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My Comment to the Post “Fundraising thoughts”

03 May

Please read: Who is Shadow?

I’ve always struggled with the whole fundraising thing. If you knew me, you would know that I always try to put myself in the other’s shoes first, sometimes, or really, most times, to a fault. What would I do, if I were in that position? I can understand a person doing things like having a garage sale to raise money. What I can’t understand and get past is playing on others sympathy by advertising the reason for the garage sale, bake sale, dinner, or whatever, by using the child’s unfortunate circumstances. If a person asks the reason, why not tell the truth, that you want to adopt and are just trying to raise money to do so. Advertising the reason by posting a picture of the child, or telling the congregation about the poor orphan, turns it into something totally different from just coming up with the money to pay the adoption expenses.

I see nothing wrong with trying to do what a person has to do to come up with the money needed. It’s what people do when they want to buy a home, a car, or build a swimming pool in the backyard. You earn the money; the key word there being “earn”. Can you imagine what your fellow church members would think if you held a BBQ dinner in order to raise money so you could buy a new house? A few friends and family would help you out, but probably not many strangers or acquaintances. Most would probably even be a little put off by it.

Becoming a parent, whether you give birth, or adopt, costs money. It’s just a fact. What would the congregation say if you were pregnant and held a bake sale at church in order to help pay for the hospital stay and prenatal care? Have you ever heard of such a thing? Someone in the church might see your need and ask others to help by donating something, and giving it out of the goodness of their hearts, but would you ask them to do so? Were you to ask, I’m sure there would be those, who were generous enough to help, but probably not as generous as they would be if a poor, pitiful, orphan, from a poverty-stricken country, was staring them in the face. Those commercials for “Feed the Children” immediately come to mind. How can anyone not contribute to the cause of saving a child from their unfortunate circumstances, especially when a potential adoptive parent has so very much to offer?

Why not host a fundraising dinner to help get the funds for infertility treatments. What would happen if you posted a picture of you and your spouse, looking so longingly at a crib, on a flyer? Surely some people would, well, want to help you out, and donate? Is it really so hard to see why fundraising to get the money to adopt a child is offensive, especially to adoptees. Can people really not see why it is advertising, why it is a form of manipulation? Even more offensive is asking people to “help us bring our baby home”, when that baby is not theirs to begin with, at least not until the adoption is finalized. I really cannot believe people cannot see the hypocrisy in this.

Its one thing for people, or a church, to take it upon themselves to help out potential parents, it is what they do when they see a need, it’s entirely another when they use a child’s unfortunate circumstance to play on the sympathy of parishioners, and others, to get money. Is it really so hard to see how that is using the child, your future child, for personal gain? Do what you have to do, but is doing it at the expense of your child’s privacy, and well-being, really how you want to begin your new family? What will it teach your child? Will it teach them that when you want something bad enough, it is acceptable to play on the compassion and sympathy of others to get what you want?

When I think of fundraising in adoption, what it says to me is simply one thing. It says “entitlement”, whether it be potential adoptive parents, the church, or agencies. When I hear of the outrageous amounts of money people pay to adopt internationally, I am truly amazed. When I hear people advising potential parents to “Do whatever you have to do“, I hear them saying, “It’s all fine, as long as you get what you want“, with no consideration given to the child, or their feelings. After all, look at how much better off that child will be, and, seriously, people wonder why we, adoptees, talk about feeling obligated and grateful. No one has to tell us we should be grateful. It simply implied on a continuous level by well-meaning people, and society.

Most adoptive parents don’t expect their adopted children to feel grateful. You don’t have to expect it. We will do it anyway. It’s just part of the deal, and I would imagine, though I can’t speak for international adoptees, that it is even more so when they hear their stories.

Though I won’t argue that it might be part of God’s plan for a couple to adopt a child, I don’t see God’s will in it at all, especially when it comes to potential adoptive parents intentionally holding fundraisers playing on the compassion of others, by posting a picture of the child and asking for a handout. What I see is the “human will“, hard at work. If you truly believe adopting is something God wants for you, then trust him to help you find the resources without soliciting everyone you know, and even those you don’t by playing on others sympathy for a child’s unfortunate situation.

There are thousands of missionaries all over the world doing all they can to help improve the lives of children, and the families of these children. These missionaries left their homes, and families, to do the work of God in places most of us would never dare go, much less be able to survive in. They risk their lives daily for God, doing God’s will, which is to spread the Gospel and love one another. Why doesn’t anyone hold garage sales, bake sales, and spaghetti dinners, to raise money for these missionaries, thus enabling them more money to do the work of God in these situations? Why is it that special offerings once or twice a year are taken to support these missionaries, who are there witnessing and doing what they can to help improve the lives of children all over the world? Do you realize what these missionaries have given up in order to help improve the lives, and simply love children all over the world? Why is it we give our offerings in church, and then expect that the church will take care of the missionaries, providing them with funds to continue their work? Do you really think that is enough money to help them adequately do the job at hand?

Do you have any idea what a missionary can do with $30,000-$50,000? Do you know how many children you can help with that kind of money? When God instructed us to take care of widows and children, I have a hard time believing that he meant we were to take the children of their country, away from their culture, and origins. What about the thousands of children, right here in the USA, who need loving parents, and a home to call their own? You don’t need $30,000 to $50,000 to adopt one of them. With so many children, right here in the USA, in need of loving parents, it really pushes me to question the motives of anyone holding a fundraiser to adopt internationally. When I think of the cost, the amount of money needed for international adoption, and what that money could do when used properly by missionaries all over the world, well, all I can do is shake my head, look to God, and wonder if he looks down on the human race and says, “What was I thinking?”

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42 Comments

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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42 responses to “My Comment to the Post “Fundraising thoughts”

  1. Von

    May 3, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    This has been a concern for some time for me.I find it repulsive but I never was able to put my finger on it as you have.Such a well argued post.It seems too to be run by greed…we must have what we want and what we believe we are being told we need to do.You’ve really hit it with this one!

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  2. cb

    May 4, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Nicely said, AO.

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    • The adopted ones

      May 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      CB – Shadowtheadoptee is the author – she is much more elegant in writing than I ever will be…:)

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  3. cb

    May 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Sorry, Shadow! I suppose I should have wondered why AO would be commenting on her own entry lol. No excuse except to say I was reading it whilst typing medical reports – trying to multitask lol.

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  4. straightmagic

    May 5, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Amen. Before we adopted our daughters internationally, my well meaning but apparently painfully ignorant sister in-law must have told her children that we would need money for adoption because her 11 and 8 year old sons gave us $37 that they saved up to “help” us. They gave it us in a jar with a bow and I almost threw up. All I could think of, immediately, was that these boys might someday tell my daughters that they “helped.” I nicely explained that we didn’t need it and my in-laws, I’m sure, thought it was bitchy. Oh well. I don’t get how fundraising people don’t think of that first and foremost – what will thier kids when they find out? Doesn’t take a lot of thinking to figure that out. I look back at a lot of the things I said or did before I learned better and cringe. I’m still learning – thanks for being an educator – but the fundraising thing is a no-brainer.

