Since I can remember, I always wrote letters to myself. Not diary entries or journal updates....those required a committment I wasn't willing to maintain. Nope, I wrote letters. I would write letters to myself, my future children, and my natural mom. I never went as far as putting them in envelopes; I simply folded them and put them in my "junk drawer" in my bedroom.
I loved that dresser drawer... it had everything I needed to get through the day. Inside I kept crayons, pencils, coloring books, stationery, old candy, play-jewelery, fake press-on nails, and whatever else I found, kept and saved from my odd list of collectibles. The drawer was a mess. Way too many papers got crammed in a space far too small for more paper; my crayons and pencils were broken fragments of what once was a usable writing & coloring tool, and the candy was always stale and nasty. But the drawer with this sloppy contents was my Treasure Box. I loved my drawer. It's where I kept all my secret thoughts and messages to myself. It was my safe zone in an empty home filled with strangeness.
After having monitored, for the European Commission, child protection in Romania, Roelie Post has written a book in which important aspects on intercountry adoptions from Romania are revealed.
Roelie Post considers that the ferocious lobby to re-open intercountry adoption is about the most wanted sort of the market: white eastern European children.
Which are, in your opinion, the most important aspects that are revealed in your book “Romania For Export Only – The untold story of the Romanian orphans”, which you recently published in your country the Netherlands?
I think that this book shows, clearly, which is the “ferocious” lobby that Romania underwent, internationally, so that it would lighten the new legislation on intercountry adoptions. At the same time, by relating concrete events that I witnessed the eight years I was occupied in monitoring “the Romanian children dossier”, I think that this book shows the mechanisms of corruption in intercountry adoptions, as well as giving the names of many personalities, internal and international who were implied in this complex combination.
"You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.” -Marian Wright Edelman
In 1998 we adopted a sibling group of two older girls from India.
Within six weeks of their arrival, our new daughters, who were emotionally traumatized almost beyond belief, told us they had been stolen from their birthfamily.
For six long and difficult years, our agency refused to investigate our daughters allegations.
Finally, with the help of an Indian activist for the poor and without any help from the agency, we found our daughters' birthfamily and confirmed their awful story.
Despite all this there has yet to be SO MUCH AS AN APOLOGY and certainly NO JUSTICE in this case. Not for our daughters. Not for our daughters' first parents. Not for ourselves.
It seems that NO ONE CARES about this crime.
Our US agency--which has not disputed the facts of the case--says that it bears no legal responsibility even if, like we say, they helped place stolen children in our home.
Our pleas to both the Indian and US governments have fallen on deaf ears, and therefore, we assume, uncaring ears. The state office which licenses our agency has a phone machine for complaints, and apparently they do not return phone calls--at least ours was never returned.
Meanwhile, the Indian orphanage director has been jailed three times on child trafficking related charges. He is currently trying to be relicensed yet again.
We have been left to ask the questions:
1) How could this have happened? Are there systemic reasons why it happened?
2) Why is it that no one cares about this kind of crime?
This blog represents some of the answers that we have found to these questions. It also is shares the ongoing answers as we continue to learn.
Flea bites are simply individual incidents of exposing the reality of international adoption practices--one example, one practice, one analysis, one real-life experience, one proposed remedy, and one "big picture" at a time.
If our insignificant flea bites can save other families the extreme pain that our daughters, our daughters' first family, and our own family have endured, these flea bites will not be in vain.
What Really Happened in Cambodia by Richard Cross, Federal Senior Special Agent, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Human Trafficking Unit, case agent in "Operation Broken Hearts," the Cambodian Adoption Investigation. This educational presentation was given at Cumberland School of Law, Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama on April 15, 2005, as a part of the educational Rushton Distinquished Lecture Series: Reforming Intercountry Adoption: Present Realities and Future Prospects. Mr. Cross discusses the Operation Broken Hearts investigation which led to the successful international adoption-related felony conviction of two Americans, involved in facilitating more than 700 adoptions from Cambodia. To download the video follow this link http://www.samford.edu/schools/law/media/2005/rushton/richard_cross_323.wmv.
Micky Duxbury is the author of the recently released book entitled: MAKING ROOM IN OUR HEARTS: Keeping Family Ties Through Open Adoption.
