Adoption and Poilitics Before I’ve Had My Coffee

Disclaimer: This is a humor piece, it is not meant to influence or inform, only to be amusing. Please do not use my comments section to post actual facts. You’ll just piss me off. Thanks.

I woke up way too early this morning. My life in the last few weeks has included falling way too hard for the media coverage of the political events in Iowa (I’m right next door) and adoption activism. No wonder these things got mixed up in my mind being up at this ungodly hour.

I began to think about the current crop of GOP candidates in terms of adoption, specifically what role they would fulfill if they were part of the adoption community….

(insert soft focus and the dream music from any 1970’s sitcom here)

Mitt Romney-Birth father, adopter, envies adoptees, duh, he’s Mormon.

Michelle Bachman-Adopter, with a blog and a website, working on a book, will tell you how important she is to the adoption community, known to troll adult adoptees reminding them how grateful they should be while misquoting Margaret Mead, who she thinks wrote a baby book.

John Huntsman-Adoptee, but nobody has noticed.

Newt Gingrich-Late Discovery Adoptee, claims to be grateful, but is troubled by sexually charged homicidal fantasies involving his adoptive mother.

Sarah Palin-Adoptee that wants to adopt, already has really bad ass names picked out, but has been turned down by every agency in the country. She can see Russian babies from her house.

Ron Paul-Adoptee, nobody listens to him, compensates by overachieving, but just can’t please his adoptoraptors by becoming president, destined to fail. Also wonders if his children are actually his. He still truly believes he came from the hospital.

Rick Santorum-definitely not a birth father. Google it.

Herman Cain-Adoptee, look at the group picture.

Rick Perrry-Sperm donor, but underutilized, has probably not fathered any children, intelligence means more to potential buyers than good hair.

(Que end-of-dream-sequence music)

Funny What You Find

I have too much time on my hands.  I actually check my blog stats.  They are disheartening.  Not because I don’t have enough readers, I have those, but who is reading me.  

Over the last few months the posts that get the most hits are those about my Holt Adoption Camp experience.  This tells me more folks are googling Holt International, Adoption Camp, or “how do I get me one of those neato orphans?” in disturbing numbers.  

That ain’t good.

You know what else isn’t good?  If you check Holt International on Twitter, they are following this guy….

http://www.amazon.com/Snowball-Factor-Create-Avalanche-Profit/dp/1432728717/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239586759&sr=1-1

 

That’s right, “How To Create An Avalanche Of Profit”.  

*sigh*

It figures.

He also offers this little gem…

http://www.90secondwebsitebuilder.com/

“My nine-year-old just built my website for me”

Great.  

One wonders where exactly he got this 9 year-old.

Changes

I think that each and everyone one of us has the capacity for change.  Heck change is what I’m all about, and what this blog is all about.  I an an Adult Adoptee Advocating For Change, after all.

It’s not just me, I feel change in the air.  We are all growing, all changing, maybe we’ll all be better for it.   

Change takes inspiration and no one has inspired me more than Marley today.  Just to think a year ago her position on adoption agencies went like this…

Records and identity access is about our rights and has no connection with the marketing schemes of adoption agencies. BN has a long-standing, hard-line policy of accepting no support from the adoption industry. Bastard Nation specifically, and the adoptee rights movement in general, cannot and should not be co-opted or used by the adoption industry to promote its own agenda. We disavow all industry involvement in our work. Any entanglement with the adoption industry endangers the integrity and credibility of the adoptee rights movement.

 

And today when she says, in reference to her groups partnership with Holt International, commenting on my last post….

 

 We are partners with many groups with CalOpen. 

 

This includes 3, count them 3, adoption agencies, by the way.

 

I’ve always said that in order to get records opened up we must work with all kinds of people and organizations related to adoption, and here’s Marley living by that example.  

And I can only think that her presence will go on to inspire more good things.  More openness at Holt, an easing in the attitude that they display to natural mothers, a brand new day at Holt International.  I’m sure Marley, above all others, is working to make Holt the kind of adoption agency we’d all like to see.  Gone will be the days of half truths and difficulty reuniting.  

Change is good and I’m proud of you Marley.

So Much I Want To Do

I want to do so many things.  I want to direct you to my other blog and show you all the fiber arts stuff I’ve been up to.  But I haven’t been up to much.  I want to tell you about the reunion I have working in my life, but that is sort of on hold too.  I’d also like to be on a beach with my toes in the sand and a drink in my hand.  This is  the least likely to happen anytime soon.

So I’m going to hit the high points here.  

