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Christian Blogger Parents who Adopt from foreign countries.
September 1, 2013
12:13 pm
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so much ham
Feline Porklord
Meows: 4800
Snarking Since:
July 9, 2012

eeejie said
Ahh I've been wanting to snark on this blog - http://ourjourneyofdreams.blogspot.com.au/ 

for so long but wasn't quite snarky enough to start my own thread about it. OMG drives me nuts though, everything always comes back to how amazing God is and how HE is getting them through it all.. it's just so over the top ( this from a Christian girl who went to a very religious school with daily chapel services). 

 

They've just bought home their third adopted child from China ( in addition to 2 bios) and they kind of make me want to bang my head against heavy things. She talks about maintaining the privacy of her children online but bombards us with a bunch of photos, showing a pretty unhappy kid in most of them. 

She also claims to have a photography business but most of her photos are pretty average.. oh and the post that annoyed me endlessly although it's minor - http://ourjourneyofdreams.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/small-world-play.html

Basically they spent a day arranging stuff in plastic tubs and it looks like a pretty average kid activity but she ends the post with a huge disclaimer stating 'We DO NOT DO STUFF LIKE THIS every day.  I am not supermom.' It just really irked me.

 

Ahh so much snark it feels good to get it out!! 

She talks about Carlee as if she's a small child and not a 13 year old.

 

Carlee doesn't like rules and doesn't like to be told "no".  She does, however, like to tell us "no" when we tell her something.  She displayed many undesirable behaviors, which resulted in loss of privileges.  Well, darn.  That didn't work out so well for her.  It turns out Mama and Daddy are for real.


That was just days after she was brought halfway across the world to live with strangers in a strange land. What an asshole.

September 1, 2013
12:17 pm
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Finn Before Schram
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2033
Snarking Since:
July 11, 2012

Children are not like home mortgages that you can default on! Terrible.

In a similar vein, whatever happened to Sandi Benson, of Lucky Thirteen and Counting? She hasn't Tweeted in a long time and her blog is on lockdown. Looks like she and her second Sugar-Husband have now divorced.  Wonder if she's on the prowl for husband #3 to fund her obsession.

September 1, 2013
12:24 pm
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YayHookers
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 911
Snarking Since:
May 19, 2013

Adding a Burden posted their attachment plan before bringing their son home for good; it is a good post that spells out what they are trying to accomplish and why. http://www.addingaburden.com/2012/11/when-we-come-home.html

September 1, 2013
12:25 pm
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so much ham
Feline Porklord
Meows: 4800
Snarking Since:
July 9, 2012

trella said
Children are not like home mortgages that you can default on! Terrible.

In a similar vein, whatever happened to Sandi Benson, of Lucky Thirteen and Counting? She hasn't Tweeted in a long time and her blog is on lockdown. Looks like she and her second Sugar-Husband have now divorced.  Wonder if she's on the prowl for husband #3 to fund her obsession.

I'm curious too. The last I read she was living in Utah and working at an adoption agency.

September 1, 2013
12:27 pm
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Colorblocked Moonshiner
Hamprince of Meowtonia
Meows: 6927
Snarking Since:
September 27, 2011

did we ever find out how carissa gallo and her husband were able to adopt like a 10 year old child from africa when they were in their early 20s? was their church involved?

September 1, 2013
12:37 pm
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topsecretusername

YayHookers said
Adding a Burden posted their attachment plan before bringing their son home for good; it is a good post that spells out what they are trying to accomplish and why. http://www.addingaburden.com/2012/11/when-we-come-home.html

I'm very glad to see that they're attempting to plan ahead, but really? "Adding a Burden"? I get that that's their last name, but that's not cute or funny. At all.

September 1, 2013
1:00 pm
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Joe Mahma
Hamcat
Meows: 194
Snarking Since:
May 14, 2013

Prior to having our twins Huscat and I were considering adoption and we would still like to adopt at some point IF it would be in the best interest of the child. That would mean that Huscat and I could financially support another child, that I would have enough time/energy/stamina to devote myself to the another child, if my special needs daughter was healthy enough, and if the child would be a good fit in our family.

