Really Bad Titles For Adoption Books

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month I was perusing the adoption titles available at Amazon.  I’m not planning on reading any of them and certainly don’t recommend that you do.  I just wanted to see what passed for kiddie grab lit these days.  I just have one question.  What the hell were these people thinking?  


A Blessing from Above  (Little Golden Book) by Patti Henderson and Elizabeth Edge

Seems to perpetuate the stork myth.  Well might as well, at least from an APs perspective, hell babies might as well grow on trees, money trees from their perspective.

The Complete Adoption Book: Everything You Need to Know to Adopt a Child by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond Godwin 

Yeah right, get back to us in about 20 years.


I Wished for You – an Adoption Story by Marianne R Richmond 

Well if wishes were horses….blah blah blah


We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr

Yeah, just keep telling yourself that…


The Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child by Dawn Davenport

Does it come with a map?  How about both hands and an ass?


Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections by Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae

Seems to combine adoption with DIY, interesting concept.  Did anyone tell them they can’t just pick up baby’s in front of the Home Depot every morning?


Happy Adoption Day! by John McCutcheon and Julie Paschkis

Do I even have to comment here?  Come up with your own.  It’s just too easy.



Adoption Is for Always (An Albert Whitman Prairie Book) by Linda Walvoord Girard and Judith Friedman

Unfortunately they are right.


I Don’t Have Your Eyes by Carrie A. Kitze

No, you don’t.  Duh.


Adoption for Dummies by Tracy Barr and Katrina Carlisle

Well that should make them feel comfortable.

Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

Because we all know that it’s the APs who need all the reassurance. 


The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Adoption: Everything You Need to Know About Domestic and International Adoption by Elizabeth Swire Falker 

Funny, I wasn’t consulted.  Guess I’m not really an insider.  


The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforseen Challenges of Adoption by Karen J. Foli and John R. Thompson

All I can say here is just shut the fuck up.  Please.


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adoption, Second Edition by Christine Adamec

Seems that there are lots of idiots and dummies adopting these days.  It’s a second edition, did they lose the first one?  


Who Are My Real Parents? by D. L. Fuller

Let me guess.  


All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It by Marc A. Nemiroff, Jane Annunziata, and Carol Koeller

Please tell me ALL about it.  Especially how I feel.  I can’t fucking wait.  


Adoption: The Essential Guide to Adopting Quickly and Safely by Randall Hicks

Wouldn’t want to get a paper cut.  


Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul: Stories Celebrating Forever Families (Chicken Soup for the Soulby Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and LeAnn Thieman L.P.N

Are forever famlies subject to salmonella ?


So I Was Thinking About Adoption…: Considering Your Choices by Mardie Caldwell

There you go thinking again, don’t hurt yourself.


Launching a Baby’s Adoption: Practical Strategies for Parents and Professionals by Patricia Irwin Johnston

Isn’t baby launching still illegal in several states? 


Riding on Angels Wings: My Spiritual and Physical Pregnancies: The Tale of our Two Sons by Cynthia Mae Burris

There is so much here I really don’t want to know.  


Sasha’s Little Red Box: An Adoption Story by Sandra Jones

Hmmm…sounds dirty and not in a good way.


Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent 

No thanks, I just ate.



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


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.

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play..

I’m still waiting here.  See this post The Missouri Compromise.  So far absolutely no explanation. And I’m not the only one who wants one.

Amy wants to know.

Gershom wants to know.

And Marley really wants to know.

Oh and these folks are curious too Nullius Filius.

Along with a lot of other people.

Exactly who do you claim to represent? Are they all Missouri adoptees? Were they all on board when you refused to support Representative Connie Johnson’s bill?

Oh and is it MO CARE that you represent, like you signed your letters with, or is it more like mocoare? Because through a typo I did find that group, with 5 whole people in it. Which is it?

Or are you speaking for the American Adoption Congress? Or Adoption and Triad Support Network? Or The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks? I can’t tell. And you don’t seem to have any friends that are forthcoming.

