A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scaling Back

It seems that the reason Luke is not thriving in our home is not because of an undiagnosed genetic disorder.  It's not because of autism, seizures and reflux.  It's not the aftereffects of abandonment and institutionalization for the first year + of his life.  No, I've been informed that the reason Luke is not thriving in our home is because I blog.

I'm told that all the time I spend doing reviews, taking pictures, and even homeschooling my children would be better spent focusing on Luke.  And if one person is saying it, I know others are thinking it.

I have reviews scheduled through June and July.  I am obligated to post one non-review post each week to maintain my commitment through the end of the year with The Crew.  Those are promises I will keep.  But it appears that it's time for me to rethink, and possibly give up, blogging.

90 comments:

  1. That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard and I am sorry that someone could suggest such a thing. As a blogger myself, I know how important blogging can be when it comes to taking care of a family's needs - the product, money, etc. let you stay home to focus on your children. Yes, it is a balancing act, but I am certain that Luke's condition has anything to do with your blogging. Hugs to you and shame on them!

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    1. Thank you, Leila. We have really enjoyed trying out new products.

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  2. I agree. Absurd. Balancing act for sure, but it's also an outlet for you and a way for you to help others through your writing, and a positive thing to encourage people to consider adoption. Please don't stop blogging. I look forward to your posts and read them, even if I don't reply. They are informative, encouraging, inspirational and so full of love, thought and commitment to your children and family. ((hugs))

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  3. I can't imagine that blogging is the reason for Lukes issues. And who ever said that needs their head examined. I read your posts and worry about you and the family. I am sure the kids are frustrated. I agree it is a balancing act and we all do it. You are in our prayers. You need to do what is best and if you think everyone is best served by not blogging I understand but please don't let what one or two people say make your total decision.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. I know you've heard some doozies as a special needs mom, too.

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  4. I am sorry you have been attacked and that people think that they "know" what goes on in your home by the snippets you post on your blog. Hang in there. I have enjoyed your blog (even though I don't always comment) and love seeing the pictures of your life that you choose to share. I know that you and Paul and doing the best you can for all your kiddos including Luke. <3

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  5. No, no, no! I have has some folks say similar to me, but disagree with it. Blogging is as much a gift (and a challenge) in my life as anything else, but it is something I feel called to do (and enjoy!) So, after prayer, I have not given it up and would suggest that if you feel called to write you do not either. Be encouraged and do what is right for you and yours, not for naysayers, if prayer and your heart tell you blogging is right for you still.

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    1. Thank you. It helps to know I'm not the only one who's faced this.

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  6. I love hearing your perspectives on family and adoption and I would be sad if you gave up blogging because one person judged your parenting poorly!

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  7. Definitely pray about it. Don't be ruled by people's opinions. But if God is the one that is leading you to scale back, do whatever God leads you to do.

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  8. Wow....people are way to free with their opinions on line. They say things that they would NEVER say in person. At the end of the day, you have to listen to YOUR God and YOUR heart....whatever that means for your blogging. You have other children that have need you too and I definitely understand that balancing act. HUGS and PRAYERS!!!

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    1. I agree! Especially when they can hide behind the "anonymous" label!

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    2. Kris, Renee, Alison, thank you all for your support. <3

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  9. Please don't listen to those awful comments. I think most of your readers, especially other adoptive parents, are thinking "wow, that easily could have been me" instead of judging your parenting. It seems to be the judgmental, critical readers that leave comments. I am sorry I haven't posted my thoughts in the past. I completely sympathize with you. I have been in awe of your candor on your blog; I don't write about my most difficult parenting feelings and experiences on my own blog because I fear the type of comments you just received. It is obvious to me that you have done so much for Luke, and that you are a loving, hard-working, smart mother.

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    1. The "that could have been me" factor is why I chose to be transparent about our struggles. If I'd read blogs that talked about how hard the reality is, we might not have brought Luke home.

