Thursday, November 08, 2007

Big Old Ugly Mess

I've been quiet. I've been quiet because I haven't been sure what, exactly, I want to say, but, it's time to not be quiet anymore.

I'm following the advice of Maggie Kuhn (founder of the Gray Panthers, a very interesting social activist, you can read about her here ), who advised "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."

(Incidentally, she also said, "Learning and Sex until rigor mortis" which is definitely a concept I can support vehemently. ;-) ) (Sorry, trying to lighten the mood of what is likely going to be a pretty heavy post.)

There are several disturbing things going on with adoptions in Vietnam. And anyone who is contemplating an adoption from Vietnam should be aware of what those issues are.

The US Embassy in Hanoi was concerned enough about the situation to issue a statement to VVAI , where the statement caused quite a commotion , with angry accusations flying that VVAI had concocted the statement. (Yes, because Christina and Nicki have enough extra time on their hands to impersonate US Government Personnel).

The US Embassy then posted the statement on their own website , which should have brought an end to the commotion, but, controversy continues to swarm. There are parents stuck in Hanoi right now, and no one knows how many families are affected - there have been allegations that as many as 20 families have been denied US entry visas for their children, because the US government is not satisfied that the children the families have adopted were legitimately available for adoption.

I cannot even begin to fathom the horror, the emotional turmoil, the nightmare those parents are going through. I do not doubt that their pain is indescribable.

And I have to wonder what, exactly, will happen to these children now. If the petitions of their American families are denied, will the children be returned to their birth families? I don't know the answer to that question. It haunts me.

When Husband and I decided to grow our family, we made a CONSCIOUS DECISION not to have another biological child. And while I have never questioned that decision, I have occasionally felt a bit melancholy about it (see my post Requiem for Veronica ). I don't want to sound flaky or creepy or strange, but, I have to say that I felt, strongly, in the very depths of my soul, that our child, that the child who was MEANT to be with our family, was already here. That he or she was already born and waiting for us to come get him or her.

And I concentrated on FINDING that child, and that child, obviously, was Lana. And finding her was not easy, there were setbacks and heartbreaks and wrong turns and red herrings. But, ultimately, we made our way to Lana . And it was of utmost importance to me, that Lana, our chosen child, our daughter, actually NEEDED a family.

And until this week, I have never doubted, not for once second, that Lana needed us as much as we needed her. I did not doubt that her birth mother made a conscious choice to do what was in Lana's best interest, to do what was in in Lana's birth mother's best interest.

And with all of the news that has come out this week, I pulled Lana's documents out of their folder, and I poured over a piece of paper signed by Lana's birth mother. I stared at her signature for a long time.

And then I put the paper away, and I felt a sense of relief. I do believe that Lana's birth mother signed that document.

And I belileve this, because, also in Lana's file, are multiple reports from my agency regarding Lana's circumstances, regarding attempts to reconcile Lana's birth family, regarding attempts to place Lana with another American family that were derailed by the 2003 Vietnam shutdown.

I hate that I am haunted by questions. I am relieved that I worked with an agency (Holt International) that is widely recognized for completing ethical adoptions.

I think that, as adoptive parents, we need to make sure that the children we bring home REALLY need our homes.

I think that we need to stop attacking eachother and start demanding that our agencies not participate in human trafficking.

We need to care about the circumstances from which our children came, we need to make that a priority. And we need to not be participants in baby-buying.

And to the person who attacked Kelly yesterday, who attacked her anonymously (which was cowardly) and who attacked her very right to speak her mind by suggesting that she should stick to talking about HAIR BOWS - I just want to say that your comments made me physically ill.

I am sure that there are other rude and horrible remarks flying out there on the Internet - that was just the one I saw most recently that propelled me to speak my mind as well.

Let's stop being awful to eachother. Let's start doing the right thing by our children.




Anonymous E. said...

Amen! I haven't blogged about it at all. I don't know if I'm going to. I don't want to add to what is making me want to just pretend this VN adoption "comunity" doesn't even exist. I am so glad for the information I gain (I didn't have much of that with the first adoption), but I am tired of all the anger (got a lot of that during my first adoption).

Thursday, November 08, 2007 1:40:00 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Fantastic, fantastic post, every word of it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Diva said...

I couldn't agree with you more...

In Denmark there was recently a similar case with adoptions from India - and with cases going back several years. I can't even begin to imagine how it must have felt for the parents of those children to not be 110% sure about the children's background.

Luckily all all the adoption cases were closely reviewed and all adoptions were found to be legitimate. I truly hope it is the same case for the Vietnamese adoptions.

Thursday, November 08, 2007 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Amen sister. Nothing makes me sadder than to see the P/AP community turn on itself when we should be uniting to fight for the children.

Thursday, November 08, 2007 5:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Thanks for speaking up. Your posts are always great. And thanks for standing up to my nasty anonymous commenters. I can not stand that the people doing all of the personal attacks are anonymous. I guess I probably should remove allowing them to comment at all. They are making this situation worse.

Thursday, November 08, 2007 5:41:00 PM  
Blogger Karen Wall said...

Good post! I just read the whole saga on Kelly's blog and the comments made me sick! I have not been able to write a coherent post on the subject, but have many of the same feelings you do. I respect you for putting it out there.

Saturday, November 10, 2007 12:16:00 AM  

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