C’mon set me straight here. Educate me. And everybody else.

BTW, I see you’re having a meeting Thursday evening. Would you be more comfortable explaining this to me in person? I promise to listen very slowly.
Again comments section is below.

The Missouri Compromise

Missouri is the “Show Me” state. Legend says we got that name because we’re kind of slow. There must be some truth to that because I don’t know what the heck is going on.

Representative Connie Johnson was set to introduce a bill that would grant Missouri adoptees access to their original birth certificates. Then I get an email in which representative Johnson expressed her offense at , “the dialogue that has taken place regarding this bill and my intentions”. I was taken aback.

My first thought was that those who would wish to limit adoptee access had offended Mrs. Johnson. Scrolling down revealed something else entirely, it was a member of the group MO CARE, more specifically a Caroline Pooler who had caused the offense.

I had never heard of MO CARE. I Googled them. As far as the internet is concerned, they have never heard of them either. A little closer examination revealed a close allegiance with the American Adoption Congress. Now we all know that the American Adoption Congress ” comprises individuals, families and organizations committed to adoption reform. We represent those whose lives are touched by adoption or other loss of family continuity”.

This explained who these people were, but not what they had done to make Representative Johnson feel that she needed to pull the bill from the legislative session. Why would a group that seemed so supportive of the rights of adoptees oppose this bill to the point of offense and possibly jeopardizing the support of a friendly legislator to any future bills?

Nobody knew. As far as I can tell Ms. Pooler’s motives have not been revealed to anyone outside her group.

A larger question in my mind is, who gave her the right to speak for all Missouri adoptees? I certainly did not. I am not a member of MO CARE, if it does indeed exist. I am not a member of The American Adoption Congress. They do not speak for me or many others. Honestly I’m a bit offended that anyone would think that they did.

I appreciate Representative Johnson’s effort on my behalf. Even if the bill was not perfect I did support it as it was written. It would have given me access to my original birth certificate.

Caroline Pooler, never again think that you can speak for me. If I can give you a piece of advice, it does our cause certain harm to offend friendly legislators. I don’t know what your problem was. You seemed to think it was your place to speak for me, but didn’t think I needed to be informed of your reasons. I am also offended.

So please Ms. Pooler outline your reasoning for me. Right now. Right here. The comment section is below.

By the way, MO Care will Google now.


In the quest for adoptee rights fear seems to be the most limiting factor.  Not first parents fearing their child will find them, not adoptive parents fearing the effects of their adoptee reuniting, but adoptee’s own fear.

I don’t believe this fear is specific.  Some may say they fear their adoptive parents reaction to reunion, some may say they fear rejection from their first parents, but I think this is not really the heart of this fear.   Maybe something closer to the truth is when I hear adoptees saying they don’t feel safe discussing certain issues.  Why is that and where does this fear really come from?

I’m beginning to think this fear stems from finally having to grow up.  Having to stop being the adopted child, and start being an atonomous adult.  It has to do with giving up the last shreds of being a foundling, and finding your own voice.

In order to demand equal treatment, you must first see yourself as equal.  You must be willing of let go of all the things that you’ve been told and take a look at what you really are.  If you see yourself as a victim, you may get understanding and support, but you will not be trusted with the tools of self-determination.  If you think you need help, there are many out there that will help you, but you are in no place to make demands.

In all struggles for equal treatment, the biggest obstacle has been convincing the oppressed group that they truly deserved the rights that they sought.  It was only when those groups could demonstrate that kind of confidence and self-pride that real changes could be accomplished.

The key to making gains is showing those who do not have a personal stake in your cause that you as a group are deserving of what you ask.  To do this the non-involved  must be able to identify with those seeking change.  They must be able to see some of themselves in those who struggle for change.  Those not effected must think that they would handle the situation as those asking for change.