As some folks are aware, my state, Missouri, has at least 2  birth certificate access bills at some stage in the legislative process.  Not to mention a couple of more bills that pop up here and there that could have some effect on adoptees.  The only bill that is still breathing is far from perfect, and has, at present, one of the craziest contact preference clauses I’ve ever seen, here’s the summary in it entirety, with the contact preference section bolded….

 

SB 53 – This act modifies provisions regarding adoption records. The State Registrar shall develop and, upon a birth parent’s request, distribute both a contact preference and a medical history form to the birth parent. The contact preference form allows a birth parent to list his or her preference for contact by the adoptee. If a contact preference form is filed with the registrar, a medical history form shall also be so filed. Upon receipt of the forms, the State Registrar shall attach such forms to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. 

This act allows for an adopted person, the adopted person’s attorney, or the adopted person’s descendants, if the adopted person is deceased, to obtain a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate from the State Registrar upon written application and proof of identification. The adopted person shall be 18 years of age or older and born in Missouri. The adopted person shall also agree in writing to abide by the birth parent’s contact preference, if such preference is included with the adopted person’s original birth certificate. The State Registrar shall also provide a medical history form, if such form was completed by the birth parent.

 

The provisions of the act shall not apply to adoptions instituted or completed prior to August 28, 2009, except that a copy of the medical history form, which has had all identifying information redacted, shall be issued to such adopted person. For adoptions completed prior to August 28, 2009, the state registrar shall release the original birth certificate only if the birth mother is deceased. If the birth mother is not deceased, the state registrar shall, within thirty days of application by the adopted person, contact the birth mother via telephone, personally and confidentially, to obtain the birth mother’s written consent or denial to release the original birth certificate.

 

This act is identical to SCS/SB 1132 (2008) and similar to SB 322 (2003)

 

I was not aware that the telecommunications lobby was so strong to even reach into the area of adoptees rights.  I assume this means that they will call the first parent on the phone and then send out a contact preference formhat’s what I call reaching out and touching someone.  Okaaay….whatever.   

And yes,  this is the same old tired hag of a bill that has been floating around for years.  

At any rate, Paula Benoit is coming to Missouri very soon to lobby legislators very soon.  I’m seeing this as a bright spot.  

If you’re not familiar with her work in Maine, check here….

http://www.adopteecare.com/paula/

Now that’s what I’m talking about.  A good clean bill.  

Paula has offered to keep us that aren’t hooked up with the super secret workings of the inside scene of Missouri Adoptee Rights activism up with the goings on of her visit.  If you’d like to be inclued, just leave a comment here or drop me a line and I’ll get you hooked up.  The more folks that we can get on this the better.  This means everybody.  

And yes, those who know me have already guessed, politics is making for some strange bedfellows here.  But that’s par for the course in Missouri.  Maybe not so much everywhere else.  Just to tease you a bit, what would make an adoptee rights organization who claim to be the top dog (or should I say top bastard dog) in all things adoptee rights partner with an imfamous adoption agency?  Do they want an invitation to camp too?

I don’t know.

But I am mulling it over.

Everybody Wants Some

It seems that everybody is asking me for money these days.  Jimmy Carter wrote me a letter about building affordable housing, The  Willdlife Fund has assured me that every last panda on Earth will be exterminated unless I send them $25, and for some reason if I don’t send the DNC more money, our very way of life will come to an end.  I thought the DNC should be in pretty good shape, but I was mistaken.

This is a normal day for me.  I send out little dribbles of money to save the world.   It’s not something that I would even mention if I hadn’t received an appeal from another organization.

It started off like this, and I quote….

Your gift to Holt’s Special Needs Adoption Fund will help to offset the adoption expense for a waiting child, and immediately help to make sure the children are united with the loving families they desperately need. We are asking you today for a gift of $50, $100 or more to help a waiting child be adopted, or consider a special gift of $1,934 to help place one child with a loving family in 2009. Your gift will make a huge difference for these children and families!

OK, they want me to give money to help special needs kids around the world.  Who could possibly be against helping special needs kids?  Certainly not me.  I’m all for helping special needs kids.

But wait, this money doesn’t go to the kids, it goes to potential adoptive parents….potential adoptive parents that can’t afford their adoptions.   Even special needs adoptions that cost substantially less.  It doesn’t go to orphanages to pay for doctors, or therapists, or surgeries.  One wonders if they will be hearing from this loving family in the future, after all taking care of a special needs child ain’t cheap.  If $1,934 is all that it takes to get the kid home, where are they going to come up with the costs for care, even if they have insurance?  Let’s face it, if they can’t put a couple of grand on their MasterCard, how good could their jobs be, even if they have benefits?  I really don’t want Holt selling them my name for future reference.

