Teaching our children the ways of the world

In my house, we go through phases during which a particular singer/musical group will get played over and over and over again, until every one of the kids know the lyrics, and get at least 105 stories, from me.

Classics include:  The Beatles, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, U2... and musicals, like West Side Story.

Lately, we're doing a revival of Les Miserable.  My boys seem to really like it now, (especially the songs, "One Day More", and "Do You Hear The People Sing?"), now that they know it's a story about the French Revolution.

Well, in typical Mommy-Kerry-Fashion, I broke the disappointing news to them.  Yep... just as I told them about the role of police and social services in fun songs, like Officer Krupke, I let them know a little more about Les Miz, unwed mother Fantine, and what would happen to the children who had no extended family to look out for them.

<collective groan from the peanut gallery>

Yes, kids... I  DO love to tell a not-so-little story about the history of child placement, women's rights (or the lack there of), and public perception.

Enter the lyrics to At the End of the Day....

At the end of the day you're another day older
And that's all you can say for the life of the poor
It's a struggle, it's a war
And there's nothing that anyone's giving
One more day standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.

At the end of the day you're another day colder
And the shirt on your back doesn't keep out the chill
And the righteous hurry past
They don't hear the little ones crying
And the winter is coming on fast, ready to kill
One day nearer to dying!

At the end of the day there's another day dawning
And the sun in the morning is waiting to rise
Like the waves crash on the sand
Like a storm that'll break any second
There's a hunger in the land
There's a reckoning still to be reckoned and
There's gonna be hell to pay
At the end of the day!

[The foreman and workers, including Fantine, emerge from the factory]

At the end of the day you get nothing for nothing
Sitting flat on your butt doesn't buy any bread

There are children back at home

And the children have got to be fed

And you're lucky to be in a job

And in a bed!

And we're counting our blessings!

Have you seen how the foreman is fuming today?
With his terrible breath and his wandering hands?

It's because little Fantine won't give him his way

Take a look at his trousers, you'll see where he stands!

And the boss, he never knows
That the foreman is always in heat

If Fantine doesn't look out
Watch how she goes
She'll be out on the street!

At the end of the day it's another day over
With enough in your pocket to last for a week
Pay the landlord, pay the shop
Keep on grafting as long as you're able
Keep on grafting till you drop
Or it's back to the crumbs off the table
You've got to pay your way
At the end of the day!

[GIRL (Grabbing a letter from Fantine)]
And what have we here, little innocent sister?
Come on Fantine, let's have all the news!

[Reading the letter]

Ooh..."Dear Fantine you must send us more money...
Your child needs a doctor...
There's no time to lose..."

Give that letter to me
It is none of your business
With a husband at home
And a bit on the side!
Is there anyone here
Who can swear before God
She has nothing to fear?
She has nothing to hide?

[They fight over the letter. Valjean (M. Madeleine) rushes on to break up the squabble.]

Will someone tear these two apart
What is this fighting all about?
This is a factory, not a circus!
Now, come on ladies, settle down
I run a business of repute
I am the Mayor of this town

[To the foreman]
I look to you to sort this out
And be as patient as you can-

[He goes back into the factory]

Now someone say how this began!

At the end of the day
She's the one who began it!
There's a kid that she's hiding
In some little town
There's a man she has to pay
You can guess how she picks up the extra
You can bet she's earning her keep
Sleeping around
And the boss wouldn't like it!

Yes it's true there's a child
And the child is my daughter
And her father abandoned us
Leaving us flat
Now she lives with an innkeeper man
And his wife
And I pay for the child
What's the matter with that?

At the end of the day
She'll be nothing but trouble
And there's trouble for all
When there's trouble for one!
While we're earning our daily bread
She's the one with her hands in the butter
You must send the slut away
Or we're all gonna end in the gutter
And it's us who'll have to pay
At the end of the day!

I might have known the bitch could bite
I might have known the cat had claws
I might have guessed your little secret
Ah yes, the virtuous Fantine
Who keeps herself so pure and clean
You'd be the cause I had no doubt
Of any trouble hereabout
You play a virgin in the light
But need no urgin' in the night.

