I volunteered in an orphanage holding, changing and loving on babies. These babies were truly the unlucky ones. In a country that values its children more than anything, and where the definition of being family meant that even if your parents couldn't care for you, someone related to you would. These babies had no one.
These were babies with AIDS. Babies who were dying. Babies that were abandoned on the streets or at hospitals. Babies with no one and nothing.
Babies who, if they lived long enough, and got healthy enough would maybe, hopefully find their way from an Orphanage into a family. It was then that I learned about the restrictive policy of adoption in the Philippines. Filipino children can only be adopted by Filipino families, or families of Filipino heritage living overseas. No exceptions.
From the top of the government to those that worked with their abandoned babies they valued their culture, their heritage and their nationality enough to limit who could adopt their children. Because of the strength of their culture, and the relatively few numbers of orphans needing homes, their policy worked.
It openned my eyes to another side of International Adoption and appreciating that a culture, even if different than my own, had much to teach me.
I would return home and fall in love. Time to inform that man I was to marry how I envisioned my future family.