Adoption: Whereas and Resolved; Having a Mom and a Dad is Still Best

“Whereas, since 1995, American presidents have proclaimed each November as National Adoption Month and have asked the people of the United States to observe the month by answering the call to find a permanent and caring family for every child in need and by supporting the families that care for them; and
“Whereas, in Wisconsin in 2010, 1,159 foster children in Wisconsin were waiting to be adopted and these children risk reaching adulthood without permanent families of their own; and
“Whereas, foster care was intended to be temporary, but many Wisconsin children remain in foster homes for long periods, the average length of stay in foster care being more than three and a half years; and Whereas, older children in Wisconsin are less likely to be adopted than younger
ones, the average age of adopted children being 6.2 years while the average age of children waiting to be adopted is 7.7 years; and
“Whereas, in 2010, 410 children in Wisconsin became too old to continue in foster care without having been adopted by a permanent, legal family; and
“Whereas, a permanent family plays an important role in helping young adults take their places in society; and
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“Whereas, providing stable homes and an opportunity for happiness and success for children who have been displaced through no fault of their own is a commendable act that benefits not only those children and the adopting families but all of us; and
“Whereas, it is in the best interest of our state and its people to encourage and promote adoption; now, therefore, be it
“Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring,
That the legislature proclaims November 2013 as Wisconsin Adoption Month, commends adoptive families past, present, and future, and celebrates successful adoptions throughout our state.”
I just quoted verbatim and in its entirety Assembly Joint Resolution 71, which was introduced in our state legislature on November 4, 2013. The lead sponsors of this resolution are Representative Debra Kolste and Senator Tim Cullen, both Democrats from Janesville.  I don’t very often get to commend the Democrats for their bills.  However, in general I can commend them on this proposal—with one very important caveat:  we need to make sure we are defining family the same way.
When Wisconsin passes resolution later this week and we join the National Adoption Month and National Adoption Day observance, which is November 23, we must make it clear that we are celebrating children being adopted into “forever families” that are comprised of married moms and dads.  Unfortunately, I suspect that the lead authors of this proposed Adoption Month resolution would disagree with that assertion.  They will say adopting children into any kind of family is better than having them languish in or age out of foster care.
That’s tough for me to believe when the research repeatedly shows that what is best for children is to be brought up with their married mom and dad.  Anything less than that means, typically or normatively, children are likely to suffer a host of problems.
That said, I believe this push to celebrate, recognize and promote adoption in our state is a fantastic opportunity for Christians, married men and women, to consider adding another or even a first child to their family—to provide that “forever family.”  To be honest, it’s hard to hold the argument that children shouldn’t be adopted into single-parent homes or into same-sex homes, if Christians won’t step up on this issue.
Think about what a Christian family offers an adopted child.  A loving mother and a loving father.  The opportunity to see modeled in the parents what real Christianity looks like on a day-to-day basis.  The blessing of hearing the Gospel and the incredible salvation message, of being part of a church family, of learning about service and sacrifice for something much bigger than oneself.   The joy of extended family, family traditions and so much more.
When all of the whereas’s and the be-it-therefore-resolved’s are done on this Adoption Month Resolution, it should serve as a powerful reminder to us as Christians that children are a gift and that giving them a “forever family,” that reflects God’s divine plan for family, is one of the best gifts we can give them.

What to Expect

This week’s radio commentary:

Wisconsin Family Connection –
Week of May 9, 2011, – #887 – “What to Expect”

We’ve have definitely had our share of uncertain and highly unusual times here in Wisconsin of late. I wish I could say that things will clear up soon and we’ll be back to some semblance of normal in politics and government. Unfortunately, I can’t promise you that.

The current administration and legislative majority were elected in November last year on a wave of dissatisfaction with government. Voters expected their newly elected officials to work hard to create a better business and jobs atmosphere in Wisconsin, to be accountable and honest, to uphold and protect their liberties.

None of us expected to be facing a bevy of recall elections, a statewide Supreme Court election recount, massive protests at the Capitol, 14 Senators leaving the state for 3 weeks, and an extremely tense political landscape.

Here’s a sampling of what’s going on right now in your Capital City and across the state. The State Assembly is set to go back on the floor again this week and it’s likely the State Senate will as well. The Assembly will vote on several bills related to the Department of Natural Resources and several others that expand and extend the Milwaukee Parental School Choice Program.

The Assembly could also take up the Voter ID bill. The Senate passed Voter ID several months ago while the Senate Democrats were living in self-imposed exile in Illinois.  However, the Republicans could not take the final vote on the bill because it had a fiscal impact and they needed that 20-member quorum to vote on it.

The Voter ID bill would require citizens to present a valid photo ID to vote and also makes some changes to absentee voting and military and overseas voting. During the Assembly Committee public hearing on the bill last month, college students turned out to testify against the original bill’s prohibition against the use of college ID’s for voting. The newest version of the bill allows college ID’s, within certain parameters—such as they must include an address of residence and a photograph.

Concealed carry is another high-profile item on the agenda right now. Legislators have introduced two types of bills. One is a “constitutional carry”—which means it does not place restrictions on concealed carry or require a permit or training to conceal. The other bill is what is known as a “shall issue” or permit concealed carry—which means that gun owners can apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Forty-eight states have some version of concealed-carry. Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two that don’t. A handful of states have a “constitutional carry” law and the rest have some sort or permit and/or training requirement.  The majority party—the Republicans—are having some serious disagreement among their own members as to which bill is better.  Now the bills’ authors are asking for public input on the two proposals.

The next few weeks will tell us the true character of the Republican majority at the State Capitol. Can the Republican caucus iron through differences between the large, vocal, freshman caucus and the battle-weary establishment?

As an organization, we’re very much interested in the answer to that question. There are a number of issues that the people of Wisconsin expect our legislators to address: everything from Voter ID to pro-life, pro-family issues, including the repeal of the Healthy Youth Act. Now is the time for action, for courageous and difficult decisions.

We knew going into it that this was going to be a tough legislative session. Everyone agrees we need to cut spending but no one wants their program cut. Last session, the Democrats passed a number of anti-life, anti-family policies that need to be addressed. However, once a law is in place, it’s extremely difficult to repeal.

Frankly, we need new ideas, creative alternatives and residents across the state who are ready and willing to take back local control on a number of issues we’ve ceded to the state government.

So, what can you do? Pray! Pray for godly wisdom and courage for elected officials. And then put actions to your prayers. Keep holding your elected officials accountable.  Stay in contact with them. Let them know your opinions on the issues. Call the legislative hotline at 800-362-9472 or our offices at 888-378-7395 to find out who represents you. Keep updated on the issues that are important you and be ready to come to Madison to testify. Get involved with the elections at your local level if you’re facing a Senate recall election.

I can’t tell you what to expect, but I can tell you this: unless we all stay informed and involved, we won’t like the outcome.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Download/listen to the MP3 file.

May is not November

This week’s radio commentary…

Last week’s primary results in states such as Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas seem to herald an anti-incumbent mood that many hope will sweep the country this coming November. Voters ousted entrenched politicians and Obama-backed candidates.  Conservatives were stoked.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul won the Republican nomination for an open US Senate seat over a GOP favorite.

The chameleon US Senator Arlan Spector lost the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania, although he was backed by President Obama and the Democratic Party.

Democrats were campaigning as if they were Republicans, and most candidates made a point of distancing their campaigns from either President Obama or Washington, or both.

Listen to/download the MP3 file…

Read the transcript…