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    • The adopted ones

      May 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Exactly it should be a no brainer but sadly it seems like people forget to stop and think about what the child will experience. Glad you came back!

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    • Tim

      February 23, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Straightmagic,

      Congrats! You’ve successfully turned a what could have been very happy story in to an utterly sad one. Do you think that horribly of your family that you believe they would “rub it in” the adopted childs face for helping?

      Weird…

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      • TAO

        February 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        Tim – just because you are approved to comment, you aren’t approved to be mean to other people who comment on this blog and it is very easy to unapprove you to comment. 🙂

        You do realize that these posts are YEARS old right?

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  5. shadowtheadoptee

    May 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    No apologies necessary CB.

    I look at the many, many churches here in the USA, with their large auditoriums, beautiful buildings and cathedrals, family centers with full gymnasiums, pastors, who make triple digit salaries, and, in general, some of the absolute wealth in these churches, well, when you see the percentage of the money given to missionaries, who have left family, friends, and all the priviledges offered here in the USA, to go to China, Ethiopia, South America, and all over the world, compared to what is spent on other things, it astounds me as to how little these missionaries are given to do the job God called them to do.

    When I hear of PAPs going to a church and holding a “fund raiser” so they can adopt, well, I have a hard time understanding why a church, or anyone really, would not see that they could help many, many children all over the world with that kind of money, instead of just one. I say that know most of them have no clue as to what that child will go through.

    I would never begrudge people compelled to adopt internationally. I’m not in a position to do so, as my only experience with international adoption is through a cousin, who adopted from Romania. They couldn’t pass a home study to adopt domestically. Both parents are alcoholics, and now divorced. The little boy is a doll, very intelligent, and oh, the issues he will have as an adult. When I think about how the money they spent could have been used to improve his life, as well as the other childrens lives, in romania, well, maybe I’m a dreamer, but…an when there are so many children here in the foster care system, well, fund raising to adopt internationally, just boggles my mind..and churches telling paritioners to do so and endorsing fund raising in this manner, when their focus should be on their missionaries? I just don’t understand how people can be that blind and have so little consideration for what that child will go through when taken from the only life he/she has known, to a country thousands of miles from their country of origin, be dropped in a culture they have no clue about, don’t understand, and with the language barrier, have no way of communicating in. It makes me sad for the child.

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  6. Suzanne Ayres Schlotterback

    June 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Another well written post. Thank you.

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  7. Ms

    August 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I’m glad I came across your blog. I have been struggling inside with emotions over my sister and brother in laws adoption. They currently have 3 biological children. They started the adoption process a year ago for a little girl from China. I think adoption is great for families. The problem I have, is they have only saved half the money they need. They still need about $14,000- and recently sent out letters to all the family and friends making it known they are falling short on cash. Insisting in the letter that providing for her once she gets here will be no problem, it’s just getting her here that is. The letter also states that they feel “clearly directed by God” to do this and want to “obey” him. It continues on and asks will we “help pay the ransom” to bring their daughter home. I was very offended by this on many levels. I am newly pregnant myself and have to have a c-section, but I would NEVER send a letter to everyone stating I “need” $9,000 for my delivery! I find it offensive and so does most of my family. I just do not understand why they feel they can ask this of people. In my opinion, they could take out a loan, get a second job, borrow from their retirement, lots of other things then simply “asking” people to pay for it. She even had the nerve to ask my husband, who is self employed, if his company was looking for somewhere to “give a tax deductible donation.” I’m unsure of how to voice my opinions to her without creating family friction. She tends to “take things the wrong way!” any advice would be wonderful 🙂

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    • The adopted ones

      August 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      I am not the author of this post…

      If they are adopting from China the non-special needs is at minimum 5 years long and most likely several years beyond that – special needs adoption may be less but they are still not quick and I would assume at least 3 years minimum. If they can support after suggest they start saving the money now they will need each month in support.

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      • Christianne

        June 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        Hi! First time reader/commenter. I just wanted to share a few things. First of all, special needs adoption from China isn’t 3 years minimum– it is about 8-12 months total. We are on our sixth and seventh adoptions from China, and none of them have taken more than 11 months. A trivial point, but I did want to clarify. (:

        As far as why one would choose international above domestic– I suppose there are many reasons, just as there are many reasons to choose domestic over international. Both are expensive, extremely time consuming, have their own set of tough issues, and are BEAUTIFUL. I’ve never liked the argument that taking care of and giving families to kids “right here in the USA” is somehow more important or better than taking care of those from other countries. ALL are God’s children, and all are equally important. Helping children without families should occur regardless of where they were born. I have many friends who have adopted domestically, and I think it is wonderful and fabulous! I feel the same way about international adoption. “Taking them away from their culture and language” may pose difficulties, challenges, and sacrifices for both the children and the adoptive family, but the reward of a newly formed family full of love and joy can definitely be worth it. I have seen it happen personally. I have five children from China who are well-adjusted, happy, very very very LOVED kids who are enjoying the freedoms and blessings of living here in America. We do try to preserve their culture (our oldest is spending two weeks at Chinese Camp this summer, for example) but I have found for my kids that they are much more concerned with loving their new culture than preserving their old one.

        The argument in the comments about using the money for one adoption to reach many many more children is fair, but troubling at the same time. I think we need to do more of BOTH– spending money on both missions and adoptions. It reminded me of a letter my husband wrote to our daughter while she was still in China. It is found here: http://www.abeautifulroad.com/2010/04/gracis-website.html#comment-form and talks about the importance of the ONE.

        As far as fundraising– although we have never done fundraising for our adoptions and have been very blessed to be able to finance it on our own, I support fundraising. I support it whether or not the child’s picture or story is used. I don’t think that a child will feel exploited or like they were “bought.” On the contrary, I think it would be a beautiful thing to teach that child how very much they were loved by so many people, and how people were so excited to give what they could to bring them into a family– especially after SEEING their picture! Teach them that they are so special and wonderful and how they moved people to look inside their hearts and help in whatever way they could. And of course, teach them that they are absolutely PRICELESS– that they were not “purchased” and that the money given and raised was only to pay for the paperwork and travel expenses to get them HOME. (:

        You talked about God’s will and that if it were His will He would provide you with your own means of bringing them home (meaning that you shouldn’t be fundraising in “soliciting” types of ways). I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, God wills every child to have a family. I think it is a wonderful, beautiful thing to involve other people in contributing to an adoption. Just more people to be blessed by HIM, and by the child. Not everyone can adopt, but most everyone can contribute in some way to taking care of the orphans. Whether it is a mission, helping an adoptive family (financially or otherwise) or any number of ways– they are all important! I don’t think it is “playing on others” or disrespectful to the child in any way to share their pictures and explain that you are trying to bring them home. Many times I hear of something that doesn’t compel me to do anything– but then I see pictures and OH MY! Now I am moved! I want to help!! It is human nature, and we are given that nature for a purpose. We are supposed to feel compassionate and have a desire to bless others as we have been blessed.

