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….


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


It figures.

He also offers this little gem…

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


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

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.

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.

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……..