UPDATE: On of my Facebook friends posted a linnk to this blog post over at Eurasianet.org under the comments section for the article, and someone at Eurasianet.org deleted it! What's the matter, Eurasianet, does your reporting leave a little to be desired? Why are you so afraid of first hand accounts and the TRUTH getting out...that children are starved to death and medical care is withheld if your Eurasian governments feel kids are "special needs" and not worth feeding or treating? It is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY and humanity ought to be crying out!!!
Let's keep 'em busy over there with their censorship, I'd love it if everyone would take just a moment to hit the article and post a comment with this blog post as a link. At least let 'em earn their days wages by deleting it a bunhc of times.
Now on to the original post.
The past couple of days I have been disgusted beyond words, and I can't help but voice my opinion about the absurdity of the growing opinion surrounding international adoption. As country after country has closed its doors to international adoption, there is an increase in the opinion of world leaders that it is preferable to have a child remain in institutional care rather than place them in loving homes outside their birth cultures.
Today another story came out of Eurasianet.org about the adoption hold up for well over two years in Kyrgyzstan, where two of the still waiting 65 children have already died due to medical conditions that were not properly treated. You can read the story here: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63186 . The sheer ignorance represented in this article as it continues to do nothing to seriously refute some of the decades old fears about Americans adopting children to be organ donors is beyond irresponsible and is laughable. It was 11 years ago in Kazakhstan when adopting Matthew that we were interviewed on TV there in an attempt to show that Kazakh children adopted by Americans were indeed dearly treasured and were not going to be carved up and parted out for profit.
I sit here shaking my head in disbelief that any former USSR country would still honestly hold such ideas up as having any sort of validity. Literally thousands of children have been adopted from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Ukraine during the past 10 years, with tens of thousands of photos and post-placement reports that serve as proof that the overwhelming majority of children are deeply loved and their adoptive placements are quite successful for both family and child.
We don't have an adoption at stake anymore, and I feel freer to share my thoughts on this whole issue. The idea of a child in an orphanage setting being better off in their birth culture is a total crock. What any country fails to see clearly, or will flat out not admit, is that orphans are not engaged in their birth cultures at all, instead they are shut off from their fellow countrymen, locked up with keys thrown away and the only culture they have any experience with is Orphan Culture. And trust me, the only culture that comes close for comparison's sake to Orphan Culture is Prison Culture.
The fact is that the arguments about organ donation and birth culture are nothing more than a smoke screen to distract attention away from the real reason why international adoption is being attacked. The truth is that these countries do not want it known that these children are throw away kids, left to languish in buildings that are similar to prison cells. Malnourished and unloved, the hundreds of thousands of orphans (Yes, you read that number right) of the former Soviet Union are an embarrassment of broken societies which can not and will not take care of their abandoned children. They are hungry for love, hungry for decent nutrition, hungry for LIFE outside the walls of some of the worlds most depressing institutions. If they shut down international adoption, then the rest of the world will not learn of the awful conditions most of these children live under. If they can somehow put a twist on the story that makes Americans and those from other countries who adopt somehow look bad, then that's even better.
I am SICK of hearing how innocent children are better off remaining in orphanage care. I am SICK of hearing how it is somehow better than life within a nurturing, loving family regardless of nationality. Yea, sure, that's why we have our beloved children whose brains might NEVER work the way they could have if they had only had their basic needs met as infants and toddlers. That is why one of our children cries out in the night 7 years later for fear that we will leave him...because he received such "loving care" at the orphanage...where adults never held him while feeding him and carried him facing outward so that eye contact was never made. That wonderful care is why one of our children is dealing with the effects of rickets 10 years post adoption. It is why one of our children is 12 years old and still weighs only 73 lbs.
There is no way I will ever be convinced that life in an orphanage is better than life in an average, decent American family....or German family...or Kazakh family. I don't care WHERE that family lives, I don't care if it is a native family or an international family, children do NOT grow well in institutions. Period.
Want more proof of how much "better" orphanage life is for children? Want to see how special needs kids are neglected in the former Soviet Union? Let's not talk about children dying in Kyrgyzstan from lack of shunts for hydrocephalus. Take a look at the blog post below and then have the audacity to tell me that any child is better off in their "birth culture" or that an adoptive family is somehow lacking something because they aren't part of the child's birth culture. Take a look at this and then tell me that the argument against international adoption because of a handful of abuse cases amongst the tens of thousands of completed adoptions somehow offsets the abuse at the hands of their own government that HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of children suffer on a daily basis, some suffering so much that a quick, easy death might be preferable. Sounds awful to say, but it is true.