We have to leave fear behind and present ourselves as equals, as a group deserving of change, we must show ourselves to be trustworthy with what we seek.  We must show ourselves as they see themselves.  We must leave the trappings of childhood behind and walk confidently toward that which we deserve.

We are no longer children.   We have nothing to fear.

Teaser Rates and Adoption

Adoption these days can be quite a strain on the pocket book even when things are going well. I wonder how the current economic downturn is going to effect things.

In looking at the prospective parent profiles on the adoption agency websites one notices that these hopeful couples always seem to include lots of pictures of their house. Overwhelmingly these are large and comfortable and of recent vintage, in good school districts. These houses offer all the amenities that a kid could want, large bedrooms (sometimes creepily, already decorated for the perspective child), many bathrooms, large yards, and swimming pools. Heck, they even already have a dog, usually a mutt adopted from a shelter, the perfect companion for the adoptee.

It occurs to me that many of these gated and planned perfect family abodes are probably worth significantly less than they were a year ago. How is this going to affect these PAPs dream of child ownership? What if the American Dream just that, a dream, for some now?

What is one to do if there isn’t equity to chit out to consolidate all those credit card bills from IKEA for the baby furniture? Or worse yet, what if that zero interest equity only mortgage is adjusting into something that turns the perfect family abode into a “we better cash in the 401ks until we can get this money eating monster sold” proposition?

It leaves very little money for those adoption fees.

Not only is this a problem for the PAPs, it a great big problem for the agencies. Adoption could become a business where demand no longer out paces supply. When you have more buyers for your product than you have product, it’s all champagne and caviar. But when demand slumps, you can easily get into inventory problems. Ina business where your product loses value as it ages, you don’t have to be an MBA to know this can seriously cut into cash flow.

There is also the pressure form discount concerns to take into account. It is well known when money gets tight and consumer confidence goes down, the discount end of retail is more easily able to sustain growth, as consumers go looking for bargains. If PAPs start to turn to those who offer older children or fostering, this could expand inventories even more for those in the higher end. It may, in fact, result in high end concerns looking to lower end outlets to move older, less desirable inventory, at a significant loss.

In the short term look for competition within the higher end to become fierce as a smaller pool of consumers dollars are fought for by use of aggressive advertising campaigns

If current economic trends continue look, for deep discounting and expanded advertising as those involved at all levels look to move product. If poor conditions extend beyond current forecasts, look for a general shrinking of the overall sector as many consumers will be unable enter the market at all.

Lessening exposure in this segment is advised.

A Call To Action

Again and again it has been pointed out that adoptees have nothing to say about access to adoption records or how we will be treated by our own government. Everyone else’s rights involved in adoption trump ours, the first parents, the adoptive parents, the agencies, the courts. We are effectively reduced to the status of children.

Equal treatment under the law is a cornerstone of our republic. So if we are treated as children in the matter of our adoptions, shouldn’t we be treated as children in every other aspect?

I’m thinking there could be some advantages.

First there are the child labor laws. We shouldn’t be allowed to work more than 15 hours a week, if at all. That would certainly free up some time in my life. It would put a bit of a pinch on my income, but considering that as a child I would also be eligible for all kinds of other programs, it might not be a problem.

I assume we would all be eligible for our state’s child health care program. So losing the benefits at our jobs won’t be much of a big deal. This will make up for it. We also should be able to receive AFDC and food stamps, since we are still dependent children. This will give us some dough for clothing, food, and all of the other little essentials. Our rent should probably be paid too.

We can forget about paying our own bills and taking care of all the little inconveniences of life too. I think we are going to have to have court appointed conservators to do that for us. Our APs shouldn’t be saddled with this, after all they did, in most cases, fulfill there obligation to raise us to what would in any other case be adulthood. In some cases, since a lot of adoptees aren’t exactly young anymore, our APs just aren’t around to do this. So they are just going to have to find someone to take care of these things for us, we are children, after all.

