Tuesday, August 24, 2010

stumbling upon these words

I have a question. If you stumbled upon these words on an adoption blog, how would they leave you feeling? What taste do these words leave in your mouth?

I decided not to link the site. First, I am certain there are many more like this. Second, to protect this family, or more accurately- their newly adopted child. And persecuting them will serve no purpose anyway. What I'd like to do, simply, is to raise our awareness. And to perhaps highlight why adoption reform, agency policies/parent training/culture training, etc need dramatic revamping in this country.

I left a comment on one of their posts after reading their entire trip through China up until the present day. That comment was swiftly deleted (I have included it at the end of this post). I think I was pretty tame considering the anger that was brewing in my heart. But should my anger be directed at this family? Or should I hold those who approved their home study or failed to educate them accountable? Maybe all of the above. I will say education is crucial. I don't know how a home study agency or any agency allows parents to adopt from a country that they so openly and unreservedly disrespect. Nor can I ever begin to understand the outright objectification of anyone, much less a child- and an extremely vulnerable one at that.

These are just a few excerpts from this particular adoption blog.

"The Chinese raced to the lines... gobbling all the "delicious" livers, bones, skins, and other treats. Not many Americans ran to the buffet table. It's an experience. You can get some good pictures of the chicken heads amongst the chicken though. Eat up fellow friends!"

"I keep seeing super cute outfits on the people passing me by, but can't seem to find anything in the stores. Even the things I do find, that I might buy, are just as expensive, or more, than what we would find in America... that's frustrating. I do enjoy the bartering though. But, I will be grateful to get back to M*rshalls, R*ss, and TJ M*x."

'We went for a bite to eat and discovered at lunch that our baby can use chopsticks. That was quite amazing. I think I was drinking my “cappacino” and she picked up the chopsticks and started using them. I was in complete shock. I didn’t even think she could feed herself. She ate her whole bowl of noodles and “meat”… possibly pork. It smelled horrible... I thought I was going to vomit. She wouldn’t leave a drop behind. She wanted to eat the noodles that dropped on her dress, table, and maybe even floor. And, sharing… well, that’s not even an option. We are going to work on this, but we had many things to do so we opted out of our first lesson on sharing. Baba got her a strawberry sorbet… she wouldn’t eat it, and we couldn’t… ice is not an option for us sheltered and protected Americans."

"She can eat until the cows (or water buffalo) come home… and then, she can eat some more!
Mei Mei can out eat (my husband) and I. I once learned that our stomachs are as big as one fist when clenched. Mei Mei has a stomach the size of 3 adult fists. Every few bites we ask, “Bouwla?” Which means, “are you full?” She always shakes her head no. Each meal takes about 30 or more minutes. It’s completely exhausting at times."

"If she doesn't like something that she's eating, she readily shares it with Baba. If you try to take something of hers to share, she will scream or pout or stick out her lower lip... it's funny (right now). We're whipping her into shape though. "

"G's personality is fiesty and spunky. She is a strong-willed princess that wishes for her Baba to serve her, carry her, and give her his undivided attention. She has a number of facial expressions and can go from happy to mad or sad in the flip of a switch. She can cry on the spot or laugh on the spot."

"I am so tired of looking at Chinese food. I know I have shared several times about our food choices, but I am going to share again... duck tongue with ginger, boneless duck feet with ginger, tasty pork trotters, chilled marinated jellyfish with vinegar, roasted crispy pigeon, marinated goose liver with spring onions, double-boiled pork bone with olive and dragon's tongue leaf in soup, steamed loofah with dried whitebait and XO sauce, stewed pork knuckle and sea cucumber with shrimp roe. Had I stayed away from the plain noodles, fried rice, and steamed buns, I could have lost 20 pounds in the last 14 days."

"We are really tired of eating Chinese, but (my husband) really doesn't want to eat American fast food either."

"...today I got my first unsolicited kiss. In fact, I got several in a row. The tough love of yesterday paid off… she is a quick learner."

"After dinner, we went shopping for little Mei Mei to get her a pair of shoes. Her first American word was “shoes.” (My husband), being the nice guy, let her choose her own shoes. But, she chose some pink ones with baby Mickey on them… not going to work for Mama. Her clothes are princess clothes… nothing Mickey until we get to Disneyland. So, Mama chose a different pair... pink sandals with a diamond on them. She was so excited."

