Friday, May 25, 2012


Today, I want to draw your attention to an article written by the same folks who decided to pick apart my blog.  In the interest of brevity, I can’t cut and paste the whole article in the same way these fine folks chose to cut and paste my blog.  However, in the spirit of full disclosure, I want to direct you to the article so that you may read it in its entirety:

You can probably guess that an article with “Starvation” in its title would pique my interest.  Moreover, I really try to listen to both sides of an argument when I can, even when the entity making the argument is ill informed, poorly spoken, and otherwise off their rockers.

I’ll note comments in bold, and remove some of the less salient pieces of text.  Again, I encourage you to visit the link provided to read the entire, unedited piece.

REFORM Talk would like to add some information and commentary about this serious and disturbing issue from the perspective of those who [generally dislike] the adoption community for years. We don’t claim to have all of the answers,[yes, we do. Just ask us] but do have some educated theories on the subject [provided by thoroughly researched, scholarly sources]. We will discuss the issue of food abuse in two parts, the first addressing the most serious aspect, when children die from starvation [like they do in the orphanage my future son lives in, where according to us, he ought to stay until poverty is eradicated, the entire adoption community is 100% reformed, and world peace is achieved.  Anything that happens prior to that is…unfortunate at best.] 

 In order for the child to learn self-control and self-discipline, their basic needs need to be met as well as their past traumas dealt with. When traumatized children are placed with underprepared families [and we think every family is ‘underprepared’, by our own standards that are unsupported and generally our own opinions]  the result is a downward spiral of children not getting their needs met followed by the child’s natural reaction to that—exhibiting behaviors that are on a scale of anywhere from annoying to deceitful to destructive to dangerous. When a child does not automatically fold into the existing family culture the adults become frantic to establish order and control in the home. [Frantic?  Gee, that’s not editorializing…] What we see happening [where are you ‘seeing’ this? Please don’t tell me you are reading it anywhere, because reading is bunk. You said so.] in case after case are parents who have preconceived false notions about how and when a child will integrate into their family and home life. They lack skills and the ability to meet the child’s needs at the child’s level of trauma and fear.[So do about 99.5% of orphanage workers, but we give them a pass because they reside in the child’s native country] They[most orphanages and foster homes] lack resources and support to accomplish this as well, and the newly placed child also suffers as do all other children already in the home [No, not ‘all children suffer in the home’.  Most probably do.  But not ‘all’]. The child who is afraid and traumatized is expected to settle in and quickly adapt to the new and foreign home life [If adoptive parents really feel this way, they should rethink this.  No adopted child is going to ‘quickly adapt’ to a new and foreign home life.  Do regular people think this way?  I don’t.]. They are expected to be happy that they now live with a family. This ludicrous expectation [Something I can agree with.  This is a ludicrous expectation indeed.  NO CHILD from ANYWHERE is going to be magically ‘happy’ to be part of a family.  The fact is, the institution is the only place this child has known.  He doesn’t know it’s a lousy place.  It’s his home.  I don’t expect my future son to smile hourly because he’s suddenly in a family – even if it IS the best place for him] is regularly propagated by the adoption industry and foster community [It shouldn’t be, if it is.  The transition from orphanage or foster care to home is challenging and should be represented as such].

In these types of families, compliance is achieved by taking away things of value and restricting the child’s world in order to force obedience. [Okay, this doesn’t work.  I don’t know what adoptive parents you talk to, but THIS adoptive parent understands that this type of discipline can NOT work with an adopted child, for a host of reasons I read in a book, which probably renders that information useless] Unfortunately, if a child has a fighting spirit (as many survivors do) this doesn’t work and the downward spiral begins. The parent takes away a privilege or something the child enjoys with the understanding that the child may have this back once they comply with the parent’s request or demand. When the child does not comply, they take something else away. When this doesn’t work, parents without a skill set to reevaluate their strategy [this is not me] begin to look for the most basic need a child has to be withheld for compliance. For all humans, this is food. And here is where situations become deadly.  [This is where they describe the food deprivation process.  Food cannot be used to instill compliance in an adopted child.  I’m sorry if some APs do not understand this.  We do.] Sadly, children die as a result [just like they die in the orphanage where my future son lives, but we don’t care about that and he is better off where he is anyway].