She's been laughing at you
While she's having her men

She'll be nothing but trouble again and again

You must sack her today

Sack the girl today!

Right my girl. On your way!

My children often make fun of me and my orphan-orphanage-adoption stories... but my oldest, she understands a little more about the ways of the world, and how easy it is to find yourself pregnant after one night at a party.

I'm slowly teaching my oldest daughter about rape.  There's date-rape, which she knows a little about.  There's drunk careless sex (which is a form of rape, because informed consent cannot be given). There's pedophile rape, (a concept she grabbed, quickly, while reading Nabokov's "Lolita" ).  And there's rape-rape... something I have difficulty discussing with her, (but she seems to get the message when she sees me tear-up, and get all emotional and uncomfortable).

It just so happens I found a neat piece written by an "exiled mother".  I'm not sure how to present information like the following, to a very young woman who does not have to worry if she will be sent away, or not, for a mistake someone made....

I have been quiet for about a month now. I have been trying to sort through my feelings and processing the information regarding my own daughters adoption 22 years earlier. I needed to step away from my own story for a bit. I still haven’t retained all of my memories from that time. Maybe my subconscious knows that I have enough truth to deal with at this time and won’t release it until I can handle it.

I have been in an email reunion with my daughter for 3 years and the anniversary of us becoming Facebook friends is quickly approaching. In fact it is on the 22nd of this month. I have been feeling very down for over a month and that is what prompted me to look and see if there was some sort of anniversary that would cause this. It’s strange that almost all of my friends who lost children through adoption have this same issue. We all seem to have very strong reactions, even subconsciously, to anniversaries regarding anything to do with our lost children. Birthday’s are one of the worst for ALL of us, Mother’s Day, other holidays, anniversary of reunion all have such a powerful effect on us. I wonder if there is ever a time when any of us will be healed.

I was watching Dateline last night. There was a poor woman who was on there who was severely abused and raped by church members. She became pregnant and the pastor arranged an adoption for her child. I was so angry at the interviewer who said that she “gave up” her child. I was thinking the whole time “Didn’t you hear her? She didn’t GIVE HIM UP!” They, the church, MADE her give the baby to what they deemed a more appropriate/worthy family. I want to reach out to this young woman and see how she feels. I mean really feels about her child being forced from her. I know mothers who conceived through rape and they have all stated that rape was nothing compared to the trauma of losing their child to adoption. Maybe the child was the universe’s reconciliation for the rape…who knows…I ramble.

[From:  Ramblings with a Dash of Adoption, April 9, 2011 ]

How does a parent prepare teach her child, heading off to college soon, about this sort of stuff?

How do moms teach their daughters it is NOT OK to send "the unwanted" baby away, just so you may please, (and make it easier for), another person?

HOW? (How do I do it, without getting so personal, and emotional?)

How do we teach our daughters NOT to be martyrs or human sacrifices, because we DO deserve to be treated like God's Gift to the world?  [How do we teach Women's Rights... to those who think "human rights" means every person should be given the right to have a job, a career.... MONEY, because money and social status is everything?]



Fantine and Cosette

The Victor Hugo novel, "Les Miserables" has always fascinated me, for those of you who didn't take French Lit, it is a story translated loosely it means "The Wretched Poor", or "The Victims". The story takes place over a period of time from 1815 culminating in 1832...the June Revolution that took place in France. It is a story about politics, religion and society. There are many characters in the story, two of them being "Fantine" and her young child..."Cosette" (Cosette means in French, as a slang...a little sweet thing). Fantine's character represents the impoverished woman who does everything to care for her child and yet the injustices done to her and her child are despicable.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Misérables

What makes this story so relevant, is not only that this story is still occurring in our society and our world today, but as part of the adoption world, Fantines and Cosettes are still prevalent. The story is still the same, when there is greed and corruption and those with no voice who are the ones forgotten by society, they will be exploited.

If you haven't read it or...seen the movie, I urge you to do so. It is one of the most important novels ever written.

