It's NOT funny, but in a sick twisted way, it is

Another case, another tragedy, but the story involving a nurse practitioner does indeed make me laugh at the insanity we call Adoption's Option.

Prosecutors accused Erlandson of fatally beating her daughter, Kayla, out of frustration because the girl, who had motor skill problems and an attention disorder, didn't fit in with the 39-year-old woman's image of the perfect family. [See the case of Kayla Erlandson]

Ah yes, the ol story of an AP hoping an adopted child will help make his/her image of "the perfect family" possible.

After 7 months in her "forever American family" the two-year old toddler (from South Korea) had 65 injuries, including bruises, brain swelling, a lacerated liver, a neck bite and a deep scald on her arm.

According to newspaper reports, the adoptee fell short of the Amother's expectations.

I can't help but find that very humorous, in a very dark and twisted way.  Imagine... an adoption story not living-up to your preconceived expectations!

Is that any reason to put a child in a grave?


I read R. A. D.

An attention disorder?  Is that not paying any attention to the AM and making her feel unloved?  Like this was all about the AM and her needs?  In adopting a special needs child there is one thing to keep in mind:  the needs are the babies and the job of the AP's is to meet those needs. 
The attention disorder of a baby reads: Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I am just furious with these people for NOT educating this family about the OBVIOUS needs of this child and giving more time for them to explore whether they are even capable of accepting this and what it entails.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

some aftermath

The Erlandson case had a weird turn of events, when in December 2005, Douglas Erlandson was beaten to death in his own house. Noreen Erlandson, his wife and the one who beat Kayla to death, had just been released a year earlier, having served 12 of the 40 years she was sentenced. Noreen Erlandson was never a suspect in the killing of her husband and no one was ever arrested for the murder.

Your child has vomited

Your child has vomited twice, is unresponsive and you wait for your husband to get home before calling the family doctor?

Mrs. Erlandson was beating Kayla regularly and totally lost control that night.

An autopsy revealed that about 65 percent of Kayla's body was covered with external injuries, including a bite mark on the left side of her neck and numerous contusions and abrasions about her head, face, shoulder, chest, abdomen, arms, hands, legs and feet, according to papers Deputy Prosecutor David Hiltner filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The autopsy by the King County medical examiner's office also revealed that Kayla had two burns on her arm, one measuring 2-by-21/2 inches and the other about one-fourth-inch in diameter. She also had a lacerated liver.

The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

A doctor at Harborview said the impact of the death-causing injury to Kayla's head was the equivalent of a several-story fall from a building and could have been inflicted easily by an adult's hand, Hiltner said.

A model of the adoptive mother's teeth showed they matched the bite marks on Kayla's neck, Hiltner said in the court papers.

Authorities had twice been called to the Erlandson home concerning Kayla.

A Child Protective Service officer and a deputy sheriff went to the home March 24 because someone had observed bruises on the child and notified the CPS, the Snohomish County sheriff's office said.

But there didn't appear to be any medical emergency and the mother was told to seek medical attention, authorities said. At the time, the mother said the child had poor motor skills and had hurt herself in a fall.

The defendant's husband, Douglas Erlandson, said he arrived home late the evening of April 24 and found Kayla unconscious in his wife's arms, according to court papers. He said his wife examined the child and called Dr. Sarah Weinberg, Kayla's doctor, who advised them to call 911.

At Harborview, Noreen Marie Erlandson said Kayla seemed normal when she picked her up from the baby sitter's, although she was a little sleepy. Erlandson said Kayla vomited after eating dinner, and when she was undressed later for her bath, she slipped on some vomit and hit her head on the toilet with a "bonk."

When asked if she noticed anything unusual on Kayla's skin, Erlandson replied "just the normal bruises," then said the bath water must have been hot because Kayla's arm got red and burned when she was put in the tub.

Erlandson said after Kayla vomited again, she was put to bed at 9 p.m. and was found unresponsive an hour later.

The mother also said Kayla had been falling a lot and that she had fallen and struck a glass water bottle, breaking it, at a baby sitter's the week before, according to Hiltner's court papers.

Medical records show that Kayla had been taken to the Marysville Clinic more than two weeks previously for the bottle incident and had suffered only minor injuries, including a shallow laceration to her forehead.

The medical examiner said seven of Kayla's external injuries appeared to have been more than 72 hours old and the remaining 58 less than 72 hours old. The head injury that caused her death was less than six hours old.

