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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Weekly Goal #9 and Thoughts on Vietnam

My personal and task goal of the week are the same. I recently joined a new group that I am really excited and nervous about at the same time. It is called The Ladies of the Round Table, and it is a discussion blog with 15 mom authors. Some of my very favorite blog friends are also authors and I think it is going to be so fascinating and interesting to hear the discussions that come from it. There will be a monthly topic, which for March is about the role of being a daughter. So, my goal is to write about the topic. As an author, you don't have to contribute every month, but I would like to contribute when I can. I am a little shy about being among some people that I consider amazing writers and mothers, but I think I am going to learn a lot about myself and others as I explore the topics. Be sure and check out the blog when you get a chance.

I haven't written about anything serious on this blog since the big ethics piece I wrote many months ago. It is not because I don't have anything to say or even because I am scared of what others are going to say, but because I often have a hard time taking the time to sit down and actually organize my thoughts into a way that is worth anyone's time to read. I think that there are some great resources out there who do a much better job of voicing these concerns than I will ever be able to do. I feel the need to at least let everyone know that I do care about what is going on in Vietnam right now.

The situation in Vietnam adoptions right now is a total mess. Things are getting worse. As we get closer and closer to the very real possibility of another shut down of the program, people are getting more scared, defensive, irrational, and divided. I hate to see this. I despise the negativity and hatefulness that I see coming out between people who have already adopted and those still trying to adopt from Vietnam or between people using different agencies or for any other reason people can come up with to be divided.

I hope that we can all agree that the very most important thing in all of this mess is the children of Vietnam. There are thousands of orphans in Vietnam who truly need to find a home. They had parents that had to give them up, for whatever reason, and these kids need the adoption program between the US and Vietnam to stay open. But the other thing that we cannot overlook is that there are some cases of children in orphanages in Vietnam who are there for all of the wrong reasons. They are there because they were bought or because their parents were tricked into giving them up. We have to ALL stand together and admit and acknowledge that this is wrong. We have to unite as an adoptive community and agree that no one wants a child to be stripped of their birth parents when it is unnecessary and unwanted by the family. We have to fight for the children, because they can't speak out themselves.

I am not trying to create a further rift in the adoption community. This is not a loud or harsh post about what I think people should or shouldn't do or about me saying I am right and you are wrong.  I have taken that approach before, and looking back, I don't think it is the right approach.  Yelling at one another does not accomplish a whole lot.  It makes the division that we should be working to close grow larger.  I don't want people saying that there is a group of APs who think that they know it all and are casting judgment on those still in the process of adopting, because I, for one, do not know it all. In fact, at this point, I am not sure what to believe. Just when you think you have it figured out, you hear something new and it all goes out the window. This is a very confusing process and getting all of the information is possible, but not always easy. 

What I do want to say and the reason that I am writing this at all is to say that I pray that the US and Vietnam can come to an agreement where adoptions from Vietnam can improve to be a more ethical and transparent program. I hope that the needs and rights of the children are always put first and we can all agree that the kids are the most important factor in this gigantic mess. I pray that the orphans who are, and always have been, in need of a family find one soon. I hope that those of you stuck in the middle of the new changes get your children home soon. I am sorry that your kids are having to stay in the orphanages longer than most while this gets worked out. I hope that the kinks in the new process get worked out and the whole process can be a smoother and more effective one that does a better job of protecting the kids. I want you to know that I really do hope that the entire program of Vietnam adoptions can make a turn for the better and the people/agencies who are ruining this for everyone are stopped.

Adopting is hard and stressful. All of these problems make it much more difficult. I know that we all have good intentions. Unfortunately, good intentions are not always enough.  I wish it were that easy.  I understand that it seems easier for me since I already have a beautiful daughter at home, but really it is still hard, just in a different way. I think that all of this corruption will make it even more difficult for Lucy when she gets older and starts asking the hard questions.  It makes it hard for me as her mother.

I also want to point out that I really appreciate and stand by the people who really put it out there. The adoption community is not always a nice place to be, especially when you take a strong stand. Thank you to Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity and Ethica for all of the work you do for improving adoptions and making APs and PAPs more aware of what is going on. Your work is so valuable, and most of us really appreciate all you do. I certainly do.

25 comments:

Christina said...

Thanks for the kind words and thanks for speaking up too... and I'm just nodding and saying "yeah, what she said!" because you said it well. Zeeb waited three years for a family because he was caught in the last shutdown... I still get sad thinking about my baby waiting with no hope all that time. Adoptions CAN be (and often ARE) done ethically from Vietnam - and I pray our two countries find a way to protect every child from corruption or fraud - without delay.

Marlee Belle said...

Thanks so much for sharing your opinions. I feel that you shared your heart and your concerns for Lucy's birth country, the children still there, and Vietnamese adoptions in a great way. I too am concerned with what is happening. I also have a hard time discerning between rumors and truth so I try to stay away from most of the yahoo groups and other negative sites. We try to follow Ethica and VORF closely and are remaining with our agency (with a VERY slow process). We really feel God has us here (in this program...adopting rather than trying to conceive) for a reason and we're going to try to prayerfully and carefully ride out this storm because most importantly there are children in Vietnam that are in those orphanages and were placed ethicaly and need homes. Thanks again for sharing your heart with us! I know that your daughter will be able to look back one day and see your love for her.