        The comment on here about the family who was given a jar of money from the cousins made me a little sad. Our kids had cousins who did the same thing, and I LOVE telling them how their cousins were so excited to get them home that they wanted to help pay for the plane ticket! (:

        Anyway… I’ve probably said too much! (: I obviously feel passionate about bringing children into families! I have seen my own life and the lives of so many around me completely changed by the miracles and blessings of adoption. I can’t put into words how much I love my children. If it had taken going door to door to beg on my knees for donations to bring them home (and I HATE to ask for anything) then it would be worth it in every single way. And honestly, I guess I believe that He agrees. I can’t imagine anything He desires more than to take a child out of an orphanage and bring them into a loving, caring family. If asking for help speeds up that process, then even better!

        Thanks for listening! Hope I haven’t offended.

        Christianne

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        • TAO

          June 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

          Christianne,

          The only relevent part of your comment TO ME is – the 3 years – please note I stated assume and I also included in that time frame from start to finish for a first time process – the homestudy – the fingerprinting – the background checks – the submitting the dossier, etc. Surely it takes far more time than 11 months which apparently can be accomplished – yet even with that – you would have considered adopting again leading up to that time…

          As to your other comments they appear to be directed at Shadow who wrote this post speaking about God, missionaries and adopting from the US Foster Care system.

          “I” am NOT the author of this post. There are TWO bloggers on this site. I am the vocal adoptee who is critical of adoption practices that need fixing. Shadow is the quiet, gentle, nice adoptee who generally only talks about her reunion and her loss of sight.

          NOT TO YOU CHRISTIANNE
          I wish people who chose to take quotes out of context and link to posts would at least spend a minimum amount of time reading this blog which clearly shows there are two of us. See the WHO’s WHO box on the right side of the page.

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          • Christianne

            June 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

            Hi Tao,

            My bad! The only reason I wrote my comment as a reply to yours is because of the information on the adoption timeline for China special needs. You are right– I guess the rest should have been directed at Shadow. I had understood that you two were kind of doing this blog together and that comments would be read by both of you– but I will be sure to clarify in the future who I am talking to! (: By the way, one of the problems of communicating online is that the tone behind the message can often be misinterpreted. For example, I just reread my first few sentences of this comment and I guess they could be taken as sarcastic or negative, when I meant them completely sincerely and humbly! If you knew me, you would know that I would never ever try to offend. (:

            I know that you stated it was just an assumption– I just wanted to clarify the real timeline. Even for a first timer, the process can indeed be 8-12 months. For this current adoption we had to start from scratch– new homestudy, new homestudy agency, new fingerprints, etc and we are still estimating a 10- month process from the day we decided to go forward to the day we bring them home. So it can be done! (: Like I said, our longest adoption took 11 months.

            From what I understand, please forgive me if I am wrong, it was you who said the following:

            “They would have understood that with “demand” being higher than the “supply” in today’s international adoption that any waiting child would simply be assigned to the next family on the wating list that is not months but rather years, or that the mother in domestic adoption would simply be provided with any number of other profiles to choose from the large growing pool of families waiting to be picked.”

            Maybe some of my thoughts on fundraising differ from yours because of your thoughts on the whole “supply/demand” thing. Almost every one of my children would not have been “assigned to the next family.” In fact, they had been sitting on “waiting children” lists for very long periods of time. Several of them were about to have their files returned to China. This often means that their chance of being adopted is no more. I will give you one example– our daughter, Lexi, had been sitting on a list for a long time, and was finally marked “file to be returned.” We were told that she would likely not be relisted, as she was considered hard to place because of her blindness. Please don’t get the wrong message– I don’t feel like we “saved” her or that she owes us anything. She has blessed our lives in tremendous ways, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. But the fact is, if our family hadn’t adopted her, she would almost for sure still be in China in a run-down orphanage with little chance for a good life because of her special needs. Would you agree that even if we had needed to post her picture and ask for help with fundraising, that it might have been worth it to her and to us? I believe it with all my heart! Like I said, I HATE HATE HATE asking for things. But I would hope I would be humble enough to do so if it meant bringing this girl home and giving her the blessings and opportunities that she and every other child deserve.

            Perhaps an even better example is our Graci. She had an extremely serious heart condition that was considered inoperable in China. She had been on several lists, but couldn’t be placed because her health was so bad. We begged China to let us bring her home even though we were already in the process of another adoption, and because they couldn’t find anyone else, they said yes. She had an extensive open heart surgery when she arrived here, and doctors told us that she wouldn’t have survived more than a year without it.

            Do you see my point at all? We would have pasted her photo all over the news if it meant saving her life!!!

            By the way, my children know that they are absolutely priceless– that they weren’t bought, and that adoption expenses are to pay for paperwork and travel, not for them.

            Thoughts???

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          • Christianne

            June 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm

            BTW, I would love if you could direct my first post to Shadow so I can get her thoughts, as she was mainly the one I was replying to…

            Thanks! (:

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    • Tim

      February 23, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Ms,

      I’m an outsider on this subject. I’m a single guy who has no kids and has no intentions to adopt.

      Here is some advice on how to handle the situation. Simply say, “At this time we are not able to help financially, but we wish you the best on your adoption journey.” Pretty simple.

      You sound a bit jealous of the huge undertaking your sister is trying to accomplish… However, don’t worry I see a lot of that on this web site, so you definitely are not in the minority 🙂

      Stay awesome!

      Tim

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  8. Mama

    August 30, 2011 at 3:20 am

    I understand in a small way what you are saying… but I also think you’re missing the bigger picture. First of all, there are tons of fundraisers and fundraising done for missionaries as well as special offerings and any church worth their weight in poo has a percentage of their budget that goes directly towards that. But about the individuals who fundraise I have three thoughts 1) How would you ever expect people of average or below average incomes to be able to afford adoption? Are you saying that only rich people should adopt because they can afford to do it without needing to raise any money? 2) As a sister of a gorgeous woman who was adopted and as an adoptive mom myself, I have had SO many people share with us how sharing our story (and my sister sharing her’s) has opened their eyes to a world they knew very little about. Through those stories other famiilies have pursued adoption themselves. It’s like saying that someone can do something to raise money for the earthquake victims in Haiti but don’t tell them about those people, because thet’s being manipulative and using their emotions to get money out of them. The truth is, that there is a need, and when people are aware of that need, many respond generously to help in whatever way they can. 3) Finally, your point about the missionaries. Yes, missionaries could do a lot of good for many children with $30k. However, is it greater to do good to the children in those situations or to bring them OUT of the situation and into a family who loves them dearly?

    I respect your post and the position you write it from… and although some of your points are valid you have to consider what the alternative would be instead…. and that’s more children never getting adopted.

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    • The adopted ones

      August 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      I am not the author of this post…I would suggest they start saving each month until they can afford to adopt. We are not missing the bigger picture. We have lived the bigger picture.

      People have been saving to achieve their dreams for a long time. That way not child ends up feeling the many different feelings that come with being the charity case.

      Raising money to help victims of a natural disasters is completely different. You are helping a community rebuild their lives – not taking one and leaving the rest the way you found them.

      IA is not the only solution have all other options been tried? You know like family preservation? Local domestic adoption? Do you even know?

