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:

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

-Hebrews 11:1

Holt International
finding families for children

Then the agency worker approached us……..