them.
This kind of forum help the adopted parents tell directly or at the very first day to be with them that the child is adopted, this is to ease the burden of telling it. The stigma on adoption wants the organization to change it in different perspective, which is better to lessen the not so good attitude of the adopted child when they knew that they are adopted.
Every one needs a family and need not to be alone. A Family should be full of joy and love that will for sure conquer whatever problem may come. Communication is very important to express the love in every family members. Adoption gives a child a better Family and a better future. A child needs to belong to a Family that full of love.
Here is a video of a presentation of a song, sung by none other than Ogie Alcasid which was shown during the Adoption Advocacy Campaign which was launched by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) and McCann Erickson.
For information regarding the processes of adoption of Filipino children please do visit the Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) which is specifically created by Republic Act 8043 (RA 8043) with regards to adoption of Filipino children.