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  10. I blog too, you can't listen to haters :(
    It's really just a sign that your blog is getting popular when you start getting negative attention. It's hard not to take it personally. ALL mamas need a hobby/outlet mine is blogging. If you are doing something you love that makes you a great example to your children. ((hugs))

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    1. Thank you, Gael. ...Although, if this is popularity, lol, I'm not sure I like it. ;)

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  11. Obviously many of us enjoy your blog and hate to see you give it up. Follow your heart and do what YOU think is best.

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  12. My heart aches for you. If you would like to email me at jcheaney@yahoo.com please do. While I haven't adopted, I have reversed the autoimmune process that was labeled as autism in two of my children. I actually should say that God led me to doctors who held knowledge that traditional doctors did not have, leading to my kids' healing. I have a little of my boys' stories on my blog, but I have so much more to write. Just trying to balance learning to blog and family life, just like you. Your blogging has nothing to do with developmental delays in your child. Prayers for strength, healing, and for God to lead you to doctors that will help.

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    1. I hope that you don't stop blogging because it is a great outlet and (selfishly), I love reading about your family and your homeschooling activities.

      I hope that you do contact Jaime. As I've told you before, I also had success improving my kids' behavior with a gluten free, dairy free diet. I know Luke's issues go much deeper than that, but if trying a new diet helps him even somewhat, the whole family may be able to relax a bit more. I imagine even an hour without screaming would be a blessing for you, your family, and Luke.

      Hugs and prayers!

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    2. Thanks, Melissa. Jaime, I'll check out your blog. :)

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  13. Today was the first day I've ever read your blog. A friend shared it on Facebook. May I tell you my story? At age 7 my daughter was having trouble in school. The counselors and her teacher told me she was "manipulating me" and Ishould be a better patent, but I knew that was not the problem. In 3rd grade, she began having "panic episodes" (a counselor advised us to not call them panic attacks, but that's what the world calls them). We went to our family doctor and he said "Try talking to your sisters about your parenting style; I think she's picking up on your stress." We promptly got a new doctor who recommended counseling. After nearly 2 years in counseling, her "Generalixed Anxiety Disorder" didn't make enough progress so we finally put her on medicine (prozac). I got flack from people for that, too. I am not a stubborn person, usually, so I really do try to listen to advice. But people DO have their own opinions, and they will often conflict! The "end" of my story is this: our daughter began to not do well on the medicine and at age 13 she quit it. She's been medicine-free AND fairly anxiety-free for 2 years now. She's 15. Here's my take-away: DON'T LISTEN TO PEOPLE. YOU ARE THE MOM. LISTEN TO GOD (through people, sometimes). Only you... nobody else (except maybe "dad")... knows what you need to do. In the end, the problem with my Lydia was NOT my parenting. It was God working in her life. I will pray for you and your husband--for strength, wisdom and peace as you parent, teach, and lead your family.

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    1. Thank you, Lissa. I'm sorry your first visit to my blog had to be such a high drama one. I'm normally not a drama mama. I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing well now. :)

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  14. I wish you the best of luck in whatever decision you make. I am not sure I agree with what was said to you but only you know what is best for your family. Hopefully, you can still blog every once in a while. Also, I hope that the break will be short lived.

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    1. Thank you, April. I plan to finish up the reviews I've committed to over the next two months, and one non-sponsored post each week, as required by the Crew I serve on. Beyond that, we'll see. :)

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  15. Shecki, I am so sorry that you were attacked by someone who didn't even have the courage to sign their post. Their opinion means nothing in the scheme of thing. You need to do what is best for you and your family. If you feel doing less blogging will help then do do. But don't allow that choice to be influenced by some nameless faceless internet troll. I personally would miss your posts. I admire the way you have shared your struggles honestly. It is so easy on the internet to share only what we want others to know. You didn't have to share any of your struggles and those of us who only know you online would know no different. But your honesty is something that sets you apart. It is part of what makes you and this blog special. We all have flaws; we all have struggles. You choose to allow others to see those and in turn let some people know they are not alone.
    Thank you.

