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My Comment to the Post “Fundraising thoughts”

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?”

 
42 Comments

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

 

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Who is Shadow?

By TAO

A few days back I found an article on a new device that was developed in Israel for the visually impaired called OrCam.

I had to read it because of Shadow. Read the rest of this entry »

 
5 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Adoption

 

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What is written vs. What is heard…

I find it an ongoing annoyance that what I write is not what people hear and am hoping to find a way to write in a way that will be heard – because including thoughts on my adoption/parents or not does not seem to make a difference.  I am also sure Shadow feels the same and perhaps why she has been so quiet lately.  A recent example is a post that has received hits since another blog linked to Shadow’s post on that same subject – fundraising

The first eight paragraphs of my post are about mom and dad – highlighting the fact that I hold them up as the caliber or standard of parents everyone else needs to strive to come close to…which I stand behind, but I get tired of needing to continually speak about, as I have lived more decades as an adult outside of the family home – than I did as a child – and it does not seem to make any difference.

The last of the first eight paragraphs states this: My parents had far more respect for us than to do anything like that.  We weren’t “charity cases” to be pitied and money given to help save us.  We weren’t adopted to be converted and save our souls.  We were respected as human beings who simply needed a home, and would not have subjected us to any of that.

Then I discuss my view of how “fundraising to save the orphan or charity case” (not the earning of extra money without bringing the adoptee into it) – that fundraising can be hurtful for the adoptee and I shows ways it can be.  This is the type of comment that tells me that what I write is not being heard.

From Rob: “I hope that you are able to get the help you need to help you be more at peace with your situation and that of your friends.”

I approved the comment but I am unclear how speaking out as an adult adoptee deems me as needing help because I voiced my opinion on “fundraising to save the orphan“.  That instead of going along with the status quo if it is too expensive – demand reform and if that reform results in less adoptees created then that is good because really who wants more adoptees created.

Is there any acceptable way for an adoptee to challenge current practices, or must we all simply roll-over and play the grateful adoptee to the saints who saved us?  Sometimes I think that is the preferred (or only) way for the adoptee to speak and that the more adoptees created – the better some would like it…and that saddens me deeply.

Somewhat off topic – it seems to be a requirement for an adoptee to speak about her parents (which I am happy to do), but yet I never seem to hear [adoptive] parents qualifying that they had great parents or speaking about them at all – before talking about something that might challenge the status quo in adoption – ask yourself why when we are the ones who actually lived it and are as old or older than you are…

***** 

On a completely different note – an update about my little amputee chickadee I talked about here – I didn’t see her for weeks and thought perhaps she didn’t make it, but then I saw her a couple of weeks ago and she’s still kicking and fighting to survive and just came for her first peanut of the day.  Life is good in my backyard!

 
15 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics

 

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How could anyone not realize there are two adoptees on this site?

When I had to come up with the name of this blog, the only name I could come up with was “the adopted ones” – not terribly original, but one that I thought really described TWO things. One: the authors of the blog were adopted; and Two: that the “S” on the end of “ones” would indicate more than one author.

I could have called it two adoptees but I didn’t want to limit the number, as perhaps, we would want to invite others to join us in the future. It worked for me and made sense to call it “the adopted ones” further clarified by the tag line “Grumpy Old Adoptees’ Club”… you know more than one.

Apparently I was wrong.

Despite the above and choosing a design that has a box at the end of each post noting who the author of the post is.

Despite having a highly visible “Who’s Who” box on the right showing TWO different authors.

Despite my description on my Gravatar in the Who’s Who box stating “I was one of two adult adoptees on this blog”.

Despite the About section starting off with this: “ We are adoptees from the Baby Scoop Era. We each have our own story and views on adoption. Sometimes those views are the same, sometimes they differ but that is life.”

TODAY, someone who linked to this blog today assumes this.

I read a post not long ago written by an adult adoptee criticizing adoption fundraising, criticizing adoption itself in a lot of ways.”

The post she linked to was written by Shadow the Adoptee – not me and did one of those selective editing jobs – you know taking things out of context to make it sound the way they want it to sound. 

That post from Shadow was in response to my post on fundraising which was a whole lot more critical of fundraising than Shadows post – her post was gentle and delved into deeper thoughts, raising valid questions to discuss and consider.

For the record, I am the adoptee on this site who is the vocal critic ofadoption itself in a lot of ways”. ME – not Shadow. Shadow typically writes about her story – don’t believe me? – click on her in the “Who’s Who” box to the right and read her posts. Shadow is the one who tempers my voice and provides a different voice. The one who is the peacemaker and can see other sides better than I ever will.

If you want to bash one of us – I am your target – not Shadow.

Me, yes I am critical of unethical adoptions.

I am critical about how adoptees are being failed by the adoption industry.

I am critical that the adoptive parents are not standing up and actively supporting and talking to their legislators about reversing the laws that deny an adult adoptee their original birth certificate.

I am critical of anyone in the adoption world who denies there are real ethical issues that need to be dealt with in adoption and prefer to use excuses or God words to justify their actions.