The money goes to some wannabe “family” that doesn’t seem to be aware that there are a whole load of special needs kids that you can adopt for what amounts to almost free.  That’s right, if you really took a bath in this recession, there are places that will let you save a kid right here at home.  They even come in a variety of colors.  Heck if you don’t tell the neighbors, they’ll never know that you got them on the cheap.  Just teach the kids a few words of the exotic language of your choice and send them out to play.

No, the money doesn’t pay for help for the kids, it offsets the cost of airfare and a couple of weeks in some Americanized pseudo luxury hotel, and a barbie doll.  If they think I’m going to help pay for some entitled potential adoptive parents to stay in accommodations I can’t afford, they are dreaming.

But wait, there’s more…

Charlie was born premature at 28 weeks weighing 2.4 pounds. He continues to have global delays. Charlie will develop more rapidly in the love and nurture of a permanent family and your gift will make a huge difference in our ability to find him that family.

Things do sound bad for Charlie.   I’m not really sure why I can’t just give some money to help out Charlie.   I think the first thing I’d like to pay for is a name change, he really doesn’t look like a Charlie, that could do wonders for his self esteem.  As I’m sure they tell all the potential adopters in pre-adoptive classes, self esteem is key in development.

I think I’ll pass on this one.  I still want to help special needs kids and adoptees, but I think I’ll cut out the middle man.  There are tons of charities that do great work in every single country that Holt is doing business.  Many of them might have even been able to get poor Charlie some help without going through all the trouble of adoption.

I want to help adoptees too.  I think I’ll send some money here.

Adoptee Rights.

I’ve Been Around, Just Not Around Here

If anyone has been wondering, yes I’m still alive, and still adopted.  

I’ve been busy, alright.  Things to do, people to see.

I wanted to update on a few things that I have been neglecting.  First My favorite Ungrateful Little Bastard would kill me if I didn’t plug the demonstration (have you noticed there’s a demon in every demonstration?).

Go here…

Everything you need to know about the Adoptee Rights Demonstration

Sign up. Donate. Attend. Let your adoptee flag fly.

 

Second, there’s an  in Mother Jones about corruption in international adoption, called “meet The Parents”.  It’s is written by this dude, Steve Carney, who seems to know his shit.  It should be available online soon and it promises to get even more interesting from there.  

 

Third, as I said before I’m still adopted.  Not everyone seems to understand this, I’m on Holt Internationals mailing list.  They seem to think that I still want to go to adoption camp.  I’m thinking of taking them up on it, as an adoptee.  They didn’t have that kind of thing when I was a kid.  I wonder if they have a pony rides?

Do You Know Who I Am?

I don’t know who you are.  Well I do know who some of you are, but not all of you.  I don’t know how you found me or why you came here.  Are you looking for information, entertainment, a good laugh, or a shoulder to cry on?  

And what do you really know about me?  It’s pretty easy to see that I have an agenda.  But what exactly is that agenda?  And where does it come from?  Childhood trauma? A desire to do good? Brain injury?  

Do I have anything to say that is worthwhile?  That’s for you to judge.  You could look at my associations.  But you’ll never really know if that seek me out or I have come to them.  Would that make a difference?  Should you judge me by them?  Do you think that I would always agree or defend them?  

What’s the point of this post anyway?  I’m not sure that I even know.  But I do know one thing, you need to ask yourself these questions.  Everybody has an agenda, and at the end of the day, it is all their own.  We are all privateers.

Cooperation only comes when the goal serves all involved.  Working together for a common goal is the coming together of the best and worst of our natures.  It is a worthwhile pursuit, but much like sausage, you don’t really want to know what’s in it.  

Ask some questions about who I am.  Ponder why I’m here.  Then do the same with everybody else.  But don’t tell me or anyone else what you see.  Some things aren’t meant to be shared.   

I don’t really want to know who I am, or who you are.

What’s Wrong With Holt Childrens Services?

In the comments from my last post other than being told that I needed therapy, which happens a lot, and inspiring a rather scary Halloween costume, I was asked what’s wrong with Holt.

I’m not quite sure how to answer that question.  Was I being asked what is wrong with what Holt does?  Was I being asked what is wrong with adoption, or international adoption in general?  Was I being asked why Lillie and I approached Holt in particular?

Some of these questions are much easier to address than others.  If my commenter was wondering what is wrong with what Holt does, I have to think they are wondering what my concerns are with adoption and international adoption in particular.  If this is what they want to know all I can do is ask that they read the enteries here, then read the links to the left, and all the things that those that I link suggest they read.  This hould give them a good idea about the problems with adoption as well as quite a reading list.

As to why Holt was approached, that’s simple.  I wanted to meet my friend Lille.  The Iowa State Fair worked out well.  Approaching Holt came from wanting to do something for adoptee rights since that was the way that we found each other in te first place.  When the trip was planned we didn’t even know that Holt was going to have a booth there.  I saw an advertisement for the Holt booth when researching what was going on at the fair.