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  16. Sometimes blogging is an important outlet for people. Sometimes people blog as an escape because their real life is too hard to deal with. I have no idea which it is for you because I've never met you. The idea that your blogging has caused Luke's issues is ridiculous, but honest assessment never hurts. I say that with no judgement, but simly as someone who hits the internet for escape when I'm feeling down. Don't let critical people get to you, but a little evaluation never hurts either.

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  17. Please do not stop blogging because of ridiculous comments by some people. If you want to scale back, it makes sense- but the way you posted, this makes it sound like you are being bullied into it.

    (I have to say- you are one of the few adoption blogs I've read that chronicles any sort of a struggle. Even with kids who clearly have high level needs, it seems to be sunshine. I think the adoption community needs the perspective you give, if you are willing to share it.)

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    1. Thanks, Jessi. I used to wonder why no one ever wrote anything but the sunshine side of adoption, but I guess this is why.

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  18. Shecki,
    As a homeschooling adoptive and former foster mother, please know that what you are doing isn't what is causing harm to your child. The opinion of one does not mean that more are thinking that.
    You're doing a great job. I am always impressed with you, both as a blogger and homeschooling adoptive momma. Keep at it.

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    1. Thanks, Renee. Reassurance means even more coming from peers who understand adoption, homeschooling, and blogging.

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  19. LOL! Too silly, isn't it? I'd go nuts without being able to reach out to the adoption community on my blog and get support and suggestions. Heck, my little Henry would be dead if someone hadn't told me about an oxygen concentrator! No, just laugh it off and keep doing what feels right.

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  20. People are dumb. I'm a teacher, and I work with a variety of kids with varying needs, from autism to emotional issues to Gifted to sad because mommy left. Kids just have issues sometimes. Luke had a rough start, and there seems to be something else going on, too. Which you're trying to figure out! You are not causing Luke's problems, and I'm sorry people can't mind their own business. Do what feels right for your family.

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    1. Thank you. I admire people who choose to work with special needs kids. SN parents are under a lot of stress, and can't be easy to deal with.

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  21. Well, I've know you for a while. My observations would lead me to boldly state,"Your blogging, doing reviews, taking pictures, and even homeschooling your children have made you a better mother, wife, and friend.

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  22. Shecki, I was there in the airport when you got off the plane and were met by friends and family to show support and love. I have watched you, tho mostly from a distance, pour your heart into your children. I've watched them grow up, seen them overcome challenges and celebrate victories because of the guidance you've given and the character you have. You have been brutally honest about your journey, which, evidently is too much for some folks to handle. You are a great mom and an encouragement to others. I am incredibly proud of you, and whatever you decide to do, I love you very much. Dad

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    1. Thanks, Daddy. :) Can't wait to see you next month!

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  23. I enjoy your blog but I don't think I've ever commented. This makes me sad because it's not the first blog of a mom of special needs kids that I've seen attacked by a mean-spirited troll. It might be the same evil person. Hate to think there are many of them out there. Block their URLs and don't leave us :-)
    Susie (anonymous, but not THAT kind of anonymous!)

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    1. Thank you, Susie! I don't mind anonymous comments--one mama, in particular, I feel like I've gotten to know through her anonymous comments here.

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  24. Oh, Shecki. I had no idea that you'd gotten hurtful comments. (I almost never read blog comments.) As others have said, you should make whatever decision YOU believe is right for yourself and your family. Selfishly, I hope you will keep blogging. As you know, I am facing similar challenges with my Luc. (He's eating solids now!) It has been a blessing for me to have a small glimpse into your life. Thank you for that.

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    1. Congratulations on the solids, Jennifer and Luc! :)

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  25. Another reader here that would miss your blogging. I admire your honesty and check in on you and your lovely family every day.

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  26. I love your stories and your family!! Please don't stop. I have been a "Lukey" fan, since the day he became yours. I've prayed for him, you, and the rest of the bunch. Please don't let ignorant people bother you. It could have been anyone one of us, in your shoes! It MAY BE one of us one day....Please continue to share, and I'll continue to follow, support and pray for each of you!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann! :) I appreciate your prayers!