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  9. shadowtheadoptee

    August 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I haven’t missed the big picture. I am fully aware of all the things done for missions, and what churches do. A major part of my life was involved in church, and missions. I am totally, and fully, aware of the churches’ role in missions, and how they are handled. Read the post again, more carefully, and you will find the answer to your first question.

    I agree with my blogging partner, AO. My point was not that IA should not exist. I did not say only people who are well off should adopt. As far as the missions, the point was that the money would be used to “improve” the lives of many children however that could be accomplished, hopefully by keeping them with their original families, by helping the entire family, so they do not end up in orphanages, and other horrid situations. Bringing them out to a better life is one thing, and if that means adoption, I am fine with that. It’s eliminating the “need” for the adoption by educating, feeding, providing medical help, etc., in an attempt to avoid the situation that brings about these horrid living conditions in the first place; if possible, I am referring to. You see, it’s not about keeping children from being adopted, so much as making it possible for them to stay with their biological families “when” possible, who also love them, and could provide and nurture if the situations were different for them, making adoption unnecessary.

    Yes, less children would get adopted, but they would be in their home country, with their biological families, getting their education, etc.

    My point was not to discourage adoption, but the way these fund raisers are done. Again, read the post. I made my thoughts plain, or so I thought. Please do not twist what I said to imply I’ve said something, or thought something, I did not. As I said in a comment above, I would not begrudge any pap the opportunity to adopt, as long as they are doing it for the right reasons, thinking ahead of how this will effect the child they are adopting, and wanting to do what is best for the child: not what they feel “called” to do to “save” a child from its horrid life, not because they cannot pass a home study to adopt domestically,and such.

    Which brings me back to this concept. In the end, what about the thousands of children in the foster care system, who need to be “saved” from their own horrid situations? Just to be blunt, they cost less, are more readily available, and right here in the good ol USA. If a family finds IA to expensive, why not adopt a foster care child? Don’t they need to be adopted by a “loving” family too? What will happen to them if no one “brings them out” of unacceptable living conditions? Is a child growing up in the foster care system, passed from one home to another until they are 18, acceptible to PAPs, or is that just another form of an orphanage, some being more horrid than others? Does the fact that it is a hhome with foster parents, here in the USA, really make it any different? Are they less neglected, or abused, because they are in the USA? do people feel that foster care kids are, somehow, Luckier because they are here in the USA, or are they just as unloved, unwanted, as their counterparts overseas?? Have you ever seen someone hold a fund raiser to adopt a foster care child? That is the big picture, and that is the point.

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  10. Mama

    August 31, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Hi Ladies…. I’m sorry if my post came off harsh. That’s not at all how I meant it. Actually family preservation is a huge priority to my husband and I. We are involved in and support an awesome organization called The Adventure Project: Adoptive Mothers Against Adoption… they’re site is here http://theadventureproject.org/portfolio/health and something you would probably find interesting. And I do think you’re right about the foster system as well. My little sister was adopted out of the foster system and has some incredible (in a bad way) stories about her experience while being sent from foster home to foster home. My husband and I spent 2 1/2 years trying to adopt from the foster system (with no requirements as to gender, race, disability, etc… our only requirement was they were <5 years old (we're only 27 years old)) In 2 1/2 years we did hours upon hours of paperwork, classes, etc etc and every month it seemed like something changed, another road block was hit, etc and we never even were able to foster. I know this isn't everyone's experience, but I do know enough to know that it is a common one. In fact, I met an adoptive mom at a park the other day who said even though she loves her child more than anything, she would never recommend someone adopting thorugh the foster system because of all of that. I wouldn't go as far to say the same thing, but I can understand the frustration. We plan on trying to do the foster system again in a few years. Finally, our children are from an orphanage that has a wonderful reputation among groups seeking preservation of families and avoidance of adoption. They are ethical and go to extreme lengths to find relatives of the children who can raise them before making them eligable for adoption. They're mother died in labour, father was never found (word was that mom wasn't sure who the father was in the first place), and extended family hadn't been involved in mom's life for a long time and wasn't willing to care for them. My heart breaks not only for their loss, but also for the loss of life of their mom who's life, I'm sure, was harder than I can ever imagine, and who probably died very scared and lonely. Our job now is to let our children know their story, where they came from, and what they can become, all while knowing that they're safe and loved. We did not rescue them or save them. We brought children who had no home into our home and love them… plain and simple…. all while acknowledging their loss and their current and future struggles.
    I also understand the shortcoming in what leads many people to adoption. I agree that people should NEVER adopt because they want to become parents. You are right, that is about them, not the children. We are a young couple with no history or problems with infertility. We have a biological daughter who was a surprise when we were going through trying to adopt from the foster system. For us, adoption never was and never will be a "plan B." We did it, and will continue to do it, because we have been loved, we love children and we believe that every child needs to and deserves be loved, and to know that they're loved, not because we are self-righteous people who are trying to save the world.
    As far as what you guys have been through… All I can say is I am so sorry. I KNOW that my children will have many, if not all, of the same struggles you guys have communicated in this blog. I hope that it is something that they can draw from and use to become stronger people, who maybe someday can work to drastically reduce the number of orphans in the world. We know that war, disease, famine, etc… happen… and that for some unknown reason there are people in the world that just don't want to be parents. We will never be able to eradicate the world of orphans all together, but my hope is that it will become a rarity… and that when it does happen, there are people who will bring them into their homes and love them with the love that a parent has for their children.
    As far as fundraising goes, I think it's awesome to see people come along adoptive families to help bring children into families. That being said…I get what you're saying… I agree with some of it and disagree with other parts… but I guess maybe we can just agree to disagree?
    I will continue to read you blog… hope you don't mind 😉 Thanks for your honesty and Transparency 🙂

    Mama

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  11. Mama

    August 31, 2011 at 12:54 am

    btw, I just realized I misused “their” and “they’re” several times in the above post, which annoys even me 🙂 Please excuse my gramatical and spelling errors!

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  12. shadowtheadoptee

    August 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Mama, No worries. I’m glad you challenged my thoughts. Thank you for being sympathetic towards the things AO and I have been through, and for being open to our thoughts. We’ve both been through a lot, but it is what has made us into the people we are today. Your children’s stories will help them become who they are as well, even the not so pretty parts. It’s O.K., if that makes sense. Feel free to disagree with me anytime, and I understand what you are saying too.

    My beef isn’t so much the fund raising, as it is the blatant advertising of it. Maybe that’s what we will have to agree to disagree on? There are a number of “fund raising” things a pap could do that I would be perfectly fine with, lemonade stand, garage sale, bake sale, and others, as long as, they weren’t posting pictures of the child all over town, and telling the world why they are fund raising with posters and signs. Maybe most paps have good intentions, they just don’t realize how this effects, or could affect, their potential child?

    Churches, well, they walk a fine line many times. It’s a bit just the nature of the beast. What the church is comfortable with, usually, depends on its leadership. Most churches, give approximately 10% of their budget to missions. When you think of the amount of money some churches bring in, it doesn’t seem like much compared to what is spent on other things to keep people coming. The things missionaries receive from well-meaning people while overseas: used tea bags, clothing that should be thrown in the trash, and other such things you would be appalled by. What people are thinking sometimes, I just don’t know? Of course, all of this is just my opinion. I know some pastors that would adamantly disagree with me, and then check their Rolex to see the time, and head for their Mercedes. Not that I begrudge pastors nice things, but that’s another post. Lol If there is any job I would not want; it is the job of a pastor. The things they sometimes have to go through, and put up with, to keep their petitioners happy. I couldn’t do it.