A Woman's War

The Fantines (single mothers, because the man left mother and child behind) and Cosettes (children put in (temporary) care, because there is no family to help with care) are not only still prevalent, they are everywhere. The story, (man's inhumanity toward man),  is still the same, only now, it's becoming more clear just how blind and ignorant those with sharpened claws are, especially when it comes to the war between women and _(human?)_ rights. 

We live in a society where the infertile ladies-in-waiting are laced with a coating that smells a bit like "humanity effort", but the essential stench of greed and corruption still filters-through.  The end-result is traditional sexual exploitation, with a new twist that not only keeps the victim's voice silent and forgotten by society, but proves corruption and greed WILL win, if you put the acts in the names of God and religion.

This type of arrogance and sense of "entitlement" from the higher-class has been since biblical times, but it has never been recognized as it needs to be recognized.  Why?  Because everyone seems to think the baby in the sent-away moses basket is always better off in the new (wealthier) family, no matter what.

I found a brilliant blog-piece that helps bridge this theme of exploitation, misguided fight for Women's Rights, and corrupt adoption practice, into an almost seamless flow of warped rhyme and reason:

I just don’t see how anyone claiming to fight for women’s rights can support the billion dollar profits the adoption industry makes from taking children away from young, poor, single women. How they can support anything that encourages the coercive and manipulative tactics that are given in Birthmother, Good Mother, to “convince” a women she is not good enough to be a mother.

How can they stand behind an industry that markets to our young daughters that unless they are married, successful and wealthy, they do not deserve to keep their children. That uses women in their most vulnerable, desperate time in order to take from them their own child. That instills the belief that mothers who are viewed by society as “not good enough” should give up their children to those that are viewed as better than them.
I just can’t get myself to support such a way of thinking.
The co-founder of the site who commented, outside of, of course, knowing a first mom and adoptees who are perfectly happy with their situation, voiced a concern that by taking away the “choice” of adoption, you run the risk of forcing a women to parent.
What she doesn’t seem to understand is that the vast majority of adoptions that happen today are not because a women simply chooses not to parent, but because she is FORCED into losing her child because she feels as if she has NO OTHER CHOICE.
The typical woman facing a crisis pregnancy isn’t walking into an adoption agency and declaring, “I just really don’t want this baby. Please let me give him away so I’m not forced to spend the rest of my life raising him.”
No, the truth of most, is much different than that. For them, it is a situation where they want to raise their child but don’t have the support or help to do so. They feel desperate, unsure and terrified of what the future holds.
They may have nobody to support them. Don’t have the money and resources they deserve, as their basic human right, to keep and care for their child. Can’t imagine how they can ever make it work when everything seems so dark, so terrifying at the moment.
And only in so-called adoption counseling is it actually encouraged, when anyone in the mental health field knows the harm in it, to push someone to make a life-changing decision while in the midst of a crisis. To actually guide their decision-making by shoving adoption at them as the “loving” solution to their problems.
Such situations can never be seen as a good thing for women’s rights.
If someone truly supported women’s rights, even with the belief that adoption should be a choice, then they would stand up and fight for better support and help offered to young, single, poor pregnant women to enable them to keep and raise their child instead of feeling as if they have no choice but to give them up.
They would stand up and shout for the millions of dollars our government pays to teach how to “convince” a woman to give up her baby be redirected into programs that offered better sex education for our youth. Parenting and job skills for mothers. Financial support so that no mother ever again has to lose her child due to poverty.
They would demand an end to the profits made off of women giving up their babies. Would fight against the unrealistic portrayal of adoption that is fed into our society. Scream at the top of their lungs that women in crisis pregnancies must have true, unbiased counseling that does not push adoption at them as the “loving option.” But instead works with the woman, in each individual situation, to determine what factors are contributing to her belief that she can’t keep her baby. And warning her of the risks, to both herself, and her child, that adoption brings with it.
Just as there is a fight for women to have the right to abortions and pregnancy prevention, there should also be a fight for women to have the right, the means, and the support, to try parenting their child before ever being forced to make the decision to give her own flesh and blood away.
Womens rights supporters should be outraged that, while still under the effects of giving birth, it is legal for a mother to sign away her rights to her child forever. That women can be threatened with things such as paying back medical bills and being turned into social services if they change their mind.
Whether you believe in adoption or not, I just don’t see how you can support women’s rights and not fight for drastic reform in the acts that are used, over and over again, to separate women from their children every day. How you can say adoption is a good thing while knowing there are so many women who have been lied to, used, coerced, forced and manipulated into losing their sons or daughters.
[From:  Women Versus Women, April 12, 2011 ]

The story of Moses...

