Saturday, March 13, 2010

No more McDonald's for me.

No more McDonald's for me. I'm fed up now. I wrote in jest the other night that a job at McDonald's sounds pretty good on an emotional day at my "work." But you know what sounds better? Ethical adoptions sound better. Ethical adoptive parents. Ethical adoption agency workers. Ethical government workers. That would be better.

This week Ethiopia announced its intention that adoptive parents will have to appear in court, rather than the adoptions being done by proxy. I have no idea if this will stand. And I really truly do understand adoptive parents being extremely disappointed if this change stands. I understand that it could cause some families not to be able to choose Ethiopia as an adoption choice. But let us not forget that it is WE that have been given the PRIVILEGE to adopt Ethiopia's children. This is not a right! If Ethiopia wants to require parents to travel to court, then so be it. It's up to parents who want to be given the privilege to adopt to figure out how to make it work. And parents will. They will toughen up. And they will do what it takes. Because what most foreign officials don't seem to get is that American adoptive families truly LOVE these children who are only known to us by their names and photographs. We will stand by them.

This week I have become more and more disheartened with corruption by government officials. Yes, I'm speaking to you, government official. Pick a country. Why do you feel the need to profit off of an orphaned child's terrible circumstances? Why do you think there is such a "piece of the pie" you are missing out on? Can you not accept that American agencies aren't profiting from helping families adopt? We are NON-PROFIT! I am willing to bet that you make more of a salary as a government official than I do here in America, as an adoption coordinator. Yes, the fees are large that American families pay. But it takes a lot of money to simply run the agency. It takes money to provide humanitarian aide to the vulnerable in the country of adoption. It takes money to put food in the children's mouths, and to provide them with more than the basics of life. Just ask for an accounting. It all adds up. I am tired of being quiet about this. There are some people that say the Americans are coming to "buy" your children. But from my point of view the majority of people I see who are trying to profit off of these children are people within your own country. If the government officials greed continues to spread like a black disease throughout your country, people will take a stand. You may find some horrid American families who are willing to buy children from you, but most of us are working towards ethical adoptions and will not continue to stand for your behavior. There are people within your own country committed to ethical adoptions as well. And I believe in the US Embassy personnel. I believe they will know the truth, and will suck you out of the greedy corner you hide in. They will learn who is acting ethically and who is not. When they do, I will celebrate.

And adoption agencies! Yes! WHY would any agency feel the need to lie to their clients? I JUST DON'T GET IT! How can a lie be better than the truth? So yeah. Maybe the truth sucks. But families are strong. They can take it. And guess what? If you never lie you never have to worry about being sued (or at least not in a way where you would be found liable). Novel idea, right? I know that parents can be downright rude. I know that they can feel entitled when they aren't. But we're their lifeline. They are putting a huge part of their hearts in our hands. It's such a fragile thing. If we lie to them even one tiny time, that trust is ruined from then on. We can't be perfect. We're going to make mistakes. There are going to be things that we honestly don't know about. But if we're honest with the tough stuff maybe--just maybe--our families will believe us when there really is something we didn't know about! And oh, we have such a responsibility to these families. How can agencies (and orphanages) choose to play the game of corrupt government officials? WHY?! Pick up your ball and move to a new spot. You don't have to play there. Find a spot where you can play by the rules. It might be harder. It might be more expensive. It might take more time. But that is why these families put their trust in us.

This week I have become more convinced than ever that adoptive parents MUST stand up for their right to an ethical adoption. We must stand together on this! We must be brave! We adoptive parents have created our own monsters. There have been those of us who have defected, and made it true that some children in this world have been stolen or bought for a price. How can we blame foreign governments who think Americans want to "buy babies" when in fact, there have been a few who have done that horrid thing? Nobody would be able to "sell" a child if there were nobody to "buy" the child. SHAME ON YOU! Take a stand for what is right. Get out of your selfish shell for a moment and look at the chaos you have created within international adoption. Ten years ago there were many countries to adopt from. These countries trusted our intentions as pure. But people have proven to the world that there are those in our numbers who would defect away from those pure intentions in order to do whatever would gain them the "quickest, easiest, cheapest, youngest" adoption possible.

At the heart of it, I do believe all international adoptions are a fight of good vs. evil. Put it in whatever "shape" you want--God vs. satan; karma; chi. There is some force that only wants adoptions to go forward if greed is involved. There is some force that would rather children literally rot than be united with loving families. There is some force that dances with joy with each new rumor of baby buying.