The book presents the stories of families throughout the United States who share the joys and challenges of maintaining relationships between birth and adoptive parents. Duxbury interviewed over one hundred and fifty birth and adoptive parents, extended family members, adopted children, and national experts. Listening to the families and their children does what no other book has done: describes how important open adoption is from the child’s perspective. As one 19 year old put it: "I have known my birth mother as long as I can remember and I can't imagine it any other way. I would be a completely different person if I had grown up without knowing who I was and where I came from. Open adoption has allowed me to be the person I was intended to be - with a connection to the people who made me what I am.”
A life filled with family turmoil ends as he feels everything closing in on him.
SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER
Published August 18, 2004
TAMPA - Robert G. Able started his crime odyssey Monday morning by shooting his ailing girlfriend, once in the head and once in her heart.
Then he lured a 12-year-old neighborhood girl into his home and raped her.
Less than 24 hours later, as police searched the city for him, Able shot himself in the head with the same gun. He died inside a pickup truck at the Bill Currie Ford body shop where he has worked for the past 16 years.
In between, police say, the 40-year-old former neighborhood crime watch leader visited the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing south of Ocala and found time to write a suicide note with detailed instructions on how to care for the Rottweiler and three mixed-breed dogs he left behind.
Police say Able apparently caved in to the pressures of mounting debt and his girlfriend's health troubles.
Veronica J. Maddox, 40, had diabetes and arterial-venous malformation in her brain, a condition that meant an oversized vein could burst at any time, killing her.
A Coral Springs man who state officials say has been illegally arranging adoptions failed Friday to convince a Broward judge to let him reopen his business.
Circuit Judge Larry Korda refused to lift the temporary injunction he had placed April 25 against Richard Gitelman, president of the National Adoption Counseling Service. That order bars him from conducting any adoption-related business in Florida.
I found this outstanding website that focuses on the failures of Child Protective Services. For those who think adoption is all about saving orphaned babies, please read between the lies Adoption Web-sites are selling people. Read what's really happening:
Adoption, a respected institution that has brought millions of people joy, has a secret history. Its architect was a criminal named Georgia Tann, who from 1924 to 1950 operated out of Memphis, Tennessee, terrorizing poor, often single parents by stealing their children and placing them with wealthy adoptive parents, including Joan Crawford and Dick Powell.
Mother kept toddlers indoors, and the mother superior of a local orphanage hid children in attics, but, protected by political boss Edward Hull Crump, Georgia Tann arranged more than 5,000 illegal adoptions. She also killed so many children through neglect that the Memphis infant mortality rate soared to the highest in the nation. She sexually abused some of her female charges and placed some children with pedophiles.
While building her black market business, she also invented modern American adoption. It’s hard to underestimate her influence. When she began working in Tennessee in the 1920s, adoption as we know it didn’t exist. Eugenicists had made Americans afraid to adopt, and thousands of children were languishing in orphanages.
A former state social worker has filed a whistle blower lawsuit against two of her former supervisors with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, alleging they pressured her to overlook allegations of abuse in foster homes that were trying to adopt special-needs children.
The pressure was applied because the cabinet was under the gun to approve more adoptions so it wouldn't lose federal subsidies, the suit says.
The suit was filed Jan. 14 in U.S. District Court in Covington by Pat Moore of Elsmere, who, the suit said, was forced to resign as Northern Kentucky Health and Family Services Office Permanency Team supervisor when she refused to comply with her superiors' orders to keep quiet about abuse claims and allow the adoptions of special-needs children to proceed.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Michael Moore Where Are You?
The adoption industry needs a Michel Moore figure to bring public attention to the corruption and harm being done in the name of child protective services.
Michael Moore, is on tour not just promoting his latest expose documentary Sicko a cinematic indictment of the American health care system. He has also pushed his prescription for reform: a single-payer system, with the government as insurer, that would guarantee access to health care for all Americans and put the private insurance industry out of business.
What a unique idea! Government actually helping the end user instead of big business! If only. Government actually being what it was intended to be - what we were all taught as children it was: of the people, by the people and for the people. But what has become instead of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. United Corporate America. In the almighty dollar we trust.