Kerry stated:  "This type of arrogance and sense of "entitlement" from the higher-class has been since biblical times, but it has never been recognized as it needs to be recognized.  Why?  Because everyone seems to think the baby in the sent-away moses basket is always better off in the new (wealthier) family, no matter what..."

For those of you who are not believers, think of this as a story, with an important message for today:

In perspective:  The arrogance on the part of the Princess, who was "given" Moses (baby in the basket) is like the "new (wealthier) families" of today.  BUT, when we look at the fact that the princess told (Moses' sister) the little girl to find a women to nurse the baby for her,  the "woman" was Moses' own mother.  This shows us that GOD was watching out for that baby and had that baby returned to the REAL mother, to bond with (during the most important time in a baby's life), so HE (God) could use him (Moses), when he became a man.  God KNEW the importance of the mother/child bond, and made sure THIS child would grow up mentally and emotionally sound.  AHHHH, God's ways....  smile  ....  how we need them now.


The mother, the wet-nurse, and the death within the family-unit

 find a women to nurse the baby for her,  the "woman" was Moses' own mother.  This shows us that GOD was watching out for that baby and had that baby returned to the REAL mother, to bond with (during the most important time in a baby's life), so HE (God) could use him (Moses), when he became a man.  God KNEW the importance of the mother/child bond, and made sure THIS child would grow up mentally and emotionally sound.  AHHHH, God's ways....  smile  ....  how we need them now.

Did. Not. Know. That. Small motherly detail.  You should see my eyes BULGING as my pulse races.... I don't know the bible well-enough to know those small details.  [I used to read when I was little, just to keep out of my family's way, so I remember theme more than fine detail.]  But I do know I have always been drawn to stories about history, and the way the wealthy would treat the fellow wealthy, and how the wealthy would treat the poor.  I found all too often it doesn't matter what a person knows (the person could be a blazing idiot with the heart of a dead crow), but if that person was in good-favor with a person who had power and ability, that stupid crow person was going to get in better social circles and be given many more opportunities than the poor smarter person next to him, who knows no-body ih high places.

[Don't get me started on the rules of patriarchal systems, appearances, and what gets a person up on the upper echelon of a hierarchal society... you wanna talk about man's cruelty toward woman, because of a twisted sense of 'second best' and what "looks" suggests?]

I'm fascinated by the wet-nurse intervention, because as a breastfeeding mom, I am astutely aware how the mother-baby chemical bond affects not only the production of milk, but the contents of the milk, as well.  [I could never understand how Amothers could possibly think they could produce "just as good" breastmilk, through artificial means, all so they too could breastfeed and bond with their adopted newborn -- the benefits for mother and child simply are not the same when you compare benefits given to bio-breastfeeding to the benefits given to adoption's adaptation to breastfeeding.  For kicks, go see what eager to please PAPs are being taught to consider:  Adoptive Breastfeeding.  <gag, heave, vomit>]

Forgive my jump, but my mind races when it's repulsed....