I have saved the best for last, I’m pretty sure they are going to have to continue to educate us too. Since the majority of us have at least completed the k-12 thing, and many of us have at least a BS or BA, I’m thinking we are going to have to be allowed to obtain advanced degrees, and additional undergraduate degrees. I’m sure I’m not the only one that looks forward to a life of learning.

I understand that all of this is not going to be cost effective. The amount of money this is going to take is staggering. But what choice do they have, we are still children.

I also understand that treating us as adults and allowing us access to our original birth certificates would be very cost effective in comparison. But knowing how our government works, I can see them implementing the plan I have outlined above without much problem.

Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else to do with adoption.

I urge you to write your legislators immediately.

Haven’t We Met Somewhere Before?

Haven’t we met somewhere before?

As a pick up line that an oldie, but goodie. As a feeling it’s something I experience way too often.

I’m feeling it now, in a big way.

Tell me do these words from this blog look familiar to you?


“There are privacy concerns that extend to family members. I am the father of a child, whose mother and I gave birth to in our hearts. My feelings and love for my child seem to be so easily dismissed by those who debate the issue of the rights of birth parents and adoptees. Adoptive parents seem to be tossed aside in most debates. As if we don’t exist or played only a marginal role in our child’s life. As if we “rented” the adoptee. You don’t know my child so please do not speak for them or assume their desires are the same as yours. And don’t discount the adopted parent and adopted family part in this triangle. We too have information to share, stories to tell, medical history to impart, cultural experiences to share. My child is wonderful and I can tell you about my child. Every person, regardless of their birth or status, has an inherent right to their personal privacy. And that includes the right to waive their personal privacy; and that right should not be legislated away. I do not want my child hurt. Therefore, if a child, adoptive parent, or birth parent wish to seek out one another I prefer the “contact choice” option so that sharing information (medical, family history, heritage, etc.) can be done so without names or personally identifiable information being disclosed if the birth parent, the adopted parent, or my child wish to remain annoymous. A confidential process can be in place that can correctly match the child, adopted parent, and birth parent. Breaking that confidentiality should be a joint decision; not a legislated decision. Just as I have no right to violate your personal privacy you have no right to violate my privacy or the privacy of my child against our will. I believe there is a moral right to choose to know information about your personal history, background, heritage, etc., but there is a right to personal privacy that all parties need to freely waive. Please do not advocate so strongly that you remove a child’s choice to know or release personally identifying information at any point in their life. As a parent, please do not intentionally or unintentionally harm my child. They will decide wisely.

Almost halfway through…

this torture that’s called National Adoption Awareness Month.

Notice it’s not National ADOPTEE Awareness Month.

It seems that some aren’t aware that we are even out here.  NPR, for example took up the subject of adoptee access to Birth Certificates, without speaking to a single adoptee. Then there was the pithy OP piece by ex-author and faded hipster/hanger-on Tama Janowitz.
There seems to be something welling up among adult adoptees who have finally become tired of either being ignored or not taken in consideration in the first place.  I’d say it’s about time.

We still have time to take this month back.  We need to point out to those who would say that this month isn’t about us, that if it weren’t for us, this month wouldn’t exist.  Make them understand the very children they are talking about will someday be adults too.  Let them know they are participating in a system that will ignore the rights and sensibilities of all adopted people.

We need to make ourselves seen as an united cultural group.  If we can be seen in that way, we can better speak to the injustices that we still endure.  No one would deny other cultural groups the right to speak of injustices they have, or are still enduring, but it still somehow alright to ignore us.  To tell us we should be grateful for our situation.

We need to let people know that we do not want pity, or a pat on the head, we simply want the same rights to our heritage as on-adopted people enjoy.  We need to let them know that cooing over how wonderful it is to be adopted is at best patronizing, that this degrades us, denies us true adulthood.  We need to let them know that we are in a situation that they really cannot understand.  That even though we know we can’t be fully understood, that we can be respected.  That that respect will come when we are truly treated as adults and full citizens.

We need to let them know that this is about us.  It has to be.  We are the results of Adoption.