"Your dog will always look to you for leadership. He wants it," says Brian Kilcommons, a dog trainer and the author of My Smart Puppy. "You can't let him get the best of you." Here are three fundamental principles of assuming the alpha role:
Last Updated: Monday, June 18, 2007 | 8:48 AM ET
A man is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant after the slaying of an Ottawa woman who neighbours say was his adopted mother.
An arrest warrant on a charge of first-degree murder against Aaron Howard, 19, was issued on Saturday morning after a woman was found dead in a west end home at about 4:20 Friday afternoon, an Ottawa police news release said.
Last week’s post to this Blog dealt with the issue of reimbursement for foster parents. At the end of that post, I wrote that it seemed as though every story I’ve ever read about this issue included the same false analogy, almost always presented in the same terms of shock and outrage. And sure enough, when the issue of raising foster-parent reimbursement arose in California last month, there was this from Capital Public Radio:
“The average Californian pays more to kennel their dog than our state pays to support the care of foster children.”
And this from the San Jose Mercury News:
"The average kennel charges you $620 a month for taking care of a dog," said the measure's author, Assemblyman Jim Beall, D-San Jose, "so our kids don't even get as much money as a dog."
Accusing someone of illegitimate birth has long been one of the greatest insults possible, so it's not at all surprising that some of history's greatest shoulder-mounted chips have been securely fastened to people with murky parentage. In fact, by the look of the names on this list, it just might be a recipe for success.
Crystal Walton: A pawn in a shameful adoption system
This picture was used to advertise Crystal's availability for adoption - appearing in a tabloid national newspaper with an accompanying blurb describing her as a "clever, lively, cheerful toddler" who likes puzzles and swimming.
A phone number was printed alongside for anyone interested in becoming her new parents.
Perhaps a million people saw the heart-breaking advert which had been placed by a London council, and streams of callers offered to take care of her.
Yet that is not the whole story. The truth is that Crystal had become a pawn in an adoption system that should shame
What do we know about these particular late discovery adoptive families? Are they in fact radically different from those where adoption is open?
We would need to look at a comparative sample of adoptive families to be able to answer this question with any degree of accuracy. However, from our own sample of 40 people it is interesting to note that over a quarter of the participants, in fact indicated that their adoptions were unhappy prior to the late discovery disclosure.
Could it be said that the keeping of the secret created an environment where guilt and blame flourished? Is the secrecy about adoption symptomatic of unresolved issues of the adoptive parents? These are confronting and controversial questions.
A silent plague of fear, dread, stress and abusive behavior is born from child-abuse, and I strongly believe it's very foolish to think these problems exist only in "First-Families"! Abuse is a family-tradition passed from generation to generation, infiltrating and infecting the life-stories of far too many to count. For the abused-adoptee this is a double-whammy, because those are family traditions that did not have to be passed to a child of pure innocence. No one has yet dared to count the numbers of adoptees abused by adoptive family
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A couple was arrested on neglect charges for allegedly forcing their malnourished 17-year-old adopted son to sleep in a locked cage. The teenager was wearing a diaper and weighed just 49 pounds when he was found.
Wilson and Brenda Sullivan were ordered jailed Wednesday on $200,000 bail.
Do you know who's caring for your children? Do you even KNOW who has your children? Does relinquishing parental rights mean all care and concern for that child's well-being are null and void? Please read the following, and ask, does a natural parent have the right to know if his/her child has been raped or murdered by a stranger..... (text is taken from: wikipedia) Consider, too, how many children have been adopted/put in foster care prior to 1994.
The first Megan's Law was passed in New Jersey in 1994 after the rape and murder of Megan Kanka. Jesse Timmendequas, who years earlier had pleaded guilty to the attempted aggravated sexual assault of a girl, was convicted of Kanka's rape and murder and was sentenced to death, although he maintains that he is innocent of the charges and continues to fight his conviction and sentence.
The Megan Kanka Foundation suggests, "Every parent should have the right to know if a dangerous sexual predator moves into their neighborhood." That is the core principle of the law: parents should know when a sex offender moves into the neighborhood so they can protect their children.