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  27. Poor Luke had issues when you got him,parenting is hard with non special needs never mind when you are given a child with needs you did not even know he had .
    I am a Hugh Luke fan and I pray you get the strength to cope , he is beautiful and it would be lovely to see him smile.
    Please don't let what a few people think bother you ....unless they walk in your shoes.....

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  28. Another Luke fan here. I am a mom to 2 kids from China. I have followed you now for over a year, and really enjoy reading your blog. I do hope and pray one day to read about how you are making progress with Luke, it must be daunting 100 appts and still not closer to figuring him out. Not sure anyone can truly understand what you are going through, but I also know you need to make sure you get me time too, or you won't be able to cope. So do what you need to do, unfortunately it takes bad comments to get more people to actually sit down and write good ones!!! I am a fan and would miss your blog posts....

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    1. Thank you. I really believed that we would have some answers by now.

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  29. Have they checked him for Celiac Disease? It is also a known cause of failure to thrive.

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    1. I believe so, but I'll make a note in his binder to ask about it at his neuro visit next month.

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  30. Ignore what others might say or think about you. I think you rock & I admire your strength as you have faced the challenges with Luke. I would dearly miss your blogging

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  31. Whilst there may be a "couple" of people out there that think that Luke is really a perfectly normal child unable to speak or walk because his mother blogs for 20 minutes a day, these people are clearly what we call...idiots. Unless in your spare time you've invented effective gene therapy and plan to "blog" new bases into his DNA, which is something that so far had been on your to-do list but you just hadn't got around to it yet.

    Keep blogging! Although I'm ambivalent about the product reviews but that is only because I'm not in the US and I'm still getting over the disappointment of finding that the "inner glass/outer plastic water bottle" isn't available over here.

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    1. PS have you read the Andrew Solomon book "Far From the Tree" about parents raising children very different from themseves? In it there is a chapter on parents raising children with multiple severe disabilities and one of them (whose severely disabled baby screams all the time) gets the point (after seriously discussing infanticide) of leaving her baby at the hospital. The other parents can only cope because their daughter is happy all the time- which is their consolation. Makes me think of how hard it must be with Luke who is decidedly NOT happy all the time.

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    2. Oh, I'm sorry you can't get a Glasstic bottle! I use mine Every Day. Seriously, it's on my desk right now.

      I haven't read that one, I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Right now I'm reading My Baby Takes The Short Bus, which has been really reassuring.

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  32. Shecki,
    I am the one who is seriously and likely going to disolve my adoption because I'm having issues and I do NOT blog, all I have is my I-phone and I don't do anything like you do, so whats MY excuse!!!!! I have all the time in the world to help my child and I can't!!! Again, whats my excuse? Do NOT listen to these people who are ignorant and rude, do not listen to those who tell us to "pull up our big girl panties" or tell us oh, adoption is not for the faint of heart, Seriously, YOU have successfully adopted TWO kids and have even more biological kids and Have done extremely well for yourself! Suddenly you adopt Luke and your at fault! No way is it your fault!!! I have resources AND time and I'm failing, and the reason isn't me either, its the children we received. They have been through hell and have Needs, that weren't met for years and medical dx and we as adoptive parents love and give our time, bring them home to families and STILL it isn't enough! For those people who boast at how they are doing it, great for them! You don't need to listen to their nonsense!!! I sure won't because I know I can only do what I can do and if they want to be the first to cast stones, shame on them! I will always support you because I get it, I'm walking the same path and its sad and awful and sickening. But there is nothing I can do to change that. Until orphanages change the way they take care of the child and tell AP more whats in the childs file, the more things like this are going to happen. Just please don't listen to all this stupidity, because thats what it is. If you want to scale back, do it for you, its still not going to change Luke! Nothing but a miracle from God is going to change our kids! And the wonderful people out there who are doing such a great job with all their kids issues, be careful what you say to others, because the bible says " do not boast about today, because you do not know what tomorrow will bring" and that SHOULD be enough to make anyone think long and hard before speaking so callously!

