Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It's been a while, but I just realized today is Wednesday! As always, do your own due diligence re agency, country, child's case, etc...

Jonah-Adorable 2 year old boy in China. Developmentally seems to be on target but is living with hydrocephaleous and brain dysplasia

En-18 month old boy in China who is post-op from heart disease.

Chen-7 month old boy in China living with cleft lip, cleft palate, and heart disease

Pei-18 month old girl living with club feet and spinal cord issues

American World Adoptions has several older children (including a newly listed 7 year old boy)

Brothers 5, 3, and 2 in California living with "mild FAS and mild Cerebral Palsy"-how fun would they be?

The thought that there are children waiting for families and families waiting for children, both stuck in limbo, both waiting, is one of the most heartbreaking travesties of international adoption for me.

If you are waiting to adopt, please consider a waiting child!

I know that many people feel called to internationally adopt a healthy, infant girl but please examine your heart and your calling.  Consider these children waiting for families.  They are ready.  They are real.  They need a family!

No waiting for referral, no waiting for "paper readiness", no knowing that hundreds of other families also wanted to adopt your child and would eagerly parent the next child matching those parameters...adopting a waiting child has some wonderful "process-related" benefits, in addition to the immeasurable joy of becoming parents to a precious child.

Could one of the children posted about here, or the thousands of other waiting children internationally and in foster care, be yours?

Oh, and these incredible sisters have a family who is considering if they might be their family.  Please pray that it would all work out (or if maybe you are their family).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Mercy Mercy" Ethiopian Adoption Documentary Discussion

Please watch this!

and an interview with the documentary filmmaker

This documentary needs to be seen, wrestled with, and seriously taken to heart.

It is heartbreakingly unbelieveable as it follows the journey of two small children Masho and Robba from Ethiopia to their new life in Denmark, their family in Ethiopia, and their Danish family in the years following their international adoption.

If you have a child who joined your family through adoption I think that you must see this, and if you don't have a family who joined your family through adoption...I still think that you need to see this. It is hard to watch, but it is important. Parenting is hard, therapeutic parenting is even harder, therapeutically parenting a child who has gone through the trauma of adoption is harder still.

This is not my son's story, this is not our story, but this is a true story...and an important story...and one that should be shouted from the rooftops as parents consider adoption.

Adoption is beautiful, hard, ugly, painful, joyful, and amazing...but the hard and the ugly are real.

In the adoption process, there are dramatic inequities, heartwrenching loss, devastating miscommunications, willful denials, political and financial power struggles.  The process is complicated and opaque and very, very vulnerable to exploitation.

And in the middle of this complicated, vulnerable process are powerless children and poverty-stricken families struggling with devastating, life-altering circumstances and decisions.  There are adoptive families with expectations for reciprocal love, the joy of parenthood, and visions of what their new family will look like, be like. And there are scared, TERRIFIED, traumatized children.

Reality can be a harsh wake-up call.

Think about this if it was your child...the sweet 4 year old one snuggled up against you...think about it through her eyes.

What if you told your 4 year old child one day that you were going to the store but never came back.

And then she was "kidnapped" by a black (or any other race different than hers) couple she had never fact, she'd never even seen a black person before.

And she was taken on an airplane to another country with a different language, customs, food, smells, people...everything.

Would you expect her to love this black kidnapper family right away? What about four years later?

Here's the thing.

In our world, if 4 years later your child was still resisting loving her kidnappers we would call her "strong" "spirited" "feisty" "a survivor".  If she was adapting to life with them, even if not affectionately, we would call her "resilient" "strong" "able to overcome"...

So at worst, based on the film, Masho was strong, resilient, and able to overcome.  But, based on the film (and I will acknowledge that there could be more that was not shown, but it really doesn't seem like it) Masho does not seem to have a severe attachment disorder.  Also, she clearly had a strong and loving attachment with her Ethiopian family for her first 4 years which research would suggest means that she has a stronger likelyhood to form a strong and healthy attachment again.

She was failed by her adoptive family and by the "psychologist".  They seem to have been uninformed, unprepared, in denial, and utterly at a loss as to how to parent a child who has been through unimaginable circumstances.

My heart breaks for this little girl whose childhood has been annihilated.

My heart breaks for her family in Ethiopia who relinquished her out of love when they thought they were dying and now, although they are alive, did not received any of the legally required post-placement reports and were treated with complete disregard by agency and government officials.

My heart breaks for Robba who has surely been impacted by the cruel and perplexing treatment of his sister.

My heartbreaks for the Danish family who clearly were woefully unprepared to become parents through adoption.

Here is my question:
Now that you have seen what adoption can look like (it was so telling how cavalier the government officials and agency staff were towards the adoptive family, and how as the years progressed agency staff got more and more uncomfortable with the cameras) what are you going to do?

I believe that there are children for whom international adoption is the best option, but I also believe that it is not the best option for many children who are placed for adoption...and that international adoption requires exponentially more resources than other care options like family preservation, in country adoption, fostercare, etc.

One of the popular adoption verses that floats around "adoption circles" is "Once our eyes are opened we can not pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act" Proverbs 24:12

Now our eyes are opened...what are we going to do?

I think that before we will know what to do, we need to wrestle with these ugly, uncomfortable truths.

There are some great discussions popping up online about this.  Although I am sure it will highlight my very special but tiny ("hi mom!") readership I am putting up my first ever link up.  Please continue the conversation on your blog (and/or in the comments) and link it here.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Saturday

We made yummy pancakes this morning:
I started with this recipe but made a few tweaks.

B's New Pancakes
1 cup sweet sorghum flour
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 eggs (we used EnergE egg replacer)
3 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil, but next time would use coconut oil)
1.5 cups water

Mix dry ingredients, mix egg replacer and wet ingredients, add wet to dry, stir until smooth, cook in oiled skillet.