Washington state needs to look no further than their own screening process for potential parents, the preplacement education they provide, and post-placement monitoring and resources for the child and family. Placing traumatized children in [any] families can be disastrous [because fundamentally, we don’t believe any family can be prepared, and since the adoption system is so corrupt anyway, children should remain in their birth countries at all costs, period.]

We like to write things as if we really care about children.  And some of us probably do.  But most of us despise adoption.  We like to set the rules for the families who adopt – and for the record, no one will meet those rules. Education isn’t enough.  Experience isn’t enough. We actually don’t really like special needs children very much, and privately, in places we don’t talk about at parties, we can’t possibly fathom why anyone would willingly choose an undesirable child.  We find the worst offenders on the internet and then we paint every adoptive family with the same brush.  We criticize Reece’s Rainbow in part because we take issue with photolistings – photolistings that exist in the United States as well – but mostly because we really, truly, just don’t get it.  We really don’t see why anyone would want to adopt a child who looks or acts that way, but we know we can’t say that out loud, so we pretend that it’s other things.

We take examples of corruption and abuse in the adoption industry – real examples, to be sure – and then decide that every agency is terrible.  We take legitimate situations of abuse in adoptive families and then decide that anyone anywhere who is adopting a special needs child will suffer the same failure, because we ‘know’ it’s 100% proven every single time.  We rail against ‘child collectors’ and magically decide that even someone adopting just one child is a ‘child collector’.  We get angry at adoptive parents who fundraise – we call them names and tell them they are financially unprepared to have a child – but happily deposit the change in the jar for the little girl whose parents are fundraising for her cancer treatments.  We never try to find that family and tell them, “Boy, you should have thought about paying for her cancer treatments before you had kids!  Screw you!” but we’ll be quick to point out that someone who can’t shell out upwards of $30,000 at a rip can’t afford to have a child.  We do this because we really don’t like adoption.  We really wish the world would change into the perfect utopia that we dream of.  A place where poverty doesn’t exist and life is like a box of chocolates. 

Finally, we are horribly ethnocentric.  We believe, truly and completely, that every parent who abandons a child in a foreign nation does so with coercion, under duress, or because of poverty.  We cite real examples of this which are honestly shameful.  Therefore, we generalize this to include every biological parent in every nation for every child.  We firmly believe that if poverty were eliminated, no children would be left in institutions.  We take this view because we judge these societies based on our own value system, which is why we are ethnocentric.  We can’t understand or accept differences in society and culture.  We assume they are just like us, because if they are not, they ought to be. 

We feel so strongly about these views that we will actively search out your blog.  We will leave comments without our names.  If we can’t do that, we will create shell accounts to leave you messages that are nothing more than hate speech.  If we cannot find a way to reach you that way, we might just decide to visit a website of yours and insert our information or website into your address book.  We have so much courage and are so convinced that we are right that we choose not to engage in intelligent debate.  Instead, we stand on our biased platform, preaching to a crowd that is primed to hear our message, and then smile knowingly when we get a lot of “atta boys”. 

Once again, I encourage you to read the entire, unedited message from their site.  Some of what they are saying is absolutely spot on.  Some of what they are saying, if true, is sad.  And some of what they are saying is actually crap.  You know what else?  I don’t fall into the “traps” that these folks are talking about.  I’m not naïve.  In one of their documents, they said that an adoptive parent who isn’t scared to bring home a child with special needs should be scared.  I am scared.  Do I believe God has my back?  Yes.  Am I scared anyway? Yes.  I’d be crazy not to be scared.

I know a real good example of starving children.  They live in The Bad Place.  It is one of the reasons why we are reaching out to adopt our future son (ONE of the reasons….not THE reason!).  If you want to worry about starving children, that’s fine.  Stop criticizing those families who are going into places where children starve and die.

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Kind comments are welcomed. Poorly researched, ill-informed, horrifically biased comments are exploded. :)