"Mama and baba finished our “cappacinos,” convinced Mei Mei that it was time to go, decided to let her take the rest of her noodles so that we could avoid the screaming fit (which has started as of this morning when she doesn’t get her way) and left with our guide D. Our little princess is going to learn (hopefully before leaving China) that throwing fits are not going to work well on her behalf."

"The first few days, there were times that I felt like I was plucking off the petals to a daisy and saying, "She loves me not, She loves me not, She loves me not" But now, I can say, "She loves me, She clearly, clearly loves me."

"T wanted to keep her sister a surprise. She had secretly hoped that (her little sister) would arrive during basketball season and she would just be able to bring her onto the court, but that didn't happen. So, she waited until it could. With Mei Mei's arrival home on July 31, 2010, (her big sister) began figuring out when she could get the majority of her girlfriends to our home. The girls started at the local ice skating rink, stopped for slurpees, and then came home and ate some hamburgers, chips and watermelon. T prepared her life video (birth to her family 16th party) for her friends to watch... and, at the very end, she added some words about the gift her parents gave her for her 16th birthday. (Of course, the truth is, if you read in one of the earliest posts, T had known for 16 years that God had two sisters for her). She ended her video with pictures of mama, baba, and mei mei and then pictures of her and her (new little sister). Before the video ended, baba brought in mei mei in her red Chinese outfit and holding a ladybug balloon."

I am baffled. Confused. How does a person, a family, choose to adopt from a country for which they haven't an inkling of appreciation? What purpose is there to adopt from a place you have no real interest in embracing? And in this case- did the adopter(s) truly believe they were only adopting a toddler? Only a child? Did they believe this 3.5 year old (or any child) came without a history, memories, an entire heritage and culture that is her own?

I shake my head and have to hold my anger in check. I grieve for what this child has lost: essentially, everything. And what gains has she been granted in this new life, with this new family? I see none, so far. Her laughter and her beautiful smile, I can't help but wonder, might only be a product of survival.

Here was my deleted response:

I am not sure how I stumbled upon your site, but have spent a long time reading it.

First, congratulations on your beautiful new daughter. As I read through your blog, I must admit to being very troubled by your characterization of your time spent in China. I find much of what you have to say very... demeaning to the Chinese culture and its people. Yes, China is wonderfully different than America. This is a country with a long and complex history, full of much to be admired and respected. While your daughter is now American, she will also always be- Chinese. I wonder if she will find it difficult to accept that part of herself if it is so obvious that her mother found little to enjoy in the country of her birth. I was in China recently adopting a 3.5 year old myself, and I have to say, while sometimes I found the food to be interesting, for the most part, it was deliciously different from American food. I wanted to immerse myself in my daughter's country, as much as I could. Some day, when your daughter reads your account of the time you spent in China, the most significant topics are focused on how terrible the food is and whether or not the shopping was good. How will she feel looking back on some of the words you've written here?

Also, I hope you are keeping in mind that your daughter does come to you with a rich history. As foreign as China has felt to you, everything your little girl is experiencing is that foreign to her. Her world is upended, and she doesn't have any way to process why or how that happened. Now is probably not the best time for "tough" love. She needs you to support her in her grief and fear, as well as her joys. At this point, she's in pure survival mode. She needs you to love her through it, not try to 'mold' her into the person you think she should be (a princess) rather than who she is.

I have stated so many times in my own writing: we adopt not just a child when we enter into international adoption. We adopt their culture, their history, their very heritage- along with their grief, their losses, and the love and happiness they both contain and bring to our relationship. We become guardians of that past and how we feel about it and their country could one day be internalized by our children.

I originally wasn't going to comment, but I hope you will take these words to heart. My daughter grieved for 9 days in China, and though it was by far the hardest thing we endured together, it was the most profound part of our journey as mother and daughter. As we shared our mutual grief/fears, a deep and lasting bond was created.

Great advice was given to me before we left: "Follow her lead". That didn't mean we withheld gentle discipline when needed, but it meant we listened to her cues. We listened to her needs, and set ourselves aside. We allowed her some sense of control in the chaos of all she was going through. Remember, your daughter, like mine, lost everything. What they need when they are in survival mode is some sense of control.

I am sorry you haven't been able to soak in the beauty of your daughter's country so you can one day share those memories with her. I hope when you get home, you will look back and be able to see beyond this narrow world view and appreciate China as it is: a beautiful, complicated, magical, troubled country- rich in a long history that has so much to offer this world. Perfect? No. But no country is, not even our own.