When PPL first began, we posted a fascinating piece written by Lloyd deMause, an Afather and psycho-historian, who gave Niels permission to post a few of his original pieces.  Below is an excerpt from  The Evolution of Childrearing

 Every study of infant death rates among children sent out to wetnurses and abandoned in foundling homes shows much higher death rates, running to over 70 per cent and higher, even in modern times.101 Doctors of every age agreed that "the most profound cause of the terrific waste of infant life [is] neglect...neglected by their own mothers and neglected by the nurses to whom they were abandoned..."102 Since parents who sent their children to wetnurse and foundling homes knew quite well they would likely not see them again-indeed, often they were sent to so-called "killing wetnurses" with a small sum of money under the tacit assumption that they would not be returned103-these "delayed infanticide" acts must be added to the estimated rate of child killing, increasing it by at the very least a third, or a total of 16 billion children killed by parental acts over the entire historical span. No wonder people in the past so often said that everywhere in their areas "you could hear coming out of the bottom of latrines and ponds and rivers the groanings of the children that one had thrown there."104

Although poverty played some part in this holocaust of children, it is doubtful if it was the main cause of child deaths. In the first place, the cost of bringing up a girl is no more than the cost of bringing up a boy, so the differential infanticide rates are certainly parental choices. When, for instance, Arabs dug a grave next to the birthing place of every new mother so "if the newborn child was a female she could be immediately thrown by her mother into the grave,"105 it was likely hatred of girls, not poverty, that was the motive. Secondly, if scarce resources were the main cause, then wealthy parents should kill less than poor. But the historical record shows exactly the opposite: historical boy/girl ratios are higher among wealthy parents,106 where economic necessity is no problem at all. Even in early modern England, the infant mortality rates for wealthy children were higher than the same rates for ordinary farmers, day laborers and craftsman.107 Thirdly, many wealthy high civilizations such as Greece, Rome, China, India, Hawaii and Tahiti are very infanticidal, especially among their elite classes. As one visitor to Hawaii reported, there probably wasn't a single mother who didn't throw one or more of her children to the sharks.108

The 'other' adoption story in the bible allowed the mother-child bond to continue, as well (the only family member added/replaced was the father-figure).

And modern-day Christan groups are going to try to tell me breaking the mother-child bond, for the sake of an (infant) adoption plan is doing God's Work?  I'll pass on sipping on that glass of kool-aid, thank-you.

It's amazing to me how resentment directed toward a "certain type of woman" has made child placement services what it has become these days.  Even more amazing is how "pain" felt by a child often brings about a certain pleasure, as "Adoptive moms assure me that adoption is rarely ever a man's idea. And it is almost always an idea born of a woman's pain. The sorrowful heart of a mother meets the sorrowful heart of a child and together they begin a new life."  Of course, deMauses' history of parenting shows how lovable "pain" can be to some:

 The powerful need to mutilate children's bodies is found in nearly all cultures in some form, and reaches back to the Paleolithic caves where handprints on the walls130 show clearly that children's fingers were cut off in the widespread belief by many cultures that the Devil (the destructive parental alter) demanded a child's finger to appease his wrath. Frazer documented these finger sacrifice rituals in many cultures, and sanctuaries have been found as far back as the Neolithic with finger bones, right up through ancient Greek times, when, Pausanias reported, finger sacrifice rituals were still performed to pacify pursuing demons.131 Finger amputation was also endemic in Ocean, Polynesia and among North American Indians.132

But more often it is the genitals, head or feet of children which are assaulted; as the Canadian Intuit Eskimos say, "A hurt baby is more lovable!" 

Ah, to be so loved, as to be hurt, over and over again!  How lucky, how blessed -- WHAT a great message to send the children of the world, isn't it?  "Let's hurt you, so you may be loved."


I don't care what the motive, but to "nurse" an adopted child sounds NASTY!  I guess this is because of my experience in foster care, where the biological mother got on the stand, to defend herself against the accusations of her own children... she stated, she breast fed her son and had orgasms, and that was the closest she ever came to sexual abuse...  That was ONE messed up woman.


just this is sad


the older I get the more I wonder if any child should ever be removed from his or her parents...   in a class I took and just finished; bible based; they talked about abortion being a sacrific to the ba' al sex god or something....

uhm; having grown up in an environment where many close relatives were getting abortions; women were really just good for sex; etc...   it struck close to home...   and oddly, even though I have always been a pro-lifer not something I had ever heard of before...  

just the whole thing is really sad to me... 


Sacrifices to Baal...

Because people back then were sacrificing their first born to a demon god (Baal), people have paralleled that to abortion because most aborted babies are the first born.
Therefore saying that abortion is of the devil.


