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Old 05-11-2013, 07:37 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,978,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I don't think sarcasm has any productive role to play in advancing this discussion.

As far as "social problems" are concerned, it might be relevant to note the stats. for kids aging out of those "fine institutions of the (sic) Ukraine". Drug and alcohol abuse are rampant, unemployment and underemployment rates are extremely high, as is involvement in prostitution and other crimes and most tragically, suicides and other early deaths due to poor decisions, lack of education, poverty, lack of role models, lack of families and familial support, and just plain immaturity.

The stats for kids aging out of the American foster care system are not great, either, of course, and many of these same issues are present in this equivalent population in this country. Both systems are clearly in need of reformation and improvement. I admire and support the families, individuals, agencies, ngos, and others who adopt, foster, help support, or otherwise provide encouragement, material and personal assistance, and real opportunities to the young people in these positions, regardless of the nationalities of either the young people or those who assist them in various ways.

It's not a competition.
^^This.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:36 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 1,725,531 times
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The whole institutional horror story advancement for international adoption, though often true, is really not an argument worthy of consideration unless one of your motives for adopting is altruistic[which I believe actually exists BTW]. Children in US and foreign institutions can match sympathetic stories tit for tat. Children in both situations can match abuse, "rad" and other syndromes, tit for tat too.

No, it's not a competition, & it seems disingenuous to use the same stories and syndromes to promote international adoption as are used as reasons not to adopt from US foster care.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:38 AM
 
10,365 posts, read 8,341,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj185 View Post
The whole institutional horror story advancement for international adoption, though often true, is really not an argument worthy of consideration unless one of your motives for adopting is altruistic[which I believe actually exists BTW]. Children in US and foreign institutions can match sympathetic stories tit for tat. Children in both situations can match abuse, "rad" and other syndromes, tit for tat too.

No, it's not a competition, & it seems disingenuous to use the same stories and syndromes to promote international adoption as are used as reasons not to adopt from US foster care.
I have never, ever promoted international adoption in opposition to adoption for US foster care. This is a personal decision, and ALL children living without families need and deserve families, regardless of those children's or those families' nationalities, as I have stated here repeatedly.

As for those "sympathetic stories": how many American children with Down syndrome or other special needs are living in cribs 24/7, at the age of nine - or ten - or eleven, or twelve or even up to age sixteen, while weighing less than twenty pounds and having their diapers changed twice a day, if that, subsisting on a diet of weak tea and oatmeal gruel fed to them(while they are lying prone) via propped beer bottles with lamb nipples cut wide open to enhance rapid flow - so rapid that the child cannot swallow adequately, and instead inhales the gruel, leading to pneumonia - in foster care in the United States?

How many American children with DS, cerebral palsy, untreated hydrocephalus due to untreated spina bifida, and/or arthrogryposis are sent from foster care to adult-level mental institutions at the age of four? How many American children with Apert syndrome are denied the skull and hand surgeries they require to lead normal lives? How many American children with cleft palate and cleft lip are denied the surgeries they need, and thus are sent to mental institutions to live out their lives because their speech is impaired? How many American children with mild cerebral palsy are viewed as mentally disabled because they limp and/or have a lazy eye, and are sent to institutions "for the mentally defective" because of this?

Precious few. Thank heaven. But I know children in each of these categories, survivors of the orphanage/institution system in Eastern Europe. I am related to one of these children, whose life was transformed by adoption. None of these children are American by birth.

I am not acquainted with any American children with special needs who have suffered such horrific institutionalized, governmental neglect. There certainly are American examples of children with RAD, of children who've suffered at the hands of abusive or neglectful parents or foster families, of children who've slipped through the cracks of "the system", children who have been sent to psychiatric hospitals for dubious reasons and who have received dubious treatment in such places. This is of course deplorable and infuriating to anyone who cares about children. But I am not aware of any comparable examples to those I cited above occurring in this country.

No matter how lacking or abusive the American foster care system may be, it cannot compare to the conditions to be found in the orphanages and mental institutions of the developing world. Not the Third World - which is worse - but the developing world, in particular the countries of Eastern Europe which were formerly part of the Soviet Union or the Soviet Bloc. Old negative attitudes towards people with special needs are deeply engrained in these cultures. In addition, there are many carry-overs from the Soviet era, during which people with special needs were viewed as being of no use to The State - hence of no use whatsoever. Traditionally, the birth of a child with special needs was viewed a being a punishment for some sin of the parents. Such children were often viewed as being cursed themselves. Their disabilities were viewed as untreatable, or if treatable, still not worth being treated. Such attitudes are changing, and in many countries in EE, new regulations are being put in place and things are improving, but slowly...so slowly.

