Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ok, need help here

I don't know if you all have read the comment from "Von" under This Week's Waiting Kids post, but if you haven't, go take a quick look.  I have struggled with this comment and have thought about deleting it and actually went to her blog which was all about the angry adult adoptee and I thought about leaving her a "nice" little comment.  However, I have done neither.  I did send her a very respectful email/reply to her comment and it went something like this:

With all due respect, how do you think they will feel if they grow up without a family to love them?  I never post the Chinese names or exact dob or provinces of these precious children and I always have permission to post their pics, and I would love to think that they will one day all find forever families.  I also support organizations to help families in China, as I understand the great need to keep families together.  However, these children (on my blog) do NOT have families and you cannot tell me that they are better off in an orphanage than in a loving family.  I am NOT marketing them, only trying to help give them what every child deserves, a family.  I have never, ever stated that they would be grateful for being adopted.  I am well aware of the loss they have suffered, but that does not mean that I can turn my back on them without trying to find them a chance.  I have been there and seen their faces and lived with the effect of what just 2 years in an orphanage can do and I am forever grateful that my daughter is now, my daughter.  I will not apologize for helping another child or for adopting my child.  There are so many more who will never be adopted and my heart breaks for them.  Thank you.

This is something that I have definitely struggled with and would love to get your feelings.  I get her point and I get the whole angry adoptee thing.  I would be angry too, if I had been adopted by terrible parents but bio kids are born to terrible parents all the time!  Sigh! 

I wholeheartedly agree that the best case scenario is for good families (and I don't mean rich families) to stay together, but what about those kids who are very real and are very much without a family?  Are they better off in an orphanage in their birth country within their culture or are they better off within the arms of a loving family outside of their birth country and culture?  I know what I think. 

TM over at Our Little Tongginator has a wonderful Sunday Linkage and this week, she linked to a really great post entitled, I Will not Apologize for Adopting, about this very subject.  Go check it out.

So, please, let me know what you think.  I know that posting all this personal info about these kids is a double edged sword, but it breaks my heart every time I think about these kids who wait and who may never know the love of a family.  All the kids I advocate for are either SN's little ones or are older kids who are in danger of aging out - to a life of what???  

I do have VERY mixed emotions about posting this info, but how can I turn my back on these kids?  I never, ever want to do anything to hurt any one of these beautiful kids.

So, I am asking your opinions - honest opinions.  If you think that these advocacy posts are a bad thing, let me know, just please realize that I have only the best of intentions!!!

Thank you!!!


  1. I think you responded really well to Von's comment. I think what you are doing is fine. Yes, they had a rough start. Yes, the best scenerio is for the child to never have been abandoned and put through such heartache that sits with them the rest of their lives. But, the fact is that they were abandoned and now they just need a family to love them, whoever they may be. I think you sharing the stories and pictures helps others see where they could help.

  2. Annie - First of all, I know your heart and you are NOT marketing these children in any way, shape or form. Yes, you are sharing what little information you can as it gives them a voice that they would not have otherwise. It puts a face to a little bit of info about a child that a family who, many times, already has bio children of their own is drawn to which enables them to make a decision that now this child could also be their son or daughter.

    As for angry adult adoptees, yes I am sure, there are some, but for what reasons. Yes, angry due to the circumstances which their birth parents made or had to make which resulted in them being orphaned. And yes, as you mentioned, the adoptive parents who are not prepared to parent an adopted child or probably even a bio child for that matter.

    However, what about the child/children who never have the opportunity of a family and left in an orphanage? your life without the possibility of schooling, job, family of any kind because you are not even considered human for such things because you have the label "orphan"....that is better? And because of you have an obvious or even not so obvious special need, you are considered....I won't even put the adjective to that one.

    Your response was appropriate and well thought out. We and our children are blessed that we have taken the time to understand LONG before what their needs are....for unconditional love and a family who will be there for them when they are angry about their past and circumstances and when they are rejoicing and enjoying life and their blessing of a family.

  3. Keep it up Girl!!!
    We both know that adoption is NEVER easy and it sometimes does not have the fairytale ending. BUT.....most do have a good ending and how will these children ever get to experience that if people like you don't advocate for them and let their beautiful souls be seen!

    You are not divulging anymore info than the agencies do on their websites and you do have permission to post them to your blog. You also share the "happy matches" when these children find their forever families! Thats great!!

    Keep it up and let them shine! :)

  4. In my opinion, you are doing an awesome thing. If even one child finds a family because of your posting, you have succeeded. These are children that have ALREADY lost their birth families. Many need medical care that they cannot get if they are not adopted. They will NEVER be reunited with bio families. Adoption is the best for them.

