What each person considers to be a “good family” varies by perspective, culture, and often upbringing. Here at CAN, we have to consider families based on eligibility for many countries, such as how long the parents have been married, their ages, financial stability, etc. However, what do the children think makes a “good family?” Do you have to be a superhero of some sort? Not necessarily, though that would be cool.
This blog post was inspired by a 12 year old girl we will call Danielle, from Bulgaria. Danielle has a little brother named Derrick, and they are both featured on our Waiting Child list and today’s CAN Newsletter. Danielle’s quote inspired our thoughts on what is important to a child when it comes to having a family. Danielle said, “I want a good, normal family, not very rich, because money may deplete, that is why it is better for a family to be good.”
The things adults think of that may constitute a good family are not the same as what a child thinks. We must think on a child’s level, outside our boxes, if you will. Would a child think about your finances? Would they think about your social status? Would they think about the size of your house, car, or even having their own room? Most likely, a child who has been in an institution most of their lives, or who is a toddler, has no concept of any of these things. They think like Danielle. They want a “good family.” And by good, they mean someone to love them, hug them when they cry, be there when they are scared, to give them stability, and someone to call “mom” or “dad.” They want someone who will call them their son or daughter, and who will be proud of them.
Right now let’s also consider what is important to a child while they are in the orphanage so we can better understand why the things above are so much more important. Imagine having nothing to call your own. These children don’t have their own bed, toys, clothes, shoes, or even bath towel. Many of these kids pass the same towel around after bathing (which may happen only once a week), and then have to go grab clothes first come, first served out of a pile. Hopefully, they will find something that fits, or is even made for their gender. As you read this, the kids in the orphanages are thinking that food, clothing, and shelter are important at this moment in their lives. Thus, the items that you may covet or think are important to them are actually things they never dreamed of. Sure, providing them with a nice place to live will be wonderful for them, but most importantly, keep in mind they need your love and support, and of course, to know that they will be cared for by you.
Earlier we asked, what do the children think makes a “good family.” The answer CAN has for you is that YOU can be a good family if you simply love, care for, and cherish these children. It doesn’t matter if your family is big or small, from a farm or the big city, or if you prefer watching TV over running a marathon. Of course, we have the laws and eligibility of each country to contend with, but beyond that, don’t put pressure on your family to be what the American dream says is “ideal.” You don’t have to be of a certain lifestyle, religion, or creed to take the leap of faith and make room in your heart and family for a child who needs you and little else.