So you really cannot accurately compare the orphanage and institutional conditions which have resulted from this history to the conditions existing in foster care in this country. There are horrors to be found in both situations, undeniably - but even a little research will make it clear that the greatest need is outside of this country, in terms of adequate medical care, sanitation, food, education, even simple decency in conditions of daily living.

Please take a look at the photos viewable at Bible Orphan Ministry's blog - not just the cute little kids with their newly donated clothing, but the men and boys living in a mental institution. Also see Life to Orphans - their website is rather clunky and hard to navigate, but go through the photo album and look for Torez. Things are considerably better there than was once the case - but it's slow. Then look for Pleven Orphanage, in Bulgaria - you can just Bing or Google it - and check out the conditions of the kids on the top floor. Thank God for Pleven's new director...

Then come back here, and tell us where American's Torezes, Plevens, and similar places can be found...

RAD is the least of it, when we're talking about nine year olds who weigh less than my cat.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:22 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,978,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
...I thought it would be nice to gather some stories that show both the challenges and positive outcomes of overseas adoptions from orphanages...Enjoy and share other stories similar to this!

Russian Adopted by Americans Returns to Help Orphans Find Homes
Yes, I've deleted some posts as "off-topic." This is the topic folks...some side discussions are fine, but PLEASE...this thread isn't really about why one might feel international adoptions are bad or wrong. It's about the POSITIVE outcomes of adopted children from other countries and the challenges they faced in their orphanages...
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,575 posts, read 23,088,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I have never, ever promoted international adoption in opposition to adoption for US foster care. This is a personal decision, and ALL children living without families need and deserve families, regardless of those children's or those families' nationalities, as I have stated here repeatedly.

As for those "sympathetic stories": how many American children with Down syndrome or other special needs are living in cribs 24/7, at the age of nine - or ten - or eleven, or twelve or even up to age sixteen, while weighing less than twenty pounds and having their diapers changed twice a day, if that, subsisting on a diet of weak tea and oatmeal gruel fed to them(while they are lying prone) via propped beer bottles with lamb nipples cut wide open to enhance rapid flow - so rapid that the child cannot swallow adequately, and instead inhales the gruel, leading to pneumonia - in foster care in the United States?

How many American children with DS, cerebral palsy, untreated hydrocephalus due to untreated spina bifida, and/or arthrogryposis are sent from foster care to adult-level mental institutions at the age of four? How many American children with Apert syndrome are denied the skull and hand surgeries they require to lead normal lives? How many American children with cleft palate and cleft lip are denied the surgeries they need, and thus are sent to mental institutions to live out their lives because their speech is impaired? How many American children with mild cerebral palsy are viewed as mentally disabled because they limp and/or have a lazy eye, and are sent to institutions "for the mentally defective" because of this?

Precious few. Thank heaven. But I know children in each of these categories, survivors of the orphanage/institution system in Eastern Europe. I am related to one of these children, whose life was transformed by adoption. None of these children are American by birth.

I am not acquainted with any American children with special needs who have suffered such horrific institutionalized, governmental neglect. There certainly are American examples of children with RAD, of children who've suffered at the hands of abusive or neglectful parents or foster families, of children who've slipped through the cracks of "the system", children who have been sent to psychiatric hospitals for dubious reasons and who have received dubious treatment in such places. This is of course deplorable and infuriating to anyone who cares about children. But I am not aware of any comparable examples to those I cited above occurring in this country.

No matter how lacking or abusive the American foster care system may be, it cannot compare to the conditions to be found in the orphanages and mental institutions of the developing world. Not the Third World - which is worse - but the developing world, in particular the countries of Eastern Europe which were formerly part of the Soviet Union or the Soviet Bloc. Old negative attitudes towards people with special needs are deeply engrained in these cultures. In addition, there are many carry-overs from the Soviet era, during which people with special needs were viewed as being of no use to The State - hence of no use whatsoever. Traditionally, the birth of a child with special needs was viewed a being a punishment for some sin of the parents. Such children were often viewed as being cursed themselves. Their disabilities were viewed as untreatable, or if treatable, still not worth being treated. Such attitudes are changing, and in many countries in EE, new regulations are being put in place and things are improving, but slowly...so slowly.