I wish you and your family the best.


  1. I am not sure where to begin with this one... I really have no words to express what is running through my mind at the moment.

    I cannot believe that someone could say such vile and horrifying things about a Country that has allowed them to adopt a child and fulfilled their dreams of becoming parents again. It just does not seem right....does it?

    I applaud you for your response. You said it all, and you said it perfectly. I am sure there will be a long line of people behind me that feel the same way.

    My hat is off to you girl.


    PS. I hope this does not appear twice. Blogger timed out on my first comment and I had to retype it.

  2. I know exactly which blog you are talking about, since I have read it myself. I agree with you 100%. As I was reading her blog, I was feeling several of the same emotions you are describing. I found a lot of her writing offensive and feel bad for her daughter. It is sad...

  3. One phrase caught me and I realised not only had I been there but I commentd 2x - same comment actually, just a congrats and how beautiful. Unlike you I did not read back but I do recall being struck by a sense I got of shallowness - I just assumed the best and moved on...I've spent my evening reading backwards and forwards...I don't feel so good anymore. I'd like to continue assuming the best - I don't doubt they are well-intentioned and loving - (I'm glad you didn't link to their site, that was kind) but...OMG they really don't get it do they? That's sad.

  4. I've been off blogs, but I know people have been all abuzz about some rather interesting blogs lately (like a PAP who prayed that the birth mom would change her mind and do the "right thing") and then there is this one. Wow. It certainly isn't the first time I've heard of an AP totally disregarding her child's culture, but it is no less shocking. I can't image being 3.5 years old and being stuck with a couple of strange people that look nothing like anything I've ever seen, who smell and punish me when I don't react positively to their "love" and who chastise me for eating food that I like!


  5. Hey, my wife still says with great incredulity, "I can't believe they like baked beans in their breakfast buffet!"

    She couldn't let that go - that something "we" think must be served in a certain way at a certain time could be turned upside down. Really, I think she felt the Chinese "misappropriated" baked beans and have the audacity to serve it for breakfast.

    Oh yeah, she had the same thing about having noodles for breakfast.

    Poor Whitey. Until you live on the other side of the world, you just don't understand.

    Still, luv her.

  6. I share the same sediments you do as well. I found this quote to be troubling - although I admit I do not have the opportunity to go and read the previous posts it also alludes to:

    ...she added some words about the gift her parents gave her for her 16th birthday.

    Really, a "gift" her parents "gave her"? A child is an object, a present to give an older sister? I'm happy that the older sister is excited to welcome her younger sister, but...

  7. I am stunned at how naive this parent is. AND I am extremely worried for that poor helpless darling child. I don't even know what to say, I am a complete loss of words.

    What in the world?


  8. How did this make me feel? Sick to my stomach, truly. I'm not exagerating one little bit.
    Horrified is another word to describe how I feel, but then that word really isn't adequate either.

    Your response was beautifully and tactfully written. And oh so polite. I feel very, very sorry for this little girl.

    I loved your last paragraph and the way you described China...'a beautiful, complicated, magical, troubled country...'

    As my 2 youngest say to me, 'Mommy I love my China.' They call it 'my China' and are proud of their heritage and birth country. And I will always love China. Because it's a part of me too.

  9. I think I read that same blog(the princess theme)...I didn't make it to the actual adoption. It got to be too much. I remember the first post was something about God telling her to find comforters at Target. My apologies to any I offend, but I hope God is concerned about bigger things than my child's comforter. I know..."hairs on the head", etc. but comforters?
    I think your E is a very lucky little girl.

  10. When this child was favoring her Baba the first few days, the mother used "tough love" so her daughter would learn "that both Mama and Baba are important... even if tears are shed." Just frightening.

  11. "The tough love of yesterday paid off. She is a quick learner."

    Deeply, deeply disturbing. Of course this poor little girl is a quick learner. She spent her life in an orphanage learning how to mould her behaviour to get positive reactions from her carers. She learned to suppress her personality and be whoever she needed to be to survive.

    How utterly, utterly tragic that she appears to now be part of a family where she will have to do the same.

    I think your comment held many truths, gently spoken. The fact your comment was deleted simply confirms the fact that for this mother, public appearances are very, very important; and more important than anything else. Whether it is her child's table manners, shoes, staged appearance to a group of teens, or public displays of affection, this mother seems to act as if 'presenting' her daughter is more important than nurturing her daughter. So as long as her daughter looks to the outside world as if she is affectionate and well behaved this woman can bask in the glow of having 'saved' a child; and cultivate her self-image as a 'good mother'.

