When Des Aronson was adopted from Ethiopia, he was old enough to recognize that his feelings were often times confounding.
Des, one of 153 million people without parents worldwide, described losing his father and being adopted by his new mom, Dr. Jane Aronson, who went on to found the Worldwide Orphan Foundation.
"I was afraid to lose something again," the now-14-year-old told HuffPost Live. "It was sad when [my father] passed because I actually saw him, but it was really special to be able to be open to a new family. And they welcomed me in, and I feel like I've been with them all these years."
The young boy also described getting lost in a hotel in Ethiopia when Aronson was there to adopt him. He was stuck in an elevator, frightened and panicked.
"What he refers to, obviously, is these losses are very real over and over again," Aronson said.
Des describes being happy, but why are there so many other kids without parents -- when so many parents want to adopt kids?
Dr. Tom DiFilipo, CEO of the Joint Council Of International Children's Service, points the finger at bureaucracy and said the first step is pushing for legislation to get an accurate count of how many kids need homes. The 153 million orphans worldwide are mostly living with families, not in an orphanage or other institution, he told HuffPost Live.
DiFilipo said that the first step involves taking a census of kids who are on the street, involved in trafficking and living in refugee camps.
"Part of the tragedy is we don't know how many kids there are," he said.
Dr. Aronson said the best way to help advocate for adoptees is to volunteer or donate to help kids who are in agencies or institutions.
Watch the segment above and below.
Dr. Jane Aronson recently released a book "Carried In Our Hearts," featuring inspiring stories about adoption.