My armchair analysis of Kayla's alleged clumsiness, was that she was suffering from some type of sensory integration disorder - it occurs often in children who were neglected as infants. When mother's hold their child, rock them, bounce them, stand them on their laps, it is doing more than soothing the child and building muscles.... it is also building connections in the brain so that the brain knows where the body is and can process multiple sensory inputs. The child/person is clumsy because they don't have good of control of where their body is relative to surrounding object.s

It can also cause ADHD like symptoms --- the brain cannot handle all the new sensory information it is recieving (an orphanage has limited opportunity for the brain to experience anything new and different... ) and reacts by moving to keep each individual sensation from overwhelming it.

Anyhow that is my thoughs on why Kayla may have been 'clumsy' - the theory suggested by a 'family friend' Dr seems a very far reach to me.

Sensory integration issues will not present the kind of injuries which caused her death.

Kids who fall - well at least my kids - do not get injured. Both of my kids have fallen down the stairs after age 2, (I do have carpeted stairs) and don't even suffer bruises. You pick them up and comfort them becuase they are scared.. and to double check everything. But I have never even seen a bruise

Hitting your head on the toilet will give you a child a goose egg, maybe... not severe head trauma. Grownups are bigger, fall further and harder... they might be more severely hurt.. but not that extreme. Two year olds do not get burned by 'hot bath water'

How long does it take to show a real concern?

Many things about these sort of abuse cases disturb me, but I find it very fascinating that this case took place in 1991.

Only recently (2008) has the Russian government voiced an outraged and disgust over the treatment of the children they have sent away to American Adopters.

On Tuesday, Russian federal prosecutors opened an investigation into the boy's death, [Dmitri Yakovlev] and the authorities have called to restrict or end the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

"When we give our children to the West and they die for some reason, the West always tells us it was just an accident," said Tatyana Yakovleva, first deputy chief of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. "It's hard to believe."  [From:  "Adoptions examined after Russian boy dies", Ellen Barry, January 2, 2009,]

Strangely enough, it doesn't seem like the government is outraged because Russian children are being abused/killed.... no.... it seems the Russian people are outraged because the punishment did not fit the crime.  [In the Harrison/Yakovlev case, the AP was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.]

I have not read any reports about Korea being outraged by abusive adoptive homes "over-seas"... but that's not to say those reports do not exist.  [Maybe we just haven't found them yet.]

So let's say sending countries do indeed care about the final outcome of the children put in orphanages. Since Kayla's case, how many foreign-born "orphans"/adoptees have been horribly abused and/or neglected, how many of these abuse cases have been reported, and what have the individual governments done about child abuse post-placement?

I can't help but think too many politicians are spending too much time sitting around, having kitchen-table conversations, and not addressing the issues child neglect and abandonment bring their people.

what the government is doing...

The government does nothing productive to stop child abuse.  Instead of stopping adoptions, where the abuse lies, they make more and more harsher laws against the S.O.;  that do more harm to children of S.O.   Instead of putting money into therapy, they throw them in jail and throw away the key; while the innocent family members suffer vigilante abuse and discrimination from their neighbors.  Adoption perpetuates child abuse!
WHOSE children count the most?  WHY are not ALL children protected by laws that make sense instead of these draconian laws that just continue the child abuse?
If adoption is producing more and more child abuse then why are these adoptions not stopped by each country involved?  Why do we lump all adoptive families into the same pot and call them all bad?  The same reason we lump all abusers into one pot and destroy them all instead of giving them help.
It's a vicious circle and I'm in the middle of that circle watching all this chit go round and round.  YES, there are people who truly love their adopted children; and there are abusers who can truly be helped.  But until this world just STOPS and takes a good long look at the abuse and the abusers; SEES that it must stop this adoption game and help the ones it has already hurt; the abuse of children will continue.  There's too much money to be made; and too many people willing to spend that money to buy what they think will make them happy.  All at the expense of the children.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Watching and counting

The only country, as far as I know, where there is public outrage over children dying abroad, is Russia. I don't know if it has anything to do about caring for their own or that it is just a response of anti-Americanism. I guess it both plays a role. With 15 (if I have counted correctly) Russian children having died in the US, there is a lot of attention for the issue. While not being the #1 sending country, it certainly is the country with the most children ending up dead and or abused. Oddly enough no such cases are known in Europe, where a comparable number of children have been adopted.

How would you explain this?

Neils wrote:
Oddly enough no such cases are known in Europe, where a comparable number of children have been adopted.

It is rather odd that no such cases are known in Europe.  I never really took notice.

Silent1 just today posted the case of Erik Ilesov (a Czech boy who died in the care of neglectful Swedish parents).  Erik wasn't Russian, but it's hard to believe European parents are not abusing Russian children at rates similar to those in the United States.