    'She clearly, clearly loves me.' Yeah, right. It only takes a couple of days for a child in shock to fall in 'love'. This comment alone high lights 'the mother's' utter self centeredness and lack of insight into the emotional turmoil her child is experiencing.

    Ugly as her contempt for China is (which I guess could also hold an element of culture shock), I find her apparent lack of any kind of nurturing behaviour and the total absence of empathy for her child far more disturbing. I fear for the emotional well being of any child adopted by such an apparently ignorant and ill-informed mother, particularly as she clearly has no interest in considering other view points (after all, she quickly deleted your message).

    I share your anger. I feel depressed. Is her agency to blame? Who knows. I know the agency that approved the 'mother' who recently sent her unaccompanied son on a plane back to Russia has a reputation for providing excellent preparation and post-adoption services. I guess some people are very good at paying lip service.

    What in God's name did she spend her time doing whilst waiting to bring home this precious gift? It doesn't appear she did anything substantive to help prepare herself for the reality of adopting a deprived child. I guess shopping for those perfect toddler shoes can be time consuming.

  12. there is a whole lot going on with that family! Their total lack of understanding of the attachment journey scares that crap out of me! My heart breaks for their little girl who has "quickly figured out" that if I behave I will eat, if I play their game I will get things etc. scary.

  13. beautifully and truthfully spoken. One can only hope she read it and absorbed it prior to deletion. Maybe you stirred something in her heart, a realization of what power she has to help her daughter, and to understand her. wow.

    wendy in OH

  14. Lindsay... my exact sentiments. I could rewrite your words into this whole post.

  15. all I hear from this AP is Sally Field at the Oscars saying "she like me she really really likes me" - yeah right lady, this child has just figured out what she thinks YOU need, because it's all about YOU right, your needs, your desires...this child is just an accessory to this family. revolting.

  16. Your deleted comment written in reaction to the post being discussed is fantastic and I can't imagine how it could have no impact at all.

    I believe your approach is the most effective way to educate people like this, if in fact they're capable of learning.

  17. Ugg...Unfortunately, there are many other blogs just as bad. How can people be so clueless...? Loved your comment, btw.

  18. That's scary.

    Only done domestic adoptions here, but even then there are some more minor cultural differences and surely these should be valued and respected, not dismissed and diminished.

    By all means, show your child, over time, that there's another way of doing things - but whatever kind of a life will the child have if all they once held dear is being spat upon?

  19. I am speechless. Literally. This woman had no business adopting a child - period. Her comments made my jaw drop over and over.

    I feel like crying for this child. The trauma she is having to endure by not only her circumstances, but now the added trauma of having to live with a mother that is completely clueless and completely lacking in any sort of empathy.

    I have tears in my eyes. It is just terrible. I'm so glad you posted something. And said it so eloquently, might I add.

  20. I love your blog - I think E is amazing and your words, thoughts and actions tell me you're pretty amazing too. I always feel enriched after reading your posts. You describe with eloquence and insight your journey as a mother esp. a mother adopting older, transracially and internationally - sometimes you echo what I feel, sometimes you broaden my horizons, you always touch my heart and I appreciate that very much.

    I commented last night on your recent post - I do agree with your intent - but I was unsettled last night and upon further thought I realized two things were bothering me -

    One was me...

    I regret my judgement labeling this family shallow calling it sad because they do not appear knowledgeable about the nuances of adoption. I realize I don't know this family but I feel the love is there, the good intentions are there, the sense of their family is there. It is where you start.

    Here' s the second thing bothering me....

    I don't feel comfortable with you posting parts of their blog on yours. I wouldn't be comfortable with anyone doing that. Its one thing to speak in generalities about key issues or with permission to link to another's blog but I"m left with the feeling that in spite of your good intentions, cut and pasting parts of their blog was wrong.

    Do know I'm glad you posted your original comment, its informative and speaks to many issues shared by adoptive families to varying extents. I know you've done some good by writing it.

  21. I know I already told you this, but it bears repeating: As horrible as this is to say... I have seen many other blogs just like this, and some even worse. Which is what I remember when I read a particularly challenging blog post or article written by an adult adoptee or birthparent. Loved Lindsey's comment, which was Spot. On. for sure.

