Giving voice to a child

My mother gave birth to me at the airport in New York on Dec 2, 1975. She never specified which airport I was born thus I can’t tell the name of it but I remember every other details of this beautiful day because I was already 9 years old when I was born. If you are an adoptee reading this, please don’t be offended; it is my way of laughing at adoptive parents comparing adoption to paper pregnancy. When her female friends were talking about their childbirths, my adoptive mother loved to talk about my arrival day: "they (the adoptive parent at the airport) had the same feelings and pain than you… it is exactly the same thing than giving birth to a child", she said.

I was chosen and desired; after seeing my picture, she expected me to come to her life as a pregnant woman expecting a baby. “I was expecting you for your birthday but I was disappointed when I learned that I had to wait longer. But finally, you arrived just in time for Christmas. You are my living doll, my Christmas present that I asked for!” she said.

I remember the days following my “birth”, just like it was yesterday. Everything was new to me. I received a ton of toys and clothing. For me, it was like in a fairy tale or another planet. It was the first time that I saw a Christmas tree.

For my mother, our first Christmas together was the best Christmas she ever had in her whole life. For me, it was my first homesickness. At the best Christmas of my adoptive mother, I cried. I was very homesick but everybody thought I was tired.

“I miss my orphanage; I want my friends; I want my dad. I want to go back to home.” That’s what I wanted to say but I couldn’t talk their language. Nobody could understand my language.

Today, I know how to say these words, so I've added them to my photos with the help of software. By doing this, I’m giving a voice to the child I was and to the children of international adoption who are often silenced.

I cried even after receiving a doll that I asked for during my first shopping in USA.

Having my pyjamas put on, I continued to cry until I became too tired to cry. My mother was so happy to be a mother that she wouldn’t understand why I was crying.

Like any other adoptee, I eventually adapted to my new life with my new parents. In a short period of time, I began to consider my adoptive mother as a “real” mother. It took me more time to consider my adoptive father as my real father because I already had a real father in Korea. This should please adoptive parents who feel insecure when their adoptees use the expression “real parents” to talk about their “birth parents”: my adoptive parents were more real than my first parents.

I adapted to the life that the adoption industry gave me because I was given no other choice. If I had the choice, I would have chosen to remain in my country with my family. No, I never idealized my life in Korea; I lived in poverty with my (birth) family. And no, I’m not talking retrospectively as an abused adoptee. I'm talking about a choice that I would have made before my adaptation to my adoptive family when there was no abuse yet. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the life of fairy tale in America; I liked the wealth and the comfort but I wanted my family and my country.

My first family was given to me by God (and I was given to my first family by God). My adoptive family was not given by God; it was given to me by the industry of international adoption that made money from selling me to a childless woman. I was a gift given by God to my (first) parents; not to my adoptive parents. Do you really believe that your adopted child has been sent to you by God? The adoption industry sent it to you because you ordered it to fulfill your desire to become parent. Don’t ever talk to me about God's will in the adoption.  Adoption is not God’s will; it is either the will of the persons wanting to parent or the will of the adoption industry working in the name of God to make more money.

To PAPs: If the baby you see in the picture could tell you to let him live in his country by helping its mother to keep him, what would be your answer/action?

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Thank you for giving a voice

Thank you for giving a voice to the child you were and for sharing it with us. I often try to read the faces of 'adoptable' children, or children just arrived 'home'. I read similar messages of being homesick, missing parents, friends - their country.

But the adoption industry gives us such different stories and adoptive parents happily join in: adoption pregnant from the day they register (pay) for the adoption, bringing THEIR children home.  It is this whole language which needs re-doing, like Jezz Delbazo (sorry in case I misspell the name) proposed in her book.

 

 

"Who's hands made this child possible?"

I wholly agree with your God-statements.

Do you really believe that your adopted child has been sent to you by God?

Far too many adopted children are indeed, gathered and sent by men (and women) claiming to do "God's Work".  Isn't it God's wish is to have man help man?  ["Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"]  Where does God say it's ok to take the child from a parent, and sell that child to another?

In a world where priests and clergy are known to be sex-offending pedophiles, and leaders within church-funded organizations are caught stealing money from their collections, is there anything more scary or evil than someone claiming to do the work of God or "in the name of Jesus" these days?  

 

The Power of Personal Narrative

I'd just like to point out how powerful a narrative like this is.

the way in which a child perceives the world is not something up for debate - nobody can say wrong!  you did not feel that way! 
when children are forced to accept conditions that are unjust, it is their voice that resonates with the child within us all.
resonating with everyone's inner child is the very best way to bring understanding to others about the forces that molded those perceptions.

every potential adoptive parent should read narratives like this prior to making their decisions.

thank you, kimette, for contributing to the world's understanding.

Thank you

For sharing your story, it is one I will truly keep to heart. I am an adoptive parent (international) who thankfully has relationships with my children's first families. We did talk to them in depth about supporting them so our children could go back with them (as heartbreaking as it would be for us), but they refused, and would like us to remain a family here in the US, but they are our family in Russia.

My kids are still very young, 4 and 2. I want to do what is right by them. The door will always be open for their return to Russia if they is what they express and desire. They have dual citizenship until they are 18.

I try to find out the right things for us to say to them, how we can always keep an open dialogue and be honest as much as we can.

I don't know about the God factor, I know my children are a gift from God as any child is, maybe they are a gift to both us and their first families, maybe it was a way of joining two families from two different countries, I don't know. Yes I am guilty of many of the common and cliche phrases many adoptive parents use, I think mainly because it is hard to explain or express to toddler or infant ears and those phrases seem so simple.  I do believe in fate, sometimes I feel it is the only way I can explain so much of my life.

I deeply appreciate your honesty and will take it to heart and listen and look at my children's souls to hopefully know what they are feeling and thinking.

Warmest regards,

Kris

You said "I want to do what

You said "I want to do what is right by them".  Didn't you already know what was right for them before adopting them? Don't you already know what is  right for them now?

I said that if I had had the choice, I would have chosen to remain in my country with my family. But, I also think that a child should never have to choose between two persons. It is like asking a child of divorced parents to choose with whom he wants to live. Adults are responsible to choose the best solution for the child, not the best solution for adult.  If you really believe that the best solution for you children is to stay with you, then why ask such question?  Is it because you want to give them the responsability of your choice by telling them later that they were given the choice? Or is it because you really don't know what is the best for them?

I have no doubt that you will support them if they chose to go back to Russia. But it's unfair to ask them such questions or give them such choice, once the kids are adopted, adapted and  bonded to their adoptive family. Do you really believe that kids can chose at 2 and 4 years old? You shouldn't expect another answer from them.  Have you ever consider to  live in Russia yourself with your kids so they can have you and their birth parents? Or have you consider to go with them if they ever chose to chose to live there?

Since you are giving your kids the option to return to live with the birth family, I  assume that your kids speak Russian and they know about their culture. If not, how do you expect them to live there in the future?  I know that some adult korean adoptees have chosen to live in Korea but it's not without difficulty they live there.

My adoptive parents also gave me the choice to return to Korea implicitly. They said they kept my Korean name so I could only drop my adoption name if I chose to return to Korea. I was already adapted and assimilated to their culture and their language when they told me this; and it didn't take me long time to bond to them. Had I given the choice to go back to my country at 11 years old, I would have been anxious. Despite all my anger and pain from being separated from my country and my family,  I would have chosen to stay with my adoptive parents. I don't consider this to be a choice, I call it a false choice.

Kimette, I think Kris is

Kimette, I think Kris is saying that she wants to find the right words to say, in the future, that the kids can have a choice. 
I would be one who would definitely go to Korea to live if my son ever chose to go back there to live.  I don't think that is
going to happen because to him he is a 20 year old American.  We love the Korean culture and have visited back there,
bringing back the wonderful smell of kim chi still in our nostrils.  We eat that stuff by the gallon, and sea weed and rice
and many Korean foods; not because we think we should, but because we truly love the taste. 
I do mourn because you were not given the choice to go back at age 11.  I feel that being born and having lived the culture
of Korea that your heart's love was there and the separating from it was almost more than you could bare.  Because you
now know that going back it is too late to regain that love; is it like being torn in two and ending up with nothing?

Sometimes I have looked in the mirror and wished that I was Korean and looked like my children.  I only see them and
when we go places I feel I'm the one in a strange land.  I find myself gravitating toward Asian people only to have them
think I'm some crazy old lady... but in Korea or around Asian people, I feel at home; they look like family to me.

