Did You Know…

..that there are at least 37 distinctive types of dinner forks?

..that in order to get a certificate of ‘no tax owed’ you have to be in the state system?

..that you have to have a certificate of ‘no tax owed’ to get into the state’s system?

..that a flea can jump 350 times it’s body length?

..that Grown In My Heart is planning a big Mother’s Day giveaway?

..that deSoto was the first white guy to see the Mississippi River flood?

..and that the natives weren’t a bit surprised?

..that some cats will eat cheese?

..but not mice?

..that I spend way too much time at Adoptee Fried Chicken?

..that Europeans are adopting american children?

..that adult animals usually make better pets than puppies or kittens

..that puppies and kittens usually make better pets than children?

..the the first SUCCESSFUL parachute jump was made in St Louis, Mo.?

..that there are 500 different kinds of bananas

..but the only one you are familiar with may become extinct in our lifetime?

..that you can get a certificate of ‘no tax owed’ if you say you already have one?

..that no one ever follows their grocery list?

..that I’m getting tired?

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Post Racial Adoption Society

This post is part of the Grown In My Heart Adoption Carnival. Anyone can join in.  If you’ve got something, anything to say about Adoption and Racism, get over there and participate.  Just click on Mr. Linky near the bottom of the page.

Like Claudia, I have some reservations about writing about racism in adoption.  I’m at least as white as she is, maybe more.  Try to keep that in mind.

Beyond the obvious, you know, white babies cost more than black babies.  That whole stupid thing that doesn’t make a bit of sense.  Especially since most perspective adoptive parents declare they don’t care what the baby looks like, they just want to raise one.  If that were true, folks would never pay the premium for white kids.  Oh but they do.

I’m not going to get into that.  It makes my head hurt.

I’m not going to cite instances of racism in adoption that I’m all too familiar with.  Other folks can address this better than I can.

I will say that there is a subtle feeling of racism with all things adoption.  I’m not saying that all adoptive parents are racist, or even that most adoption agencies have any kind of overtly racist agenda, I’m just saying it’s out there, and I think it’s something many of us feel. It’s that insidious non-specific kind of racism that comes all mixed up with privilege and money.

You hear a lot about how we are living in a larger post racial society.  I think that fact is, as best, debatable and more likely total bullshit, at least for a good portion of the population.  I know we aren’t in a post racial adoption society. In adoption race issues are obvious, and discussed frequently.  We know color blind doesn’t exist, we know everybody doesn’t come into the game on equal footing, we know it’s more complicated than that.

I think we know this because we have to deal with it.  We can’t just declare that we are done with all that stuff.  Maybe that’s good, we are at least not BSing ourselves.

Do we have any kind of understanding?  I’m not sure. But at least I think we are trying.

We should try harder.

Crickets Can Have Opinions

“Don’t know why people think they have to be heard.”

-some dumbass  on a perspective adoptive parents blog in response to a few gentle, yet realistic, comments.

It seems that this guy has made up his mind on the subject of adoption and  everything else.  Good for him, it’s nice to know where you stand.  But why do they think they’ve made up everybody’s minds about everything?

I don’t think I can think of one person that I agree with on everything.  Lots of people share my interests, causes, opinions, sense of humor, and my time.  None of them share all of those things, even the people closest to me.  That’s alright with me.  I think some differences make things much more interesting.

I also have a lot in common with some folks who I disagree with on major issues.  I’m throwing a bridal shower tomorrow for one of the most dedicated Republicans I know.  We’ll never agree on politics, and we’ve had some spirited discussions on the subject, but we’ve both found a lot of things to like about each other.

In the adoption world I have many friends that I don’t see eye to eye with on every aspect.  I have to admit that I sometimes cringe at some of the things they say.  I won’t say I haven’t said some things that made them cringe. But if they will listen to me, I’ll listen to them.

Without allowing yourself to hear what others have to say, it’s too easy to become convinced that you are absolutely right in everything.  That can be a harmful place to be, harmful more to yourself than others.

One’s convictions should be tested from time to time.  It keeps them strong.  Any belief worth having should be able to stand up to opposition.

I wonder about folks who don’t believe that they can even hear opposing views.  Do they just feel that they don’t have time for it?  Are they frustrated that they can’t change others feelings by their presence?  Are they afraid they might change their mind?  Do they just not want to see those in opposition as people like they are?

I don’t know.  I guess I’ll never find out.  That’s OK, I have lots of friends.

