Friday, April 12, 2013

New documentary on international adoption

Stuck is a new documentary that delves into the issues surrounding international adoption.

Here's the description on YouTube:

STUCK is a new award-winning documentary film, produced by Both Ends Burning that uncovers the personal, real-life stories of children and parents navigating a rollercoaster of bureaucracy on their journeys through the international adoption system, each filled with hope, elation -- and sometimes heartbreak.

STUCK steps into the complex human experience of adoption, exploring the challenges faced by birth parents, prospective adoptive parents -- and children.

The film follows Tihun from Ethiopia, Nate from Vietnam, and Erickson and Therline from Haiti on their individual voyages from orphanages in their native countries to their homes with families in the United States. Filmmaker Thaddaeus Scheel tracks the chapters in the lives of these four children, and the three couples seeking to be their parents, revealing along the way the intense hope and disappointment they experience on the odyssey to unite as families. Some stories are heartwarming, showing incredible examples of kids who blossom after joining their families, while others offer insight into the emotional and physical impact institutional life can have on these kids.

(via 22 Words)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

(Belated) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What?! It's been a whole year since our last blog post? I blame it on Facebook. Anyway, here's wishing that you and yours had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beauty from Horrible Ashes...

Wow. It has been two years since the earthquake - January 12, 2010. When I heard about it from my friend June Jones, I comforted myself by thinking that it happened at the time of day that our kids were likely outside. Patrice later told us they were inside at the time. I am taken aback by how emotional I am on the anniversary. I guess it brings it all back.

• The quake struck on January 12, 2010 at 4:53 p.m.

• The 7.0 magnitude quake's epicenter hit just 10 miles west of ...Port-au-Prince and its 2 million inhabitants.

• One out of every 10 people in Port-au-Prince died (and amazingly none of the children at P and P's orphanage were even injured)

• It was the strongest earthquake in that region since 1770.

• 3 million people in need of emergency aid after major earthquake.

• The major quake sent 33 aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 4.2 to 5.9.

• 316,000 people died.

• Since the earthquake, 500,000 people have been infected and 7,000 killed by cholera which was traced back to a UN team from Nepal that came to help.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

20 years ago today...

Happy anniversary, Sweetie! Thanks for a wonderful 20 years!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One year ago today...

On November 15 of last year, we lost our little Junie.The woman who hit her with her mini-van did a slow drive-by after but she didn't have the courtesy to stop.

June was full of spunk and personality and we miss her. I miss my snuggler!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Colors in St. Paul

Just a few shots of the fall colors around St. Paul, MN:

Friday, September 02, 2011

A challenge faced by American parents adopting internationally

As far as challenges go, this one has been the most fun!

(From my "cartoon" blog White Noise.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sad fact: It's easier to abort than to adopt

Everyone who knows us understands our passion for adopting. Whether they know all the details of the process or not, they realize it isn't easy. The funny thing is, we never hear outcries in the media over the length of time it takes to adopt. But try to ask a woman to wait an insignificantly short period of time before getting an abortion and all hell breaks loose.

Our friend Larry Truitt recently commented on this phenomenon on his blog:
When State laws are proposed requiring medical professionals to attempt to obtain various personal information from women upon receiving an abortion it is considered degrading. That information would include: the reason the woman sought the abortion, including the specific medical, social, and economic factors influencing the decision as well as whether the woman was using any form of birth control when she got pregnant and if so what type. This is viewed as degrading?

Advocates of abortion feel these questions are not necessary and the government does not need to know why each woman chose abortion. Women should have the right to choose, and their decision should not be questioned. While it is not required that the woman disclose this information to proceed with the abortion, they believe that asking these questions is an invasion of one's privacy.

If you want to adopt a baby in the United States, you must submit to a home study. Each adoption agencies sets their own guidelines used to conduct home studies. They must follow the general regulations of their State, but they have the freedom to develop their own application packet, policies, and procedures within those regulations. Prospective parents attend one or several group orientation sessions or a series of training classes before they complete an application.

The home study itself is a written report of the findings of the social worker who has met with the applicants on several occasions, both individually and together, usually at the social worker's office. At least one meeting will occur in the applicant's home. If there are other people living in the home, they also will be interviewed by the social worker.

On average the home study process takes three to six months to complete, but it can take longer through public agencies. The home study process includes: Personal and family background-including upbringing, siblings, key events, and what was learned from them, marriage and family relationships. What is your motivation to adopt the child and your expectations for the child? How will you bring the child into the family unit? What type of family environment will the child be subjected to? What is the physical and health of the applicants, their education, employment and finances, their health insurance and child care plans? References and criminal background clearances along with the social worker’s recommendation are needed before you are considered for an adoption of a child. Some individuals do not consider this a hardship, degrading or an invasion of privacy. It is easier to qualify to take the life of a child then to give a child a home, security, and the benefits of a family.
The cost to get a subsidized abortion is a few hundred dollars. The cost to adopt? Anywhere from a few thousand dollars into the tens of thousands.

I am deeply saddened whenever I am reminded of how our culture celebrates death. Nothing seems to drive that home more than the fact that a woman choosing to murder her unborn child can have it done within 48 hours, while a woman choosing to adopt a child is left waiting years to see it through.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Typical "Non-Only Child" Family in China?

What better way to make China's one-child policy more appealing than to show how unpleasant life is for the "typical" multi-child family?

Rather bleak pictures. Here's the accompanying article from China Daily:
Fifty one year-old Sun Yuanhua and his wife and kids pose for a picture in Woyang county, Bozhou, East China's Anhui province, July 27, 2011. Sun's wife is 32 and intelligently challenged. Their five kids are aged from 5 to 11. As a result, Sun isn't able to work outside the village and leave them behind.

Sun is the only bread winner of the family. He makes money from salvaging and selling rubbish (or discarded material) and selling things planted on the family's 3 mu (half an acre) of land.

Three of them receive government minimum living subsidy. The annual total income for the family of seven is no more than 5,000 yuan ($776).

The family's property consists of two shabby brick houses, a room full of rubbish and a tricycle Sun uses to collect rubbish. All five kids sleep on the rubbish, do their reading on desks made of planks and wear salvaged clothes.

"I feel most sorry for my kids," Sun said, "I was too traditional back then, believing more kids means prosperity for the family, and the more kids there were, the better life would be. I'm 51 now, and can hardly do any work a few years later. The kids will still be at school by then, and life will be harder."

According to Sun Wei, an official of the village, village officials went to Sun's house to advocate the family-planning policy when he was married in 1999, but Sun managed to have five kids in seven years by "fighting guerrilla war", a joking Chinese term used to express the fact that a couple hide from family-planning inspections and give birth to two or more children.
The message is quite clear: "This is what will happen if you have more than one child!"
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