SPRINGFIELD, Mo - As the sun sets on National Adoption Day, a fresh pot of chili is in the works for the Stinson family. They are admittedly different than most families in the Ozark but are proud of who they are. They have adopted internationally 3 separate times and have noticed a recent change in the system.
"The first time it was a seven month wait, the second time it was a nine month wait and the third time it was a fifteen months. So I think it has gotten longer and harder for people to adopt," said Matt Stinson, the father of the six adopted children and five biological children.
All six of his children adopted children are from Ethiopia and four are biological siblings. Tonight's chili has gone off without a hitch but the Stinson's say the challenges of adoptions are bigger than dinner.
"I think people look at families and say 'oh it's great to adopt' but you don't realize the challenges that come with that because these are real people that come with real problems and real pasts," said Stinson. His wife, Chandra Stinson, added, "Yeah. It's a commitment to care for and love someone else. But it's as rewarding as birthing a biological child. There is no difference they are my babies."
Evelyn Stinson had no formal education or English speaking skill after leaving Ethiopia. But now, it is impossible know that was a part of her past as she and the rest of her siblings have mastered reading, writing and blending in as any other Stinson. Matt Stinson says celebrating National Adoption Day is a great way to remember how many kids still need a home.
"I think National Adoption day means that children are orphans will get a little extra attention and will draw the attention for the needs of homes and for families that can love the kids that don't have that right now," Stinson said. Chandra added, "We are so glad this is the time to talk about the good things about adoption and foster care and we just encourage other people to look into and see if there is a place in their heart for those kids."
Missouri Senator, Roy Blunt, has also spoken on the issue of adoption this week. While on the Senate Floor he spoke about his resolution to mark November as National Adoption Month.
"This is a time when we ought to be thinking not only about the obstacles to adoption, the things that encourage adoption but also how we can make the support system work better," Blunt said.
Senator Blunt is working with a Minnesota senator to increase adoption opportunities and benefits for foster parents both nationally and internationally.