    On another note, I am an adult adoptee, and to be quite honest, I just can't wrap my mind about the whole "angry" thing. I get it. But, seriously, there are worse things that happen to people. Bio families are not always good. Life is not always fair. Every person can not be dealt perfect cards in life. The key is seeing your glass half full instead of always half empty.

  5. Well said, Gina. And you too Annie. You are certainly not marketing children, for goodness sakes. Parents looking to adopt, whether domestically or internationally, need to know about the child that will be joining their family. What about foster parents here in the U.S? They "screen and select" children all the time, based on what the child's needs are and based on what they can accomodate as a parent.

    I agree with Gina and I think this is a point often overlooked. People deal with all kinds of pain and trauma in life. Being adopted is one kind of pain, but it's not the only pain and certainly for some adoptees, not the worst pain at all. Von seems to assume that all adoptees will have the same experience. Hardly. You are doing a wonderful thing with your unwavering effort in helping children find families.

    Fight a different cause, Von.

  6. Thank you everyone, so much. I just wish there were no need for these advocacy posts. Unfortunately, that is not our reality and I cannot pretend that these precious ones don't exsist. I have had a really hard time knowing that they may one day see "their" post and I hope that they will understand the feelings behind it. Thank you all so much!!!

  7. Annie, I approach this topic with caution, but I do believe that "marketing these children to make a family" is an unfair statement. Are these types of posts marketing children? In a way, yes. One person's "marketing" is another person's "giving that child a voice."

    The real question is... is it wrong to do so? To be completely honest, I am not personally comfortable advocating as you do. But does that mean it is wrong?

    For me, to answer that, I look to the second half of the statement. I believe that advocacy posts written about older children and those with moderate to severe medical special needs are not written with the intent to MAKE a family. They are written with the intent to GIVE a child a family. And there is a wealth of difference between those two words... because "make" focuses on the prospective parent and "give" focuses on the child.

    Every child deserves a family so that he or she does not have to grow up in an orphanage. I believe this. Keep your focus on the child; use discernment when sharing; pray often about it ... continuing to do these three things will help you navigate these murky waters.

    It should not be taken lightly. But that does not mean it shouldn't be done at all.

  8. Oh, Annie! I get so upset when people have to put negative spins on everything. You are doing a wonderful, POSITIVE thing by advocating for these little cuties. I am guessing there have been many people who have looked at your blogs and thought about adopting or even adopting again. People could look at those pictures or read those descriptions and KNOW without a doubt that is their child.

    My hubby caught me looking at your most recent Waiting Kids post. I think it made him a little nervous. Hee, hee! :) I told him that I was just supporting a friend by reading her blog. Hee, hee! Honestly, I feel I HAVE to look at them. I, for one, do not know God's plan for us. I am very happy with the place we are now; but, who knows where God will lead us?!

    Keep on fighting for those little ones, Annie! You have a good heart and anyone who reads your blogs regularly knows that. Those of us who have adopted are not the ones who have hurt these children. We love these children and they are our sons and/or daughters!

  9. The commenter sounds like they are bitter and hurt, and should seek help to deal with those issues. They are taking their bad experience out on you! What you are doing is honorable. You always have permission and protect the privacy of the kids as much as possible. Don't stop!

  10. Oh, Annie.
    You should NEVER second guess what you are doing...LOVE is the motivator...finding a loving are not profiting from any of this in any way. You know in your heart what you are doing. There will ALWAYS be someone who sees differently. Has Von personally walked through the orphanages and held any of these children thinking of their lives ahead? I would be very curious to know that answer. Until you walk in someones shoes... Maybe she personally has a reaosn to feel as she does..but at the same time, I'd love to know what her view of a better alternative would be than finding homes. Sigh.
    Don't ever question what your loving heart leads you to do.

  11. Annie,

    I think you know how I feel! If you help one child find their way to their forever family, it's SO worth it! I think what you share is perfectly fine and I know your heart! I think it's great! There will always be people that don't agree with you, but do what your heart says! :)


  12. Annie,

    There are passionate people, hopeful people, happy people and angry people when it comes to the topic of adoption. Some are angry because they have been hurt. Some are angry because of illegitimate practice, but that is only a minute percentage of amazingly successful and honest adoptions!

    I do understand that some adoptees have a very disappointing life. This is sad and unfair. There are also just as many biologically born children who have a disappointing life.

    I think what bothers me the most is when a person leaves a judging comment when they are ignorant of the situation. Regarding the children you advocate for- These children have NO OTHER HOPE for their futures! If you do not advocate for them, their future is VERY bleak, perhaps even horrific. In the majority of countries, there is no family, job, transition, resource or hope for them as they move through the orphanage system and then age out. Hunger, forced work, trafficking, and worse is what will most likely be in store. They have a very small window of time to be seen and loved!

