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.

More On The Holt Experience

When we were on the subject of the birthmothers reliquishing rights, Lillie asked exactly how did they try to determine that the mothers had truly wished that their child be put up for adoption.  The Holt Lady said that many times they put ads in local newspapers looking for the mothers of these children and if they do not respond, the child is relinquished.

I do wonder how many mothers have time, means, or knowledge to access to these newspapers.  I wonder how many mothers return to these orphanages when their situations improve and find that their child is gone forever.  I wonder how many know this may happen but have no choice.

I wonder if this woman who has had to leave her child imagines that another woman on the other side of the world would be assured that there is no way the mother would ever be able to find her child.  I wonder what this mother would think of a woman who would feel reassured by this.  Thinking about this makes me sad.

The Holt Lady showed me a fold out chart that detailed all the countries that I could adopt from.  It had waiting times, availability, etc.  She thought the best country for me might be Ethiopia.  I have no idea why.  I noticed that Guatemala was still listed there.  I asked if they still were working there.  She said no.  And went on to say that they had absolutely nothing to do with anything that went wrong there.  That other unethical agencies had “messed it up for everybody and it was so unfair”.   Her voice raised about an octave and got quite a bit louder at that point.  She turned and began to talk to Lillie about something else before I could ask any more questuions on that subject.

With being a bit nervous and fairly pissed off by this time I may be off on my sequence of events, but I think this was about the time we were invited to adoption camp.  The Holt lady had been pushing us pretty hard to come to the seminar that was sceduled for later that day, and we had asked waht other programs they had avaialble.  she told us about their annual picnic and said that we were welcome to come and talk with the parents and children.  And mentioned that they had a yearly culture camp.

I mentioned that we were in Iowa after all, do the kids have any trouble adjusting?  the Holt Lady said that they had very little trouble at all and that these kids are very much American.  she then said that the kids seem happier at culture camp, where they can be around other kids like them, than anywhere else.  the fact that she had just said they were so very much American and in the next breath happiest when around other kids like them, seemed tiotally lost on her.  I didn’t even attempt to say anything, it would have been pointless.  She did mention that we were welcome to come by the camp and see how well the kids were getting along.

This kind of bothered me too.  This woman knew absolutely nothing about us.  Yet she was inviting us to come interact with these kids.

Next, Lillie brings up open records…..

The Adoption Camp Saga Continues….

The bad lady from Holt was all smiles when she approached us.  I think she must have thought she had a couple of live ones when she saw us.  I’m in my early forties and didn’t have a kid with me.  I imagine I fit the profile perfectly. She went right after us.

I was pretty nervous and it was very loud and hot in the building so I may not have the sequence of events or exactly who asked what straight, I’m just going do my best as I recall.

Holt Lady asked us if we needed any information.

We said we did.

Holt Lady then asked us if we knew anything about adoption.

We both answered that we did.

She then pointed out the tired looking new adoptive mom sitting in the chairs, and I asked her if she had just adopted.  She said yes they had just returned from Korea.  She had a little boy, I’m not sure how old, but he was just wearing a diaper and was dozing on adopto mom’s lap.  He looked absolutely exhausted and stunned.  I felt sorry for him.  I tried to engage her in conversation, but she didn’t have much to say.

About this time Holt Lady went into what I assume is the standard spiel they give all PAPs.  How long Holt had been in business, how they started in Korea and now offer children from many countries.  How ethical they are, blah, blah, blah.

At some point one of asked about medical histories for the children they placed.

Bad Holt Lady started going on about how healthy all the kids were.  That they were all checked out at the orphanages and that we didn’t have to worry about alcohol or drug exposure.  She said that all the children were AIDS tested since that was such a worry.

I tried to clarify and say that I was asking about family medical history.

She enthusiastically assured me that all the birth mothers were 100% healthy in every way.  She mentioned no drug exposure again.  She did say if there was any diabetes or heart disease it would be noted in the child’s file.

I asked how medical information was updated, mentioning that some things haven’t shown up in the young mothers yet.

She said there was no way that could be done since most mothers disappear after giving up rights to thier children.  She said there was no way that they could be found ever again.

It was subtle but the way she said that the mothers could never be found again sure made me feel like she was telling me that I’d never have to worry about the birthmother coming back into the child’s life.  I tried not to show any emotion, but I’m pretty sure that I did.  Bad Holt Lady must have thought that I was worried about birthmother involvement because she was saying something about how poor the countries were, and how they just couldn’t relocate these people.  She said this in a very cheery way.

More later….

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……..

Craps

“Let’s say that it was 24 hours before you were born, and a genie appeared and said, ‘What I’m going to do is let you set the rules of the society into which you will be born. You can set the economic rules and the social rules, and whatever rules you set will apply during your lifetime and your children’s lifetimes.’ And you’ll say, ‘Well, that’s nice, but what’s the catch?’ And the genie says, ‘Here’s the catch. You don’t know if you’re going to be born rich or poor, white or black, male or female, able-bodied or infirm, intelligent or retarded.’

The above quote has been attributed in recent times to Warren Buffet though I’m sure it’s been said,in some form, from the earliest days of human society.

The point is that the course of our lives are very much determined by our births and that is very much a crap shoot. We are pretty much stuck with how those dice come up.

Adoption, to some extent attempts to change that, to give us, and everyone else involved a do-over. They can take us to a different economic level. They can’t change our race, but we can be given the advantages of being raised within a more privileged one. They can’t change our sex, but they can see that we will be put where we may more fulfill the roles that society has laid out. They can effect the shape and fuction of our bodies through medical care we might not have received. They can see that what natural intelligence we have has a chance to develop. But they really can’t change us.