Free Haitian Orphan Slight Return

Update 2/2/10

It’s been brought to my attention that the link I gave for Safe Families Haiti does not match the text I quoted.  That’s because the site I pulled that text from has been taken down.  But luckily it’s available in cache..

The site they don’t want you to see.

I’d like to thank my commenter Jill for pointing it out to me.

If you read through the enteries you’ll find all kinds of interesting craziness.

Gee, I wonder why they took that down?

In my place somewhere in the middle of the adoption world, I get to explore many different perspectives on every issue.  Things bubble up, points are made, and very little ever seems to change. This has intensified in the last few days, just this morning I found these on my Twitter feed.

First an organization called Safe Families Haiti, whose mission is stated as…

Safe Families is a network of Christian families that extend a safety net to children by providing at-risk families a sanctuary where they can place their children in a time of crisis. As a voluntary, non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system, SFFC temporarily relieves parents from the responsibility of caring for their child and provides them time to address life issues without the fear of losing custody. Children are cared for by volunteer host families that are screened, trained, and serve to demonstrate Christ’s transforming love.

..seems to be looking for anyone who wants to take a Haitian child.  Here’s their website..

www.safe-families.org

Sounds OK, right?  A bit churchy, but non-coercive, and temporary.  Just what may be needed while families of Haitian children get their lives back in order after a terrible disaster.

Wrong.

Their next message reads like this….

Because of the response of families who desire to adopt children, we no longer need families who are interested in temporary housing. We are looking to place all children we receive with families who are considering adoption.

So I guess it’s just to hell with the temporary stuff, and you get to keep the kid.

All kinds of problems there.

But as I said, I’m in the middle, so I got this on my Twitter feed too.

Whites Make Pact With God, Expedite Haitian Adoptions

http://outlandishremarks.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/whites-make-pact-with-god-expedite-haitian-adoptions/#comment-54

Reading that, if not really changing anything about the situation, made me feel better.  I’m not just imagining this becoming some kind of free-for-all for ravenously entitled PAPs.

And you know what the really bad thing is? The above blog is about folks who were already involved in the process of adopting from Haiti.

Just think of the kids who weren’t matched, who won’t have any paperwork, who might have families that will come looking for them, and find nothing.

What is wrong with people? Folks can’t just help a kid out?  They have to get to keep them?  That’s hardly selfless, or well thought out.

Things That Need Reform….

This post is part of Grown In My Heart‘s blog Carnival.  Anyone can participate, get hooked up here.  Mr. Linky

Things that need reform, as simply as possible….

Birth Certificate Access

C’mon people, this is obvious.  The sky has not fallen where access by adult adoptees to their original birth certificate has been granted.  It’s simple, and it’s the right thing to do.  Which leads to….

Uniform regulations on all adoptions

Honestly, it’s like the wild west out there. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about adult adoptee issues, foster care adoption, agency adoption, private adoption, international adoption, anything adoption related.  When the first thing you have to ask someone is “Where are you at?” there is something very wrong. We are talking about human beings here.  Can we come to some general guidelines please?

Yeah I know, I’m dreaming. So what?  You asked me.

Doing just these two things would do more to make adoption more ethical and humane than anything else.  Honesty, equal rights for all involved, and a standard set of rules.  Simple and beautiful.

There are many specific things that need to be changed in adoption, but most could be cleared up if these two things were in effect.  If it’s about the children, and I have to think the adults these children become, give us our rights and a standard way to access them.  Not only would this make things better for those already adopted, it would make things better for future adoptees, and those who relinquish, or adopt.  From every perspective in what is good for adoptees is good for everyone.

Happy Monday From the Southern Baptist Convention

I got a good nights sleep last night, felt well, and was looking forward to a typical day at work. I should have known it wasn’t going to happen. Mondays are never typical days at work. I had taken Saturday and Sunday off, leaving the store in the hands of my a-dad. As my regular readers know, he’s not typical. Guess what I found?

Yep, Buster is pretty scary, after getting over the initial horror of the machine itself,  I read the label on his belly.

Proceeds from this vending unit benefit SONRISE CHILDREN’S HOME and MEDICINE VALLEY COMMUNITY CHILDREN’S MINITRY.  For more information call 660-673-6023

Who are these people?