 

Someone asked about the unethical adoption practices. Yes, there are some people who basically outright "buy" their babies. The stories I've heard about that are usually from African, South American, and Southeast Asian countries where governments are corrupt/poor and are unable to provide appropriate adoption oversight. People will pay middle men to help "expedite" the adoption process. I've heard horror stories from friends who adopted from Ethiopia using reputable agencies that once they entered the country they received multiple offers from these middle men. My friends turned them down, other people might not. People will pay off orphanages, judges, etc. to speed up the process AND get a more "desirable" child. This is often but not always true of people who adopt infants internationally. It's reminiscent of the "Baby Snatch" era in the United States. This is part of the reason why many countries are now closed to American adoptions. Countries like Vietnam, Guatemala, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were popular adoption destinations because it was so easy to pay and bribe your to a child. ** I am not saying ALL people who adopted from these countries or who adopt internationally engage in these processes. I do believe it's possible to adopt in an ethical fashion, it's just easier not to.

Another problem is that many of the children in those orphanages are NOT orphans. They have living family members and often living parents. Some children are relinquished because they have special needs and their families are unable or unwilling to care for them. Some countries have archaic laws that forbid these children from being cared for in their homes. This was the case for many years in Soviet dominated Eastern Europe. Other children, and this is especially true in Africa and Haiti, are given up for adoption due to poverty. Families are unable to provide the most basic needs like food and shelter so they put their children in care in the hopes that they will at least be fed and housed. Many of those families intend for the situation to be temporary. Birth families might not understand the implications of placing their children in orphanages. Many times they continue to visit with the children while they are in the orphanage. Orphanages sometimes lie to them and lead them to believe that they can have their children back. Sometimes even after the children are adopted families continue to believe that they will one day be reunited.

Yet another issue is Hague accreditation. Not all countries are party to the Hague's adoption regulation. It's more difficult to adopt from Hague accredited countries than it is to adopt from non Hague accredited countries. There are usually stricter requirements and more oversight for Hague countries.

 

As far as the attachment issues the best advice I ever received regarding adoption is to treat every adoption like a special needs adoption. Even if the child has no easily identifiable disabilities like Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy there could be underlying issues. Even if the child has no organic source of disability the child still spent his/her life being institutionalized (if adopted internationally) or in foster care (adopted domestically). There are documented "post institutionalized behaviors". What that Autumn Winkler was describing in Yuri? Institutionalized behaviors. Children in orphanages have to be aggressive in order to get their needs met. They have learned that they can't rely on other people for safety or security. They must ensure that their own needs are met. They don't have their own toys, clothes, food, etc. Everything is communal. Many times they are unable to feed themselves or will only eat a limited number of foods. Orphanage workers have many children to care for and so they will often put thickened gruel/soup in baby bottles and feed the children that way. Children, especially significantly disabled children, spend most of their lives in a crib. They have no input from other people, from new environments. They receive no therapies. Imagine a child like that suddenly being adopted by an American family. On top of everything I just described the child has probably never heard English in his/her life. So now the child has new parents who speak a foreign language, the child is brought back to a country where he/she is inundated with new input and information; everything familiar to the child is gone. That must be absolutely terrifying.

 

Another friend is a pediatrician. She speaks Russian and has reviewed many medical files of children adopted from Russia. Although adoption agencies and orphanages will provide English translations, they are often not reliable. She's seen files where agencies have falsely reported a child's tuberculosis status, failed to report developmental delays/heart defects/you name it, and most often they fail to report maternal alcohol and drug use. It's estimated that upwards of 75% of children available for adoption in Russia and other Eastern European countries have some degree of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

 

I'm extremely wary of Reece's Rainbow, the organization referenced by Autumn Winkle. It is an "adoption ministry" not an agency but it's still sketchy at best. There's been considerable controversy of families being denied promised grants to adopt children as well as the legally dubious photo listings. Many countries, like Russia, do not allow photolistings. Despite this, RR continued to post photolistings of children in Russia. I can't remember if Ukraine has similar rules.

 

RR also seems willing to help the "child collectors". On some of the listings it says that the couple should have no more than six children at home however RR is willing to ask for exceptions. Uh, how is a couple with six or more kids supposed to handle an internationally adopted special needs child?! Ethically dubious at best.

I've also noticed that RR now cautions on the photolistings that the children show signs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and links to the Wiki page even if there is no official diagnosis. I don't know, the site makes me extremely uncomfortable. I can think of a few bloggers who've successfully adopted through them but I've also seen a lot of bloggers adopt and disrupt (NOT "rehome" as Autumn says, a child is NOT a dog!) because they couldn't handle the reality of special needs children.

 

ETA: I'm also Christian, but I'm not stupid. Jesus didn't ask people to enter into legally and ethically dubious adoptions. Heck, there are lots of ways to care for orphans without adoption. Donate your time and money to them. Sponsor a child so he/she can stay with their families and have their needs met. There are lots of ways to do it, you don't need to collect children from all corners of the earth.