Of the devil

There are times bible-thumpers really fascinate me... simply because it's my belief A) the world is full of false prophets and deceivers and B) those who teach theory are often those who cannot do (or endure) themselves.

Therefore, I find this comment very interesting:

 people back then were sacrificing their first born to a demon god (Baal), people have paralleled that to abortion because most aborted babies are the first born.
Therefore saying that abortion is of the devil.

Those of the Christian faith claim to believe/know Jesus was the ultimate human sacrifice, making any other human sacrifice (blood and body given/offered, for redemption purposes) obsolete. 

If that is true, why should any mother have to sacrifice her unborn to a "loving couple", in lieu of 1) keeping what was chosen for her, "fit" or "unfit" 2) relinquishing to an unknown entity, (medical waste).  How is making a child bait for an adoption agency a "good" thing?

Furthermore, how is it the 'desperate to adopt' ... the one with a strong desire to have (covet) what belongs to another... is of better moral character, stock and fiber than the one who has sex outside the institution of marriage?  Do Christians know marriage is NOT required, according to God's Law?  [It's given sanctioned approval, but marriage, itself, is not a required act that must be done to receive God's approval.]

Better yet, how is the so-called Christian follower doing God's Work, if "creating an adoptive family" means one must break another family, first?  If sin is sin, (and "thou shall not covet the goods of another " is within God's Top Ten), then I have to confess, claiming adoption (adapting to new rules/life style), and adding the strong desire to please a master, (so once can have much more), and calling all of that "God's Will" (and done in Jesus' name) is not only sketchy, it's also a very questionable interpretation of what God wants people to practice, in day-to-day life.

I mean, really, let's read the desires (and the reasons behind those human desires of an adult) and see if certain acts can be justified, according to God's Law:

Ingrid Phaneuf, whose dream of adopting an Ethiopian child was ruined in the aftermath of the Imagine Adoption agency swindle

[From:  Parenting dreams on hold, April 11, 2011 ]

Right off the bat, we know money is used in a variety of good and bad ways in child/family services.  In Adoptionland, fees and costs are put upon the purchaser, person who buys a legal document Prospective Adoptive Parent. It is no secret, in private-practice, (whether it be infant or international adoption) people agree to pay tens of thousands of dollars, and endure various financial/character checks and cross-checks, all so they may receive the legal document that proves X person is ________'s parent.  And still, it's also widely know that corruption, false testimony, and blatant lies are told, all in the name of a "good" adoption plan. 

Meanwhile, there are all SORTS of obvious signs and roadblocks, seen almost every day in Adoptionland, showing those with eyes and ears, those with an adoption-plan ought to S-L-O-W  D-O-W-N before any plan or transaction is final.

In one recent article, we learn, step-by-step, just how me-oriented some adoption plans really are, and how blind some have become because their will has not been done:

To Christine Flage of Frisco, Texas, and tens of thousands of other American parents, the answer to the orphan crisis seemed obvious - adoption.

"We can fit more kids in our house, and we can afford to feed them," Flage said at the time. "If everyone would take that approach, we wouldn't have a crisis. It isn't any more complicated than that."

But more than a year later - after a five-day visit to a Haitian orphanage, accepting the title of "mommy" from two girls and calculating the long odds against her - Flage said God has closed the door on the adoptions.

"I love those girls," she said. "But how can I help them if I can't bring them home? That's where we're at."

[From:  Hopeful parents find many roadblocks to adopting Haitian orphans, April 10, 2011 ]

The article continues with more flag raising warning:

At the height of the catastrophe in January, more than 600 relief flights a day landed at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Thousands of doctors and nurses, more than $12 million in medical supplies and about $140 million in food arrived in the Caribbean nation, according to reports from USAID, the federal government's relief agency.

In all, international donors pledged more that $9.9 billion in current and future relief.

But soon Haiti began battling familiar problems, and the media's attention turned to a succession of natural disasters - a powerful earthquake in Chile, epic floods in Pakistan, an erupting volcano over Iceland.