  22. Excellent response. So very sad and heartbreaking for that precious little girl.


  23. Sandra and Steve,
    I appreciate your thoughts and understand your feelings. I have held onto this post for over 3 weeks, debating. Originally, I fully linked her, then decided this was unfair, and pulling a very very small handful of her writing to express my point was the better option. Since this is a public blog, while I do think it's bordering on being almost unethical- she writes publicly for the world to see. I am not sure how my quoting her is much different than her actually writing it and posting it. If her blog were private, obviously this post would have been dramatically different.

    I needed to illustrate a point, and I hope by keeping this blog and this person anonymous, I've done that the best way I could without crossing any boundaries.

  24. Hi K,
    We agree to disagree. Just another reason I like you - you can handle dissent. ;0)

  25. Sandra... truth be told, i don't really disagree with you. i have mixed feelings about the way i did this. and i agree i wouldn't like anyone doing the same to me (and maybe someone has in the past, who knows). my intentions are pure, but maybe the methods are all wrong.

  26. My consolation when reading blogs like these (and this one brought to mind another one I read last year about a 3 y.o. boy whose a-parents actually started spanking him on a regular and active basis while still in China - so they could "whip him into shape". They used their interpretation of biblical verses to condone what they were doing. I actually contacted their adoption agency since I know that they had to sign a non-corporal punishment agreement) is that someday, as adults, all the children adopted from China will have a wide and supportive network to contact each other in. They will have each other, and the web's ability to find each other instantly. I think of the community they will have, the resources they will have in place, the amount of commiseration they will find in each other, and I hope that it will help them heal. Because the sad thing is, I don't find this story too unusual. The disrespect, the urge to control and mold the child, to force "love", the deeply insecure parent-- it's sadly familiar. My heart aches for this little girl. I am glad you wrote what you did to them - because even if they erased it - they read it first, and maybe later those words will take hold. People do grow and change as parents, and we can all just hope that this is what happens for this family.

  27. Although I don't believe I've ever read this particular blog, I used to read one that seemed to have a similar vein - I will allow that the author perhaps felt that focusing on the fluff made for better reading by family and friends.

    I guess I would have to read the entries in context. When we hear the term "tough love" we tend to think of parents of teens... harsh and strict, etc. But it could also mean simply that the parent follows through on what they say. If you look at the entry about "learning not to throw fits", it seems to me that the parents are ones learning - child keeps food, child is ok with moving on, Mom/Dad trained to keep the food coming. Again, it's just a small portion of the post, so it's impossible to interpret.

    I could go on (after week in Sweden I never wanted to see another a fish again, and I love Sweden!), but it seems harsh to judge another's parenting ability based on interpretations of blog posts that written by someone who may or may not be an effective writer for an unknown audience. I'm sure there are things that I've written that made someone go "WTF?" and hopefully I'm getting better as a parent every day. I know that I am far from perfect.

    Having said that, I thought that your comment/reply was a good one. It was caring and insightful. At the very least, I hope that the author will think about what he/she is writing before posting again.

  28. (K- Here it is -albeit a slightly modified version of what I wrote to you privately)

    K- Sigh. I could write a book to address this (actually I am writing a book to address this...) but will a family like this ever be able to hear my words? I don’t know and often I am discouraged and plagued by doubts at my fumbling attempt to shed light on this via fiction.

    I think all of the above are accountable but ultimately it is we as parents who hold the heaviest accountability. We will be raising our children long after the agency leaves the picture. The adoption agency holds our hand through the legal process but once that is complete...we must be prepared to create our own support network. The agency we used for both my girls is out of business. (Good thing I didn’t hold the expectation that they would be there to turn to in times of difficulty.) The agency is not a part of the adoption triad- once the legal process is complete we only have each other to turn to.

    There are so many red flags written by this family that I have no idea where to begin. A few that readily stick out-

    The child’s insatiable hunger...AKA the need to fill themselves with something to bury the void of grief and fear.

    Strong Willed Princess (In Chinese boys people call it the Emperor syndrome)- AKA the child who is fighting for control of their life.

    She loves me, she clearly loves me- AKA the child that has clearly learned what she needs to do to stay safe.

    We’re whipping her into shape- AKA we are stripping her of all that she was before us and negating that any trauma ever occurred before we showed up to cause these challenging behaviors.