    I do have a question for you. You have experienced the foster care system and IA? I don’t have any experience adopting from either, so maybe you can make a comparison for me? What makes one, any easier than the other: lots of paperwork bureaucracy, and a long wait, or lots of money, bureaucracy, and a long wait? What is your opinion on this? I’m curious. They both seem like a pain in the butt. Why one over the other? To me, they seem so similar.

    BTW, there/their, here/hear, it’s/its, and others, if you hadn’t told me, I’d have never known. As long as my screen reader pronounced it right, as far as I am concerned, it must be spelled right. Not seeing the words in print, I find myself, subconsciously, switching words more and more. Don’t know what’s going on in my head at times. Lol I’m sticking with, sounds right, must be right, and if spell check doesn’t disagree, why should I? I’m getting too old to care otherwise. lol

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  13. shadowtheadoptee

    June 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Christianne…watch what you wish for. (smile) Here is my comments:

    “”Hi Christianne. I don’t find your comments offensive. Your passion for your children is obvious. It’s the kind of passion a mother should have for her children. I stand 100% behind everything I stated in the post, even more so today than when I wrote it.

    You wrote: “As far as why one would choose international above domestic– I suppose there are many reasons, just as there are many reasons to choose domestic over international.” When you say domestic, are you referring to foster to adopt? When I hear “domestic”, I think infant adoption, which is not the same as foster to adopt. Foster to adopt is what I was talking about, and not domestic infant adoption. Just wanted to clarify.

    You wrote: “I’ve never liked the argument that taking care of and giving families to kids “right here in the USA” is somehow more important or better than taking care of those from other countries.” I did not say it was. My point was that if you did not have the financial means to adopt internationally, why not go the, for lack of abettor way to say it, cheaper root of foster to adopt. What difference would it make, as you said, “ALL are God’s children, and all are equally important?” Helping children without families should occur regardless of where they were born.” I couldn’t agree more, but all children have “families when they are born. My post explains clearly my feelings on this IMO.

    You wrote: “I have found for my kids that they are much more concerned with loving their new culture than preserving their old one.” Of course they are. They are children. AO and I are adults over 45. We have decades of experience as adoptees, where as your children, are children, thinking like children. When I was a child/teen, Barbies, and boys were waaaay more important than adoption. You should read some of my other post, and you will see that. The effects of adoption do not become apparent until we are “old enough”, and “mature” enough to understand them for what they are. In the end, your children will decide for themselves just how they feel, if it’s exploited, or loved and special because they are adoptees. It’s something we decide for ourselves as time goes by, and what you think we feel about adoption, or assume, may, or may not matter to your adopted children. They will feel however they feel, and there really isn’t anything you can do to change it. Some adoptees think it the most fabulous thing ever, some think its worse than hell itself, and some of us see it as both good and bad. Our feelings are our feelings, and have very little to do with the reasons why are parents adopted, why we became adoptees, or being grateful to anyone. They are just how we feel. What Aps think we will feel, should feel, cannot make us feel the way Aps want us to feel, nor can they understand why we don’t always feel the way they want us to. We will feel whatever we feel, whether our parents like it or not. That’s one of the points of this entire blog, and my reason for blogging to begin with. I am grateful for the blessings in my life, even those brought about by adoption, but those blessings do not negate the pain, grief, and heartache I have suffered because of adoption.

    You see, here is one of the main points of my post. You wrote: “God wills every child to have a family.” Yes, he does. Thetis why, I believe, it takes a man and woman, mother and father, to create a child. We each are “born” into our family. If God didn’t will us born into our biological family, what does that say about God? What I wrote in the post explains it what I see as God’s will in adoption. I believe adoption is a tool God uses, must use, because mean and women follow their will more than they do His. I believe people sometimes use the terms “God’s will” as an excuse to get what is truthful “their own will”. If God’s will was truly in play, there would be absolutely no need for adoption. There would be no “unwanted” children. I have a very difficult time, knowing the pain, grief, and heartache, adoption brings about, is something God wills. He can bring blessings from the pain, grief, and heart ache, but to will it, no, I just can’t believe He is that cruel. It’s like saying it was God’s will that I go blind, with a hereditary eye disease, or grow up in an abusive family, among a number of other tragedies in my life. I believe those things were God’s will, well, God must really hate me, and I don’t believe He does. The Bible tells me He loves me unconditionally. I have to believe that or what else do I have I can believe in?

    I’m glad you posted your comment. Again, you haven’t offended, and your love for your children is more than evident. I feel it. Your daughter, who is blind, gives her a hug and kiss for me, from one blind adoptee to another. Tell her, however she feels as she grows up, she isn’t alone.

    Now, in regards to Kelly, who has linked to this post on more than one occasion? Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers. I am including my response to her ost, the first time she posted it, in Oct 2011.

    I believe you took the quote from my post out of context. I, also, believe you have proven my point. Feel free to quote me anytime, however, in the future, please try to present the overall message of the post. I hope your readers took the opportunity to read the full post, and the discussion which followed, to understand, and decide for themselves, as to whether or not I am criticizing adoption, and/or fund raising in adoption. I believe, if you re-read the full post, you will see that I am not doing either, nor am I against either. It is the manner in which the fund raising is conducted that I take issue.”

    Thank you for visiting and I hope you will read more of the post on this blog.

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    • Christianne

      June 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      Shadow, thanks for replying! I am so glad you took the time to do so.

      In response: when referring to domestic, I guess I was thinking of foster to adopt. Probably because that’s what I’ve had the most experience with among my own friends. I think adopting out of the foster system is a wonderful thing, and I support it in every way. As far as why people wouldn’t choose it simply because it was cheaper, here are a few reasons I can think of… First of all, in my experience (when we were considering this route) most foster children are older. Not all, but most. I obviously LOVE older child adoption and we are currently about to bring two 11 year olds home. But many people aren’t able, prepared, or willing to do older children for a variety of reasons, such as age, children already in the home, emotional issues, etc. Children in the foster system will often have histories that are very troubling, abusive, etc. While that’s all the more reason to adopt them, many adoptive parents don’t feel that they can, for the same reasons I listed. In fact, many of those children aren’t even allowed to be adopted unless the family meets very specific criteria, such as no other children in the home, or the adopted child must be the youngest child, or there are to be no females children in the home, etc– because of past histories. Also, with foster to adopt, you are often going to be dealing with some very difficult birth family situations. Again, these children need families as much as anyone else, but I’m just saying that there are many reasons that adoptive parents may not be able to go that route, or may not feel it’s the right choice for them. We were very interested in two older boys in foster care, but because of their history and our younger children were not allowed to pursue adoption.

