Par1s H1lton, Adopt My Children, Please

28 09 2011

Edit #2:  The original post has been fully removed.  Those of us concerned about ethics have been by-and-large lumped together as instruments of Satan and anti-adoption.  The blog in question is not one I am interested in reading.  I hope the child ends up in a safe and loving home.

I also hope those of us concerned about ethics will continue to find ways, both big and small to raise our voices, to work together to let people, agencies, governments know that all kids matter and that most adoptive families stand beside first families.  We understand the world is not necessarily a kind, fair or easy place.  We understand that not every home is a worthy home.  But we know that cutting corners in an adoption process is never acceptable.

EDIT: I talked SAG into reading my post.  Which meant talking him into reading the offending post.  Guess what?  They have removed SOME of the offensive language.  The grandmother no longer has the title (again and again) of “Grandmother from the Slums.”  I am sure we didn’t convince them that they are wrong – but we may have taught them about writing in a more pc manner.

Today an unnerving “adoption” post was brought to my attention by The Scooper.

I took a minute to check out the blog she referred me to and was immediately overwhelmed.

When I read the comments there was only ONE that said, “Hey, wait a minute.  Please, think about what you are doing.”  I was proud to see that comment was posted by my friend, Meg.  She is an adoptive mother of one from Ethiopia and just this week got her positive ruling from the courts in Uganda so that she can bring home her second son.  (Since I first read the comments, other comments with the same tone have been posted – and promptly removed.)

There is so much that can be said about this  black-mail you into giving up your baby “adoption” post.  And others will say it better than I.  For example, you can read this.

But I have FOUR THOUGHTS that I must get out.

1)  If having more money than someone means you will be a better parent than them, I should give my kids to Par1s H1lton.  I am SURE if Paris saw my home she could comfortably call me, “the grandmother from the slums.”  If the criteria for parenthood is not just money but also religion and experience with many children, I guess Little Dude and PJ will be going to live with Kate G0sslin.

2)  Things are really bad in northern Uganda.  Bad enough that I might do something unethical to “save” a child from there if that child was clearly at risk.  But the blog A Place Called Simplicity has condescension written all over it.  From the opening paragraph describing why she blogs to the disgusting, judgmental, possibly racist and incredibly depressing way this woman keeps describing the grandmother “from the slums.”

3)  If you really want something, you can sit around and think deeply about it.  You can even add some religious words to your deep thoughts and aim that at your deity.  When you are done you might still want that same thing.  You might want it even more.  You might have come up with a creative plan for getting it.  Believing that this proves GOD agrees with you is, at best, egotistical.  At worst, it is a little crazy.  People have been doing unethical, evil, violent things in the name of GOD since time began.  Every single time, they have believed GOD agreed with them.

4)  I have not found many opportunities to address the unethical things that happen in international “adoption.”  Here is a situation where it was easy.  I wrote a respectful comment on the blog expressing my concerns and asking the blogger to pray with an open heart about her actions.  My comment was eventually removed.  The blogger is now reviewing all comments before they post.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I think the more heartfelt, comments she gets from the world saying, “Wait a minute.  You might want to rethink your approach”  the more chance there is that she WILL actually rethink her actions.

I hope you will join me in telling her that the actions she is taking are unacceptable.

Now, I have to go talk to my husband.  We need to make a plan about where we will hide the children should Paris or Kate ever show up.


Got My Burrito Goggles On

22 09 2011

My burrito goggles are like beer goggles, only it is lunch time and I am not drinking.  And burrito goggles don’t make people better looking, they make them look like they might be Ethiopian.

The longer I sit in this restaurant eating my burrito and stealing furtive looks at the guy at the table across from me the more I am convinced he is from the Horn of Africa.

Problem is he is too hot to just, “Selam.”

After my experience “Selaming” a very NOT hot man two weeks ago I am a bit more cautious.  I “Selamed” him.  He said, “Why did you say that to me?”  I said, “Oh, sorry, I thought you might be Ethiopian.”  He raised his eyebrows and said, “I could be Ethiopian.”  Yeah.  Incredibly uncomfortable.  By the way, if I ever do decide to pick up guys at 4 pm on a Friday, I will wear mascara, oh, and I will SHOWER.


I keep looking and I am thinking thoughts like, “He eats like a North American.”

And, “I wish someone would talk to him so I know if he has an accent.”

And, “I don’t know many young Ethiopians who shave their heads.”

Um, reality check.  The vast majority of young Ethiopians I know are five and under.  Their mothers don’t let them use razors.

To make matters worse I am staring straight at him.  He is sitting in a normal…

Wait, he is getting up, oh, his shoes look Ethiopian.  DAMN – HE JUST LEFT.  DAMN!  Missed opportunity.

Well, back to why that was super uncomfortable.  He was sitting the “normal” way in this restaurant; facing the windows so you can watch life go by on the street.  I am facing the OPPOSITE way – so I can plug in my laptop.  There was no-one in between us.  So basically it was almost like we were sharing a table.  We were about seven feet away from each other and looking directly at each other.  EXCEPT – after he caught me staring I never looked up from my keyboard again.

