Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Eastern European Adoption: Got a problem?

It seems that in the community of Special Needs International Adoption, everyone raves about their amazing experiences (ours certainly was!) but they are also afraid to speak up if they've had a problem! Someone has managed to put the fear into them that if they speak up, whole adoption programs will come crashing down! Guess what? I spoke up, and the Serbian adoption program is now better than ever, and even less expensive than it was.

Anyway, there is a movie that came out years ago that happens to be adoption related called, "Secrets and Lies". While that movie deals with secrets within a family, I really like the title, because it is exactly what is happening in the close-knit international adoption community of families adopting kids with special needs!

I think it's important to remember that secrets feed secrets. Keeping quiet about what happened to you while in country or stateside only allows for the same thing to happen to the family coming behind you. Don't you wish the family BEFORE you who had a problem had said something?

It's also important to remember that just because you didn't have a problem, doesn't mean others didn't. Every adoption experience is different, even when adopting from the same country, or using the same facilitator, agency or organization.

That said, I've been hearing an awful lot from the community about common practice on countries other than where my adoption occurred, yet still people are afraid to speak up. They've been told if they do they can bring an entire program down. If that's the case, it's a pretty weak program to begin with, with problems that should be addressed instead of just walked away from so the program can continue. I LOVE seeing all the kids coming home, I HATE watching families be knowing put into the jaws of wolves in sheep clothing. So I've created a place where you can feel free to tell your story without fear of being ostracized. You can find it by clicking HERE and visiting the TEEA group. Truth in Eastern European Adoption.

1 comment:

Terri said...

After we adopted from Russia in 1994, I was involved in some online groups for parents who adopted from Eastern Europe, and honest talk about things like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and attachment disorder and developmental delays and sensory integration made some people furious. If your experience was anything other than My Eastern European Adopted Child Is Perfectly Behaved and Learned English in Five Minutes and Attached to Me Instantly!, you were clearly doing it wrong and a danger to all those other poor orphans whose parents you would scare away with your negative talk. It seemed to me that people who would be put off by even the possibility of those challenges ought not to be adopting kids from Eastern Europe, and that to keep the possibility of special needs a secret tended to lead to worse outcomes for everybody, but that was not a popular opinion.