Things That Need Reform….

This post is part of Grown In My Heart‘s blog Carnival.  Anyone can participate, get hooked up here.  Mr. Linky

Things that need reform, as simply as possible….

Birth Certificate Access

C’mon people, this is obvious.  The sky has not fallen where access by adult adoptees to their original birth certificate has been granted.  It’s simple, and it’s the right thing to do.  Which leads to….

Uniform regulations on all adoptions

Honestly, it’s like the wild west out there. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about adult adoptee issues, foster care adoption, agency adoption, private adoption, international adoption, anything adoption related.  When the first thing you have to ask someone is “Where are you at?” there is something very wrong. We are talking about human beings here.  Can we come to some general guidelines please?

Yeah I know, I’m dreaming. So what?  You asked me.

Doing just these two things would do more to make adoption more ethical and humane than anything else.  Honesty, equal rights for all involved, and a standard set of rules.  Simple and beautiful.

There are many specific things that need to be changed in adoption, but most could be cleared up if these two things were in effect.  If it’s about the children, and I have to think the adults these children become, give us our rights and a standard way to access them.  Not only would this make things better for those already adopted, it would make things better for future adoptees, and those who relinquish, or adopt.  From every perspective in what is good for adoptees is good for everyone.

Deathbed Conversions and Gumball Machines

If you haven’t read my previous Happy Monday post, please do, this one will make a whole lot more sense.

I know exactly how that stupid vending machine made it into the front of my store.

During the conquest of the Americas many missionaries were sent out to “civilize” the savages and bring them religion.  Some of the native people really went for the Jesus thing, some gave it lip service to save their butts, and some didn’t buy into any of it.

But as some folks who were less than impressed by Christianity approached death, they would ask to see the priests and convert moments before expiring. While this pumped up the stats of the church, I’m guessing that most of the deathbed converts were merely hedging their bets on the afterlife.

It does make sense to cover all of your bases.  The Pagan Gods tended to be forgiving of their peers, and only asked that they be paid tribute in the areas they were responsible for.  Even when the Christian God laid down the law, he asked only that no other Gods go before him.  So waving the spiritual giant foam finger at the Christian God in final overtime probably made a whole lot of sense.

While the Pagan Gods still have their followers, most folks are more into the things that have replaced them these days.  You know, money, success, standing in the community, doing your own thing.  Even though most folks don’t have a God for these things anymore, they tend to ignore the Christian God in order to pursue them.  I don’t think they think much about it, until they fear that their soul might be in some peril.  All in all, the number of deathbed conversions hasn’t suffered much over the years.

I’ve always found deathbed conversions to be ass kissy and tacky.  I’m perfectly willing to go into the great beyond with all of my doubts worn honestly.  I’m not going to beg to be invited to a party that I’m not dressed for.

I’m guessing that it’s mainly fear that motivates last minute conversions.  I’m sure they see it as fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of eternal damnation.  Legitimate fears I suppose, if you believe in that kind of thing. I have a hard time thinking a last minute apology is ever going to make up for all the stuff that leads to those fears, but some still try.

Even waiting until the last minute, presumably after all your deeds are behind you, can still lead to trouble.  These things aren’t exempt from the no good deed goes unpunished clause.  Attempts at getting the Lord on your side can complicate things with the very folks you fear you’ve hurt, that lead to all this ass kissing in the first place.

Take orphans for example.  Helping them out would seem to be a good way to get back in good with the man upstairs.  And as long as you really don’t have to do anything, well more is the better.  No need to check anything out, just do your good deed and get spiritual brownie points. Easy.

Well, maybe not.

While spiritual matters are mainly the concern the individual and whatever God they are working with, I think that how ones actions effect others probably come into play.  I’m certain not even thinking about how your actions will effect others come into play.  That might even earn you demerits.

I have no doubt that this is a difficult thing to understand for those who see everything in black and white, or good and evil, but it’s something to think about.  Thinking about things is hard, some just won’t go to the trouble.  That makes me sad and explains the gumball machine.

Happy Monday From the Southern Baptist Convention

I got a good nights sleep last night, felt well, and was looking forward to a typical day at work. I should have known it wasn’t going to happen. Mondays are never typical days at work. I had taken Saturday and Sunday off, leaving the store in the hands of my a-dad. As my regular readers know, he’s not typical. Guess what I found?