Haitians complained the aid was flowing into the pockets of the powerful, jobs were scarce and crime was returning to the streets. Two of the nation's infamous former leaders returned from exile - Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier - stoking fears of a return to despotic rule.

In October, a cholera epidemic sprinted through the nation's homeless camps, killing an estimated 1,700. The next month, five people were killed in rioting after a November presidential election was canceled because of widespread ballot tampering.

In many ways, conditions in Haiti are as austere as ever.

More than 1 million people displaced by the earthquake still live in tents and shantytowns. And nearly all of the nation's estimated 380,000 orphans still await adoption.

John Leininger, a retired San Antonio-area optometrist and founder of Harvest International, has been sponsoring medical relief missions to Haiti for more than 30 years. He said the future for many children is bleaker than ever.

"If it's possible to imagine, things have gotten worse," he said. "Many of these orphanages are very full, and they have cutoffs, and they're just refusing to take more kids."

Yes, things HAVE gotten worse.  The price for an "orphan" has gone up in value, making the demand for more that much more of a priority for those with misguided intentions under the false impression that more adoptions will solve the orphanage over-population (underfunded/understaffed) problem that is growing all over Adoptionland.  Still, behold the level of strong adamant denial:

She was greeted by swarming children, a cacophony of Creole and the rancid smell of trash baking in the sun.

In some ways, she had been here before.

In February 2009, Flage and her husband, Brian, a manager for an electricity company, adopted 7-month-old twins from Ethiopia. They had never met the children - Joshua and Glory - before flying to Africa to bring them home. They also have a 7-year-old biological daughter, Katie.

The experience, Flage said, helped demystify the notion of adopting from Haiti.

The couple prayed over 17 pages of children's photos one night. The next morning, her husband came to Flage with pictures of two girls - 14-year-old Mirlange and her 10-year-old sister, Midrene.

He said, "These are the only two I can really imagine in our family."

She was convinced.

"I dreamed about those two girls the whole night before," Flage said. "Out of 17 pages of pictures, we both knew these were ours."

Flage arrived at the orphanage overlooking a Port-au-Prince suburb about two months later.

She walked from room to room, smiling, searching for faces that matched photos of her girls.

Mirlange, the 14-year-old, met her first. They embraced, tears leaking down their faces.

Minutes later, Midrene crawled into Flage's lap. They mostly sat in silence - a language barrier between them.

"Oh sweet baby," she said, stroking the child's back, "how am I going to fill you up?"

Over the next few days, Flage threaded friendship bracelets, sang church hymns and got to know the girls.

Midrene was the needy one, following her from room to room and tugging at her arms to be held. Mirlange was more distant, quiet, often looking down or away when spoken to.

Jean Fritz Nicolas, the orphanage's director, said the girls were found wandering the streets in a nearby town about two years ago. He said they were abandoned by their mother, but he doesn't know about the father.

"Whether their parents are alive or not," he said, "they're orphans."

He said orphans often feel alone after adoption - isolated by language and an unfamiliar culture - but at least they have a chance in the United States.

Flage was resolute, sitting at a dining room table at the orphanage as Midrene braided her hair.

"We're definitely not being naive," she said. "We know they're not just going to give us a big hug and everything is going to be normal. But we're also not scared because we know there are resources out there."

The alternative, she said, is unsettling.

"What are we supposed to say, 'It would be too hard for them to be in our family?' Let them not have a family? Really? I don't believe that," she said.

The arrogance blows my mind.  Especially if one has never been in a situation where your plea for help is not being understood (it's being misinterpreted) by another who seems to think one's body language tells the entire story.

Here's my final red-flag, because it shows how lie upon lie builds, so those who profit most from charity and God's Name can be found laughing, as they go to the bank or store, and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of agency funds on personal expenses such as trips, clothes and renovations to their home.

Flage and others argued that the U.S. government's humanitarian parole program should be extended to children who were not matched to prospective parents before the earthquake.

Child welfare agencies - the United Nations Children's Fund, Save the Children and World Vision - took the opposite view, asking for a moratorium on new adoptions.