We did not have anything prepared, or any kind of grand evil plan, we just thought we would stop by and ask some questions.  We had no idea that things would go as they did.

We did not expect the kind of presentation that we received.  I think both of us expected to be asked to leave the booth as soon as we opened our mouths.  I think both of us came a way much more shaken and disgusted than we ever considered.

I can’t speak for Lillie, but I know the things I heard and the feeling I got from this experience was much more disturbing than I could have imagined.  the only thing that I could compare it to is a sales presentation.   If I had not been as informed and aware of the problems inherit in adoption, I can see how I could have been taken in.  If nothing else this surely opened my eyes to how easily people are drawn in to adopting.

If I had just been a lady at the fair with a friend who saw the booth and was drawn to the pictures of the children, if I had ever thought that adopting might be a nice thing to do, I might be working on filing papers with an embassy right now.  That scares the hell out of me.  I can’t help but think that someone with only a slightly different experience in life is doing just that.

This woman won’t know the things that she needs to know.  She’ll only hear the they want her to hear.  I know plenty of people who have been down this path.  You’ll find a couple of them listed on my blogroll.  They are good people, they are smart people, their hearts are in the right place. They are doing the best thing that they can.  They aren’t much different than me.

I fear for the child that will be in the middle of all this.  The child is thrown into a situation that they have no control over.  Their fate is in the hands of those that are unprepared to meet the needs that they will have.  They will grow up, you can see many of them listed in my blogroll.  They are good people, they are smart people, their hearts are in the right place.  They are doing the best they can.  They aren’t much different than me.

I Wonder If The Lady From Holt International thinks I’m Stable?

Ok, yeah I know, it’s been a while.  Let’s just say I’ve had a lot going on, and I’ll get to that.  But forst I need to tell you abou the end of our Holt experience.  

 

Lillie asked the bad Holt lady about reunion when adoptees became adults.  that is to say what she meant, it took a few tries for the Bad Holt Lady to quite get what she was saying.  first, we found out that it was completely wrong, as well as impossible for children to be reunited.  Duh, we get that part.  I’m not sure it had ever occured to Bad Holt Lady that adoptees actually grow up. 

When Lillie really pinned her down and asked the Bad Holt Lady, very slowly and and using very small words, what she thought of adult adoptees reuniting with their firstparents she said something like, “Well that would be up to the parties involved…if both parties thought it was alright, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt..”  Bad Holt Lady looked very confused at this point.  And by both parties she meant both sets of parents, it seems that the adult adoptee should have nothing to say about this.  

When pressed harder she thought it would be OK if “both parties were stable.”  By this she did mean the first parent and adoptee.  I found it a bit odd that she would even think that any All American perfectly adjusted adoptee would have any chance of not being stable, I guess the Bad Holt Lady missed that contradiction too.

Take what you want to from what I’ve written about this experience.  It is presented as it actually happened.

In Which Lillie And I Get Invited To Adoption Camp

I got to meet the beautiful and Lillie last weekend.  We met at the Iowa State Fair, and we had a mission.  Holt International Adoption Agency had a booth there.   We had some questions for them.

It was a hot crowded day at the fair, the scent of corndogs was in the air when I found my friend along with her husband and two wonder children.  We made introductions and decided to take care of our business with Holt first thing.

Lillie, her son, and I headed into the Industries Building where hot tubs, vinyl siding, emu oil, and children are sold.  It took us a while to find the Holt booth, all the way my friend’s son asked where we were going, we told him we were looking for the bad ladies who steal children.

After much searching and only being hit by a few strollers and one guy on a rascal scooter, we found Holt’s booth.  They didn’t have a sign, but we could tell we had found them because they had many pictures of cute children from a variety of countries.

There were three people in the booth, a new adoptive mother with her brand new child, and an agency worker.  The agency worker looked to be in her thirties, attractive in a athletic kind of way, with the slightly stunned look that comes from drinking too much of the adoption Kool-Aid.

We approached the booth and began to look at the literature that was laid out.  Lots of stuff about the beauty of adoption and how it would fulfill all the dreams of a perspective adoptive parent.  There was also an emphasis on the savior aspect of international adoption, lots of pictures of sad looking children presumably only waiting on a well heeled American couple to come save them.

They had bookmarks, I took one.  One one side it has a picture of a laughing woman holding a child. On the other side it says:

Faith
is the substance
of things
hoped for,
the convictions
of things
not yet seen.

-Hebrews 11:1

Holt International
finding families for children
1.888.355.4658
www.holtinternational.org

Then the agency worker approached us……..