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  33. Ps. So people know, I post anonymously for 2 reasons, 1. I don't have any clue how to post otherwise as I don't have a computer and 2. I know how ridiculous people can be with their views and don't desire exactly what is happening to Shecki. I am a pretty strong gal and refuse to allow anyone to kick me down when I choose to get back up during hard times, so why my private life is my own. If I could talk to you Shecki in person, then I would, but since I can't talk to her personally, well why I remain a " nobody" online! But If I ever post in anyones blog, I only do it if I am in Support of that person. And I support you 110 percent, whether my adoption succeeds or fails!

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    1. Thanks so much. It has been comforting having you reply to my posts, knowing I'm not the only one struggling.

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  34. Oh my goodness Shecki... please pray about this. God knows what Luke (and you) need.

    Praying for you and your family, as well as sending you love and strength.
    xoxo

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  35. Know that some people always have something negative to say. Hope you continue to blog. Wishing you strength.

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    1. You're right. I come across grumpy people in "real life," why should the people on the screen be any different? Thank you.

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  36. I'm saying this knowing that I'm going to get slammed for being an anti-adoption troll, but I want you to understand where Adoption Reform advocates are coming from.

    I've been reading through your blog, and you seem to be a very nice, reasonable person who got sucked into adopting a child you couldn't handle.

    I'm not mad at you; I'm mad at the Rescue Adoption meme that is doing such harm to birthparents, adoptive parents, and most of all, vulnerable children! I'm angry that advocates of the Adoption Gospel keep repeating lies about adoption while refusing to acknowledge the reality that trafficking and corruption is rife in international adoption. I'm upset that adoptees are being kicked out of their "forever families" because they don't have the personalities their adoptive parents (APs) fantasied for them based on their photograph. And I'm furious that APs have the gall to beg for donations to adopt a child whose natural parents "don't have enough money to care for them"!

    Your blog post read like you were planning to disrupt Luke because he wasn't giving you the emotional sugar you expected-- and a lot of the commentors seemed to be telling you that you'd be justified in doing just that.

    I'll be honest-- some of the comments reminded me of the reasons cited in the 1950s to persuade parents to "institutionalize him and and forget about him" when a child with Special Needs was born to their family. I'm confident that parents in Eastern Europe are being told these same things today when they give birth to a disabled child. That's why Reese's Rainbow exists in the first place.

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    1. Astrin, I'm glad you commented. You obviously feel passionately about adoption reform.

      Not sure why you're bringing up trafficking, fundraising, and impoverished birthparents? In China, children are abandoned. We don't know why their birth parents couldn't care for them.

      I didn't go into this adoption to rescue anyone. I wanted another child, specifically, a son.

      Yes, when I met Luke, I realized he was far more delayed than we realized. But I honestly thought--due in part to all the sunshine and roses blogs--that if we brought him home and got him help, he would *progress*. That hasn't been our reality at all. So I wrote about it, to potentially help other PAPs see that not every story has a happy ending. To caution them. Instead, I find myself being talked about behind my back, by people who don't even get the facts straight (Kyle? Really?).

      It's fine to be idealistic. There's a lot wrong in the world, and a lot could be improved in the adoption industry. I agree. But if you can't grasp the life sucking reality of total care for a person who gives nothing back to you, I don't know what to say. "Emotional sugar" is barely the tip of the iceberg.

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    2. Thank you for your courteous reply.

      I "brought up" issues that weren't pertinent to your situation because I was trying to show how we feel about seeing the same tragedies playing out again and again, to explain WHY you were getting blasted. On the surface, the scenario DID look like the familiar "PAPs can't bond with child and/or the child's not as 'appreciative' as they expect, so they diagnose him as having RAD from an Attachment Therapy site checklist, and rehome him".

      So I kind of unpacked a lot of baggage on you, and I apologize for that barrage.

      But the adoption industry needs to be more than "improved". The demand for adoptable children means that adoption agencies have a profit motive in pushing international adoption as the go-to response to child welfare concerns. If what you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This is especially so when "hammering nails" is what keeps adoption agencies in business-- and CEO compensation high, even in supposedly non-profit organizations.