They cited fears that child trafficking to the Dominican Republic - for labor, sex trade or indentured servitude - might increase. They also recounted stories from other natural disasters, such as the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, where children were separated from their parents in the chaos and later discovered in orphanages.

UNICEF has registered 5,088 orphans since the earthquake in Haiti and reunited 1,300 children with their families.

"In the situation we have here now, when the adoption systems are weakened, there will be those who wish to exploit those systems for the wrong reasons," said Edward Carwardine, a spokesman for UNICEF.

"We're not talking about the family in Dallas who wants to do the right thing for these kids, but others, who have much worse intentions."


Adoptions are technically ongoing in Haiti, but the scale of the destruction and ensuing political chaos have paralyzed the system.

Many government buildings containing vital paperwork - birth and death records - were destroyed in the earthquake. To process an adoption, family members must sign papers relinquishing custody.

Rebecca Hackworth, who coordinates Haitian adoptions for Dillon International, said it's a needle-in-a-haystack ordeal. Investigators are sent into villages, from home to home, searching for family members.

"The process is called agony," she said. "You go to the last known community and you just start asking. And you must remember, these are poor people who don't have cellphone numbers."

She said Haitian adoption law is also frustratingly strict.

Prospective parents must be at least 35 and married for at least 10 years without children of their own. Waivers are frequently granted, but each one must be signed by the president of Haiti.

"When most people find out what's involved, and how long it's going to take to do an adoption in Haiti, they just give up," Hackworth said.

"There are countries like Ethiopia that would be faster, and that's what happens in international adoption - people are looking for a program that doesn't take too long."


Not a single child has been adopted from the Haiti Children's Rescue Mission since Flage returned to the United States last spring.

She said Mirlange and Midrene's birth mother would need to be found before an adoption could go forward, but she's not hopeful that will ever happen.

"I couldn't do it alone, and I couldn't get a referral," she said. "I don't know anybody down there. I still think their mother is alive, but I wouldn't begin to known where to track her down."

The Flages volunteered to pay for the girls' schooling, but so far, the orphanage hasn't been able to arrange transportation.

Flage said she doesn't regret the trip to Haiti.

"I would have gone and I would have loved on those girls," she said, "but I wouldn't have wanted them to be told I was bringing them home, because that's devastating."

I truly wonder which is the lesser of two evils/sins?  A (surrogate) mother's choice to prevent future hardship, (as Flage has unintentionally become... the girls' surrogate mother-figure and financial benefactor); coupled with a call for living family members, so a pre-existing family can be preserved, OR an act that requires far more than just one person to inflict pain and loss upon others (through "legal" separation and a variety of dastardly deeds) all so money and praise and God Points (?!?)  can be "earned".

Actually, I don't wonder, I already know... I just more saw the signs to a better plan are not necessarily where the determined and focused and "inspired" are looking.  After all, how many have heard the phrase, "God works in mysterious ways"?


In any case, I had two very close, very religious friends who found-out they were pregnant. Both were very fearful of the wrath that may result from their choice, as the choice was centered around an 'unwanted' (out of wedlock) pregnancy.  Both knew marriage to a person outside their faith would be an enormous problem.  Both knew about a dark-side to the adoption-story... not just because they knew some details from/about me, through my own testimony and examples.  My story only added to the information they had, as witnessed by themselves, through other people.

Their choice to overlook The Adoption Option was made not in haste or desperation, but with love, and deliberate thought and consideration.

In their minds, terminating their unplanned pregnancy meant the unborn child would not have to suffer from or with the consequences that come with knowing A) one parent was not strong enough to stay, and make things better (for the sake of the child)  B) with adoption, there comes it's own loss and grief, which is the natural consequence that results when one lies any and all facts (about the child or the mother/father) become manufactured, hidden or fabricated, just so "God's Plan" (and The Orphan Crusade) can be revealed to the world.

The Higher Power I know/pray to would not want lies and fraud to be done in His, or His Family's name.  I have no doubt in this core belief of mine.  However, I cannot say I don't hide certain truths... I do... for the sake of myself, and those I still fear and honor.

Pound Pup Legacy