September 1, 2013
3:38 pm
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Boybarianmom
Cat
Meows: 11
Snarking Since:
April 28, 2012

There is a blog called Flower Patch Farmgirl that I read faithfully and she and her husband have 3 adopted children. They really cannot have biological children though so I see her situation as being different.

Her husband is a chaplain in a prison. They have another boy whom they call their son, but he is not legally adopted. He is just a boy they invited into their home and loved freely.

I hesitated in posting about her, but I would like to show that there are Christians out there who love from pure hearts, not just wanting to collect children or make the situation about them. She does not do giveaways, she does not monetize her blog or beg for money to finance any of the things that she does. She just simply writes, quite eloquently, and lives out what she believes.

September 1, 2013
3:59 pm
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sunyourbuns
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 524
Snarking Since:
December 2, 2012

windy day said

I also think of the Mother Jones article often when hearing about or seeing these blogs.  The whole absolute conviction that they are saving children leads to a lot of shady things, both in-country with corrupt people handling adoptions of children who may not be orphans and post-homecoming with lack of appropriate services and disruptions.  There is a troubling tendency to disrupt and then ship the child off to someone the adoptive family knows without going through any formal agency or social workers.  

 

One of the blogs I used to hate was Autumn Winkle – she and her husband adopted two young children with significant special needs at once, from a bad orphanage, and disrupted on one less than a year later.  The way she used to write about him would make you cringe.  The little guy ended up with a family the Winkles knew through their adoption circles, who had adopted 3 preschoolers simultaneously the year before.  I didn't stop hating the blog, by the way, she just mostly stopped writing.

 

 http://noknots.blogspot.com/2011/10/story-you-have-been-waiting-for.html

I've worked with several families that have adopted because I speak a few languages from countries where people like to adopt from. I could tell you stories that would make your head spin.

The reasons that some "Good Christians" (just want to clarify that I don't mean all Christians, just the ones that seem to 'do it for Jesus') give for giving kids back or putting them into U.S. foster care are so horrendous. I worked with one absolutely lovely girl that had been severely sexually abused for years. The people adopting her were made aware of her background because it was so awful, but adopted her anyway. They ended up giving her to another family 3 years later because they didn't want to deal with her if she got pregnant as a teenager.

They adopted two more kids to replace her & continually b***hed about how one of them (also sexually abused) wouldn't hug the adoptive father. UGH.

I spent a long time going to adoption advocacy/awareness/legal issue events, and was always surprised at how awful humans can be. It really changed how I view adoption.

September 1, 2013
4:33 pm
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waitwhatIask
Kitten
Meows: 4
Snarking Since:
July 8, 2013

Was there ever an update on the status of Sammi's adoption attempt???

September 1, 2013
4:34 pm
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coming of age cherries
Hamcat
Meows: 57
Snarking Since:
August 4, 2013

People who act like the only thing kids in orphanages or adopted kids need is Jesus really skeeve me out.  I read a blog who promoted an organization who goes to eastern European orphanages and instead of bringing food, clothes, or toys brings Bibles and nothing else.  To severely disabled children living in horrific institutions.  Kids are starving and naked so your solution is to give them books they can't understand? I read an adoption blog about a family who adopted a disabled boy who was about 8 or 9 from Russia, and not even three or four days brought him to church.  I've done quite a bit of research on adoption as it is something I am considering for the future, and everything I've read says to keep the child away from lots of people for the first few weeks to promote healthy attachments to the new family.  I can't imagine bringing a disabled post-institutional older child home from another country and immediately expecting them to sit through church.  

 

"Kid collectors" also give me the creeps.  I read of a family who adopted FIVE unrelated older children with Down syndrome from eastern Europe at once. That just seems like a recipe for disaster to me.  The response to these situations from other blogs is always about how "godly" the family is for bringing home so many kids at once.  The attitude seems to be that the more kids you bring home at once.  You should adopt because you wholeheartedly want to, not to fuel your selfish desire to collect more children and spread your religion.  Not that having a large adopted family can't work, but intentions are everything.

September 1, 2013
5:03 pm
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Katogo
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 210
Snarking Since:
June 11, 2013

pom pom fringe said

Katogo said

windy day said

I also think of the Mother Jones article often when hearing about or seeing these blogs.  The whole absolute conviction that they are saving children leads to a lot of shady things, both in-country with corrupt people handling adoptions of children who may not be orphans and post-homecoming with lack of appropriate services and disruptions.  There is a troubling tendency to disrupt and then ship the child off to someone the adoptive family knows without going through any formal agency or social workers.  

