There is a lot of misinformation: about orphans and the crisis of unparented children; about the policies of governments and international organizations that, in reality, do not prioritize children; about the impressive success of adopted children and their families. My goal is to teach what is happening as factually as possible, arguing that the well-being of children should be primary.
The statistics are overwhelming. There are between 150-200 million orphans in the world, 8 to 12 million of them live in institutional care. On any given day, 39,000 children are forced to leave their homes and live on the street because of abuse by or death of a parent. Unparented children are vastly more likely to be subject to sex and drug trafficking. Yes , child prostitution, soldiers and forced labor– in vast numbers. And the generations that follow have little more hope. These numbers-qua-human lives make me want to take a nap then clean out my closets. You know that purge of old crap that gives you that powerful feeling like anything is possible? Bags of clothes and toys and those damn dusty art supplies that just stare accusingly because I never did have that quality art-making afternoon with the kids.
But then, closets cleaned, it’s time to cast some light in the dark shadow of these statistics, and find a corner where I can make some positive change. As the Bible says, one must stone a disobedient son to death. Oh, no, not that one. That one’s crazy. I meant this, from the rabbis: If you save one life, it’s as if you have saved the whole world.
That’s worth keeping in mind.