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Old 05-03-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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Discussions about international adoptions are scattered throughout this forum, and I thought it would be nice to gather some stories that show both the challenges and positive outcomes of overseas adoptions from orphanages.

I believe in the U.S. there is still limited support for international adoptions (for parents and for the children). Hopefully, stories such as the one below, will provide states and agencies with the motivation to invest more resources in support services for couples adopting from orphanages.

It's a nice story about a Russian woman who was adopted at age five and the full-circle she's been able to make in her life. Enjoy and share other stories similar to this!

Russian Adopted by Americans Returns to Help Orphans Find Homes
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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Good story.

Honestly she reminds me of myself at her age in many ways. Very passionate about adoption, wanting to connect with where I came from, but not yet wanting to meet my bio-family. She loves her adoptive family very much, yet is able to articulate how being adopted can be a very complex experience that is not without challenges:

Quote:
Today, nearly 23 and having grown up wrestling with her own identity — American or Russian? Julia or Sasha? — she watches uncomfortably as officials from both countries spar over adoptions...

“I have two identities,” she said, “Julia and Sasha. Until high school, I was Julia. Then, I was Sasha. Before, I was confused. Now, I’m not.” ...

Friends and siblings told her to let the past be the past. “For me, it wasn’t enough,” she said. “I have a Russian soul.”
Will be interesting to see how her experience in Russia influences her & her work over time, if her focus will remain on international adoption or if it will shift to helping orphans in other ways (especially considering the ban).

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 05-03-2013 at 03:46 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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Good story.

Btw I think many adoptees can relate to the following and is why many adoptees don't want to reunite:

Quote:
I was not ready to find my birth mom, she said. I was afraid of answers I didnt want to face.
Even those of us who seem to have a good birth background can feel that way. I've found only good so far but keep expecting the other shoe to drop.

Also, it seems that visiting Russia has helped her to put things in context. That was one thing that I found as well about visiting one's origins.

I don't think the problem is with US APs per se, it is more that adoption ethics seems to be left up to the APs which makes it hard on the APs. I keep seeing online lists on how to adopt ethically internationally and, if the government had strict guidelines in place, those lists wouldn't be needed - APs could adopt knowing that everything is above board which would take a weight off their shoulders. I think France might have similar problems judging by some problems in Africa, so it is not just a US thing.

Many other receiving countries have strict guidelines which means that anyone adopting via official channels can be rest assured that their adoptions were above board - one less thing for APs to worry about.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:20 PM
 
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I caught this story on the news last week -- Tarikuwa Lemma was adopted from Ethiopia with some of her younger siblings. Her father was told they were going to America to receive educations & that they would return home. The adoptive parents were told their father was dying of AIDS & that the children might end up prostitutes (among other lies).

Now Tarikuwa advocates for adoption reform & speaks about corruption. Her dream is to go back to Ethiopia where she hopes to build a business & help Ethiopian families stay together.

At a young age she has become quite inspiring as well. Here's an interview with her:

Adopted against her will: One woman shares her story

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 05-03-2013 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:42 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,117,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Discussions about international adoptions are scattered throughout this forum, and I thought it would be nice to gather some stories that show both the challenges and positive outcomes of overseas adoptions from orphanages.

I believe in the U.S. there is still limited support for international adoptions (for parents and for the children). Hopefully, stories such as the one below, will provide states and agencies with the motivation to invest more resources in support services for couples adopting from orphanages.

It's a nice story about a Russian woman who was adopted at age five and the full-circle she's been able to make in her life. Enjoy and share other stories similar to this!

Russian Adopted by Americans Returns to Help Orphans Find Homes
I love this story! What an accomplished, and exceptional young woman! It's incredible that Russia and other EE countries list astigmatism as a "special need". My daughter and I both have astigmatism.

The Custers sound like a lovely family, and a wonderful adoption success story. It is so sad that this story and others like it, are not making headlines.

When it comes to adoption from Eastern Europe, all we hear is the bad stuff. Thanks for posting something that while not sensational, was encouraging to someone poised to adopt from Eastern Europe.

My facilitator to me that if Ukraine were to lower the ages that orphans could be adopted by Americans that the amount of adoptions would double - especially since Russia is now out of the picture,

As I typed that, a wave of sadness came over me. I am thinking of all of the children in Russia who will never amount to much and will statistically live harrowing and brief lives, because of Russia's ban on adoption.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I love this story! What an accomplished, and exceptional young woman! It's incredible that Russia and other EE countries list astigmatism as a "special need". My daughter and I both have astigmatism.

The Custers sound like a lovely family, and a wonderful adoption success story. It is so sad that this story and others like it, are not making headlines.

When it comes to adoption from Eastern Europe, all we hear is the bad stuff. Thanks for posting something that while not sensational, was encouraging to someone poised to adopt from Eastern Europe.

My facilitator to me that if Ukraine were to lower the ages that orphans could be adopted by Americans that the amount of adoptions would double - especially since Russia is now out of the picture,

As I typed that, a wave of sadness came over me. I am thinking of all of the children in Russia who will never amount to much and will statistically live harrowing and brief lives, because of Russia's ban on adoption.
Isn't the ban only on adoptions from the US?

I see she wants to encourage Russians to adopt older children.

Also, more emphasis on programmes to help those children who do age out would be good.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susankate View Post
I see she wants to encourage Russians to adopt older children.

Also, more emphasis on programmes to help those children who do age out would be good.
I missed the part where she said she wanted to encourage Russians to adopt older kids. That's great! That & creating programs for children who are likely to age out will help far more than focusing on promoting adoptions from America.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:00 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,855,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I missed the part where she said she wanted to encourage Russians to adopt older kids. That's great! That & creating programs for children who are likely to age out will help far more than focusing on promoting adoptions from America.
She didn't specifically say "adopt older children" but she said this:

Quote:
She wants to encourage Russians, who adopt in small numbers, to do more.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:42 AM
 
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I see. Thanks for clarifying, Susankate. I tried looking for statistics on this, but couldn't find any... Does anyone know how often Russians adopt in comparison to how often people from other countries adopt?
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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Almost a decade ago, I had a student who'd been adopted from Romania. It was around that time that people were starting to understand that so many of those children suffered from long-term consequences of early institutional care. Her parents, especially her mother, were completely unrealistic in their expectations for this girl. They obviously loved her, but had assumed they'd bring her to the U.S. and she'd grow up to be "normal" and all would be well. Even as she struggled to grasp middle school content in my classroom, her mother was insisting that she was going to college to become a veterinarian, was going to write a best-selling book, etc., etc., etc.

I don't know whether it was because of the pressure exerted on the girl, or simply her personality (shaped by whatever forces), but she was very headstrong and difficult to deal with. Her parents eventually sent her to one of those boarding schools for "troubled teens," where she stayed until she was 18 or 19.

She and I are still in touch (FB friends ) and she now lives in the same town as her mother (her father is deceased), in a supported living situation and works as an assistant in a kennel. Although her parents meant well, I think if they'd been more knowledgeable and understanding early on, they might have a better relationship now.

On a happier note, one of my current students was adopted from Bulgaria, as was her older brother. The brother, as far as I know, doesn't have any "issues." My student was born with a cleft lip, has vision problems and is developmentally delayed. However she is the sweetest, happiest girl I think I've ever met. Her parents love her deeply, are fully supportive of her, and accept her as she is.

That's what I consider a successful international adoption .....
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