Many Gladney families were supposed to have court dates tomorrow (the 24th.) They have all been postponed. Just wanted to say I'm thinking of yall and hoping with everything in me they are rescheduled before the closures.
Most people who know me, know that I love talking about my adoption. It makes me happy. I'm excited and nervous and scared and excited and.... all of the things one might expect from anyone becoming a new parent. Conversations about my adoption will, many times lead to a wider conversation about adoption (in general.) I love having these conversations too. There is so much I have learned in the past year. So many things to consider. Such a broad world that I never gave much thought to before. Lets just say, to put it simply, my eyes have been opened. So, I have these conversations with people, and they might just be broad and general and quick. Sometimes they get a little deeper. It doesn't matter to me, I just like to talk about it. But then, it happens. Not every time, but so many times. This person that I am speaking with, who is sharing in my joy for adoption and telling me how cool it is that we are doing this will get a little glint in their eye and, almost in the same breath, say to me, "(insert snide comment about Brad & Angelina and/or Madonna here.)" And they give me that look, you know, the one that says, "Right, my sister? Can I get a high-five?"
I'm sorry, what?
Ok, I know. We tear down celebrity in this society. Its just something we do. Is it because they are richer than us? Better looking? Is it simply because they are famous? All of the above, I'm sure. And frankly, I don't care. What I do care about, is how somebody can see this:
and not see simply what I see, which is parents loving their children. Instead they think; those assholes, who do they think they are? just trying to make themselves look good, that's all they're doing, they don't care about those children, its all for show, etc, etc...
Really? All for show? You really think that people adopt children for show? How interesting. I guess because they are famous, there is no way they could possibly have enough heart to love the children they have taken into their lives. Clearly it would be better for those children to have remained where they came from. In their orphanages. Where they would have the benefit and the privilege of living like this:
Well, at least until they are of adult age, upon which time they will be kicked out into the real world, where their emotional scars and lack of supportive upbringing will surly bring them a lifetime of lovely rewards, and then finally, may they find some peace when they die at the ripe old age of 45. If they're lucky. Yeah, that does sound better than having Madonna as a mom.
Ok listen, I don't lie awake at night worrying about how Madonna/Brad/Angie feel. I'm sure they're fine. What I worry about, and what this rambling is really all about, is how people view adoption. And I find it interesting that the strongest and loudest of opinions come from people who have never, and will never, consider adoption for themselves. And I say to you, honestly, I wish they would keep their uneducated, narrow minded opinions to themselves because they just don't know what the hell they're talking about. They don't think about how many orphans there are in the world. They don't think about the conditions these orphans live in. And they don't think about the children growing up in the foster care system in this country. But for some reason, they feel secure as they sit in judgment of those who do think about these things.
Do they really think that someone who does not care about and love children would go through the adoption process for show? And let me assure you, it is a process. My husband and I have been fingerprinted 3 times for various background checks. We have submitted 2 medicals forms for which we were assessed and tested for every possible communicable disease. We have been studied and grilled by 2 social workers, wherein we were asked questions about parenting that I guarantee you no parent who has given birth naturally has had to consider. Our home has been scrutinized. I have drawn a floor plan and written out our fire drill routine. We have filled out more paperwork than I ever could have imagined. Before our adoption is complete, a governing organization in Ethiopia will pour over every document and detail of our lives and issue an opinion of whether we are fit to parent a child of Ethiopia. And after that, a judge will make a final decision. Adoption is not easy. And you know what, its also not the answer to the orphan crisis. That is a whole other can of worms. But I know this. For every child adopted, that is one less child living in conditions we wouldn't wish upon our animals. For every child adopted, that is one more child loved, hugged, kissed, sung to at night, held when the bad dreams come, tickled, played with, educated and fed.
I'm not saying everyone should adopt. I'm not naive enough to think that this is a reasonable option for every family. And I'm certainly not disparaging having your family the old fashioned way. I think pregnancy and child-birth are beautiful, and there will always be a piece of me that hurts because I can't do this. What I am saying is this:
I have a problem with people who think celebrities shouldn't adopt. And I have a problem with people that think gays shouldn't adopt. And I have a problem with people who think singles shouldn't adopt. And I have a problem with people who think you shouldn't adopt outside your race or ethnicity. And I have a problem with 'people who don't adopt' that have judgmental opinions of 'people who do adopt.'
Why? Because adoption saves lives. No matter who is doing the adopting. And tell me exactly how it is that you could be against that?
Ok, thank you for reading and, of course agreeing with everything I have said :-) Stepping off the soap box now. Please feel free to take a turn.
If you look over to the left at our timeline, you'll notice that it has officially been one year since we started this adoption journey. So crazy. Like most things, it has flown by, and yet it seems like it always was. Why is that? Looking back, I remember how excited we were to start this journey and how terrified I was at all of the work we had to do. I also remember thinking we would have a baby in about a year. Heh heh. You learn really fast in international adoption to have flexible expectations ;-)
This month, we also celebrated 6 years of marriage. Again, how could it possibly have gone by so fast? It seemed like just yesterday there was a bunch of us gathered in Connecticut on a sweltering evening to dance our butts off and celebrate this:
And then finally, this month we celebrated 12 years of being a couple. Holy cow. 12 years! I can scarcely remember who I was before I met Matt McBride. He is my husband, my best friend, my partner in crime, my everything. And soon... my baby daddy! Here is a rough approximation of what we looked like back then:
I saw this on a couple of other blogs, and thought I'd repost...