So you really cannot accurately compare the orphanage and institutional conditions which have resulted from this history to the conditions existing in foster care in this country. There are horrors to be found in both situations, undeniably - but even a little research will make it clear that the greatest need is outside of this country, in terms of adequate medical care, sanitation, food, education, even simple decency in conditions of daily living.

Please take a look at the photos viewable at Bible Orphan Ministry's blog - not just the cute little kids with their newly donated clothing, but the men and boys living in a mental institution. Also see Life to Orphans - their website is rather clunky and hard to navigate, but go through the photo album and look for Torez. Things are considerably better there than was once the case - but it's slow. Then look for Pleven Orphanage, in Bulgaria - you can just Bing or Google it - and check out the conditions of the kids on the top floor. Thank God for Pleven's new director...

Then come back here, and tell us where American's Torezes, Plevens, and similar places can be found...

RAD is the least of it, when we're talking about nine year olds who weigh less than my cat.

Excellent and eloquent post! I was blocked from giving you rep.

There is no comparison.

My handyman is an "Aged out foster child". He has no parents, no one who he thinks of as a parent.
He is also a computer repairmen and he has an Associate degree in IT.
Most of it paid for by the state because he is a former foster child. he is married to an RN with a BS degree. They have a bight little son and own a condo.

He is not a street person or a drug addict.

I am pretty much the last person to extol the virtues of the United States over other countries.
However, there is no comparison when it comes to aging out in the US and aging out in a Third World or Emerging Nations.

There is NO COMPARISON! NONE!

According to the way that children are labeled in these countries, I would have been labeled as disables doe to amblyopia (lazy eye) which was corrected in 1959!
PLEASE!
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,277 posts, read 5,150,055 times
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I know of one family that adopted a little boy with arthrogryposis from Ukraine. He was in a terrible mental institution where they did absolutely nothing all day. He and the other boys and men sat in their rooms in bad weather and out in sheds in better weather all day long. They had no toys and no one interacting with them. Mind you, this boy only has a physical disability. He was cognitively typical before he entered the institution. He went from sitting in a shed all day staring to going home and being loved. He goes to school, has siblings, has parents who love him, and does all kinds of things now. Despite not having the tendons (I think that's what he's missing) in his wrists, he loves to draw now. He uses his shoulder muscles to direct his hand. There are other great strides he's been making, but they're slipping my mind right now.

That's just one family I know of. I know of many, many more but don't feel the need to detail their lives to everyone. You could probably do searches for some blogs and come up with these families.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:00 PM
 
10,365 posts, read 8,341,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
I know of one family that adopted a little boy with arthrogryposis from Ukraine. He was in a terrible mental institution where they did absolutely nothing all day. He and the other boys and men sat in their rooms in bad weather and out in sheds in better weather all day long. They had no toys and no one interacting with them. Mind you, this boy only has a physical disability. He was cognitively typical before he entered the institution. He went from sitting in a shed all day staring to going home and being loved. He goes to school, has siblings, has parents who love him, and does all kinds of things now. Despite not having the tendons (I think that's what he's missing) in his wrists, he loves to draw now. He uses his shoulder muscles to direct his hand. There are other great strides he's been making, but they're slipping my mind right now.

That's just one family I know of. I know of many, many more but don't feel the need to detail their lives to everyone. You could probably do searches for some blogs and come up with these families.

I think I know who you're writing about - if so, in addition to being very talented in art (he's quite observant and includes remarkable detail in his pictures), this little boy also rides a specially-designed bike, swims, takes part in church activities, and has performed (with his siblings) in plays. Cute little boy - big blue eyes and deep dimples. He's had several surgeries to counter his arthrogryposis, which affects both his arms and legs, since coming home (his legs are less severely impacted).

His mother's blog advocates for the other "lost boys", still sitting in that shed, hour after hour, day after day... resulting in at least one other boy, a child with Down syndrome if I recall correctly, also finding a loving family.

The men and boys living in this child's former institutional home are kept reasonably clean and adequately, if not well fed, and there are beautiful flowers blooming everywhere. But the staff and management consider all of them unable to learn and unaware of their surroundings.

