Saturday, June 28, 2008

Settling In

Well, life is pretty much settled in with the new kittens, Lily (red collar) and Daisy (purple collar). They are now the definate soverign of the upstairs realm, and have had good opportunity to put the dogs in their places when they come upstairs. Yes - the 70 pound dogs are scared of the 5 pound cats. What a world.

Response to Mike Seate Column

Dear Mr. Seate,

It’s taken me a full week to absorb the impact of your column from last Thursday – on Asian Adoptions becoming the latest fad. As an mom to three children (adopted, and my children) it saddened me to read your viewpoint that based on two movies (and not great ones at that) – that children are fashion statements, and not just children.

Chinese adoptions have been going strong for over 14 years, Korean for almost 50 years, and Vietnamese on and off for almost 35. Domestic adoptions have been going strong in the US for over 100 years – with a mixed track record of success. The reason is not a fad, but sheer numbers of adults who want one thing – to parent. Recently, China has been the top international country for adoptions domestically for the past 5 years with over 5,000 adoptions each year – which is probably why it is reflected in the media. And China has a true need, just as we do in the US. But you have overlooked that those numbers from China are insignificant compared to the yearly numbers of domestic adoptions – the last year data was gathered the domestic adoptions exceeded 126,000 adoptions.

I also took offense in your paragraph that stated:
“Never mind that thousands of babies of other races -- most of them black -- go without foster homes and adoptions here and elsewhere in this country every year. It doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars to adopt a black, Latino or mixed-race child.”

You have confused two important – but separate – issues. The thousands of other babies of other races in the US available for adoption, and they are almost always adopted. And it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to adopt them – even domestically. Whether through a state DSHS program, or adoption agency, or lawyers – the cost of infant adoption can be extremely high. But these children DO get adopted – quickly and easily because they are infants.

If you really wanted to take up a cause you would have done some research to find out that the biggest need is the adoption of older children through the foster care system. These children are of all races – white, black, Latino, Asian, Native American – and all waiting for families.

There are currently 120,000 children in foster care in the US who are legally free for adoption. A significant number of these kids are adopted each year, but the number remains fairly steady – mostly through new children coming into the system and termination of parental rights. There are cases where children remain in foster care for years – usually those children with the most significant of needs – whether medical, psychological, or attachment based. These kids all deserve homes – but the fact remains is that there are not enough parents who know about how to adopt, who have the right skills and resources available to help.

Instead of using your column to do some good – and potentially help recruit some fantastic, experienced parents who may be interested in adoption of older children through foster care, you went to spew hate and ignorance. And for that I can’t forgive you. You disregarded your duty as a journalist to get your facts straight – confusing domestic infant adoption issues with domestic foster adoptions of older children – all to meet your preconceived notions about Chinese adoptions. And, had you wanted to shame Hollywood into their stupid portrayals of adoptions, you would have done a better job of explaining that, instead of sharing poorly researched and understood facts.

Maybe next time you could think through the writing of your column, take the time to do some research – and actually strive to make an impact. All readers got from your column was that you have a weird dislike for Chinese children based on two movies; that you have confused views on children and adoption; and that you have not offered any solutions. How fantastic would it be to use your column and time to educate yourself and the public about some needs – children in your community who are in need of homes, and helping to educate potential adoptive parents on resources that are available to assist them.

Response to:

And by the way, I wish I wrote as well as these guys did… actually, I wish you wrote that well also….

Monday, June 9, 2008

Natasha's wedding

Well, Natasha and Findlay finally got married! It was such a great time, and a lovely wedding. Truly, it was a dream wedding - and yes, I cried like a baby! I know - they were tears of joy - but yes, I cried. Natasha has found such a good man in Findlay, and I'm so happy that two so deserving people found each other.

Aberdeen, Scotland is much like Seattle - cold and grey. However, it was a great day for a wedding, and Natasha was a beautiful bride who I hope had her dream wedding. Here are some of the pics....