      And FYI, there IS a lot of corruption in Chinese adoption. Saying that you found a child "abandoned by the side of the road" is a perfect excuse for explaining why there's no documentation that this child was legitimately surrendered for adoption.

      http://www.reformtalk.net/2014/06/04/chinese-kidnapped-daughter-reunited-with-mother/

      Maybe not your kids, since children with Special Needs make up 98% of the kids in orphanages. But this and other forms of fraud and corruption take place in international adoption from China.

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    3. I appreciate your apology.

      Unfortunately, there IS no legal way to surrender a child for adoption in China. I'm not sure how you "legitimatize" an illegal abandonment. I'm aware that corruption exists within ALL international adoption programs, including China. Some provinces are almost notorious for it. Any time you have large amounts of cash trading hands, there's the possibility of fraud. I felt uncomfortable forking over a stack of bills when we picked up our kids.

      I'm not disagreeing with much of what you've said, but I do wonder what you think the answer is? Are you against all adoptions?

      While I understand the whole "not losing their language and culture" thing, if they grow up in an orphanage, what about medical care that kids aren't able to receive in country? My girls would not have gotten prosthetics in China. They would have been destined to be street beggars. While I'd never say that they're better off with ME than with their birth parents, I will say that they're better off HERE than in the orphanage. Does that make sense? I don't want to come across as argumentative, I genuinely want to understand. I think a healthy open dialogue about all aspects of adoption, including the problems and downsides, is a good thing.

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    4. I'm not against adoption, but I want it done in a transparent, ethical, non-exploitative fashion.

      In China right now, the entire situation-- from the oppressive government to the laiss├ęz-faire-on-steroids private sector is corrupt, exploitative, or both. And as long as soft-hearted PAPs and adoption agencies with an agenda keep pumping money into this system as it is, nothing's going to change. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing while expecting different results.

      We can't make a sovereign nation change its laws and policies directly, but we can demand that adoption agencies MUST stop dealing with known traffickers, or lose their accreditation to do business. We can also demand that adoption agencies make a real effort to detect trafficking-- like checking missing children's reports against their clientale, send out investigators to verify whether the given history is correct. And they should face legal and criminal penalties if they let a case slip through the cracks-- or do a half-hearted investigation for hush mouth. They have to make a good faith effort to detect trafficking if it exists.

      Here's something really radical-- PAPs should investigate the record and reputation of any adoption agency for corruption, fraud, and exploitation BEFORE they give them any money. If you check adoption reform websites, you can find plenty of stories of PAPs who were lied to, swindled out of their savings, and threatened with legal action if they dared tell anyone how they'd been treated. Yes, there are some lulus out there who may be lying about an ethical agency, but if you've got a lot of smoke, you have to consider fire a serious possibility. Also, lulus can't hide the fact that they're lulus for long.

      That would at least be a start. I can think of other things, but it's late and my brain is frying. ;-D

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    5. I was thinking about this the other day and I feel like adoptive parents can't win. If they adopt to "rescue" a child, that's bad, and if they adopt because they want another child, they're consumers contributing to the machine that spawns corruption.

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    6. Actually, you're feeding the machine just as much if you adopt for "rescue". It makes profit for the adoption companies either way.

      In fact, some of the most corrupt adoption agencies cite explicitly Christian doctrine while they pump out the lie that there's a "Global Orphan Crisis". Not to mention that (going by the numbers) rescue adopters are targeting the same kids infertile yuppies are: Healthy kids under two. Or mildly disabled kids under two. Or kids under five at the very least. Yet per the numbers, the majority of kids legitimately available for international adoption are over five, have special needs, or both.

      I kid you not: There are PAPs crowdfunding adoptions of healthy newborns and claiming that this is "rescuing" an unwanted child.

      http://danielandmae.blogspot.com/2013/06/adoption-update-6413.html

      http://heartstringsattached.blogspot.com/2013/09/whats-next.html?showComment=1378672156803#c3829624308995852490

      Here's the the thing-- Secular infertile couples, if faced with huge costs for a healthy baby, may decide to adopt through foster care, or come to terms with their infertility. This means that adoption agencies have to be careful not to price themselves out of the market.

      But PAPs who are told that there's a Christian mandate to adopt aren't going to be deterred by sky high fees, especially since they're crowdfunding this adoption. No price is too high to do God's Will! Especially if you're playing with house money.

      This makes rescue adopters way, way more profitable than people who "just want a child". They don't care if the money is crowdfunded or comes from a 401k being cashed out-- it makes no difference to them, as long as they get their money.

      The costs of international adoption has exploded since the big push for the "Adoption Gospel" took off. Now part of that is caused at the sending countries' end, because they've learned that international adoption can be a boost to the economy, and have adjusted their policies to take advantage of this.

      It's also caused human trafficking to rise, under the need to have enough healthy "product" to meet PAP demand.

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    7. I hear what you're saying, and I don't want to shy away from the hard sides of adoption. I think it's good to discuss and advocate for change. But what I keep coming back to is *my daughters were in orphanages.* And there are thousands more just like them. Whether you believe in a global orphan crisis or not, surely 570,000 kids in China's orphanages (from here: http://www.scmp.com/node/1505894) is too many. The reality is there is no chance for most of those kids to be adopted. There are ~2,000 special needs kids on the "shared list" for China right now, plus the kids designated to specific agency through orphanage partnerships. (China's "healthy baby" program has ground almost to a halt at this point, with families still waiting from 2006.)

      And PAPs *are* adopting older kids. When we adopted Hannah in 2010, she was 3.5, and she was the youngest kid in our travel group of 4 other families. The other newly adopted kids were 7, 13, 10 and 12.

      When our youngest bio child was 4, we decided to adopt. We chose foster care, as it was cheapest, and we felt we'd be "meeting a need." Baloney. Sac county laid off hundreds of SW right about the time we got licensed. Kids were only coming into care through drug raids or via the ER. There were far more licensed homes than kids in the system. We waited for almost a year before I saw Hannah on an advocacy site (Rainbow Kids). We changed directions *for her*. If adoption gospel propaganda helped convince DH we could do this, well, I'm okay with that, because I wouldn't have my amazing, smart, beautiful, precious, spunky 7 year old otherwise. I don't think there's a huge "demand" for kids like her. She sat on the list for a YEAR before we saw her.

      Again, I see your point of view, but I wish you wouldn't paint all adoptive parents with the same evil brush. Every adoption is unique. Every child's story is different. Yes, one trafficked child is TOO MANY. But thousands of kids in orphanages that legitimately need a family is too many, too.

      I won't be adopting again. After Luke, well, we're done. I'll go back to sheltering homeless kids through Safe Families when my older children move out. But I do hope families continue to consider adoption. Because I've stood in orphanages. I've seen the faces of kids who have no one to show them the love of a family. And once you've seen, you really can't forget.

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    8. Re: "...the kids designated to specific agency through orphanage partnerships..."

      This shows right there that adoption is a for-profit business-- and agencies are jealously protecting "their" supply line from competitors. True charity is based on love-- it doesn't come with a "quid pro quo".

      Re: "...China's "healthy baby" program has ground almost to a halt at this point, with families still waiting from 2006... There were far more licensed homes than kids in the system..."

      And that's the reality of adoption-- there are far more PAPs wanting to adopt than there are appealing children TO adopt. Drug-exposed and FASD children or kids with PTSD from child abuse are kids with issues that require huge commitments from PAPs with no guarantee of a happy outcome.

      Kids like Hannah and Katie-- neurotypical kids under four who only need prosthetics/assistive technology/corrective surgery are increasingly accepted happily by infertile secular couples. Or would be if they could get past the doctrinal screening of religious adoption agencies who only place kids with PAPs of the "correct" faith. Reading between the lines, I think that's what your "forcing children to convert" article is about.