IN A WORLD OF WHY,
Teddy

Thank you

Thank you Teddy, that is what I was trying to say. I want to do right by them through my words and my actions.

My children were both adopted from orphanages in Russia, one a special needs baby home. While we were there we asked in depth about their birthfamilies. Prior to adoptions being finalized both families were asked to sign off again, neither had visited or inquired or made any contacts the entire time the kids were in the orphanages.

Once home we hired a searcher/translator (since we had their addresses and info) to make contact for us and that is how our relationship began with both families. We learned alot, many of it was not pretty, but my heart went out to them for the choices they had to make so that is why we asked, if we could support them financially and emotionally would they rather the boys come back and both said no rather adamently, but rather continue to have things as they are, contact via letters and phone. They have both told me that wanted no parts raising them, the pregnancies were not wanted and it was too late for abortions. Extremely hard to hear and to know that, given these beautiful faces I wake up to each morning, but that is what their reality was and still is. I have asked if they could would they do things differently and both replied they wouldn't have gotten pregnant or would have "taken care of it" earlier. Sometimes I really am not sure what to do with this information, I feel like I still can't process that in my mind and yet one day I have to figure out how to explain it to the children.

No my kids are not fluent in russian, they have some words, as much as we do. I am learning more and so will they as we use a translator to help with our conversations to the families in russia. My children are only 4 and 2.

No I have not considered moving to Russia, but I would if we felt it necessary for the well being of the boys. I know the topic of international adoption is extremely sensitive, but we believed in it and still do. My cousin was adopted from Korea when he was 1, he is in his 30's now. I had many discussions with him prior to starting this process. But for him, at least now, it is not an issue, he told us how he felt loss growing up because he looked different, from his family but thankfully was raised in an area with large Korean population and like Teddy was immersed in the food and culture because it was something myaunt and uncle had loved from extensive trips to Korea.  He encouraged us to pursue adoption and he loved his life, he said yes there may be some tough times but to just be open and ready for it. I know he is only one person with one experience.

I deeply understand this was not something my children chose nor asked for, neither was being born or all they were exposed to during their young lives, but this is where we are now. I struggle with how to answer questions that will arise as they get older in terms of their firstfamilies and why, especially because they both have siblings who remain with the families. I know there will be a question of why them and although the truth will probably be hurtful, I want to find a way to be truthful and spare them the pain, although I am not sure that is possible. I love these boys more than life itself and that is why I am here because I want to be prepared, I want to do what is best by them.

Thank you,

Kris

Adoption = Child Trafficking

Adoption = Child Trafficking

does it matter?

What Kimette was saying was just because you are offered choices, that doesn't really mean they are real options.

The tragedy of assimilation is the loss of your former culture. 
If you are offered the choice of returning after you have already been assimilated, it's too little too late.  it's not a valid option.  It's futile.  It's just a gesture.

Kris has already removed the children from their culture.  Now she wants to smooth it over with these gestures. She refuses to acknowledge this was in ANY way wrong, because she embellished it with so many other good deeds.  I find that way more offensive than someone who says, gosh i fucked up, what do i do now?  I can support a person like that who is truly open to change, but i can't support someone who has to present me with a dosier of do-good things to exonerate them of their fundamentally selfish and damaging action.

This is the position all international adoptive parents have to grapple with.  My sympathies, of course, are with the children and not them.  Sorry.

Being nice and generous and loving the child still doesn't change the fact that she/they plucked the child from its culture, and there is no way to recreate or substitute for it.
I can't comprehend the refusal to acknowledge this fact !!!  Is it really that paramount to be virtuous?

And yes, you can appreciate a culture remotely.  But it's no longer really a choice to be it.  That was taken away.  Let the child mourn in peace, for God's sake.

I personally don't think Kris will ever be able to have a real conversation with her adult children about adoption until she recognizes her own part in that loss.

THIS is how she can really help her children.  By being brutally truthful and honest with herself about herself.

Because, you know, the one great thing about the adoption experience is
we adoptees have to develop finely honed BULLSHIT meters
and nothing, nothing, is going to undermine whatever love she gives them more than denial of her own culpability.