How would you explain this?


hard to tell

It's certainly not the case abuse in adoptive families doesn't take place in Europe and it's not even certain the rate is lower than in the US. The fact there are no known Russian adoptees that died within their European adoptive family does not mean such cases don't exist, it can also mean they have not been counted.

So we are confronted with either a perceived difference or a real difference. When it is only a perceived difference it could be that American media present more back ground information about cases so the adoptive status of the child is known, while comparable cases in Europe are not reported or presented without adding that information. With regards to Russian cases, it could be that Russians are more focussed on what happens in America than in Europe as a result of cold war sentiments that still linger. Another factor that plays a role is language. It could easily be we missed several cases written about only in Spanish, French, Italian, German or Swedish. It's certainly true that my searches so far have been predominantly in English, giving a bias to American cases. Finally the reporting of abuse in Europe could be lower than in the US. No European country has such an elaborate system of abuse hotlines as the US and such active child protective services.

Of course it can also be a real difference and there are several reasons why that is likely. Adoption in Europe is much more regulated than in America and it is much less of an industry, even though the number of international adoptions in Europe is about equal to the number of adoptions in the US. As a result the preparation for adoption and the demands upon the prosepective adopters is much bigger.

Another notable difference between the US and Europe is relgious in nature. Adoption and religion are correlated. Religious people adopt more than non-religious people and the US knows much more fanatical religious people than Europe. Going through the abuse cases it is almost evident how much abuse and religion are related. All of the torture-style physical abuse cases happened in religious fundamentalist families, where old testament discipline combined with home schooling practices is a breeding ground for the most horrible forms of abuse.

It's difficult to give a definitive answer if there is any difference between the US and Europe and if so, what causes that difference. No formal studies have been done, so all we can rely upon is reports made in the media. I would gladly see the phenomenon of abuse in adoptive/foster families studied. Only when we know the contributing factors, can we make a change for the better.

I think it's really

I think it's really important to stress the fact that many people do not like to address their parents or children as being adoptive or adopted. Even reading a lot of the posts written in here, it's hard to tell who is who unless the proper title is given. I mean, I read somethings that made it look as if the biological father was sexually abusing the daughter, only to find out it was the adoptive father doing those horrible things to his foreign born adopted daughter!! Those details do matter, and maybe that's why the general public doesn't think adoptive parents don't abuse their adopted kids. Maybe if more adoptive parents would openly admit the kids they have were adopted, and maybe if more adopted kids were not afraid to say they are being hurt by their adoptive parents, less people will wrongly assume it's always the birth parents abusing kids so bad they have to go back into foster care.

If she did this....

I judge no one because I have been judged so severally myself.  So, I will say:  If she did this, I know the reason why she does not confess.  And this is the reason why abuse continues.  A lawyer tells you not to confess to anything.  My husband's lawyer was called, too late.  Only after the confession was my husband given a lawyer; as his own choice.  That lawyer told him he was stupid to confess without a lawyer.  But the confession set my husband's soul free whereas a partial confession would have damned his soul to hell.  JMO
My son with C.P. came home from overseas with multiple scars on his head.  He did and does fall a lot.  I have no way of knowing how he got those scars and why his C.P. and M.R. did not show up the first year of his life while he was in the biological home of his mother and her brother.  I believe him to be the biological child of that sister and brother.  I believe he was born to grow up and take care of the M.R. mother.  I do not believe his M.R./C.P is hereditary.  I see an abused child.  I am not pointing my finger at anyone.  Just stating what I know.
Looking back, there was such a grave danger of me being blamed for this child's scars that I am literally sick to my stomach. How much documentation was there on this child who is dead?  Did she come with a diagnosis?  Was there any investigation into the condition of this child while still in Korea? 
Korea lives to save-face.  It is their culture to not make waves of any kind.  My older son who I TPRed on five years ago was a very difficult child in foster care/Korea.  When he acted out sexually, the foster mother would beat him with a stick on the bottom of his feet.  I have pictures of her holding him with her hand placed in his crotch to support him on her lap.  His first acting out in American was to take my friend's hand and place it in his crotch and smile up at her; which he did the same thing to my mother several times. 
All I'm saying is this:  there is a huge difference in what America considers abuse (physical/sexual) than what Korea sees as physical/sexual abuse.  There should be documentation in Korea of this child's continuous falling down and bruising.  Is this being compared to what they found in this child since coming to America?
I am shocked at what happened to this little girl.  But in comparing it to the many children I have seen placed from Korea, there are some similarities, but many inconsistencies.  In my mind, and only coming from what I have experienced, there is a slight chance this is not completely what it appears to be.  Yes, I can imagine a mother who would beat a small child in frustration; but this is beyond my imagination or ability to piece something together that is less than what it appears to be.  Not being an abusive parent in the physical sense makes me want to KNOW what could cause someone to do this.  Especially having adopted children with some very, very complicated behaviors that have caused me to just give up; but never to the place where I beat them.  How does this happen?  Is this just another example of how much is expected of a very small child who is adopted for therapy reasons?  NO child can bring healing to an already damaged person or marriage.  This is just insane.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Screening for safety

Not being an abusive parent in the physical sense makes me want to KNOW what could cause someone to do this.   Especially having adopted children with some very, very complicated behaviors that have caused me to just give up; but never to the place where I beat them.  How does this happen?