 

One of the blogs I used to hate was Autumn Winkle – she and her husband adopted two young children with significant special needs at once, from a bad orphanage, and disrupted on one less than a year later.  The way she used to write about him would make you cringe.  The little guy ended up with a family the Winkles knew through their adoption circles, who had adopted 3 preschoolers simultaneously the year before.  I didn't stop hating the blog, by the way, she just mostly stopped writing.

 

 http://noknots.blogspot.com/2011/10/story-you-have-been-waiting-for.html

We have seen some horrific behavior by the adoption community. Christians seem to develop this mentality of the ends ("saving" a child) justifying the means (lying, bribing, false paperwork, kidnapping). God wants them to have that child! Any roadblocks are spiritual warfare and they just need to keep pushing on because this is what God wants!

So many situations we saw in our four months in Africa while adopting our sons were basically kidnapping. And the Americans would just pay people to make it go away because "that's just how it works here" which is a lie. That's how it works when you allow shady people to get you the healthy young infant you asked for. There is reason the waiting child lists are full of kids over age two. Don't line up for your kidnapped babies and say its what God wanted.

Sorry y'all. I'll get off my soapbox now. Huscat and I saw the very worst of human nature, greed, selfish behavior, American entitlement – all in the name of Jesus wanting this kid saved! – and it has soured us on adopting again. Which is really sad.

Could you explain what exactly is happening in these situations? I hear about it all of the time and it sounds horrific, but I don't understand how it is going down, and would like to know more. Ie: Are people paying ("buying"?) babies whose parents had not even relinquished them for adoption? Or are they kids who are in limbo and haven't been through proper adoption channels yet? 

I appreciate this thread a lot. I have felt so much of what is said here, but any time I say something about it, people look at me like I have two heads. I have adopted siblings and always expected that I would adopt as well. But I am so leery now, really afraid of being unknowingly complicit in something awful. 

I am breaking this down in to stupidly simple terms because there are a million different ways this can happen. Sometimes the adoptive parents aren't even aware it IS happening until later when they start looking in to the paperwork or try to track down birth parents. 

(And this is a side note but it's important to remember that Africa is a continent, not a country. There are no universal African adoption laws like there are across the board Haitian adoption laws or Chinese adoption laws. The rules in Uganda were very flexible until about a year ago which is how the Gallo's were able to adopt an older child. Ethiopia changed their laws a few years ago to require two trips to cut down on disruptions in adoption. DRC has no central adoption laws so it's pretty much a free for all. Lesotho, Rwanda and Kenya (I might be mistaken on that so don't quote me) are all temporarily shut down to try implement Hauge rules which is a whole different ball of wax but Hauge, while well intended, does little to protect the rights of birth families and children.)

 

So. If you, as a wealthy (relative term) American want a healthy (again, this is relative) baby, you can do it one of two ways. You can decide on a country to adopt from, research for an agency that works ethically but slowly, get your dossier in line and wait for a baby. Or you can look for the agency that promises fast turn around and give them your dossier and have them obtain you a baby. If you go the first route, you'll be waiting a long time. In fact most agencies have currently put a block on people requesting under age two. If you go the second route, you will likely get a baby that has been purchased or stolen. We adopted from a country in Africa that starts with a U and witnessed agency "contacts" for these shady agencies going in to the slums and walking out with a baby and then telling the adoptive parents "Oh, she was abandoned." Or they would go in to the rural communities and offer to send the child to school in the city but instead create false paperwork again claiming abandonment. Birth parents have been paid off for their babies as well. 

 

Oh, so let's request a child over age two then! Except it happens with those kids too.

More recently I've become friends with several people who have adopted domestically and apparently this whole false promises thing is HUGE with the adoptions of newborns in the States. Agencies will tell adoptive parents to agree to anything birth mom wants because in the end it likely won't be legally binding anyway. 

The only way to know you're adopting ethically is to ask a million questions. Seriously. Ask everyone, every step of the way, anything that you can think of. Pay attention to the average turn around time for a referral vs your agencies turn around time. Ask where every dime of your agency payments go. Ask how they got connected with people in country and how long they've been working there. Search online to see what people have to say. We had a horrific experience with our agency BUT our adoptions were ethically sound per our independent investigations so we are careful with how we talk to people about them. 

September 1, 2013
6:33 pm
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Queen Elizabeth
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 290
Snarking Since:
March 15, 2012

Anyone know what happened to Watching the Waters? She had an article on Motherlode (NY Times) a few years ago, and a long blog archive, but she seems to have deleted it.



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