Yep, Buster is pretty scary, after getting over the initial horror of the machine itself,  I read the label on his belly.

Proceeds from this vending unit benefit SONRISE CHILDREN’S HOME and MEDICINE VALLEY COMMUNITY CHILDREN’S MINITRY.  For more information call 660-673-6023

Who are these people?

Sonrise Children’s Home is this outfit…

http://www.seethesonrise.org/

Mission statement is as follows…

Sonrise Children’s Home is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.  We were formed by a group of Christians that saw a need and believed God to use them to meet that need.  This non-denominational entity is operated by a Board comprised of Christian men and women who love God and want to please Him.

The number of children in the foster care system is on the rise while homes are limited.  Consequently, children are being placed hundreds of miles from their families, making reunification difficult.  They are growing up with insecurities as they are relocated to unfamiliar surroundings and often being separated from brothers and sisters during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

The mission of Sonrise Children’s Home is to provide children with a safe, secure, loving environment to grow and develop good moral character, to provide a moral compass through a relationship with God, and to be self disciplined in order to become a productive member of society through a model of Jesus Christ.

We must provide for the physcial need of the child with a safe, secure, and loving home.

We must give the child an opportunity to grow and develop good moral character.

We must provide a place where work ethic and responsibility are learned.

We must be good stewards and provide for God’s hurting children

We must model Jesus Christ and show the hurting children God’s love for them.

Ok, it’s a foster placement facility, that relies way too much on Jesus and discipline for my taste.  The thing is, as far as I knew it was shut down.  So I did some checking, and it’s reopening..

http://republican-times.com/modules.php?sid=18927&thold=0&order=0&file=article&name=News&op=modload

I was never sure why the place shut down in the first place, but I’m thinking it didn’t do a lot to ” provide children with a safe, secure and loving environment”, being thrown into another foster placement and all.

Oh course they aren’t going to worry about the effects of multiple foster placements when they have the Lord’s work to do.  I’m betting they aren’t going to want anybody else to think about it either, especially when they are raising money.  Besides, there’s a whole new group of children who need to know Jesus’ discipline, if they like it or not.  And, they have a gumball machine.  God only makes nightmarish gumball machines available to deserving charities.

I did take a look at their 990 filings, the last of which was in 2007, and can be pretty sure that the reason wasn’t money, as of the last filing available they were still very much in the black.  Did they lose their management?  Did they have logistical problems? Did they just get tired of it?  I don’t know.  All I do know is that any children they had in their care at the time were thrown into yet another foster situation.  That ain’t good.

And is this Medicine Valley Community Ministry? According to official sources, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, Guidestar, Charity.net, they don’t exist.  I’m not sure how they are soliciting donations.  I can’t tell that they do anything at all other than raise money. They do seem to be tied up with this bunch though….

http://www.northgrandriverbaptist.com/index.php

Who don’t seem to support anything but their own social gatherings, and a bookstore.

And they seem to be very close with these folks who we all know….

http://www.sbc.net/default.asp

Yep, the Southern Baptist Convention.  They seem to think that adoption is a mission….

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=1194

Seems that they want to create an adoption culture.

Great.

I’ve got a gumball machine supporting a children’s home that I’m not even sure is open, or is going to stay open for any amount of time, and a ministry that doesn’t exist, scaring the heck out of children of all ages, with a gumball machine in the front of my store.  Oh happy Monday.

I guess I have a phone call to make.  Several phone calls.

I’ll keep you posted.

Update: I’ve just found this letter from a local paper dated September 23rd 2008, explaining the reason for the closure.  It seems that they closed down after taking in just one child.  Considering they have raised tens of thousands of dollars in the last few years, I find this very disturbing.  Combine that with the inability to find personnel and I feel that they shouldn’t be fostering children at all.  Their priorities seem to be much more about pleasing God than actually ever taking care of children.