I wish I knew for certain how/why this type of reaction takes place in an adoptive home... I believe there are many factors involved.  However, I do think this type of "parental reaction" does prove one thing:  where PAPs might complain there is too much pre-screening, I don't believe people are being screened or monitored/assessed enough.

Out of curiosity, do some agencies/countries require a complete psychological profile of a PAP before approval (for adoption) is given?

Do you think many PAP's would be willing to submit to such a formal evaluation/ test?



This is just from my own experience but it was the American agency that made decisions like that and the overseas agency usually just depended on this ends decision whether to do a psychological exam.  I remember the worker deciding whether to do one on my husband and me and then not doing it, with the first adoption.  I do wish she had...  I'm not sure what would have shown up on my husband but just maybe there would have been some red flags.  I've had two.  I had PTSD, deep depression and this time they said I had had an episode of dissociation because of the severity of the losses.  There was absolutely no findings of anything that concerned the courts.  Could my husband have fooled everyone back then?  He sure fooled a lot of people in the last 20 years. 

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

attachment treatment

you know that most of these parents were doing or were going to attachment therapist????

you know all the rage, root of the cause, etc... of all the problems of foster and adopted kids in the USA...

it is because

RAD therapy is not treatment or helpful at all... it is just another con out there to treat adoptive kids badly, make them look like trash that no one wants, etc...

they don't do that to adopted kids over sees


If we're to believe the pages at "Holding therapy according to Jirina Prekop",", attachment therapy is alive and well in many parts of the world, not just America.

In fact, according to her own web-pages:

 Together with Bert Hellinger, she published the book If You Knew, How Much I Love You. She is the first chairwoman of a friendly society that works to foster Holding as a therapy and way of life and is the head of an international training institute for Holding therapists. Other institutes, as well as a training centre in the Czech Republic, have been founded in her name (e.g. in Mexico City).

Jirina Pekop is very engaged in travelling and gives lectures and workshops all over the world (e.g. Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, etc.). 

 Training to become a Holding Therapist is offered, too.  So don't think the AT gravy-train starts and ends in America.

The video here:  "Holding Therapy" , gives a patient's perspective on the approach and use.

how would you react...

I tried to put myself in the place of the child being "held."  I had a panic attack just thinking about it.  How can this be helpful?  If someone just sat on the other side of the room and listened to my pain; if they were just nice and non-judgmental, I think it would be helpful. But I guess that brings in the trust issue: Is there anyone interested in my pain?

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Reacting to sadness

 If someone just sat on the other side of the room and listened to my pain; if they were just nice and non-judgmental, I think it would be helpful. But I guess that brings in the trust issue: Is there anyone interested in my pain?

From what I read, many AT's (Attachment Therapists) don't believe a child is capable of expressing grief and pain.

I often wonder if many parents can handle the grief and pain some children feel.

In any case, I have found it takes a very special, gifted person to help care for the deeply wounded.

Unfortunately, (based on what I keep reading), I don't believe many kids or parents are going to find many of these "gifted" people in Attachment Therapy.


 I remember the worker deciding whether to do one on my husband and me and then not doing it, with the first adoption.

Do you remember why she had a change-of-heart/interest in the evaluation?

Did you both have to discuss your childhood histories during your interview?  If so, did either of you lie (or not tell "the whole truth"?

back then...

