Sierra Leone: Adoptive Mother Speaks Out
This posting was on the Yahoo group Global_Adoption_Triad, and PEAR has been given permission by the author, Judi Mosley, to post it here. Members of PEAR's board have known Judi for many years and consider her one of our major inspirations. Her daughter Camryn, adopted from Cambodia, was trafficked by Lauryn Galindo, and Camryn's victim statement can be found here: http://www.ethicanet.org/galindo_victim.pdf additional information can be found at http://www.ethicanet.org/camdocs, http://video. google.de/videoplay?docid=-7634207358831344856# and here at our Cambodia blog: http://pearadoptioninfo-cambodia.blogspot.com/2010/03/adoptee-voice-camr....
One of Judi's daughters from Vietnam was also the victim of the facilitator Mai Ly LaTrace, who tried to sue Judi and Carrie West for defamation after they spoke the truth about their experiences http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/28382. LaTrace lost the case and was ordered to pay costs, but she promptly declared bankruptcy.
Judi has been a tireless advocate for ethical adoptions for many years, and frequently posted on many adoption related Yahoo Groups, including Global Adoption Triad and Adoption Agency Research...yet she was often attacked by prospective and adoptive parents whose fear of the consequences of the truth caused them to be blind to it.
PEAR is asking families who adopted from Sierra Leone in 1998 to contact us and we can put you in touch with the Mosely family or other individuals and organizations working to assist original families in receiving word about their children. Should anyone wish to contact the Mosely family, please send all correspondence to PEAR via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward it to Judi.
My name, for those of you who do not know me, is Judith Mosley and I decided to leave the "adoption circuit of groups" as I found that I had told my stories over & over again, about the corruption, the lies, and the infamous story of my Cambodian daughter who was trafficked, and the story which we went public with, including TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. I had critics & supporters, people who agreed with what we did, and those who vehemently opposed. I eventually did what was right in my heart, and made contact with the birth family, and so the story was told ....I took my daughter back to Cambodia to reconnect with her birth family. The rest is history, and I wouldn't do it any differently now, than I did then.
I was glad to leave the world, not on this group, but many others, who simply would not believe or accept, that THEIR child could have been stolen, coerced or trafficked for them to adopt, not from China, India, Nepal,Guatemala, Vietnam, Ethiopia and the many other developing countries that were popular to adopt from.
There was often flagrant disrespect for the birth families, with adoptive families believing, amongst other things, they were giving the child a better life, their sense of entitlement, offensive, brash & ignorant. I was so much happier not to have my life, imposed on by such short sighted people, who not once, ever took off their rose tinted glasses, and refused to ever take their heads out of the sand, to acknowledge corruption, trafficking and the huge amounts of money that encouraged such action, their disdain for birth families simply repulsed me. Some even believed that the birth parents deserved no respect because "what sort of parent who give their child away?". And so I departed the adoption world merry-go-round.
Imagine my surprise, two weeks ago, I was reading a media report post by Ethica on Facebook. More often than not, I jump past these posts, but this one caught my eye, it was a Sierra Leone. We adopted our son from there when he was 4 years old, in 1998.
I read to the end of the story, and that is when my world stopped, and I felt like I had just been pulled under water, everything was silent, as I sat and stared at the screen in disbelief, re-reading the last two paragraphs over and over again, as if it would somehow change what I was reading:
"It's been nearly 15 years since Sulaiman Suma last saw his 4½-year-old daughter Mabinty and 3½-year-old son Sulaiman. Both are now young adults believed to be living in the United States.
"We want our children who were sold to these white people," Suma said. "We want to know whether they are alive or dead."
Sulaiman Suma is our son, who we adopted from Sierra Leone. Sulaiman Abdulai Suma, this very man, is his birth father, and if you read the story from the link, you will see that this man has NEVER given up on finding his son. Sadly, the other mother who is looking for her children in the article, Adama & Mustafa, were adopted the same time as my son, and I KNOW where these children are, but this is NOT my story to tell, and never will be.
My immediate reaction was to contact a few close friends, who understand all of these things only too well. I was put in touch with PEAR (http://www.pear-now.org/) who were a great help, who listened, supported, and gave suggestions, and continue to be involved.
Deep inside me however, I was very unsettled, and my heart began to go in another direction altogether. I set about finding the writer of the news article, Carley Petesch in Johannesburg, and am now in contact with her...........she is fascinated by my story, and even more so, the million to one chance of one man in Sierra Leone, giving his name to her for her story, and one woman sitting in Guam, reading that article, quite by chance, who has the son that this man is looking for.
One suggestion is that I contacted the adoption agency we used MAPS, along with the State Department and ask for both of their assistance. MAPS has declined any help, due to privacy laws and protection of the adoptive families in a blanket general statement to the story.
Some are worried about my son's privacy. This I mulled over for a few days, and decided that "privacy" accomplishes nothing, and if a story has to be told, it can't be told in bits & pieces with paragraphs & chapters missing - the story either has to be told, or not at all. Privacy covers up way to many peoples crimes & mistakes, and I couldn't live with myself, knowing that I would just be another one ducking for cover, under the umbrella of privacy.... especially when I know so much.
At the end of the day, we can give this one family in Sierra Leone, a silent movie, in photographs (of the son who they NEVER gave permission to leave the country, let alone, vanish with no further knowledge, and be adopted) of the missing years, somehow try to make a huge wrong, just a little right, by giving them as much as we can in photographs, news finally, that their son wasn't killed, but is safe, has grown, has learnt, and thrived in the years that he has been gone.
Thank God this man never gave up on his son, and thank God, I now have the power in me, after reading his plea, to give him, all these thousands of miles away, some peace, some answers and some news.
We are in the early stages of this monumental journey, to make amends, to yet another family, from a developing country, who had their child taken from them, to provide, me as an adoptive parent, with the child they wanted.
At this juncture, it leaves me with one question, that none of us will probably ever know the answer to - just how MANY children and birth families has this happened to?
........ .my guess is more than we could ever imagine possible or even comprehend.