    The blatant disgust about Chinese food? They go on and on and on. I understand how difficult it is to adjust to foreign food but their writing went beyond a digestive adjustment and felt mocking.

    Tough Love...Days into the adoption journey? Be still my heart. Whether this is an emotional or physical toughness- things are already tough enough.

    No you can’t have Mickey shoes until you get to Disney? (?)

    I am reminded of the many blogs that I have read where the parent says-

    My child was spoiled in the orphanage. They were the favorite.

    ...Can you use spoiled and orphanage in the same sentence? My interpretation-

    My child has learned incredible survival skills to get noticed amongst a sea of other children.

    I am glad that you didn’t link to this family. I have linked to similar blogs in the past and all that happened was an angry polarized dialogue. It didn’t do anything to help and only created more chaos. Lesson learned.

    K- These are important discussions for us to have. Thank you for opening the door.

  29. I'm also reminded of a blog I read a while back where the foster family gave the Adoptive Father a jade buddha for the child to remember the family by. The father blogged about how he took the buddha and his new son down to the river and 'crushed' the 'false idol' and probably his sons soul was crushed in the same instant. disgusting and upsetting.

  30. Well K you sure have started something here! I think you needed to do this in just the way that you did. When I write my blog, I do it knowing that others will read it and judge me and maybe use parts of my words. That's blogging.....

    While I don't seem to have as big an issue with folks going to China and coming away feeling like it was hard and they were uncomfortable the whole time- as some do, I still feel that there needs to be an underlying respect and willingness to learn and realize that not every place has to be "America". Our children hail from this country - in a way that is nearly impossible to understand.

    The focus of the mother on the things that she wants and the things that make her feel good are most troubling. I wonder what sort of conversations took place between this couple and the Social Worker?
    I feel for this girl. I feel that she was taken from one environment that she had to survive, directly to another. Learn what they want, do what they want, I will survive.

    I do not feel that every person should parent like I do- because well, I can be a hot mess at it. But I do know that I pout my kids first. I do know that I have never taken this casual attitude towards their emotional life.

    Hopefully this woman will learn. Hopefully for her child's sake she will begin to think about the things that have happened in this little life she is now responsible for.

    You train a child in your ways, not through toughness but by example. You must be every day what you expect and want them to be. I often remind myself that raising children is like tending a delicate Bonsai tree, a little here, a little there - over years and long moments of time where you just let the thing be.

    Well I am preaching to the choir here but I wanted to let you know that I am proud of you and they way you addressed this woman.

  31. OH!! And one more thing...I cannot telly you the countless number of blogs I read that say things like: "It's day 2 & he/she is completely attached to us!"

    People...BONDING IS A PROCESS...it doesn't happen in 2 days! Just because your newly adopted child smiled at you doesn't mean he/she is attached to you!

    I agree, more pre-adoptive counseling please!!! It cannot hurt anyone!!

  32. The mother posts that her daughter has "yet to stand or walk (though we are believing we will in time see God's supernatural healing.)"

    With all due respect, what if this child never walks. Will her parents accept her? This family says they will adopt one or two more girls next year.

  33. I don't even know what to say. This mother is simply putting herself before the needs of her child. She quite obviously didn't educate herself about attachment, older child adoption, etc etc etc. And her poor child will suffer (more) because of it. :(

    I don't think you did anything wrong in copying pieces of her PUBLIC blog. You did it in a considerate and respectful manner and with much thought. If this were malicious...you would have linked her. Cuz you know she would have been flamed. So don't feel guilty at all.

  34. I've been thinking about this post for the past 24 or so hours - wanting to respond but not sure how to. Like others I've read many blogs like this and have felt everything from outrage to sorrow while doing so. Occasionally I feel the need to cut the parents a break because really do any of us really know what we're getting into when we adopt? Do any of us do it perfectly and then blog nicely about it? If I had been blogging during the first weeks with my oldest daughter how harshly would I have been judged?

    That said, there are clearly some major red flags in this woman's writing - nicely enumerated by other commenters. I only hope they are clear to who ever is working with this family in whatever capacity. And, like Maia, I put even more hope in the cohort of comrades that this child and others have and will have as they grow up and learn to negotiate life. Hoping for an extra measure of grace to this little girl.

    And your response to them? Was quite respectful and wise. That they deleted it is the biggest red flag of all. We can all do with wisdom and correction. Promise me that if I get wonky and weird on my blog or elsewhere you will knock some sense into me?!! You have a gift of gentle eloquence.