Sympathy or Concern

My father used to very eloquently tell me, "Sympathy can be found in the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphilis'".  In other words, the last thing in the world I should want is some-one's sympathy.

My IA story is different in the sense that my heritage includes the Ukrainian and French-Canadian people.  In Canada, the Ukrainians were not welcome or wanted in many communities.  They were forced to move west, hoping to look for work and housing.  As it's true in so many countries, there is profound hardship any time an ethnicity, religion or race is not wanted within a community. 

That being said, any country that is in a state of internal turmoil, there will be danger for its children.

I posted a video about the loss of a childhood in Russia.  (http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/20532)  The embedding has been disabled, but the footage can still be seen within the YouTube pages.  I urge readers to watch the video and ask:  where are the options for these mothers and children?  You'd be surprised to see where real workable solutions are being found.

In terms of saving a child through adoption, I don't think the parents or children of poverty or abandonment will benefit from American sympathy.  They will only benefit from the care and concern given by their own government and their own people.  In that sense I can sadly understand why a mother would not want her child to live among the streets in Russia.  Where's the hope in Russia if no one is caring for the children?

The problem is, removing the children through adoption is NOT going to solve their critical social problem. 

I am recognizing my part in

I am recognizing my part in that loss, why do you think I am here, because I enjoy being picked apart by you? No, I am struggling with it all and trying to comprehend the conflicting feelings and issues in my mind so I can be there for my children. On one hand it feels so right and so natural, my kids are happy, finally healthy and thriving and then on the other hand, I read adult experiences here and I am conflicted. And then I know adult adoptees who dont feel the way many people do here. It is confusing and frustrating and I am just trying to find my way.

Please tell me what should have happened to my kids. They were not wanted by their firstfamilies, they were not wanted by other Russian families. What was in their best interest. And this question is not coming from a "do gooder" which you seem to have branded me. It is an honest question-what is in the best interest of a child in that situation. To stay in an orphanage until they age out, they may be on the streets, but it would be the streets in Russia. This is not a sarcastic question, but an honest one. What do you think is the best for them? 

How come there is no acknowledge about how their firstfamilies felt about them and how they would have done them same thing again, aborted them or relinquished them.

So, what do I do now-no matter what I say or try to do, it won't be right in your eyes because I adopted. But that is where we are now-so what do you propose? So was making the gesture to the birthfamilies wrong, giving them the option of keeping their children with them-that was wrong? I am confused now.

Many adoptive parents want to learn and want to do what is right now and they do read these boards, and on another thread that is what someone propose would be good, to have adoptive parents learn and read and try to understand.

By attacking me when I am just trying to express my story and my children's story makes it very hard for me to want to continue here, I am putting myself out there, I am not an evil person. I apologize I am not an eloquent writer like most people here so maybe I am not getting across what I am thinking.

It's probably best for me not to post anymore, I should have just continued to read and learn what I could.

Thank you all.

Blame is wrongly placed

I can easily understand your frustration, because honestly, I think many PAP's are lied to about the conditions of another mother, father and country.  Maybe not in your case, Kris, but I imagine there are many Russian mothers wishing their children were not such a burden to so many.  Maybe in those cases, those mothers would keep and protect their babies, if only they weren't so alone and afraid to do so.  It's very sad, really. 

So, who/what do I blame for my adoption-anger?

I blame a money-minded industry that wrongfully places many children, all because they have the power and support to do so. 

I blame PAP's who don't educate themselves about the economy behind adoption practices, all because they are in want of a baby.

I blame governments who fail their mothers and children, all because a buck can be made and saved.

How many share in my need to blame someone or something for the pain so many families are experiencing around the world?

 What do I suggest you try to do as a new AP?

Enjoy their lives and feel proud that you can make a strong positive difference in the lives of many, but please remember and respect the sadness that's behind your children's final placement.  You will need those feelings later on when more serious questions are asked by your adopted children.

<sigh>... If only more people would see the sadness behind adoption... I'm sure that healthy balance would lessen the "gladness" and "happiness" many private brokers want to push and sell.

For what it's worth Kris... my concern is for parents like you and Big D... I believe there are very good people who would make excellent parents.  It's just so sad to me how your breed of parenting can't be an adoption-guarantee.

thank you

Kerry, for your response and I totally agree with what you said. A good chunk of me does feel icky about the agency side of things, although I felt alot less icky with our second agency, because of the projects I have been able to do with them in terms of support in Russia. BUt the money side is wrong.