Sonrise Children’s Home is this outfit…

http://www.seethesonrise.org/

Mission statement is as follows…

Sonrise Children’s Home is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.  We were formed by a group of Christians that saw a need and believed God to use them to meet that need.  This non-denominational entity is operated by a Board comprised of Christian men and women who love God and want to please Him.

The number of children in the foster care system is on the rise while homes are limited.  Consequently, children are being placed hundreds of miles from their families, making reunification difficult.  They are growing up with insecurities as they are relocated to unfamiliar surroundings and often being separated from brothers and sisters during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

The mission of Sonrise Children’s Home is to provide children with a safe, secure, loving environment to grow and develop good moral character, to provide a moral compass through a relationship with God, and to be self disciplined in order to become a productive member of society through a model of Jesus Christ.

We must provide for the physcial need of the child with a safe, secure, and loving home.

We must give the child an opportunity to grow and develop good moral character.

We must provide a place where work ethic and responsibility are learned.

We must be good stewards and provide for God’s hurting children

We must model Jesus Christ and show the hurting children God’s love for them.

Ok, it’s a foster placement facility, that relies way too much on Jesus and discipline for my taste.  The thing is, as far as I knew it was shut down.  So I did some checking, and it’s reopening..

http://republican-times.com/modules.php?sid=18927&thold=0&order=0&file=article&name=News&op=modload

I was never sure why the place shut down in the first place, but I’m thinking it didn’t do a lot to ” provide children with a safe, secure and loving environment”, being thrown into another foster placement and all.

Oh course they aren’t going to worry about the effects of multiple foster placements when they have the Lord’s work to do.  I’m betting they aren’t going to want anybody else to think about it either, especially when they are raising money.  Besides, there’s a whole new group of children who need to know Jesus’ discipline, if they like it or not.  And, they have a gumball machine.  God only makes nightmarish gumball machines available to deserving charities.

I did take a look at their 990 filings, the last of which was in 2007, and can be pretty sure that the reason wasn’t money, as of the last filing available they were still very much in the black.  Did they lose their management?  Did they have logistical problems? Did they just get tired of it?  I don’t know.  All I do know is that any children they had in their care at the time were thrown into yet another foster situation.  That ain’t good.

And is this Medicine Valley Community Ministry? According to official sources, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, Guidestar, Charity.net, they don’t exist.  I’m not sure how they are soliciting donations.  I can’t tell that they do anything at all other than raise money. They do seem to be tied up with this bunch though….

http://www.northgrandriverbaptist.com/index.php

Who don’t seem to support anything but their own social gatherings, and a bookstore.

And they seem to be very close with these folks who we all know….

http://www.sbc.net/default.asp

Yep, the Southern Baptist Convention.  They seem to think that adoption is a mission….

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=1194

Seems that they want to create an adoption culture.

Great.

I’ve got a gumball machine supporting a children’s home that I’m not even sure is open, or is going to stay open for any amount of time, and a ministry that doesn’t exist, scaring the heck out of children of all ages, with a gumball machine in the front of my store.  Oh happy Monday.

I guess I have a phone call to make.  Several phone calls.

I’ll keep you posted.

Update: I’ve just found this letter from a local paper dated September 23rd 2008, explaining the reason for the closure.  It seems that they closed down after taking in just one child.  Considering they have raised tens of thousands of dollars in the last few years, I find this very disturbing.  Combine that with the inability to find personnel and I feel that they shouldn’t be fostering children at all.  Their priorities seem to be much more about pleasing God than actually ever taking care of children.

In the effort of keeping the surrounding communities informed, we want to update you on the progress and setbacks with the Sonrise Children’s Home. On August 18th we welcomed our first child to the Sonrise Children’s Home. A very monumental day for all that has been involved since the conception. We give God all the praise and glory. It has been wonderful to see this building become the home for a child in need.
To our regret, we received a resignation notice from our house parents with a month’s notice. We are currently searching for new house parents. Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, we will have to close the home until we hire and train new house parents.
Although this has been a disappointing setback to all, we need your prayers and help more than ever. The only way the Children’s Home will be able to protect and nurture the children from the surrounding area is by your support. We will press on with our fall fundraisers and look at new fundraisers to help our income. We are seeking counsel from other children’s homes on how to bet-ter raise funds, organize and operate the home. We understand the challenges ahead, but we serve a great God. We will work hard to do our part so there will be children back in the home soon. The rest we will leave up to our Redeemer and Sustainer, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Terry Busker
Sonrise Children’s Home
Board President