LawMommy said...

Like Christina, my daughter waited 3 years during the last shut down, and I shudder to think about that happening again - but, I don't want to avoid a shutdown at the cost of allowing baby-selling to happen...it's a difficult situation, and it's hard for me to talk about in a calm, cool and collected way, because I am parenting a child whose life was directly and significantly altered by the last shut-down. (And hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that, but for the shut-down, Lana would be someone else's child, and not mine.)

Thank you for talking about this..

Gretchen

Norah said...

Very well said.

Leslie & Shaune said...

Great post. I am in Canada and am following what is happening with US/VN adoptions really closely. I am thinking of everyone involved, especially the children of VN and hoping all works out and that the changes put forth can affect all VN adoptions in a positive manner and advocate for what is best for the innocent children.

Leslie :)

dwayne and melanie said...

You have said it so well.

Kelli said...

Once again, another great post! You sum it up so nicely and I agree with Christina- "yeah, what Kelly said!"

John and Brandy said...

AMEN!!!!

ourvalentinesdaytreat said...

Very well said! I've been trying to finish a post on the current state of adoptions, but it's hard for me to keep the strong emotions out of it so I can't seem to finish. I'm very excited about Ladies of the Round Table as well. Hope you all are feeling better!

twodifferentloves said...

Girl- I am awed again at how articulate you are- you have a voice!
While I have really strong emotions and thoughts about what I think is right and wrong, at the end of the day, EVERYTHING you said here is right on. There are children who needs homes, and it serves none of us, not the children or the PAP's(and AP's who hope to be PAP's again...) if the program shuts down. Thank you for sharing in a truthful and sensitive way.

rachel said...

Well said. You always manage to say the tough things with a good dose of sweetness. Is that a southern thing? :) It's so important for everyone to remember the children. Ethics-advocating voices are not going to shut down the program...but unethical practices that go unchallenged will.

I need to kick my butt into gear to write something new, as it's been a while since I've addressed anything serious. Thank you for speaking out once again!

Mrs.B said...

Kelly, what a great post. I appreciate your honesty and acknowledging the fact that there are many cracks in the Vietnam adoption community. For those of us who have been there and those still waiting we all want is best for the children, you handled the subject with kindness, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

LaLa said...

As you know we are in the middle of trying to adopt from VN and I am terrified of what is going on. We are updating everything b/c it is expiring and I sometimes wonder why? if it is going to shut down anyway. I am hopeful that the US and VN can come to a new agreement that protects the children. Although I want my daughter home NOW I will NOT support anything unethical. I have to look my daughters in the eye : )

mam said...

Not to minimize this important post, but so glad you're a yo gabba gabba gal too! I like that "sometimes you win, sometimes you lose" song too. Also the one about it not being nice to bite and -- seriously -- the ska one about picking up your room. That one I deliberately seek out and replay.

mam said...

OK, now I to come back and re-comment here; we've also said that serious drugs must be involved in the making of YGG! Seriously, messed up people. Have you seen the dance segments with the gold spandexed drag queen lady (except she's actually female...what would one call that?)? Hey, have you tried avocado for Lucy? They're SO good for kiddos; if Lucy only eats some of that during a fussy meal, I call it good. And she loves them.

Kate said...

Thanks for stopping by with your prayers. =)

Your post was thoughtful and right on point. At the end of the day, it's about these children and what is best for them. It's a stressful time right now and it's important that we all band as a community and support one another.

I'm looking forward to following Ladies of the Round Table. It'll be nice to have food for thought that isn't necessarily adoption-related. I noticed that it's password protected. Will all posts be that way?

3continentfamily said...

Great post. It really pains me to see the division between people right now.

abc123vn said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Michelle said...

This was a much needed post for me to read. I am very worried about the current situation in VN. BUT the last thing in the world that I want to do is support a country who puts the needs of the chilren and/or birthmom's last. I want nothing more than for my son to come home from VN but it has to be ethical. It's hard to not be selfish at times like this but we have to look at the big picture and realize it is out of our hands. Great post!

I am also looking forward to the ladies of the round table. I'm not much of a writer and I have a hard time finding words to describe my feelings...but I know I'll learn a lot and it's great to be in the mix of such wonderful women. I look forward to seeing you there. :=)

Jen said...

Kel,

I have never felt that you have been inappropriate when expressing your opinions on ethical adoptions in VN. What you say always makes sense without becoming judgmental. There is a lot of negativity right now and it is very hard to stay positive while waiting for the I600approval process! I do have to say that I am grateful every day that people give me hope that we will bring our son home!

Thanks for your post! You tackled some hard topics with grace.

Mom said...

Well said, Pumpkin! Love and miss ya, Mom

C-mon said...

Okay i love that your mom commented and called ya pumpkin. Thanks for writing. I really hope things work out for the best interest of the children. I'm appreciative for groups like Ethica too. I just hope and pray we will bring our son home and all is done ethically.

Carolyn said...

Thanks for your post. I agree that it is important that we stay open-minded right now, so we can listen to the information coming in and the different points of view. I just finished catching up on APV reading and it is so overwhelming.

dana said...

Great post - very well said!

I call Kaneu "pumpkin" and love that your mom calls you the same!

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