In the effort of keeping the surrounding communities informed, we want to update you on the progress and setbacks with the Sonrise Children’s Home. On August 18th we welcomed our first child to the Sonrise Children’s Home. A very monumental day for all that has been involved since the conception. We give God all the praise and glory. It has been wonderful to see this building become the home for a child in need.
To our regret, we received a resignation notice from our house parents with a month’s notice. We are currently searching for new house parents. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, we will have to close the home until we hire and train new house parents.
Although this has been a disappointing setback to all, we need your prayers and help more than ever. The only way the Children’s Home will be able to protect and nurture the children from the surrounding area is by your support. We will press on with our fall fundraisers and look at new fundraisers to help our income. We are seeking counsel from other children’s homes on how to bet-ter raise funds, organize and operate the home. We understand the challenges ahead, but we serve a great God. We will work hard to do our part so there will be children back in the home soon. The rest we will leave up to our Redeemer and Sustainer, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Terry Busker
Sonrise Children’s Home
Board President


Free Haitian Orphan With Every Order

Update 2/2/10

It’s been brought to my attention that the link I gave for Safe Families Haiti does not match the text I quoted.  That’s because the site I pulled that text from has been taken down.  But luckily it’s available in cache..

The site they don’t want you to see.

I’d like to thank my commenter Jill for pointing it out to me.

If you read through the enteries you’ll find all kinds of interesting craziness.

Gee, I wonder why they took that down?

In my place somewhere in the middle of the adoption world, I get to explore many different perspectives on every issue.  Things bubble up, points are made, and very little ever seems to change. This has intensified in the last few days, just this morning I found these on my Twitter feed.

First an organization called Safe Families Haiti, whose mission is stated as…

Safe Families is a network of Christian families that extend a safety net to children by providing at-risk families a sanctuary where they can place their children in a time of crisis. As a voluntary, non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system, SFFC temporarily relieves parents from the responsibility of caring for their child and provides them time to address life issues without the fear of losing custody. Children are cared for by volunteer host families that are screened, trained, and serve to demonstrate Christ’s transforming love.

..seems to be looking for anyone who wants to take a Haitian child.  Here’s their website..

www.safe-families.org

Sounds OK, right?  A bit churchy, but non-coercive, and temporary.  Just what may be needed while families of Haitian children get their lives back in order after a terrible disaster.

Wrong.

Their next message reads like this….

Because of the response of families who desire to adopt children, we no longer need families who are interested in temporary housing. We are looking to place all children we receive with families who are considering adoption.

So I guess it’s just to hell with the temporary stuff, and you get to keep the kid.

All kinds of problems there.

But as I said, I’m in the middle, so I got this on my Twitter feed too.

Whites Make Pact With God, Expedite Haitian Adoptions

http://outlandishremarks.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/whites-make-pact-with-god-expedite-haitian-adoptions/#comment-54

Reading that, if not really changing anything about the situation, made me feel better.  I’m not just imagining this becoming some kind of free-for-all for ravenously entitled PAPs.

And you know what the really bad thing is? The above blog is about folks who were already involved in the process of adopting from Haiti.

Just think of the kids who weren’t matched, who won’t have any paperwork, who might have families that will come looking for them, and find nothing.

What is wrong with people? Folks can’t just help a kid out?  They have to get to keep them?  That’s hardly selfless, or well thought out.

Like It’s Not The Same

I learned something today. Blizzard like conditions are not the same as a blizzard conditions. It seems that blizzard like conditions occur when there is no real snow falling, already fallen snow just blows around. A real blizzard requires snow be falling.

This morning the weatherman  took great pains to explain this. He was adamant that we were not experiencing a blizzard, only blizzard like conditions. Despite his efforts, I’ll tell you that this distinction means very little to the person driving in blizzard like conditions.

I feel that insisting that they be called blizzard like conditions belittles my experience. It makes it seem less significant. I would sound much more brave, tough, and possessed of an adventurous spirit, if I could tell you that I just drove through a blizzard. But no, I just drove through blizzard like conditions. The winds only gusted to like 40 miles per hour, the snow was only like blinding, the drifts were only like all the way across the road. My commute was only like intense.

Pfffffffft.

This has me doubting myself. I have no idea if I have ever driven through a blizzard now. I don’t know if snow was ever actually falling from the sky during the blinding storms that I have driven through. There isn’t any way to tell. If someone ever asks me if I have driven through a blizzard, I won’t know what to say. I will forever question myself due to one weatherman’s passion for accuracy.

Why do we allow our experiences to be nitpicked by others quests to define everything? Do those who either make theses divisions, or seek to enforce them, wish to take ownership of the events of our lives? Do they inflict their knowledge on us for the sake of superiority? Are they simply geeks on a buzzkill mission?

I don’t know. But I do hope that weatherman has to drive home in the worst blizzard like conditions in years.