  35. Oh my, I'm actually sick to my stomach reading these thoughts. There is no excuse for ignorance. That poor poor baby girl...my heart is in 2 pieces thinking of her...

  36. As a Birthmother who now suffers with IF and might never get the chance to parent a child I am disgusted by her post.

    Did they just adopt to give their older child a "Present" or did they adopt to have another "Princess" to show off to the world that they SAVED a child.

    Did they not think that their new child would feel fear, loss and gieve for what she was going through.

    How did they think that she was going to eat with her hands. Most of the 3.5 years that I know all know how to use a knife and fork and even those that know how to use chopsticks.

    Their needs to be so much change in the education in the Adoption world.


  37. I'm quite sickened after reading this. This poor, poor child.

    There is so much to say, yet what do I say? I simply think about how in love my youngest is with "my China." She is so incredibly proud of being born in China and I can't imagine not honoring that.

    As for your comment. Beautiful and so well-written. Even if it was deleted, you have to remember that the most important thing happened. In order to delete it (and obviously not like your words), she had to have read it. And that was the point. She NEEDED to read what you wrote.

  38. I read a blog like that one about 3 years ago. I couldn't read it any more. It was too much to take. How can someone tear down their child's homeland? That place GAVE you one of their own! I loved China and just about everything about it! I tell my daughter all the time how wonderful it was. If I tear down China, I tear down her. Very sad. All we can do is spread the word and try to stop it. Thanks for bring this topic up.

  39. --I read the blog in question....and again their lack of knowledge about attachment is pretty scary....but she has posted again about China and it is certainly in a different light. The light of finally being home. I think those of us who have made the trip remember the longing to get home. The overwhelming feeling of being in a place that is so unfamiliar. Traveling to China to adopt a child is insanely stressful. No one blogs much about that! I think in part her posts were "typical" of someone who has never traveled abroad or at the very least never been very far out of her comfort zone. Is she my kind of girl...nope. Do I think she has made some big mistakes...yep. She seems to have made some small adjustments towards facilitating better attachment ( she bought a toddler bed and her little one is now sleeping in their room). No I don't think they are going to go to chinese school on Saturdays...but then again neither do we. No I do not think that culture camp or future trips to china in their future....but you never know people often switch gears once they actually living it!

  40. I should also add that these folks seem to be from the "praying" to heal camp. Although I believe in the power of prayer I also am a strong believer in commons sense and seeking sources to be a better parent...books, seminars, counselors etc.

  41. Ugh.....very poor education on the part of the social worker who did their home study. This happens more frequently than we'd all like to believe. I can only hope that as these people fall in love with their daughter, they DO finally learn to follow her lead,and develop respect and reverence for her culture....and for her.

  42. WOW!! I have read many of adoption stories and have been sadden by more then a few..Your responce was wonderful. You should have sent it.
    I am still in shock..

  43. Very sad and it made me want to cry as I read it. Yet, I want to think the best of the woman and that she has the potential to learn. I do wonder about home studies and how well the social workers are really able to pick up on this stuff in advance.

  44. I read this blog awhile back too. Couldn't comment. But I think you know where I stand on most of this. And I don't see what Stave & Sandra saw - the spirit of love. No, I see "memememememe."

  45. Very thought-provoking post, commentary and responses. Although quite a few parts disturbed me, I do not want to judge. Remember that God has a plan for everyone and everything. We may not understand, we may not agree, but we must maintain our faith. Perhaps the child will be a catalyst of change for that family, and Kitchu's comments - a stinging rebuke at first - may yet serve as a reminder for those parents. Forgive them for they might not know what they were doing, but do not forsake them, and certainly do pray for them. Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

  46. Mareyellen: yes, I've seen that change in tone, it started not long after the comment was left on their site. And while I am (like you) hopeful there is positive change taking place, part of my concern is with their child one day being able to read the words of their own site. That was the point of this post, actually- how will their daughter feel when she too stumbles upon these words?

    The trip for me was... absolutely the hardest trip of my life and being so far from home didn't help that. Not only was I just out of the hospital, but the jet lag was so severe going over it took 10 days before I felt I could sleep through the night. I was completely dissociated from myself. I took that into consideration when reading this site- if it weren't for the posts that came before their travel, maybe I'd feel more inclined to believe it was just culture shock. What I do know is that it takes a certain level of maturity to set your feelings aside and be respectful. And their decisions about how to discipline and not allow their child choices during one of the most vulnerable periods in adoption did not sit well with me. I don't judge her or her family as individuals (wouldn't be my nature, one, nor is it my place), but I judge the attitude and the actions.