I intentionally choose this restaurant because it is on campus.  The number of colors and cultures represented at any point in time is fantastic.  Also, I can sit here and eat a burrito while stealing WiFi from the Starbucks next door.  Part of the reason I come here is with the secret hope of running into Ethiopians.  The reason I bring my kids here is so they can see the many “Shades of People.”

Lesson learned, I need to get back to being bold.  If someone thinks I am trying to pick them up, so be it.  I actually ended up having an interesting conversation with that guy a couple weeks ago after it became VERY clear to him that I wasn’t hitting on him.

For the sake of my son, I will force myself to talk to strangers, even if they are hot.  (The sacrifices of a mother never end.)

And, I will remember to always check the shoes.  Because when it comes to stereo-typing people the shoes are as good a place to start as any.

An Open Letter

22 09 2011

Dear Car Interior Engineers,

Do you have a car?

Do you eat french fries?

What about change?  Do you carry change?  Need change?  Use Change?

The car is not a new invention – nor is the coin – nor is the drive-through.

You have had years to fix this problem.

Maybe your punishment should be that you are forced to get all of your meals from the cracks between the seats of cars until you figure out how to design the interior of cars better.

The first couple meals will be easy, especially if you have long, skinny fingers.  But then you will sit and look and you will see french fries, pretzels, other yummy goodness.  And you will see money, lots and lots of coinage.  And you will be thinking, “I can get those salty snacks out of there.”  And you will be thinking, “I think there is enough money down there that I could buy a soda to go with the salty snacks.”

But YOU CAN’T.  You can never, ever, ever get all of the snacks and money out.  Not with a vacuum, not with a straw you found under the seat, and not even with a chop-stick you went into the house to get thinking, “This has to work.”

Your efforts won’t be for naught.  You will force a few of the coins into crevices that you didn’t know existed.  They will disappear.  You will move the seat forward, backward.  You will lay on your stomach, arms outstretched trying to figure out where that dime just went.  You will never find out.  Your car will look a little cleaner and the dimes won’t be taunting you every time you put your seat-belt on.  But they will also still be there, somewhere.

And you will think, “Who designed this?  Where did they go to school?  Don’t they have a car?  Don’t they ever eat french fries?”

It is my deepest wish that all engineers around the world would stop what they are working on right now and go to work on one of two projects:  1)  a car with no crevices 2) personal jet packs.

I think we have all waited long enough.


Semi-Feral Mama

Wordless Wednesday

21 09 2011

Reading Again: Adoption Nation

19 09 2011

I guess I burnt out on reading trying to reach my goal of 44 books, because I haven’t been able to dive into anything lately.  I have been buying books.  And I have been going to the library and returning home with back-breakingly large stacks of books.  But I haven’t actually been reading any of the books.  Until last week.  Because I finally opened a book that was compelling enough to keep me motivated, thanks to Adam Pertman who updated and revised his important and very readable book Adoption Nation.

Pertman is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and the adoptive father of two children.  Clearly he has a vested interest in the adoption topic and is likely to be pro-adoption.  However, this book is not just a cheerleading manual for all things adoption.  In fact, it very clearly outlines many of the historical problems in adoption and also many of the current challenges.

The bottom-line, I learned a lot reading this book, and I enjoyed reading this book.  What else could a reader want?  Oh, would a reader want an author to help her understand things she has struggled with comprehending?  Yes!  And that was certainly the case with this book.  For example last fall I talked about my conflicted feelings regarding the documentary Adopted: For The Life Of Me which concerns domestic adoptions and the opening of sealed birth records.  In Pertman’s book he takes these topics on.  In fact I am pretty sure he specifically talks about some of the same cases the film studies.  I don’t know if it is Pertman’s particular style, or my opinions naturally evolving, but I believe I am starting to “get” where the adoptees are coming from.

While the books primary focus seems to be domestic adoption, there is loads of information on adoption in general as well as international adoption specifically.  Beyond the facts and figures – which I have actually never seen in print before – the universal nature of what all members of the triad experience is highlighted and explored regardless of whether an adoption is open or closed, domestic, private, international or public.

My one issue with this book is Pertman’s constant referencing of a revolution.  Sure the subtitle of his book is “How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America”, so I should not have been surprised that this was a reoccurring theme.  And there were times where I did see how the term revolution was incredibly applicable.  But other times I felt like this was a real stretch.

When I worked in non-profit, I ate, drank and slept animal welfare.  At times I was so immersed I was sure the rest of the world was also completely aware of what I considered a revolution.  Alas, I would leave my little bubble and find out there were actually other things happening in the world.  I do not fault Pertman for feeling the way he does.  And I give him props for keeping the theme going throughout his book.  But it didn’t always ring true for me.

Before I started our adoption process I was very clear that I did NOT want to be an expert in adoptions.  Despite my reluctance, I quickly realized by adopting Little Dude I joined a community.  It is important to me to be an engaged and informed member of that community.  “Adoption Nation” is the perfect book for building my knowledge and seeing ways I could become more engaged.

Despite my minor issues with the revolution theme, I am grateful I read this book.

Sunday Slideshow

18 09 2011

Keeping my blog alive through pictures.

Wordless Wednesday – More or Less

14 09 2011

Okay, everyone look at the camera.