I'm in the mood to fight. I'm in the mood to fight for these children and these families and these government officials who ARE working for good.

During these "I wish I worked at McDonald's" days, I've had to given several families very tough to take information. But did they falter? NO! Did they even hesitate? NO! These families are my heroes. They just took it; accepted it; and said, "What's next?" They are ready to FIGHT for their children. And by God, I'm ready to stand next to them. It's sad that international adoption has to be, in many ways, such a war. But it is. On which side will you stand?

I have been the spoiled adoptive parent. I am the confliced and imperfect agency employee. I have been someone who gave in to the greed of a government official (NO NOT GHANA). But I am also someone who is ready to fight for the survival of international adoption. When I was a child I understood as a child, but when I became grown I put away childish understanding! (Ref: 1 Cor 13:11)

Welcome to adoption. How can I help you? How can you help you?


Mama D.'s Dozen 1:03 AM  

Amen! Preach it, Anita!

Powerful Post! I hope all those corrupt government officials read it. :)

Thanks for standing for what is RIGHT.


Beckie Sibley 2:32 AM  

Very well written Anita. I agree with each one of your points. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops, or in your case, cyber space.

Many blessings to you as you fight the good fight.


Momto15 2:36 AM  

Great post. Preach it girl! I agree on all counts. We need to stand for change for the children!

livingpurereligion 12:50 PM  

Yes, Anita!!! I AGREE!!!!

I have witnessed all of this firsthand... corrupt govt. officials, poorly run agencies... horrible orphanages... and it makes me MAD!!! Our sweet girl almost did not come home because of those very reasons. I had to fight so hard for her and in the end, the truth won out... over all of the corruption and greed and lies!

Thank you for standing up for ethical adoptions... and for being there to help when adoptive parents find themselves in horrible situations!

We so appreciate you!

fullplatemom 2:06 PM  

Here, here, Anita!!! As I walk into my big meeting tomorrow, I will take your words with me. I'll talk to you tomorrow.


Jaime and Heather 3:10 PM  

AMEN AMEN! BIG FAT AMEN! I am so linking to your post from my blog. I'm ready to fight too!


Renee 3:44 PM  


Lois 4:56 PM  

Standing united will bring justice. Glad we are on the same page!!!

whenpigsfly 9:01 PM  

Standing with you every step of the way. Glad you are on OUR SIDE!!! Look out oh ye corrupt, where ever you are!

stuck waiting on Liberia to solve its corrupiton issues........

Heather & Rick 10:29 AM  

amen... do you think you could translate this to portuguese and send it to the judges who are dragging their heels on our adoption here in mozambique??

Kristin Jag 10:47 AM  

Thanks for writing such an important post for all to read! Keep up the fight, you have a lot in your corner to encourage you along the way(and help fight with you if needed).

Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} 11:46 AM  

Standing ovation!!

Rachel 12:45 PM  

Tears! Thank you for speaking out in courage and calling ALL of us to engage in the battle with integrity and resolve---childrens' lives are at stake and for crying out loud, they're worth it!

Teabo Chica 1:36 PM  

It is with great respect that I know you stand by your words. I am so proud to have you on my sidelines. I know you will do anything in legal works to get our children home, and I never have to question that about you. I would not be so certian with other agenies. Bravo!

Nash 1:38 PM  

New here and I absolutely agree with EVERYTHING you said, especially the adoptive parent part! Amen!


Anita! AMEN! That is the truth and I am so glad you are puting it out htere!!! It's time to stop the corruption so that these families can get their children home!!!!

Erica 6:25 AM  

Awesome post. Thank you for sharing so clearly exactly how I feel on this issue. AMAZING.

Shonni 8:27 AM  

This is awesome Anita. Thank you so much for being real and fighting!!!

blessedfamily 8:25 PM  

This is why I LOVE you! Very powerful and surreal post! LOVED it! EVERY. SINGLE. LINE!


Jena 9:01 PM  

wow, Anita, I haven't been here in a while, this is an amazing post. love it.

Kimmie 1:17 PM  

Thank you...Oh, that families wouldn't lose heart, but would fight the good fight for these precious children.

mama to 8
one homemade and 6 1/2 adopted