To be honest it is very hard to see that while you are going through it. The only thing I ever wanted in the world was to be a mom. And when that doesn't come easy, it is very tough to take, especially when you know you would make a good mom. I was so very lucky to have wonderful parents and an amazing family, it is only natural to want to continue that. So here you are, two people who want a family and all you see out there are children without families. This especially rang true to us from my time spent in Romania and all those faces who still haunt me. It is easy to get sucked into it all when you feel you have so much love to give. I obviously knew there were shady practices but I really tried to do my bestwhen it came to making decisions, especially once in country. Yes it is very selfish of us to want a family, it is selfish of anyone to want a child, isn't it? So once home, and you are out of the emotions you have been going through for years, sometimes things become more clear, or maybe I just became more open to listening? I don't know?
I am just trying to figure out what the best thing I can do now and I have learned so much in the past few weeks.
So thank you.
 
To almost-human:
I am being real, I thought I was being real, expressing my real feelings and questions. I think I am being as open and honest with my kids as you can do with preschoolers.
I have taken your words to heart, absolutely.Of course with sharing my story, it comes only natural to justify your actions when you feel like you have to defend yourself and so I missed most of what you were saying, because I felt I had read between the accusations. In another thread you wrote down the things you wished you had from your adopted parents,it was so straightforward and that is what I was looking for, I copied and pasted it and printed it out as a reminder to myself and my husband. That post is what hit home to me and what would help myself and other adoptive parents. Thank you.

Maybe there's hope for you yet

A real voice!!!!

Welcome to the conversation...

I have very rational

I have very rational arguments, not attacks. 

I just told you what you could do for your kids, but it's the one thing you don't really want to do.  you're NOT LISTENING and I'm actually being very helpful to you.
stop with all the justifications and hyper vigilance. 

just be real. it's that simple.  and you're not doing it. it's clear as day.

  • without really truly recognizing there is a wrong done, how can you fix anything?
  • without even an iota of contrition, how can you truly make amends?

you only just now said you recognize what you've done, but there's no teeth to it, since all you do is provide justifications for what you have done. 
justifications don't fix anything.

you don't see me "attacking" anyone else here or any of the other parents here, do you?

that's because they actually listen and learn and at least consider what we're talking about here.   but you exhibit an astonishing intractability. 

I AM your adopted kids in ten, twenty years.  I don't hear you being honest with me.  This is why we can't have a real conversation.

Just Say It

Until you can say

I, Kris, severed my children from their culture as a result of my single-minded desire to have children

that issue will always be the elephant in the room that nobody can talk about in any real terms. 
if you can't do that one thing, then all your saying you want to do right by your kids is just hot air.

Please read my post above

Please read my post above under Kerry's reply.

I still would like to hear some thoughts on what would have been in my particular children's best interests--given what you know about our situation? Would it still have been best to just leave them in the orphanage? Should I have been more forceful to the social workers over there to make the birthfamilies come meet with us and the kids after they refused? Or just never to have pursued an adoption in the first place?

It is supposed to be about what is the best interest of the child and since each story and situation is different, do we treat each one differently or just come up with one answer for all. I know the best thing is to prevent this from happening at all, but once it does, what is the best answer? It all just seems so overwhelming to me.

Just Say It Reprise

that's a large complex question that will have to come after work.  In the meantime, read Just Say It above

something about your chosen location...

I'm always curious about the motives behind an adoption, especially when an American will go overseas for a child.   If there's one thing I understand, it's that "MUST HAVE feeling", so I'm curious how that feeling gets preyed-upon by private adoption agencies.

Given the number of American children needing parents or legal guardians here in America, why did you choose to walk the orphanages in Russia?  Was it because you couldn't find an orphanage in America?  Did the adoption agency you worked with only  send children from Russian "suppliers"? Or did you already have a pre-existing connection to that part of the world?  Did anyone warn you what such a trip would do to you, emotionally?

I can't help but relate such an experience to that difficult walk I have going through a pet shelter or dog pound:  I KNOW what I'm going to see IS going to be VERY disturbing... do I risk taking that walk?