    I think bringing this to light was important. I question the manner in which I did it, and maybe I'll have regrets about it. If I'd read other sites of a similar caliber, it would have been better to anonymously quote several sites instead of one to illustrate the point.

    At any rate, my intention wasn't ill, though I guess it might be argued otherwise, eh?

  47. You should have sent it. You have a wonderful way with words.
    I am so sick to my stomach that this poor girl has to live with this woman. Disgusting.
    I, like you, loved China and wanted to know everything about my daughters homeland.
    Thanks for sharing. And for the updates on E.

  48. Someone once wrote;

    To forgive
    Is not to forget.

    To forgive
    Is really to remember
    That nobody is perfect
    That each of us stumbles
    When we want so much to stay upright
    That each of us says things
    We wish we had never said
    That we can all forget that love
    Is more important than being right.

    To forgive
    Is really to remember
    That we are so much more
    Than our mistakes
    That we are often more kind and caring
    That accepting another's flaws
    Can help us accept our own.

    To forgive
    Is to remember
    That the odds are pretty good that
    We might soon need to be forgiven ourselves.
    That life sometimes gives us more
    Than we can handle gracefully.

    To forgive
    Is to remember
    That we have room in our hearts

    to begin again ……

    and again

    Remember? How can we share with this mom in love? How can we help her see, dare I say, the error of her ways? Or better said, the error of her vision. Can we tell her these hard words so that she can ask her daughter for forgiveness? Is her daughter worth the hurt it will cause her mommy? I think we can and if we are so moved by her words I think we should. Would you want to know if your words were leaving a bad taste? Could you take it? How could you hear it best to respond? Sometime words are harsh and hurt. I think the words we have read were harsh and hurtful to a fragile child. Can we help start the healing? I personally was seething when I read the blog and had to stop. I don’t know how to put those strong feelings away in order to write words to start healing. Can you? I think we should share to begin thoughts that will change ideas and begin the healing of what can and should be a very wonderful relationship. Let’s do that. Let’s be pro-active. Let’s show grace and step out in love. Perhaps she will see the “tough love” that is being shared with her.

  49. THIS FROM ANI (Sorry, Ani, accidentally deleted it):

    Oh goodness, I am speechless... We have no direct connection to international adoption, but even to someone as uneducated on the topic as me, this woman's thoughts are very upsetting. We have tried to instill in our children respect to different cultures and places - ours is NOT the only way of life; ours is NOT the only way to live! But, the most upsetting and disturbing quote is the one about tough love - my heart aches for that child and I pray that her family learns to love her the way she needs to be loved, and supports her the way she needs to be supported.
    Thank you for sharing.

  50. It makes me sad and to be honest, angry and ticked too! What do these people think? They come across as elitist and that the American (or Canadian) way is the only which is so not true. As you so beautifully put, China is a country rich in culture and history. I count it a priviledge to have visited there and an unbelievable honour to raise one of it's precious children...my daughter forever.

    I'm sorry your comment was deleted. Hopefully you gave her some food for thought though. Deleting a comment from a blog is much easier then deleting it from her mind. Hopefully you've stirred some thoughts in her and that she will change some of the way she acts. Hopefully....

  51. Oh K it is so good to read your writings again. Sadly working in "it" nothing surprises me anymore, I think some just have such ignorance they don't even understand if they think that, it isn't something they should admit.

    Very few people change, sadly. It is so hard balancing the belief that you can educate and inform with the reality that not all people who adopt, should adopt.

    E is absolutely beautiful and has grown up so much! Bless her heart!

  52. I am just in awe. I don't even know what to say. The comments left me speechless and that doesn't happen very often.

    I am so sad for this little girl and the life she is going to have. We've had our daughter home 14 months and she is still throwing temper tantrums. I in no way would expect her not to. This mother is clearly selfish and not having read the blog myself believe that based on the comments I read posted above, she's of the belief that these children who live a life without her God need saving and that's exactly what she did. We adopted through a Christian agency and out of the nearly 20 families in our travel group only about 5 of us took part in the Buddhist blessing because the rest of the group didn't believe in it. I was floored that so many families didn't participate.