Read this, and try not to weep...then tell me international adoption is somehow more damaging than this:
Friday, March 18, 2011
URGENT, Please Pray for Carrington!
My friend Shelly just returned to the US with her two newly adopted daughters last night. Her daughter Carrington is 3 years old and ELEVEN POUNDS and in absolutely awful shape. I am crying thinking about this precious angel right now. The sight of her condition was enough to bring grown men (hospital staff) to their knees in tears. If this doesn't make you want to jump up and scream and shout and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE ORPHAN CRISIS, then nothing will. You can imagine Shelly's pure horror when she took her daughter out of the orphanage and saw her without all the layers of clothing for the first time. This is what she saw:
OH MY DEAR LORD why? How? How is this allowed to happen today? This poor child neglected and dying for so long. Can you imagine the horrific pain, loneliness and suffering this poor soul has endured? I can't even begin to imagine. Thank God he led the Burmans to this sweet girl. Thank God she is now getting the medical assistance she so desperately needs. She literally would have died if she had spent another day in that orphanage. She is very malnourished and struggling right now. It is a miracle this angel even survived the flight home. Please pray for this sweet girl and her family and the long road to recovery. Shelly asks for specific prayers for her health situation and that her frail, weak body will be responsive to the medical interventions she is receiving. How many more children are in this same exact condition at this moment? I'm afraid the answer is more than I can handle. My heart breaks tonight for Carrington and for so many other BABIES.....these children are BABIES people! Praise God for rescuing Carrington and pray that he will bring others to rescue more children so they do not have to suffer in this way.
Three years old and 11 pounds. And I promise you, this is NOT an anomaly.
Yea...these kids are so "loved" in their hell homes...oh, I mean orphanages. I am thankful tonight as I sit surrounded by my children that they were never in orphanages quite this bad...although Matthew's condition upon adoption was definitely headed in this direction as a simple bronchial infection and malnutrition had us and the American MD's in Moscow scared he might not make it to the US alive without further intervention.
I try to be positive and most of the time I pull it off. There are times when I truly don't see our own children's backgrounds for what they really are, because they are SO resilient and they are the most spectacular people I know in this world. But when I stop to take a breath and think deeply, when I add up the collective challenges of our kids...and theirs are minimal compared to so many other adopted children...it makes me so angry that there are those who would DARE say that the life they lived prior to being adopted was better for them. Poor, sweet, awesome Kenny who every day for the rest of his life will struggle against some of the issues he faces due to lack of brain stimulation early in infancy, or speech for lack of proper medical care early on. The girls who almost lost the family who loved them desperately due to no fault of their own, but due to the "loving" coach at their orphanage whose own life as an orphan led her to a "successful" career right back there in the same institution because she couldn't make it anywhere else. I think of the neglect Josh suffered and how much emotional pain he lived through post-adoption and still does.
Yea...right...orphanage life is great.
If this post offends someone, too bad. I will never apologize for this, for THIS is truth. Flame me all you want, tell me how great the care was at your child's orphanage, it won't make a difference. Sure, I know there are some good ones out there, in fact I think overall the girls' orphanage wasn't half bad. But it was STILL an ORPHANAGE. Underfunded, understaffed, no decent medical care, no decent dental care, lack of contact with the outside world, lack of decent educational opportunities that even those in neighborhood schools nearby had. And that is a "good" orphanage where, from what we can tell, there was enough food even if not as nutritional as it could be, and there were enough clothes, and there was no physical abuse from what we can tell.
And still they wait, the orphans of the world who are voiceless. They wait for love to come their way, they wait for advocates to fight for them, for the Carrington's of this world are powerless. They wait for their countries to take notice of them rather than hide them behind concrete walls where no one will see them.
The children of Kyrgyzstan, of Guatemala, of Kazakhstan and of Russia and of China cry out to you from their hearts. They need someone to fight for them rather than to buy into the theories of countries and organizations whose agendas do NOT include making sure kids grow up in loving homes free of neglect.
God help us all when we can not see the truth, that Micah 6:8 should be lived out by each and every one of us....to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.
Where is the justice in orphanage life?
Where is the kindness in orphanage life?
Sadly, the humble is easy enough to find...in the eyes of the forgotten children of our world.