      You said in your reply to me that “all children have families where they were born” and that just isn’t true. One of our children is a “true orphan” meaning both parents have died. The grandparents relinquished rights. In essence, they didn’t have family. The remaining children have families in a sense, but we don’t even know who they are because they were abandoned.

      You are correct of course that children and adults will feel what they feel. Though I would love if none of my children never had any negative feelings about their life history and adoption, I am sure that it can’t be the case. My point was that loss of culture, or other tough things about adoption, would not be a reason for me to leave them in an orphanage. It also wouldn’t be a reason not to fundraise in any way I could for them. Though I can’t know how they will feel as an adult, I can’t imagine that they would disagree!

      As far as the whole “God’s will,” I don’t think we really disagree on this. We both agree that it is God’s will for every child to have a loving family. What I mean, is that now that a child HAS been abandoned, and IS in an orphanage, that surely it is His will for them to be adopted into another family! Not that it was His will for them to be abandoned in the first place!

      Even then, I don’t pretend to know exactly how God’s will works out. Perhaps it was His will for my daughter to be born without arms– not because He doesn’t love her, but precisely because He does. Maybe He knew that’s exactly what needed to happen to give her and others the experiences that would bring us all closer to Him. I don’t know… ! Maybe it wasn’t His will at all, but just a miserable aspect to this life on earth. What I DO know, is that in the next life, that all will be compensated for!! That you and my children who have had to go through this life without sight will not only have it restored, but will be blessed exceedingly for being faithful through trials! That any negative aspects of being adopted will be somehow be compensated for in beautiful ways.

      By the way, though your reply clarified some things, I still am wondering what your thoughts are on the whole fundraising part that I brought up. You said you stand by everything you said in your original post. It is so hard for me to understand how someone would think that if my choice were to leave a child in an orphanage, without any prospect for adoption or a better life, or hold 10 spaghetti dinners with pictures of the child on every table, that I wouldn’t choose to fundraise!

      Thanks for being respectful even though we disagree on some things! (:

      Christianne

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      • cb

        June 28, 2012 at 4:51 am

        Christiane, if you go back and read Shadow’s post again, you will see that what she is getting at is summarised in the following sentence (I’ve emphasised bits with asterixes as I can’t highlight):”What I can’t understand and get past is ****playing on others sympathy**** by advertising the reason for the garage sale, bake sale, dinner, or whatever, ****by using the child’s unfortunate circumstances***.”
        She has made it quite clear that she doesn’t have an issue with other types of “raising funds” per se eg she says “I can understand a person doing things like having a garage sale to raise money”.

        I read on a forum where a reader said that she has problems with people fundraising by “begging for money by playing on people’s sympathies” as opposed to people fundraising by “providing a service or goods for money” and that probably sums up how I feel too.

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        • Christianne

          June 28, 2012 at 5:58 am

          cb, I know that’s what she’s saying, and guess I just disagree. Like I said, I I don’t think it is “playing on others sympathy” or disrespectful to the child in any way to share their pictures and explain that you are trying to bring them home. Many times I hear of something that doesn’t compel me to do anything– but then I see pictures and OH MY! Now I am moved! I want to help!! It is human nature, and we are given that nature for a purpose. We are supposed to feel compassionate and have a desire to bless others as we have been blessed. I have seen it happen so many times. The fact is, when I am at a store and there is a donation jar for a hospital, I almost don’t even register that it’s there! But if there is a picture of a child and their story, I totally take notice and want to help! Maybe if I were a better person, I would always be moved to help even without knowing details or reasons, but the fact is that sometimes it takes a picture or a story to make me want to do something! I don’t feel like I’ve been “played” when I am shown pictures or told stories of a child’s circumstances– I feel I have been given a story and an opportunity to be part of something important. And I guess I it is really hard for me to see why a child would grow up and be bothered that fundraising (the kind shadow and tao are opposed to– where pictures and info are used) helped to make the adoption possible. I would think that if anything, it would make me feel special that others wanted to be a part of it all! (I know… I cannot speak from experience– I can only speculate.)

          I can totally give you that it must not be that way for everybody. Obviously, TAO and Shadow feel like it shouldn’t be done– and many on here agree with them– so there must be a reason. I don’t discount their feelings. I just don’t understand.

          When Shadow said, “it really pushes me to question the motives of anyone holding a fundraiser to adopt internationally. When I think of the cost, the amount of money needed for international adoption, and what that money could do when used properly by missionaries all over the world, well, all I can do is shake my head, look to God, and wonder if he looks down on the human race and says, “What was I thinking?” it makes ME shake my head! I just don’t get it! I’m not trying to be difficult– I really just do not understand. Though I didn’t fundraise, you can bet I would have if I needed to– and I would have certainly told people what the fundraiser was for! I think that sharing their pictures would make people more likely to want to help, and therefore make the process that much quicker! And I wouldn’t feel like I played them, or exploited my kids. From my experience, people are WANTING to help. They would WANT to know that the fundraiser was for adoption– I mean, really, what a great cause!! Several people who know our story have asked if they could contribute financially. I don’t see how finding people who DON’T know, and sharing it with them, would be wrong– if I needed the help. After all, I wouldn’t be making them help– just sharing our story. I still for the life of me cannot see how my motives would be questioned just because I raised money using photos!

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    • Christianne

      June 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Um, oops. I just misquoted you. Chalk it up to my poor eyesight. You didn’t say “All children have families where they are born” but rather “when” they are born. Agreed, obviously. (: But people also have agency, and don’t always take care of those children or want to take care of them or have the situation/means to take care of them. So even if God’s will is for children to be born to a mother and father, don’t you think that once they are in a circumstance where that family isn’t able/willing to take care of them, that it would be His will for them to be adopted?

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  14. shadowtheadoptee

    June 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    O.K. I edited and corrected some things, added some other before hitting ppast and it didn’t take it. Please read between the grammer, spelling, and omitted words, errors. Thanks.

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  15. shadowtheadoptee

    June 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Oh, Christianne, thank you so much for being willing to try to understand where I, AO, and others, are coming from. It says so much about who you are as a person. You have such a kind and loving heart. I think you are right, we agree on a lot more than it would seem. God’s will, and purpose in life, is something I have spent so very much time contemplating. What a very fine line it is to truly know if what we do is God’s will or really just our will at play. It seems to me, from your comment, that you have questioned the meaning of God’s will too. I suppose, we will never really know for sure what was truly God’s will, until we can ask him face to face. In the mean time, I guess we just do the best we can to do what we feel is right, and loving? Where I get stumped when it comes to God’s will is that scripture where the Bible talks about how God can make good things out of bad for those who believe, and follow his will. My conclusion thus far isn’t that God “wills” things to happen, so much, but that his “will” is that we do the right thing, like follow his commandments, from the start. He gave us the free will to choose between believing in him, or not. He gave us the free will to choose to do what is right, from the start. If people did that, wouldn’t the world be a better place? On that, I feel safe in saying we both agree. The thing is, when it comes to knowing God’s will, how can either one of us, mere mortals, really know what God’s will really is? The best we can do is hope we are right in what we believe.

    My thoughts on fund raising are still the same, but maybe this will help you understand a little more. I believe there is a very fine line between sharing the story of the child you want to adopt, and exploiting the story of a child because you want to adopt. One example I think I used was the “Help us bring OUR child home.” I capitalized our because I wanted to make a point, and am going to capitalize a few other words not yelling, just emphasizing the word to make a point. The point being that the child is not really YOURS, until AFTER the adoption is finalized. That is where the entitlement comes into play, IMO. I understand that some PAPs want a child so badly that they “feel” like the child “belongs” to them. I can empathize with why they would feel that way, but the reality, legally and otherwise, is that until the adoption is final, the child “belongs” to whoever has custody. At any point and time the adoption can fall through and oh the heartache for the PAPs. I’ve seen this heartache first hand with my own family. My heart broke too, for everyone.

    I really don’t know how better to explain than what I said in my post. I think what makes it right or wrong is the motives behind the fund raising. Only a PAP/AP can know what their true motive was for adopting. No matter how I try to look at it, it seems to me that people adopt, because they want something. What that something is depends on the person. How they go about getting what they want defines their motives. Honestly, after reading your comments, feeling your love for your children, the respectful way you have conducted yourself here, and reading your thoughts on all, I have a hard time believing you would intentionally exploit, in the manner AO, and I, are talking about, any child in order to adopt he, or she. The fact that you are trying so hard to understand proves that to me, and even though you say you would, I think you would think of your child first. In the big scheme of things, being adopted isn’t what makes adoptees special. It isn’t what makes us “feel” special. What our Aps went through to adopt us isn’t why we feel special. If we are lucky enough to “feel” special, it is because we know we are loved. We are special because of who we are, which was supposed to be in that last comment about hugging your little one, but didn’t make it. What our Aps went through, the money they spent, will never make us feel special or loved. Love isn’t something you do. It is something you give. I hope this helps. Thank you again for sharing, for being willing to listen, and for trying to understand. It’s really been refreshing to talk with you. What fun it would have been over a cup of coffee in person. You, still, might not understand, but what’s more important to me is that you tried, are trying.

    P.S I don’t understand why the comments are out of order, or is that just my screen reader?

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    • Christianne

      July 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Shadow! I’m sorry it took me so long to reply— crazy, busy week! I did want to take the time to thank you for being so kind in your last comment, and for recognizing my desire to understand and my unconditional love for my sweet children. I agree that if we were to sit down together and talk, we would probably agree much more than disagree– many things are hard to communicate and clarify through the computer. (: A few things…

      As far as God’s will– I mostly agree with you, but I do take exception to the comment, “The thing is, when it comes to knowing God’s will, how can either one of us, mere mortals, really know what God’s will really is?” I believe with all my heart in personal revelation. Though we are mere mortals, we are His children– and He through His infinite love and concern for us has given us a way to communicate with Him. So though I do not think that we will know God’s will in other people’s lives, or even His will in every aspect of our own, I do believe that it is not only possible, but crucial, that we discover His will in our own when the decisions are important ones. I believe that if I am praying about something as important as whether or not to adopt a certain child, that I can indeed know His will in that regard. I believe it because it has happened to me, time and time again. In ways too sacred to write about and in ways that left no doubt in my mind, I was given the blessing of knowing that it was exactly what we should do. My husband and children were given those same sacred reassurances. I guess it’s because of this, that I also disagree on using the word OUR, when referring to a child we are in the process of adopting. I don’t think it reflects entitlement in any way. It is simply the only way, for me, to talk about the child that God has placed in our hearts. With China special need adoption, once we are given pre-approval, there is really no reason that the adoption wouldn’t work out. In fact, the only time I have heard it happening is when the adoptive parents back out. Calling Cali (the girl we are in the process of adopting) OUR child reflects the parental, unconditional love that God has placed in our hearts for her. Though not legally ours, of course, she is ours. And, more importantly perhaps, we are HERS. She has our fierce love, loyalty, affection, and prayers. We already would do anything for her. I know that you have experiences and insights that I cannot have, because you have lived the life of an adoptee. On the other hand, I have experiences that you cannot have, because I have lived the life of an adoptive parent. I cannot downplay the complete LOVE, the kind only a parent can have, that I hold for my child before they are ever legally mine. I have found through my experiences with other APs that they feel exactly the same way. Maybe that can help you understand why I would call Cali mine, and why she IS mine, even before the papers are stamped. Not mine in a possessive kind of way, but mine in a very beautiful, real way. As far as an adoption not going through– I suppose that if Cali’s for some reason didn’t, that it wouldn’t change the fact that for a time, she was MINE. That she had my heart in the way my children only can. That she would always have a place in my heart…

      I totally agree with you on the whole “special” thing we talked about. I suppose I worded it wrongly or didn’t explain myself. I would in no way think that a child’s self worth or feeling of being special would come from anything about the adoption process (people contributing to the adoption, etc.) I meant more that when I told my children that their cousins contributed to their plane ticket, they were like, “Oh, that’s cool!” and hopefully felt loved because of it! Just as they would feel love from a kind gesture or a gift or a hug– not that that is where they would find their value, their self worth. That would come because they know they are a child of God. That they are loved unconditionally. Just as you said. My point was rather that I couldn’t understand how fundraising would make the child feel negative feelings. Again, just from what I would imagine or think. I think that “charity case” obviously has a negative connotation. But what is charity, really? It is the pure love of Christ. I think every time we are the recipient of this kind of love, we feel Christ’s love for us. It certainly happens daily in my own life!

      Christianne (:

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  16. shadowtheadopteeShadow

    July 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I understand what you are saying, and why you feel that way about the word “our”. I wonder, too, if our differences in God’s will, isn’t, possibly, just a word usage choice? Where you use the word “know”, and I understand what you mean by it, I would use the word “believe”. For some knowing and believing are the same, or, at least, similar. For me, they are two distinctly different words, and things. Maybe it all boils down to perspective and life experience? In the end, what we know, and/or believe, is really between each individual and God. Knowing, believing without having tangible facts to prove it, is why it’s called having faith, IMO. We could go on all day with this theology/philosophy conversation, you know. lol

    And, if charity was always done with the pure love of God, I would be more inclined to agree, no adoptee would ever feel like a charity case in the negative way. Charity is not always charitable, or done with the pure love of God. Sometimes that is intentional, and conscious, and sometimes unintentionally, and subconsciously. The world isn’t always a pretty place filled with God’s pure love. There’s that human factor of sin, to give consideration. If you give that some thought, maybe you can eventually come to an understanding. Maybe you just aren’t ready, or in a place in your life , where you can understand. If you are lucky, you will never understand what I am talking about.
    I checked your blog/webpage. Wow, girl, you got your hands full. It was nice meeting you and your family. I gotta run. I have 5 days to perfect a song, I’ve supposed to play this weekend, and it’s kicking my butt. Something else your daughter and I have in common is a love for music.

    Best Regards,
    Shadow

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    • Christianne

      July 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Good thoughts! Best of luck with your song! It’s been fun chatting– I love to hear other people’s perspective on things. (:

      Christiane

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  17. zflowerz

    July 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Wow, what an ignorant post. And just to let you know, I have one international child and one domestic, and the domestic was only $5000 less than the international. But I have to deal with so much more! Birth mother’s are very challenging. I can totally understand why someone goes international. We just went exactly where God told us our children were. And we could have saved all that money, that we didn’t fund raise, and had them biologically but that’s not what got wanted for us. I don’t judge how, where or when other people get their children, it’s not my business.

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  18. zflowerz

    July 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    That’s not what *God wanted for us.

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  19. eagoodlife

    July 4, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Christianne said.” I don’t think that a child will feel exploited or like they were “bought.” On the contrary, I think it would be a beautiful thing to teach that child how very much they were loved by so many people, and how people were so excited to give what they could to bring them into a family– especially after SEEING their picture! Teach them that they are so special and wonderful and how they moved people to look inside their hearts and help in whatever way they could. And of course, teach them that they are absolutely PRICELESS– that they were not “purchased” and that the money given and raised was only to pay for the paperwork and travel expenses to get them HOME. (:d ” So many assumptions made about what adoptees might think, feel or believe! All dangerous and not within your ability or anyone else’s to predict.
    And one other thought, it is so insulting to children who have the best of intentions in presenting their savings to be knocked back so ungraciously!

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  20. shadowtheadoptee

    July 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    It amazes me that, after posting this, several years ago, it is still getting so much attention. . I still stand behind every word. The fact that it still hits a nerve with APs, well, they just keep proving my point.

    I find it so interesting that, of all the heart felt things I’ve written on this blog, this is the one APs pay the most attention to, and I’m the one that is ignorant?

    Whatever.

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    • TAO

      July 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      You go girl! You are right – the stats show it. You know, growing up I was told if something bothered me about what others said then perhaps I need to take a second look at what I was doing.

      Kind of makes you want to be snarky and judgemental right back because that is the Christian thing to do apparently.

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  21. Jo

    October 26, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I find it interesting that you caution others to respond nicely when your very post is full of mean (you can be eloquently mean…) commentary toward those who adopt internationally and- the horror- ask for financial aid when doing so. I’m not sure if you are a Christian or not- I didn’t look around at other posts to wager a guess on that. I will say that if you are a follower of Christ I am surprised at your aversion to asking others for help. And if you are not- it really doesn’t surprise me that you question the motives for international adoption. Or perhaps you have never spent time in a European orphanage…or special needs home- maybe you are simply ignorant to the atrocities that are occurring in such institutions. Really, no matter your personal life experience- I wonder why those families trying to bring- and I am going to say it because it is true- THEIR child home, by asking their friends, family,church community for help- would anger you so much? And your very eloquent post drips with anger. I have to believe if you have seen children suffering the way a baby with down syndrome suffers in a children’s institution in Romania…I have to believe if you see it…you would move heaven and earth to get them into a loving family. My husband and I are in the process of adopting internationally because I have seen it…and smelled it…and held those fragile malnourished bodies… My friends, My family, My church community- will respond to our plea for donations with love and grace. Not condemnation. We will give all we are able in the process- when all is said and done my husband and I will have paid 22,000- all we have saved for several years. If we could pay it all of course we would- but God provides in so many different ways…even through fundraising. It is small minded and honestly offensive to belittle those who ask for help. They’re not using the child for sympathy… If people feel sympathetic it is because the TRUTH of the child’s situation- should break hearts. If someone feels “obligated” to give..my advice to them would be to keep their money- I know I wouldn’t want it.

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    • TAO

      October 26, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Jo, I approved your post despite the reality that you have no idea who the person is who wrote this post because you couldn’t be bothered to even scan the front page of the site. You don’t know Shadow’s heart, you don’t know her soul. And yes *I* caution others to be nice because I’m actually trying to make this a safe space. By the way, I am not Shadow, Shadow posts once in a blue moon and had absolutely nothing to do with my asking commenters to be nice. You have a nice day now.

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      • Jo

        October 26, 2015 at 9:48 pm

        Since it is a blog- “knowing” someone is fairly difficult. Which is why I openly said I didn’t know her. I wish her nothing but the best- I just wish her post had shown others a bit more grace- the adoption process is challenging for every member of the family- it is also beautiful- no matter the way a family is made- no matter the details of the adoption process.
        No need to respond back. I wish you well. I posted to offer someone of a similar mind to me- some encouragement. It was disheartening to see so many harsh comments.
        Thanks!

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  22. beth62

    October 27, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I am all for fundraising for the kids needs when funds are not available. I’m a beggar. A professional beggar, hell a Master Beggar by now. So far I have had over 30 children to beg for, not to mention the old people, small farmers and the struggling young families. Many local people see me coming and they hide 🙂 and I don’t blame them a bit! I hide now when I see the beggars for the animals or Jesus coming to my door, so I get it!

    To be a Master Beggar you have to have something to “give back”, especially if you want more when you come back later begging again. If you are known to be a big giver to others, that guilt and competition works even better than a sad story.

    One thing I learned when I started begging for money from others for our kids was… no one really wants to be a poster child for a fundraising cause, especially when it is their own cause.
    It can be very embarrassing sometimes. Many people will treat you differently, and often not in helpful ways, many will treat you like a charity case. It’s not a good feeling at all. It can make some angry and embarrassed enough to run for the hills.

    I learned from my first couple of mistakes well, where I used pictures and sad personal identifying stories to make the buck.
    It worked great, yet backfired on our kids soon enough. People talk. Even nice people, or church people, you never know who it will be. I do know it is not pretty.
    So I learned to do it differently.
    I didn’t tell the child’s story at all.
    Would not tell anyone which kid I was begging for or why, other than I did not have the funds to cover it at the time. Kept it general, ESPECIALLY at church where people talk the most. We had a wish list of the things the unidentified kids needed, summer camp money, dress shoe sizes 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10, new coats, work boots, a suit, tuition, books, furniture, car repair, knee brace, writable CDs, computer crap, phones, new wheel chair, going to visit grandma money………. it’s a very long and boring list. A list that typically got filled by many people who could, church members, local biz owners, neighbors, friends and family.

    I myself found it quite disturbing to be used as a poster child for adoption is beautiful marketing and sales at the time of my adoption. The older I got the more disturbing it became. I survived it, as most do. But it does still disturb me that my parents allowed that. I do know that they didn’t know any better at the time, and I do know they would not do it today with what they know now, because I asked them and they told me how it surprisingly became a bit disturbing to them also.

    Disturb is the best word I can come up with for myself, as I have had many (good and bad)uncomfortable feelings over the last 50+ years due to my generic poster child experience.

    Last April I wrote a check that should cover several 2014 Adoption Tax CREDITS of $13,000+ each.
    So, yes, I feel like I have already done my part, like it or not, and I will be hiding if I see any adoption fundraisers coming at me!! I am sure they will understand.

    I had a friend fundraise for a new car. She used the loan they got to easily cover their adoption instead. And told everyone that. Worked great for them, plus someone in her family gave her a barely used car for free.
    She told me choosing kid over car worked for her, that way she felt she was only begging for herself, and was not asking her soon to be child to beg for her, since she was the one in need of funds. He was in need of someone who had the funds, someone who didn’t need to use him to get the funds.

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