This is the rhetorical question I read on page 26 of Erin Siegal's book, Finding Fernanda. This question was asked by a real (non-fictional) mother. I found myself unable to read much further, as the answer to this question made me wonder how many times religion was used to excuse corrupt behavior.
I started reading Finding Fernanda this morning, but I had to stop when I reached page 30. I had to discuss this story-line with others, as I recognized many of the too-frequent trends that still exist thanks to "desperate" adopters, baby-brokers, adoption facilitators, and unethical adoption lawyers still lurking in Adoptionland. You see, Guatemala is NOT like Las Vegas... where what happens there, stays there. Guatemala represents all that happens in almost every out-sending country that involves itself with ICA when an unstable corrupt government rules. Guatemala examples a slice of life when the only thing valued about a woman is found between her legs. Guatemala represents a pattern that has yet to change, universally, in Adoptionland.
While I myself am not finished reading Siegal's, book, (I admit, I have too many kids, and too many daily distractions), I am not at all surprised to see how quickly critics have condemned Erin's words and efforts. Most popular complaint, of course, is ,"...how about mentioning the hundreds adoptions that are NOT fraudulent?" (Those who criticize the critics are adamant about repeating their positive message, over and over and over again, as if reclaiming the positive is going to erase all the negative and create the change that is still very much needed.)
In Huffington Post, I read the anti-critical comments written by "sjbj", and I actually laughed at the ironic suggestion offered by one who shows a moral concern about the profiting off the misery and losses of others:
There is nothing new in this book. All of the information has been available on web sites and on various internet fora for the past 5-10 years. Anyone who wanted to know about this could have found out, if they were interested.
The case of Ms. Rodriguez and Anyeli has been in the news as well, for years. The AP in fact has covered the story.
This book is a way for someone to profit off of a very real human tragedy. If the point is to shed light on a very important issue and actually DO something, how about donating the profits to Sobrevivientes?
Indeed, there is nothing new about coercive tactics used by "motivated" adoption facilitators; there is nothing new about the ways in which "consent" for adoption is obtained by those profiting through the adoption industry. (Historically speaking, Maternity Homes, old and new, prove just how many have mastered coercion -- some have it down to a profitable science.)
Also not new? ...the lengths troll-posters will go to silence and discredit those who shed light on the dark-side of modern adoption plans and Adoptionland.
Still, to adoption-critic critic "sjbj"'s credit, she did state the information about corrupt and illegal adoptions can be found, IF a person were interested.
Big word, "If".... especially in Adoptionland.
It seems to me, few social-worker approved PAPs "desperate" to parent a poor orphan baby are really all that interested in learning about the many different ways an "orphan child" is made available for ICA.
Given the response to the documentary Fly Away Children, few hell-bent on an Orphan Crusade are willing to show an open "interest" in the dark-side of an adoption-plan. In fact, most will deny and refute any wrong-doing; others will claim the numbers have been inflated; all will cite the harm such harsh accusations can cause all adopted children and their families.
Therefore, investigative interest in the artifical manufacturing of very young orphans is very limited, and sadly, far too often, any real interest coming from the post-adoption parent is too late, as the collateral damage has already been done.
So, before I can continue my fact-based reading about a country that may very well open it's hot ICA doors once again, I want to share what an ICA program lacking in altruism, ethics, or humanitarianism looks and reads like.
The story about Mildred is like so many.... the path towards family destruction and an adoption story begins with a crisis.
Mildred's husband took a lover and helped create two new children. One for the lover; one for the abandoned wife with three kids.
Not surprisingly, the cheating spouse left, leaving his wife to fend for herself and his four children.
Mildred needed help in the sense that she needed a reliable job opportunity. Armed with a very strong work-ethic and a strong sense of God and honor, Mildred was on a mission to find the sort of job that would enable her earn a consistent income so she could provide basic needs like housing and food.
At first, Mildred was employed at an auto-parts store and sold self-made food at the roadside, but after a year, she realized the money she was making was not enough. She needed more. A job-search revealed a job that paid much more, but she learned the job was a scam.
Matters for Mildred and her kids seemed to get worse until a strange woman introduced herself. This woman, a friend to her sister, heard about Mildred's misfortune. She heard about the pregnancy, the husband's abandonment, and the lack of funds....she knew there was a need for assistance.
This friend-of-the-sister offered help.
Sabrina explained that she was a Christian, a good Samaritan of sorts. She owned a house in Villa Canales, and Mildred and her family were welcome to stay there at no cost until the new baby arrived and the family was back on its feet. it would be a privilege if Mildred accepted her charity, she said.
Mildred listened skeptically. Lately, in an attempt to cling to the remains of her tattered pride, she’d taken to praying every night, only to awaken each morning resigned to the tedium of daily survival. Maybe this is god’s doing, she thought, bewildered. She’d been attending church for only a few weeks and wasn’t sure that prayers could be answered so fast. (p. 22, Finding Fernanda)
Mildred allowed herself to believe this "too good to be true" offer was a God-send.