There is a tall wooden fence completely surrounding this isolated, rural place, whose main building was once a rather elegant 19th century country house, but is now in need of major updating. The staff and management do the best they can with limited resources, but the main "limited resource" is accurate knowledge and understanding of the abilities and potential of people with special needs. Even had this little boy gone without the surgeries and other treatments he needed, he still could have received an appropriate education, were cognitive and physical disabilities not lumped together in his birth country, and if special needs in general were not viewed as making it impossible for those with them to have any place in day-to-day life, much less any potential for contributing to everyday life or living a full and happy life. So much education and information is lacking still - as was once the case in the United States as well.

Every child who is successfully adopted, either internationally or domestically, from such conditions is a witness to the potential hidden within the other children living in these places.

If some readers are looking for the various blogs and stories and places referenced here recently, be sure to also look for the "before" and "after" pictures of the successfully adopted children. The changes speak for themselves.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,575 posts, read 23,088,653 times
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The purpose of the thread was not to be directed to "do searches for some blogs and come up with these families". The purpose was, and is; to discuss this subject.

People, last time I checked; are permitted to prefer one type of adoption over another.

I have not yet found a form of adoption in the United States that is "closed" enough for my taste, although I do know of some people who have had success finding closed adoption situations in the US.

These adoptions involve infants. While I love infants, as a woman in my 50s, I don't feel infant adoption is appropriate for me.

I do not think that CraigCreek is promoting international adoption over domestic adoption. I do think that CraigCreek has a heart for the children of Eastern Europe, particularly those with certain disabilities. And that is admirable.

I, however do favor international adoption. And I am permitted to hold and to express this opinion without apology.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:28 PM
 
10,365 posts, read 8,341,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
The purpose of the thread was not to be directed to "do searches for some blogs and come up with these families". The purpose was, and is; to discuss this subject.

CC: My comment you quoted above was in reference to those who seem to be unaware of the differences between the orphanages and institutions of the developing world and the conditions in which American children in foster care live. I have previously described several blogs of families who've adopted internationally, as have other posters, and my comment was in reference to that, not to anything you've written in this thread. It seems to me that this is very relevant to this thread's topic and title. If anyone is intrigued by the blogs I've described, they are welcome to send me a PM and I will provide links to those blogs.

People, last time I checked; are permitted to prefer one type of adoption over another.

CC: Of course, and that's as it should be.

I have not yet found a form of adoption in the United States that is "closed" enough for my taste, although I do know of some people who have had success finding closed adoption situations in the US.

These adoptions involve infants. While I love infants, as a woman in my 50s, I don't feel infant adoption is appropriate for me.

I do not think that CraigCreek is promoting international adoption over domestic adoption. I do think that CraigCreek has a heart for the children of Eastern Europe, particularly those with certain disabilities. And that is admirable.

CC: Thank you. This is correct.

I, however do favor international adoption. And I am permitted to hold and to express this opinion without apology.
CC: Each of us is certainly allowed to favor any form of adoption, be it domestic or international, open or closed, special needs or typical children.

Actually, I think the term I'd use here would be "prefer" rather than "favor". Preferring one type of adoption for one's own family does not mean that one disapproves of other forms of adoption for other families. I have no problem at all with individual preferences based on individual differences, abilities, needs, and wishes.

I do wish that there were more widespread awareness of the various issues involved with and related to adoption of all kinds, and that such awareness were accompanied by accurate knowledge. This forum goes a long ways towards help spreading such awareness, even when posters hold strongly differing opinions.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,277 posts, read 5,150,055 times
Reputation: 3889
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
The purpose of the thread was not to be directed to "do searches for some blogs and come up with these families". The purpose was, and is; to discuss this subject.

People, last time I checked; are permitted to prefer one type of adoption over another.

I have not yet found a form of adoption in the United States that is "closed" enough for my taste, although I do know of some people who have had success finding closed adoption situations in the US.

These adoptions involve infants. While I love infants, as a woman in my 50s, I don't feel infant adoption is appropriate for me.

I do not think that CraigCreek is promoting international adoption over domestic adoption. I do think that CraigCreek has a heart for the children of Eastern Europe, particularly those with certain disabilities. And that is admirable.

I, however do favor international adoption. And I am permitted to hold and to express this opinion without apology.
OK, well, I put that in there because of know way too many positive stories to write about here. Plus, it's not my place to tell the stories of other families.
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