There was still sex and some relationship going on back then.  He was able to fool every person he ever came in contact with to believe he was a very nice, normal, healthy man.  I used to tell him, "in every situation, you come out smelling like a rose and other people see me as the angry woman that I am."  But I knew no happiness from his being a nice guy and everyone liking him. 
I told the truth as I perceived it for my childhood.  Only recently have I been able to tell the real story.  When you spend your childhood hearing your mother tell others that you are strange and there is something wrong with you... you believe it is all your fault.  I only told the things that they wanted to hear of my life that was true; but the deep pain was so hidden that only this past year was I able to SAY the bad part.  My husband never ever said anything about anything.  You could walk away from him and never ever know what was just discussed.  I did his paperwork.  I fronted for him because I knew he just could not carry on a conversation.  He never once put two sentences together and made a paragraph.  He can repeat but he can not be spontaneous.  I wanted a family.  I made it happen.  I didn't know anything really bad about him so I didn't worry.  NO ONE goes into adoption thinking the worst could happen.
The social worker talked about doing a psychosocial on me, but not him.  Saying nothing will get you accepted in most situations.  Whereas the one who talks and is truthful is looked at askance.  I was nice.  I was likable.  There was nothing about me to raise red flags.  Just the fact that my mother had married me off several times at a very young age  was what made her think about the evaluation.  I spent years being a good and loving mom and I have two young men to prove that I did something right.  That was just before (two years before) finding out that my husband was not happy with our sex life.  At forty he just went the other way.  I believe it was there all along.  Those  three things I remember and have told here are the very things that pointed to his addiction and ability to live without a conscience.  But it takes long hind-sight to piece it all together and see what was really happening.  I didn't want to know anything like that.  My mind would not allow me to think such horrible things.  He was perfect in his acting like a very religious man who was a hard worker and well thought of by everyone.  He never said anything wrong.  He didn't say anything and that's how he got by with this for so long. 
The social worker said this, "yes, I am going to approve you; and it doesn't hurt that your husband looks exactly like my brother."  If she would have hated her brother there would not have been any adoptions. 
So that is the way it is with social workers.  She connected with his looks and quiet manner and approved both of us without the psychosocial.  Would it have made any difference?  Maybe.  But the two oldest are just amazing young men, now.  I can't imagine life without them.  I didn't "make" the first two adoptions happen; but every on after that, I knew exactly what to say and do to be accepted.  Older parents are led to believe they do not qualify for a normal healthy baby and so the huge families accept all the special needs children because that's how the system worked back then. 
Having been raised to believe I was very unworthy of love made it easy for me to accept what was handed to me from an adoption agency.  And then my husband reinforced this belief by totally rejecting me.  I thought he was masturbating but if confronted with it he would belittle me and make me feel worthless for asking or hinting at the truth.  So finally I stopped; in order to keep my sanity I had to shove all the rejection down as far as it would go and make my children my life. 
She was my sugar-plum-fairy and he stole her from me...  and because she didn't tell, it just went into evil overload. She protected her brother for years; and then her father for more years.  And being a child who had told, I just don't understand. 
But since being here, I am beginning to understand; but I still can not accept what happened.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Confirmed suspicions

I appreciate your blunt honesty, even though it's difficult to read.

All my life I wondered how certain people could pass the adoption-process, and even as I child I knew how money could do just about anything.

It's one thing to suspect that.... it's another thing to have it confirmed.

Back in 2006, when I first started writing to adoption specialists, asking them if they thought adoptees were at a higher risk of child abuse, the professionals who "followed studies" claimed "the pre-screening process" eliminated most child abusers.  It seems their measure of "child safety" goes by the number of children killed each year, suggesting  far more children die at the hands of biologic parents than adoptive ones.  (Meanwhile, those children who happen to survive severe abuse in their pre-screened adoptive homes are to be seen as what, "an adoption success-story"?)  Even Ron Federici, Attachment Therapist and "institutional autism expert", had this to say about home-studies and future child safety:

While agencies do home studies, seldom is any psychological screening done to weed out parents with anger-management problems or those inadequate to the task of raising children, said Ronald Federici, an Alexandria, Va., neuropsychologist who specializes in internationally adopted children.

"I've never known a family to fail a home study," he said. "I have a family that was charged with multiple counts of child abuse [after the adoption]. They were major alcoholics before. The home study didn't find it."  [From:  "Adoptee deaths rare, experts say 12 Russian cases troubling, puzzling"]

Federici, (a man who earns a living by charging AP's for his services), made that statement in 2004.

I guess if people are still able to make a good healthy living through adoption services, anyone but a convicted criminal can adopt a child.

How can this plea to push more adoptions (to anyone showing a furtive interest) not disturb and concern more people? 

only one...

I know personally one family who failed the home study with Holt International Adoption Inc.  That family went on to adopt through Guatemala.  I personally had red flags because of the mother's mental illness and her remarks about her husband and their biological son.  It does happen all the time: if one does not approve you, go to the next one who needs the money.  Holt didn't need the money.  And this is the same social worker who approved us and didn't do a psychological screening.  But I dare say, we would have passed it because at that time my husband was not a child sex offender... that was to come when the opportunity arose and his addiction to masturbation took over his entire life.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Pound Pup Legacy