Faith led Mildred to ask the question, "Who else but a true Christian would take a stranger into their home?"
It wasn't long before Mildred's gratitude and work-ethic were used fully by her "good Samaritan of sorts". Mildred became her benefactor's live-in-maid.
As the pregnancy reached its eighth month, and cleaning the house and caring for three kids became too much, Mildred's benefactor spoke about a woman, at church, who would love to babysit her youngest child. This older woman was never "blessed" with children, making the frequently made suggestion seem more like a favor to the unblessed woman (the woman without a child), than anything else.
When Mildred's benefactor saw "suggesting" was futile, she changed course and tried a new champaign. Messages of failure were sent.
Fernanda is too pure, she is too much girl for you. She deserves a family with money, a family that can take careof her. She’s so much better than you ever could be (p.26)
And as easy as that, the seeds of doubt are planted by one who sees herself as a 'good Samaritan of sorts'.
The next phase of 'good-will gestures' continued as the doubts and insecurities were richly fed by hungry adoption facilitators dressed in Samaritan's clothing.
...it was only natural to ask to be paid back for living expenses. Collecting herself, Mildred began slowly printing her name in shaky block letters across the bottom of the blank sheets. Doña Coni and Sabrina chatted. Mildred glanced again at each woman, hesitating. Each seemed matter-of-fact, as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Mildred blinked hard, telling herself not to be silly. She lifted Fernanda and passed her to Doña Coni, getting back into the Tercel. Doña Coni handed the child an expensive-looking doll. it thrilled Fernanda. The two-year-old began chirping with delight.
Mildred’s pulse raced nervously as she got back into the Toyota.
“no, wait,” she said, tapping Sabrina’s shoulder from the back seat.
“Wait. I don’t want to do this.”
She watched as Coni shut one of the four doors of the pickup’s extended cab.
Sabrina turned to face her.
“Don’t be stupid,” she said bluntly. “This is the best for everyone. If you make a stink here, the police will come over, and they’ll drag everyone to jail. including you.”
Mildred remained silent. Tears rolled down her face. She watched as the city traffic swallowed the white pickup, and Fernanda along with it. (p. 28)
And so an adoptable orphan (and all the money that goes with it) is
born created. [Makes me wonder how many were praying for good news from their well-researched adoption agency... and how many would have praised God and Jesus when the news arrived that a child has been found.]
When reading about an adoption agency and an ICA plan, readers need to understand what ICA is really all about.
Contrary to pro-adopt-speak, ICA is not about altruism or humanitarian assistance. ICA is about the actions of those who play God. ICA is about cause and effect and exploitation. ICA is an odd-hybrid offspring of eugenics. ICA is a study in (the lack of) women's rights. ICA is the manifestation of moral and political corruption, and absent regulation. Perhaps above all, as ICA grows and thrives, (all too often in the name of God, Jesus, and/or religion), ICA is proof that God and adoption, as per the adoption industry, do not mix.
God did not call for adoption; man did.
After all, if adoption, as it has come to exist, was God's plan or call, why was Mary, in The New Testament, able to keep her baby? While her son's adoption story is about a second father, did God not spare, save, and assist Mary, so she and her son would not have to be taken from the other?
The story about Mildred, one woman, is the story that follows and plagues many thousands of single women-with-child around the world.
Mildred's thematic story-within-a-story has been and continues to keep repeating itself in various countries and eras, and yet very little is being done. As long as limited interest is given to a woman's right to be free from exploitation, the problematic issues associated with social ills will not be corrected. This failure to re-build and correct as needed is the adoption industry's bread and butter... it has become the life-source the adoption industry wants to have and keep.
So let's look at what Mildred really lacked. What caused her unwanted adoption-plan?
Mildred lacked an honorable man's protection; she lacked self-empowering assistance. Without money and a strong partner's protection, she became easy prey.
Mildred lacked a sense of outside interest, as it comes from and relates to the adoption industry; she had no idea all that can be had through a beautiful healthy child offered to a stranger.
Mildred lacked opportunities and resources that would enable an honest/honorable means to earn the money she needed to keep and raise her own children.
Most of all, Mildred lacked a fundamental understanding about the ways in which great deceivers and empty talkers operate. Her predators used the words "God", "good", "charity" and "blessing" all so they could get the child (the money/profit) they wanted.
Like so many before and after her, Mildred got misled by liars and cheats; she got lured by serpents, speaking God-speak. Mildred's mistake in-faith cost her a much loved and wanted child.
I grow cold when I think: how many adoption stories begin like Mildred's.
I grow a little nauseous when I think: How many more real (non-fictional) mothers-with-child need to be sacrificed and separated, all so ICA can be kept alive and thriving?
To answer the question: Who else but a true Christian would take a stranger into their home?? The answer is simple: One has to be very careful with the person acting very dear; that sweet "Christian"could just as easily be a wolf in sheep's clothing.
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