What did you think was going to happen after you left the orphanage?  [What do you think an orphanage WANTED you to think?]

extremely great question

I guess I grew up never seeing anything wrong with adoption, to me there was never this side to it. My cousin was my cousin, he always seemed happy and open about everything, it didn't define him but was a part of him. Two of my good friends were adopted at birth and had relationships with their birthfamilies, again no one ever seemed sad or hurt. I spent nights withmy friend at her birthmother's house, she was like this big sister to us. This was just my experience. My aunt was born and raised in the Ukraine and I spent hours listening to her stories, so I did feel a connection to EE. After I became a nurse, I volunteered to go with a group to spend some time in Romanian orphanages to help with medical care. It affected me deeply, there is just no way to described it. I just felt a connection to eastern europe and because of my time in Romania, I always thought about adoption, but I also thought constantly of what I could do to help the children already in these situations.

yes I had infertility issues and many miscarriages. It hurt so much. yes I wanted a child and a family. It seemed natural to me to become a parent to child without parents and that is because of how I grew up, I guess that is seen as selfish, I don't know.

We did look into foster care-adoption here in our state because my good friend was a foster mother. I watched day in and out what the children placed with her went through, the abuse, the confusion of going back and forth, the uncertainty and even the death of a child placed back with their first family. I truthfully didn't have it in me emotionally to know I could handle that loss day in and out and never knowing what would happen next to the children I was caring for and loving. Yes, it was selfish of me, I had experienced many losses already and I didn't think I could do it yet I felt so guilty over the fact. My friend, who was the foster mother, said to me, you know, it is not the job of the infertile to save the children of the world even though many people will tell you it is.

I could not do a domestic adoption, the idea of selling myself to a birthmother felt wrong to me.

The first agency who we worked with, worked here and in EE (Russia and Georgia, and Ukraine). We found out after signing with them of some activities she was doing we didn't agree with and we fought and finally pulled away from them. She eventually lost her license.

Truthfully, I didn't feel preyed upon, I never felt our new agency was ever trying to sell me anything. They just gave us facts, listened to what we thought and what we were comfortable with and went from there. I loved the humanitarian work they did which, I guess it helped justify more to me? I liked being able to get involved.

I had already been in orphanages long before this time so I knew what to expect and what would happen but I also wanted tomake sure that the birthfamilies knew what was happening and were given a last chance to change their minds. In Russia they can change their minds through the time of court.

I guess in my mind, I thought that was the right thing. If they were not wanted by their birthfamilies, shouldn't they have a shot at life outside an institution. They needed a family, we wanted children-it fits, doesn't it?

I can say that I felt with the first orphanage, they (meaning the russian docs and caretakers) were trying to "build"  our son up to us which wasn't necessary at all, they definitely tried to downplay the medical issues involved. That did seem weird to us and completely unnecessary.

The second orphanage did not. The director who was is a physician, just thanked us and gave me a hug which caught me off guard because I was more used to stoic professional EE women.

I guess I really don't know the answers to your questions, but that is just how my life played out, it may seem horrible or selfish I don't know, but it is hard to think that way when I look at my kids.

We are all shaped by our life experiences, it makes up who we are and that is how we learn as well.

 

Kris wrote: We did look into

Kris wrote:
We did look into foster care-adoption here in our state because my good friend was a foster mother. I watched day in and out what the children placed with her went through, the abuse, the confusion of going back and forth, the uncertainty and even the death of a child placed back with their first family. I truthfully didn't have it in me emotionally to know I could handle that loss day in and out and never knowing what would happen next to the children I was caring for and loving. Yes, it was selfish of me, I had experienced many losses already and I didn't think I could do it yet I felt so guilty over the fact.

I understand this perfectly.  We did NOT want to be foster parents for the same reasons you stated above.  Our agency repeatedly asked us to be foster parents - the answer was always no.

We only considered legally free foster children.  It didn't matter if the child's casegoal was adoption, we only considered children of parents who had already lost their parental rights.  Period.  Like you, we wanted to commit to a child in as permanent a way as was humanly possible.

Only years later did I realize that our experience (and our adoption agency) was the exception, not the rule.  Many PAPS considering adoption from foster care were told the only path to adoption was to be a foster parent first.  They didn't have the option available to them that we did.