Bill Introduced to Provide Citizenship Rights
to Internationally Adopted Children
of American Families
June 29, 2009 (Washington, DC) -- The Families for Orphans Coalition announces its support for the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act) which was introduced last week in the Senate and House of Representatives. The FACE Act will allow American families to bring their internationally adopted children home as American citizens instead of as immigrants. The bill is spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR). The FACE Act simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process.The Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act addresses needed changes to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) which was enacted to provide automatic U.S. citizenship to internationally adopted children of American citizens. As it stands now, the internationally adopted child of a U.S. citizen receives U.S. citizenship once the child enters the U.S. to reside permanently. If enacted, the FACE Act would allow such children to acquire U.S. citizenship at the time their adoptions are finalized in the country of the child’s birth. The child would then enter the U.S. as a U.S. citizen with citizenship documentation in hand.
“Passage of the FACE Act will eliminate the need for an immigration visa for internationally adopted children and instead will treat these children as children of American citizens, not immigrants subject to immigration regulations,” said McLane Layton, President of Equality for Adopted Children (EACH) and a member of the Families for Orphans Coalition. “Additionally, the FACE Act classifies internationally adopted children as “citizens from birth” just like children born of Americans overseas, thus providing them with equal rights of citizenship, including the right to run for President of the United States.”
“Under current law, the type of immigration visa an adopted child is given to enter the United States determines whether the child receives U.S. citizenship upon entry. Those children who do not receive U.S. citizenship upon entry and whose parents overlook the bureaucratic steps necessary to secure citizenship for their children are often later denied scholarships, passports, and the right to serve in the U.S. military. Most tragically, some young adults who have lived in the United States with loving, American families their entire lives have been deported to their birth countries - places they have no knowledge or memory of – for committing minor juvenile offenses. Half the children adopted internationally each year currently enter the States on the visa that places them at risk,” said Chuck Johnson, a Coalition member and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council for Adoption.
“The Face Act will resolve these issues and provide U.S. citizenship to all internationally adopted children of American citizens.”The FACE Act also provides older orphans the ability to be adopted – children who were overlooked in the Hague Treaty on Intercountry adoption. “Prior to the Hague’s passage, children age 16 to 18 whose younger siblings had been adopted by an American were able to be adopted by the same American family,” said Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave. “The Hague eliminated all adoption opportunities for children 16 and over. The FACE Act will fix this oversight and expand the opportunity of a permanent family to all children up to age 18.”
The Families for Orphans Coalition was established in 2008 to support both domestic and foreign efforts that ensure every child lives, grows and thrives in a safe, permanent and loving family.
I'm Tam and my husband is Matt. Our names form a palindrome. We're just that cool.
We are hoping to add to our family by adopting our first child from Ethiopia. Please follow along as we journey through the process of international adoption.
7/12/08 Decide to adopt! Request and receive online information packet from Gladney 7/19 Send on-line information sheet to Gladney 8/1 Initial contact with Judy from the Gladney Center and receipt of international adoption manual and immigration form I-600A 8/6 Phone orientation. Request application from Family Resource Center for homestudy. 8/8 Mail in initial Gladney application 8/12 Receive full Gladney application and Ethiopian dossier manual by email 8/21 Get life insurance 8/28 FedEx form I-600A Doctor appointments for both of us. 8/30 Pick up completed medical form for Gladney app. from doctor 9/4 Pick up completed notarized medical form for dossier 9/11 Mail in application to Family Resource Center for homestudy 9/12 Receive receipt and acknowledgment of form I-600a from Immigration 9/13 Receive Matt's fingerprinting appointment letter for immigration 9/15 Receive Tam's fingerprinting appointment letter 9/23 Receive phone call from Kathy from FRC to set initial interview for homestudy 9/25 Fingerprints taken for both of us for immigration 10/2 In-office interview with Kathy from FRC 10/3 Mail in Gladney app. part 1 10/15 Fingerprints for IL foster parenting license 10/16 Cat vaccinations 10/17 Got Tam's employer letter 10/23 Picked up medical forms. Dropped off packet at FRC. Got Matt's employer letter. Talked to Linda from FRC and set homestudy for Nov. 13 10/24 Mail in Gladney app. parts 2 and 3 10/30 Contact Kate from KB Dossiers 11/13 Homestudy 11/18 Adoption class 12/9 Adoption class 1/8/2009 Compile and notarize many dossier documents. Get fingerprints (ink) and send them to FBI. 1/11 Adoption class 1/15 2 remaining adoption classes 1/22 Receive FBI "no arrest" records by FedEx 1/23 Receive finalized homestudy from FRC by mail 2/3 Email informing us we have received Gladney approval 2/5 Conference call with Jessica from Gladney 2/6 Receive really truly finalized homestudy from FRC by mail 2/12 Send remaining portion of fee to Gladney and FedEx FBI approval, homestudy and last reference letter to Kate 2/27 Receive I-171H in the mail 3/2 FedEx final documents to Kate 3/18 WAITLIST!!!!
The blogs I stalk, because they say the things I want to say, only better: