There was never a time I did not know I was adopted. In fact, there was never a time I did not feel different, not-quite-right, and not altogether like those around me. I have always felt like I was the outcast, the mixed mutt..the runt... the one who got chosen to live among strangers not because I was wanted, but because someone had to choose me, otherwise I'd be put down or left to die, whichever created less stir for the public.
I was born in 1968 in Newfoundland, Canada, a hot-spot for infertile Americans in want of a healthy white newborn who was "orphaned" by its unmarried and "unfit" mother. I was not born an American; I was manufactured to become one.
As an adult, I learned the facts surrounding my adoption story were nowhere near the "facts" my adoptive mother told me about my adoption history.
This week, Adoptionland has been in turmoil over the publication of a series of articles by Reuters and NBC-news.
The articles portray the drain of the adoption system, the practice of informal re-homing of adoptees who are no longer wanted by their forever family.
Just like it is with every abuse case and every trafficking case found in Adoptionland, the mouth pieces of the adoption industry are quick and ready to down play the situation. The good name of adoption MUST be preserved, at all cost, even if doing so leads to more abuse, more disruptions, more dissolutions, and more child trafficking for adoption purposes.
Yesterday, we added yet another case of abuse in adoptive families, where the adopted children were subjected to disciplinarian cruelty. The case in question involves three children adopted from foster care by John and Carolyn Jackson, a devout Christian home schooling couple, at the time living at Picatinny Arsenal Installation, New Jersey.
After having added nearly 600 cases of abuse in child placement, some desensitization has kicked in. When we first started our archives every case was new and different, but with case 598 things have become eerily familiar.
Does the case involve infants or toddlers? Check! Was the child adopted less than 6 months ago? Check! Did the child suffer head trauma? Check! Did the parents claim the child fell down the stairs? Check! Did the coroner conclude the head trauma could not be self-inflicted? Check!
The latest fatality of an adoptee from Russia was all over the news the past few days. The Russian media are heavily focused on this case, while the American press mostly reprinted the same Associated Press article in all major news papers and news sites.
The case of Max Shatto (Maxim Kuzmin) raises many questions, the most prominent of which: why has the US Department of State not reacted to this case before Russian authorities did?
For months Adoptionland has been in a frenzy about Russia's decision to ban adoptions to the United States. Prior to that decision, promises were made by the US Department of State to improve monitoring of Russian adoptions. The case of Max Shatto shows once more, the US Department of State to date is not capable of properly monitoring adoptions from Russia, and any promise to do so can not be kept or guaranteed.
In March, 2011, standing alone in a Galveston court room, a young father received his punishment for performing a sexual act on his 3 month old son before crushing his crying infant's skull. Travis Mullis, 24 year old adult abused adoptee, was ordered to death.
At the time of court ruling, his still-living "forever" adoptive mom was living in sunny warm Florida. She wanted nothing to do with him and the case.
Abuse in adoptive families is an under-investigated topic. The assumption is often made that screening of prospective adopters weeds out inappropriate candidates. Despite screening, every year dozens of abuse cases make the news, while an unknown number of cases remain unreported. In some cases the abuse is so severe, the adopted children actually die.
Inappropriate adoptive placements are not a new phenomenon. On September 28, 1854. the New York Times ran an article with the title: Murder of an Adopted Child in New-Orleans, describing the abuse and subsequent death of Christian Rohnor, a two-year-old boy, adopted by a couple from New Orleans. Christian Rohnor was locked up in the attic, starved to the point of being completely emaciated, and eventually beaten to death by his adoptive father.
I've decided to go public with some personal information about myself because the topic I've been discussing in private has touched many aspects of my life, including PPL.
I'm going through some difficult times in a few personal relationships. This is not new for me; maintaining a close (loving?) relationship has always been difficult for me. But long breaks, caused by normal every day events, like work or school, have made me keenly awareness of an odd inability in me, a characteristic I'd like to change.
On September 28, 1854. the New York Times ran an article with the title: Murder of an Adopted Child in New-Orleans, describing the abuse and subsequent death of Christian Rohnor, a two-year-old boy, adopted by a couple from New Orleans. Christian Rohnor was locked up in the attic, starved to the point of being completely emaciated, and eventually beaten to death by his adoptive father.
The story of Christian Rohnor is almost entirely forgotten and we may like to think those barbaric times are long gone. We may be compelled to think that in the 156 years that have passed since the death of Christian Rohnor, adoption standards have been raised to the point that such horrific abuse of an adopted child no longer takes place.
Christian Rohnor may have been the first documented case of lethal abuse in an adoptive family, his death was certainly not the last. To this day adoptees are abused and killed by members found in their new "forever family". Every year there are several cases of adopted children being tortured to death, shaken to death or disciplined to death. 156 years after the cruelties performed on Christian Rohnor, there are still adopters who choose not to love, care for and protect their young additions, but instead, choose to lock up the children in their care, starve them, sexually abuse them and beat them, sometimes to death.
In memory of Christian Rohnor, we honor the children who met their death due to abuse in adoptive families since Adoption Awareness Month 2010.
Today marks my 43rd year, and as birthdays go for the adoptee, it's a bitter-sweet day.
I'm not one who likes to celebrate the day my mother agreed to send me away. And yet, I am able to acknowledge my life has meaning and has brought much happiness and comfort to many others. [Therefore I do recognize my life is not a waste; it does have worth.]
Today we added the 500th case to our abuse case archive. This dubious honor goes to a case of sexual abuse of a ten-year-old girl adopted by Jon Paul Reid. Among the 500 cases we have archived over the past three years, this case, unfortunately, doesn't stand out as particularly exceptional. There have been many children like the Reid girl before, and since little is done to prevent these situations, we will likely have to document several similar cases in the future.
When we started collecting cases of abuse in child placement, we weren't certain about the extent of the problem. In fact the initiative for this archive was partially inspired by the desire to find out the extent of the problem.
I was watching a movie with my twins today. Readers need to understand, when it comes to spending time with my older kids, I struggle. Parenting/mommy-ing was much easier when my annoying, demanding heathens were newborns, or at the very least, much much younger, when their very simple basic needs, were very simple, basic, and easy.
<longing for for the long-gone 'easy' days... because the looks on their faces told me I was/am a good decent parent> coupled with <tired, frustrated, annoyed and really stressed-out sigh>