Thursday, January 28, 2010

Going back to the previous post..., yeah, let's go there...we can learn from each other...

I'd like to say that my iPhone failed me and didn't forward all the responses to my phone, which is basically the only way I know what's going on. I never go to my blog...that's just me. I let thoughts roll off my mind and that's the end of it. I suck.
So I'm going back to the previous post because I read some really good responses from everyone. There wasn't one single response that I didn't agree with and so many were so different. Now what does a confused girl do with that garble?
I have to say, that I continue to weigh this subject heavy and though it would be really easy for me to claim that I don't believe my daughter was stolen, it would also be very ignorant for me to assume she wasn't. Does the whole thought piss me off? Yes.
I know I didn't sign up for a process that would be unethical. & I doubt all the waiting parents to hold someone sweet did either.
The thought that my beautiful girl could be the person that another Mother mourns desperately over and continues to seek could torture the most heartless human being.
Where does the responsibility lie?
InMySeoul said it best: "....send some pictures but remain anonymous so they can't do anything. How horrible would that be as a parent to get quarterly updates on the child you gave birth to, loved, had kidnapped, sold off; and then to get quarterly updates with photos of them smiling and hugging strangers who replaced them. That would be pure torture...."
I couldn't agree more.
I also have to agree with InMySeoul and Campbell that as adoptees, that would shatter your relationship with your AP's. I would never want my relationship with my daughter to be shattered over keeping such a huge part of her from her. Never.
It sort of reminds me of our foster parenting days, when we entered into a knowing situation that the #1 priority was to unite birth families, regardless of the foster parents thoughts, feelings or the years that go by. We, the foster parents didn't really matter. We were just simply part of an equation where a whole bunch of people including, judges, guardian ad litems, case workers and lawyers all made decisions of what would be 'in the best interest of the child' and not a damn one of them had spent any time with the child or the family they had grown to love. They made decisions based on the blood line of the child. I know from experience, that when we were given the twins, we were told that they would never return to their birth parents. The abuse was to much, the lies to deep, the pain the child endured was to extensive. The damage had been done. I was handed a limp child that slept 23.5 hours a day. I honestly thought I was taking care of a dying child. The brain had been hurt. Badly. The child recovered and our life as a family of 6 strolled happily along. We connected, we worked through issues, we fell head over heels in love with each other. The BP's didn't visit for the first 8 months & when they finally decided to work the case plan, it was only one of the children that they spoke to, held & played with. I saw neglect in a way that brought the Mama bear out in me. That was MY child they were now hurting & I couldn't bear to watch it take place in front of me during these 'forced' visits.
On a warm November day, I stood in front of the judge at a court house where I heard the slam of the judges gavel that was followed with, "Congratulations Parents, you fulfilled your case plan (which was to visit the twins once a week), now go pick up your babies." & at the slam of that gavel, my heart literally fell out of my chest.
It was in that moment, my knees went week and I felt the hand of my husband and case worker grab me from behind and hold tight to me. I couldn't breathe. The pain was to much for the heart to handle. To much.
How did that happen? How could it have happened??? They had never held one of their children since I took custody of them. My heart was broken and blood relations meant nothing to me or Liam and Shelby. Those were my babies. It was my arms they learned to walk to, me who made their birthday cakes, sang them songs, read them stories and taught them to talk. I was Mommy and J was Daddy. I asked for one hour before the birth parents were to pick them up, they gave me 15 minutes. I had to say goodbye. I had to prepare my babies for what we never thought would happen. I held each of them and sobbed. I rocked them and I sang Shelby's favorite song, "you are my sunshine." I told them that I would NEVER stop loving them & I haven't. Blood lines didn't matter, not one bit. My heart shattered and for the next few years, it didn't get easier. The twins came and went in our life often. The parents struggled and would call when in need, we were ALWAYS there to get them. We would get them back often, a week or 2 at a time. Every single time they came 'home', they would throw their shoes out the front door and run, play and spend time with the only family they knew, when it was time for us to return them, they would hide under the beds and tell us no. On one particular night, we were bringing the twins back to their biological parents when Shelby gave J a big hug, paused and looked him square in the eye and said, "bye bye Daddy, I luv you" & as I closed the door to their home, I heard 4 hands beating at the door screaming, "No MOMMY, don't leave us." It was in that moment, that I knew we were causing more harm than good. They felt as though we were abandoning them, even though it was our arms that the birth parents were dumping them in to.
Why is all that relevant to the prior conversation? Because sometimes blood lines mean nothing to the heart of a child who only knows one Mommy and Daddy. We were 2 different sets of parents in 2 different cultures, the children were stuck in the middle. One parent spoke no English and all the twins knew was English. I don't know if my twins recovered from their very disruptive early years of life. I do know that one suffered from RAD and I am positive they never sought treatment for it. Was their pain worth the price of uniting a family due to blood?
So for this reason, I could never put my daughter through the pain of losing the only family she knows. ***How could I ever send her back to a place she doesn't know exists? What would that do to her and her emotional stability? Could she recover? Doubtful. She's almost 2, we are working hard to recover from her past now. It's been to disruptive. She's already gone through to many changes in her short little life. I have to protect her, she is my daughter. There is no way I could love & adore more, she is my hero.
So where does this whole scenario leave us adoptive parents?
The ones who waited for a 'legally' adoptable child to be up for adoption.
I am confused by all of this. I see every side of the spectrum. I endured the pain twice of losing a child that I was the Mommy to and I can say that I survived. My heart healed and life went on. Could I survive it if someone made me return my Eme to an unknown place? Absolutely not. Is this about me? No. Is this an issue of the heart? No. I believe this is an issue that needs to be purued at the government level. At no point in my *waiting* days did I think I would have to wonder if I would be adopting a stolen child. So many stories coming out, so much that scares me. So much that is wrong. How do we fix this issue? It's a whole pile of shit that we as the adoptive parents, the adoptees in life, the children waiting to make their journey and all the Mommy's ad Daddy's waiting to hold a child have to sort through.
Dialogue, it's the only way.
***I am only using my child as an example. I have absolutely NO knowledge as to whether or not my daughter was stolen or not.