      China is a special case among sending countries, in which a totalitarian government with draconian population control laws married to Randian economic policies creates a unique situation. But in most of the developing nations, kids are in orphanages because that's the kind of quid-pro-quo "charity" that poor parents are offered. And many parents who accept that offer expect that they're kids are going to be cared for and educated until their economic situation improves and they can reclaim them, not that their kids are going to have their identity laundered and be offered for international adoption.

      Re: "...The other newly adopted kids were 7, 13, 10 and 12..."

      Yes, to their credit rescue adopters ARE willing to accept older children than secular adopters. And while sometimes this works out well, disruption is a dismayingly frequent outcome of such adoptions. Past trauma, cultural differences, language barriers, and erroneous assumptions on both sides can lead to tragedy.

      And that's not counting the possibility that adoption agencies have lied about the adoptee's true age, diagnosis, and history in order to "close the sale". As you yourself have learned, this is devastating to unprepared PAPs.

      And some of them fall prey to the temptation to sweep the problem under the rug, with horrible consequences to the kids involved.

      http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1

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  37. Shecki -

    It is so hard not to take comments personally! Remember a vast majority of us reading your blog do not know you and we certainly do not live the life you live on a daily basis. God sees your heart and understands that ache that you have for this precious little guy that He placed in your arms and in your home a year ago. We have been following your journey with sweet Luke for the past year and praying diligently for you and your family as you search for answers and ways to help him. May God bring a sense of peace and calm to your home throughout this storm and in whatever decision you make. We will continue to pray.

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  38. As a non-adoptive mom, and the source of many of your reviews, I would not trust you with them if I didn't think you were the exceptional person you really are. I read your blog because you are human and real and the struggles you face with a LOT OF GRACE show me the Spirit of Christ that dwells in you. You are Jesus to your son, in the midst of some very real and distressing circumstances.

    Now of course I am vested in you because I think you do excellent work for us, but I am far more vested in you because I respect you so much.

    I have watched and read your blog since you brought your newest two beautiful children home with you. I have watched you struggle with Luke - and loved him all the same. I have seen your breakthroughs with Katie and laughed with joy as she walked for the first time. Your blog has given me the opportunity to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. It would be dishonest of you not to share your struggles so you do.

    I know you need to follow the leading of the Lord, but do make sure it is His leading, and not the bludgeoning voice of an anonymous twit that has nothing better to do than criticize a mom doing excellent things and providing amazing opportunities for her kids. That's exactly what you are doing here - and your kids are the true winners.

    Much love and respect to you,
    Kate

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    1. Thank you, Kate. Your words mean a lot to me.

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  39. That any one would say such things is absolutely horrid!!! You are a devoted mother, and you have taken in a very difficult situation. Lean on God and trust in your ability. Forget the negatives from other people, you are doing exactly what you should be doing! I am praying for you, your family and little Luke!

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    1. Thank you, Shirene. I so appreciate your prayers.

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  40. Shecki, I have "known" you since SM's. I posted as anonymous because I too as an above poster am not sure how to do otherwise and do not have a blog. I frequent your blog and play catch up as often as I can and always read back to where I left off. While I have not adopted, I love reading your posts. The simple things that you do with your children are so inspiring to me! As a survivor of domestic violence, goodness that was way back! At times I would become overwhelmed with just my two children, not knowing what to do, through SM's and when you created this blog it was wonderful since I sold my machines to be free and you created this blog I have found many things to do with my children that I would not have thought about on my own considering the point in my life. I am telling you this because beyond adoption you have helped people. You have helped me get up, do something when I was at such a low point. Just getting by, going to school, working, and had no energy for thinking of activities. To me, I feel like this blog has helped you. It has put you in a spot where you try new products, introduce me to new products, that are wonderful for Luke! Now that I have stabilized my life, my niece and nephew have come into my life as I took custody of them. Speech and language delayed, I love learning new things on your blog! I pray you will stay on and see that you have helped people in all sorts of situations in life. Your energy, passion, and honesty are to be praised and a blessing! Thank you so much for being you! Love, Carolyn

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    1. Oh Carolyn, thank you for your kind words! They mean so much to me! :) Best wishes with raising your niece and nephew.

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