Have I linked to posts where I have not read other posts on the blog?  Absolutely, but I do not presume to know anything about the blog I linked to, and clearly identify my lack of knowledge about that blog.  I don’t make an assumption about the blog, I just note about that specific post and my feelings like I did the other day where I said something like “this post gives me hope and asks a lot of hard questions with no easy answers”. 

My question is: if you cannot see that there are two adoptees on this site, then how clearly could you identify if there were ethical problems in an adoption or with anything related to adoption?

This post was written by the one who is actually vocally critical of unethical adoptions – just in case you can’t notice the author box below this sentence.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The “real” search queries never end…

Kind of feeling grumpy today and then I looked at the search queries that landed people on this blog…

I have to question why prospective parents and parents aren’t searching more often for important things in adoption like ethics, the impact of living without family health history, adoptee rights, or even what is the impact of losing your entire family when you become an adoptee.  I seldom see queries about real hard topics in adoption – instead the search queries that show up most frequently show they are worried about themselves, not how their child will feel.

adoptees “slap in the face” “real mother”

Must be those adoptees who aren’t grateful for everything their parents have done for them and “gasp” are searching or have reunited.  How dare they be so ungrateful.  It is not a slap in the face, and quite likely you have ensured your child feels that it is, solely because of your attitude.  You are wrong, searching and reuniting is completely natural and takes NOTHING away from your relationship, unless YOU choose to be the one to ruin your relationship.

adoptive parents are real parents

By definition if you are an adoptee you have two mothers and two fathers so just get over the “real” thing – all 4 of you are “real”. 

real parents term

Mom and Dad – Mother and Father?  Just guessing here…

did s**** j***’ adoptive parents have connections with him

Whether or not they did is irrelevant to everyone but them.  What it sounds like to me is yet another adoptive parent feeling like they (the media) did not focus enough on his “real” parents.  Get over yourself – you do realize there are millions of adoptees and we are all unique, and that our relationships with our parents are dependent on our actual families.

positive and negative views of adoptive parents

I have very negative views of adoptive parents who abuse or murder their children, those who put their desires ahead of making sure ethics and morals are the main factors in adopting…

example of prospective adoptee

Not sure what they were looking for here.  Newspaper ads?  PIctures?  Seeing if they meet your standards?     

adoption is redemption

No – adoption happens after you have legally been stripped of your biological connection to your family and identity, and then adopted by another family.  It is a legal process that makes you somebody else.  Nothing more – nothing less.

So many different versions of “wheres my adoption refund“, “10-01-11 still no adoption tax refund“, “is the government doing away with the adoption tax credit

I don’t care about the adoption tax credit refund.  It was a stupid idea to begin with and makes it seem like adoptees come with mail-in rebates, we don’t, and neither are we lined up on shelves in a big box store.  Personally, I hope the adoption tax credit is not extended.  If you cannot afford to adopt then you can’t adopt – deal with it.  When mothers and fathers stop surrendering their babies solely because of financial reasons, then we can talk. 

ethics + birth moms who change minds about relinquishing in the hospital

Absolutely completely ethical.  NO question in my mind whatsoever.  You do realize that it is natural to want to parent your child?  And even if you consider adoption as an alternative (Plan B) to parenting (Plan A), you have every single right to choose to parent (Plan A) after your baby is born.  Oh and she isn’t a birthmom – see below.   

do birthmothers really read ads?

How about not calling an expectant mother, who may be considering adoption, a birthmother.  That is coercive, manipulative and speaks to your lack of understanding of adoption and disrespectful.  Just because adoption agencies use those tactics does not mean you need to.

what to say to parents that don’t fundraise

Bravo!

how do adoptee’s feel about fundraisers

Well thank you for asking – you can see both our views here and here.

adoptee sick of society view

Yah – can totally relate – I was thinking about this yesterday.  How society can view adoption as the best thing ever despite the life-long pain for mothers who surrender, and the adoptees having to live with the fact they are adopted, society still views it as a win-win-win.  I don’t know why society is so shallow that they can only view one side instead of the mult-faceted view, and believe only sound-bites from the industry that makes money off adoption.

is it harder to grow up being adopted

Apparently you don’t understand what adoption means if you have to ask that question.  Until you do please don’t even consider adopting – losing your entire family and identity and sometimes your country and language is pretty darn hard. 

adoptee shame illegitimacy

Why would an adoptee feel shame about being illegitimate?  It’s not like we had anything to do with whether or not our parents were married.  Pretty hard to control what happened before we were born and it’s certainly not like “adoptees” are the only ones born to single parents.  

who do you think you are adopted

People?  Just guessing.  What, did an adoptee say something you did not want to hear?

i love my adoptive family

So do millions of adoptees and your point is?

i’m glad i was adopted

Not to be mean, but what a simplistic statement that is.  One day you might start digging a bit deeper on the paradox of being an adoptee, and then that statement won’t be quite that simple when you factor in what you lost to the equation, or even think about the what your life would have been like if you hadn’t been adopted.

good adoptee bad adoptee

Yah – cuz we are just shallow cardboard cut-outs and not capable of having contradictory feelings like “real” human beings.

*************

And finally the WTH search query of the week…3 year old sperm donor wants to start family

 
14 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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