We are what we are. We can take on the mantle of someone born to something other than what we were. But that’s all it is, a covering, and many times an ill fitting and uncomfortable one. It’s not the effects of the so-called advantages adoption afforded us, we do benefit from the education, the place in society, many times those are the very things that allow us to pull this poor outfit off at all. It that this thing doesn’t fit well and we are always overdressed for the table. We are a house mark, and everybody but the suckers can spot us a mile away.

When it’s our turn to roll, everybody that knows dick bets Don’t Pass. You see, they can get us to the table, but they can’t load the dice. So it’s on to the next shooter.

Einstein was right, God doesn’t play dice. And others are foolhardy to try.

I Have A Brand New Plan

Well with every adoptee rights bill introduced in the current Missouri legislative session either withdrawn, on hold, or revised into a total piece of shit, it’s time to move on.

But how do we do that?

I’m glad you asked. This is where the new plan comes in.

What we are doing just ain’t working. We are going to ditch the kicking and crying, the victim attitude, the constant whining, and the Queen For A Fucking Day adoption beat me up so bad I can’t go on bullshit. We will also be jettisoning the back biting, the self-congratulatory boasting, and the goddamn circle jerk that the adoptee rights movement has become.

If you want to talk about your feelings, if you feel the need to cry into your dish towel, take a walk right now. You ain’t going to do that here. There are places for that, heck I administrate a couple of them, that’s the place for it. Go heal yourself and please come around when you are feeling stronger. We do have a place at the table for you, when you’re ready.

Now if you can put the pain aside and act like a grown-up for at least a little while, and truly desire your rights, let’s talk.

First let’s be honest, we aren’t even close in the state of Missouri. It’s going to take a lot of work and more than likely a lot of time. A lot of people would tell you that open records are just around the corner, it just ain’t so, right here, right now. All you have to do is look at what happened to all the bills that were considered this session to see that.

That’s not to say that it can’t be done, it can. But getting everybody’s hopes up over something that was obviously going to amount to nothing does no one any good. Expect to get beat up. There are very powerful people who do not want us to have access and the truth be told, those that do support our cause have shown no inclination to go to war recently.

We need to give the people that can help us a reason to champion our cause. While our cause is a noble one, and almost anyone can be convinced of that fairly easily, someone else’s noble cause is rarely a reason to go to war. We need to give them a real reason to help us out.

One of the best reasons I can think of to help someone is that they have helped you out in the past.

The first step in The Brand New Plan is not-so-random acts of kindness. We are going to help out those that could help us out. First go here..

Missouri Leggie Look-up

Find your legislators. Many of them are up for re-election this fall. You can go here to see if they have filed..

Who’s in the running

If they have filed, call their office. You are going to be the best johnny-on-the-spot volunteer they have ever seen. You are going to make phone calls, knock on doors, fetch coffee, eat dirt, what ever, and talk to everyone you know about voting for your candidate. You will impress your candidate with your dedication and nobility. Study up, know all the issues, not just adoptee rights. Let them know that you aren’t one dimensional. That you are a citizen concerned with all aspects of life. They will hopefully see you as the real and noble person that you are.

When you come to them later you will be more than one of the many people who wants something, you will be someone that has helped them. This may help to incline them to help you. You are noble and dedicated after all.

This approach will be most effective in the House races. The House candidates always have less people working for them. State Rep races just don’t have the glamor of the national races, you will have less other people performing not-so-random acts of kindness to compete with.

We need to focus on the already friendly leggies first, of course.

Davis in District 42

Roorda in District 102

In the State senate races, the once and maybe future friendly Connie Johnson has filed for the seat in district 5.

I’ll be throwing myself at my incumbent state rep hoping to curry favor.

This is only the beginning. We need to present ourselves as adults, with some knowledge of how things work in order to be treated as adults.

We are starting all over here folks. This is the first step.

What We Have Learned From Carolyn Pooler

If you’re wondering who the heck Carolyn Pooler is, check these links out..

 The Missouri Compromise

and

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play

The short answer, not much.

The longer answer, quite a lot.  We’ve learned that reform isn’t always about what’s best for everyone, sometimes it’s about desperation and clinging to things that no longer work.

Nobody is really sure if we heard from Carolyn or not, though I’m pretty sure that we did.  Twice.  There’s a good lesson.  If you are not willing to take credit for your actions and defend them, you probably shouldn’t be working on anybody else’s behalf.  You have to believe in what you’ve done enough to put you name on it and claim it.  Hiding behind different screen names and posting from public computers, so you can’t be traced isn’t going to inspire a lot of confidence in what you have to say.  So from Carolyn we learned to be ready to explain your actions and claim them.  If you’ve managed to fuck up royally, admit it.

I suppose there is a an argument riding into town, hoopin’ and hollerin, killin’ all the women and rapin’ all the cattle.  Hell, I’ve done it myself.  But if you are going to do that, you need to case the place you are ridin’ into first.  Carolyn didn’t do that.  And because she didn’t do her research, all she managed to get done was fall in a pile of shit.  Hell my blog was right there.  If she had even read the previous post to The Missouri Compromise, she would have found that I’m staunchly anti-whining.  As to the other folks she managed to insult, she didn’t check up on them either.  There’s a lesson.  Do your research.  I don’t imagine she’s researched adoptee issues, or the current state of reform actions, any better than she researched me.

Lastly, and most importantly, we learned the price of alienating those that can help you in your cause.  I can tell you it will be Frozen Margarita Night In Hell before I’d piss on her if she were on fire.  I’m guessing there are a few others that feel the same, most of them in a better position to help her than I am.

Yes,The Carolyn Pooler Affair, as it will from now be known, because I say so.  Has been an excellent lesson to us all.  All the lame newbie internet insults, all the pathetic kicking and crying aside, Ms. Pooler has given us something to learn from.

There will be a test afterward.