I could not do a domestic adoption, the idea of selling myself to a birthmother felt wrong to me.

I hear you, sister.  We didn't want to play any active role in separation of mother and child, including that of a foster parent to a child whose casegoal might be reunification.

Dad

Selling yourself to a birthmother???

I think that is a convoluted way to think about the welfare of children. 

What about all the children who need temporary shelter with decent people?  who's committed to them?
And at least then you get to have a trial relationship before it is permanent.
At least those children have some sense of place and their ENTIRE WORLD is not turned upside down.

birth is messy.  life is messy and complicated.  your lives are complicated or you wouldn't be here.  the sad truth of your children's birth mothers still plague you.

Like you, we wanted to commit to a child in as permanent a way as was humanly possible

just what is permanent anyway?  and what is parenting anyway? 
my daughter spent a year in a foreign exchange program.  it is very intense and very bonding.  she stayed with a childless couple.  but they see it as having the joy of having many children that they now have a deep relationship all over the world.  They are her dutch parents as far as anyone is concerned.  It was a rocky road and now they write and talk and visit.  both my kids are grown up now.  so how permanent is parenting anyway?   i had adoptive parents and i never spoke to them again.  how permanent is that? 

and there is a basketball player (can't remember his name) who just wrote a book about his childhood and his heroine - his foster mother, who helped save something like forty children in her lifetime.  now TELL ME what they have together isn't as lasting and as permanent as anything else? 

and what is commitment?  commitment to me is a personal vow, not a legal document.  Tell me the foster mother of that basketball player was not committed to him?  permanently?
in fact, i'd say her commitment TRANSCENDS the garden variety commitment.  to love someone JUST BECAUSE, is more noble.  if the exit door is there every day but you choose not to take it, THAT is commitment.

permanence is a quality -  the quality of your relationship, which is based on earned, mutual respect - and not the years or the ownership.  that kind of quality endures even after the kids are gone.  even if they go back to live with their inconvenient birth mothers. 
so you might have your kids on paper.  but it's just a piece of paper.  they might hate you tomorrow, and what good will your paper be then?

once again, it boils down to ownership.

I do respect d's not wanting to play an active role in separation of a mother and child.   that's why we're trying to prevent conditions that cause that.

I guess i can turn this question around to adoptive parents then, who the hell is going to take care of children IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD who need care?
Instead we take other countries to task and troll for their children, and we can't even take care of our own.  In fact, that's just messed up.
We don't like the selection here in the states, so we shop elsewhere.  Meanwhile, children wait here in need because no one decent is willing to step up to the plate.

Kids On Paper

almost_human:
so you might have your kids on paper.  but it's just a piece of paper.
So it is.  So is my marriage license.  And my birth certificate.

they might hate you tomorrow,
I'm sure that's a possibility - a chance I have chosen to take.

and what good will your paper be then?
About as good any other parent's paper, I suppose.

once again, it boils down to ownership.
I don't think Gibran mentioned anything about adoption.

Dad

well

we all know that marriage is only as good as the commitment to the vow.

and i don't live my life by Gibran...

kids will love you or hate you whether you own them or not.
except that without the ownership, their love is not bound by duty or dependence.

I guess i can turn this question around to adoptive parents then, who the hell is going to take care of children IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD who need care?

What is the difference?

What is the difference between "selling yourself to a birth mom" here in the states and offering to partially support and give contact to your kids' moms in Russia? hmm???

just added:
I don't even know what the heck "selling yourself to a birth mom" is supposed to mean.  Can anyone enlighten me? 

Being both fostered and

Being both fostered and adopted I can honestly say overseas whatever... the only people who were my parents no strangers could replace them. But many tried not for for me but for themselves. I was adopted given back over and over it went.

The damage is done as soon as the crime is committed. Before people can start judging one another they must start judging themselves. As most of what they see in the world is self projection

Self projection

"most of what they see in the world is self projection"

I can't agree more with that, Bizzi. I've heard the stories of my adoptive mother over and over and what she perceived as my need for her, was indeed her need for me. I was a baby when my placement happened, so of course I needed care, but I didn't need my adoptive mother's need for intimacy, she didn't seem to get from my adoptive father. What she saw as a needy little baby, was in fact a grown woman that needed to get laid.

Pound Pup Legacy