    If this person believes that the life in an orphanage and then being sent out at 14-16 years old with nowhere to go and no social services for young adults and no resources is better than the transition into a new family, I am saddened. Especially with lack of acceptance in their culture if they have a special need.

    There are an estimated 3.5 million orphans in Asia. 5.5 in Africa. These children in Asian and Africa are in major crisis. In the U.S. our system for children in care is certainly not perfect, but they have some help by getting subsidies and aging out programs and college tuition opportunities. The children you advocate for are desperate for their very futures.

    You go Annie! Don't be hindered by ignorance! I know you have to share a small portion of their story in order for them to be seen and heard. It's not perfect, but it's their ONLY HOPE.

    Annie H.

  13. I think your advocacy posts are a wonderful thing. I also think that they're "marketing" the children. But in the big picture, if it helps them have a happier, healthier, more loving childhood than they would in an orphanage, it's a small price to pay, isn't it?
    I read a blog that talks about adoption (and international adoption) in really interesting and thoughtful ways. It's called "thirdmom" and it's by an adoptive mother.

  14. Living and working in Chinese orphanages and being an advocate of local adoption and fostering within China I can say without a doubt, that unfortunately, culturally there are not enough families willing to adopt and/or foster and give a family to children. The science is so overwhelming in our favor that proves that children need families and cannot be raised by institutions. And I have personally seen that there are very few families willing to adopt the same children whom their culture is abandoning en masse.
    Keep up the good work, and keep advocating for families.

  15. I just wanted to thank everyone who has commented. You guys are just awesome and every single comment has helped so much. I have thought about creating a seperate blog and making it password protected but I know if I do that I will not reach as many families. I do think I will begin posting the "Waiting Kids" posts on another page, seperate from the "home" page. Anyway, thank you again to everyone!!

  16. It is not marketing at all. It is advocating for them. There is a difference.No disrespect but Some people have have a skewed perspective. Advocating is vital for those who have no voice. Not to mention that we need more compassion in this world.

  17. In my opinion, the only thing that can truly hurt these orphaned and abandoned children is to do nothing. What is this angry adult adoptee doing to help the children waiting for families right now? There is always tomorrow to take on the problems of a world that has allowed this kind of a situation to come about in the first place and to have the need grow to such great numbers. What about the children that are waiting right now? I am sure they would respectfully listen to angry adoptee's opinion and still walk the other way right into the arms of a family that is waiting to love them. I know my three daughters from China would. Not every child will have the deep sense of loss that is often fret over and talked about. Some children bounce, twirl, hop skip and jump into their future and never look back. I know this to be true and this scenario deserves as much press as the other. I hope one day one of my girls will stand up and have her voice heard and inspire others to step out in faith and adopt a child that needs a family no matter how that child came to be without one. No matter how much we worry about this or how it came to be, it is not going to change the place where an orphaned or abandoned child lays their head down at night unless someone somewhere does SOMETHING!
    You are doing something and whether it is right or wrong will remain to be seen, won't it? However, while we wait, I for one, think you should continue to do what you do. I don't think it will ever harm a single child that you advocate for but, I am pretty sure that not doing it could. So advocate away! You never know who will see a post and get the final nudge needed to put their foot to the path of giving a child a family. To me, it is worth every risk you are taking advocating for these kids even though some may not be sure if it is the right thing to do. I think it is the right thing. I am here checking out your posts each week even though it would take a miracle to make another adoption happen over here, but, I remain hopeful....

  18. Annie,
    I've been away from my computer most of the weekend but I've been thinking about this since I read it Friday morning. Your heart is to see these children in loving families, not to profit any adoption agency. As long as that remains your focus, in my opinion you should continue.
    Yes, others have pointed out that these children staying in their birth families or perhaps even staying in their home country would be best. But it isn't happening. I pray that each of them will be given the gift of a family all their own!

  19. Please keep advocating. I love a precious little one in China with a scarey diagnosis. When the time comes for her file to be available, I would be so happy to have a place where I can share something of her sweet nature and amazing personality, so that her file is not just all about the diagnosis. I know for sure that adoption would give her a brighter future.

  20. I know you posted this a few weeks ago but I just had to add a comment. I have read your blog for quite a few months now and I am so glad that you and a few other people are advocating for all these beautiful children who all deserve families. We were recently DTC for our son who was written about in June on the Love Without Boundaries blog. I know you now include write ups about these LWB kids and I can tell you we never would have found our son without LWB advocating for him on their blog. He has been available for adoption since he was 11 months old and now he is four and no one even seriously looked at his file until we came along. His adoption file still had only information from when he was 11 months old and they were not going to update it unless someone expressed an interest in him. I already know that our son is a very special boy who is going to bless our family greatly. We never would have found him if no one had advocated for him.