Anonymous said...

I do not know you. I do not have any adopted children. In reading your post I feel your pain. My feelings are that you need to stop tormenting yourself. You did not orchestrate Eme's past. God gave her to you. Do not transfer your torment to her, get rid of it and live your life in thansgiving and faith.

a Tonggu Momma said...

As harsh a reality as this is, making the most "ethical" choice is not always in the best interests of the child. And vice versa.

I don't believe that "returning" my child would be in her best interests, but I do believe that integrating the two families as much as possible is the wisest course of action. And no, that does not just involve letters and pictures, but telephone calls and visits, too.

Secrets are what would have gotten us all into this mess in the first place. Transparency and honesty are the first steps to clawing our way out of it.

If, after establishing contact and building relationships, my child asked to return to her first family, well... that's an entirely different ballgame. I'd hope I was strong enough to cede to her wishes, especially since keeping her against her will at that point would ruin our relationship anyway. But somehow I doubt she would wish it.

As much as I disagree with how this situation came about, the Anna Mae He case definitely comes to mind. There, the American foster parents actively participated in the separation from her first family, who were Chinese immigrants. After years of court battles, Anna Mae was legally returned to her parents. She moved with them back to China. And she is now, by most news reports, miserable.

They called her Chloe said...

His amother discovered that her two adopted children were indeed stolen from their mother and she has managed to reunite the children with their first mother and is helping to support her and her family. The amother's book on the reunion is worth reading.

Sandra said...

This is a tough topic. I am still sorting through it all.

TK said...

I've been there. We were foster parents to a newborn straight from the hospital. The day they took her from us at almost 10 month old, was the hardest day of my life. I think we had 45 minutes notice to have her packed and ready. We were not even invited or allowed in court. Our word was not heard, nor the baby's. That was the day we sent our adoption paperwork in. Never more would my heart break like that again. It was the 3rd child sent home from our local DFCS office to a home full of drugs and hell. But they worked their case plan!

Debra said...

Bless you and your family T. I can feel your pain in your words. I don't know how you survived. You must be a very strong woman. I think anonymous said it well above about Eme's past.

Meg said...

although I still don't know where I stand on this issue I respectfully disagree with Anon.....if we don't work through the torment now how do we explain ALL of the possibilities to our daughters and sons later....when they are older- and have researched all of this themselves? we are naive if we think they will not come upon the Hunan reports or stories of stolen children sold to orphanages....I don't want to be blindsided by EK's questions- I'm aware that I most likely will still have to respond "I'm sorry sweet girl, I just don't have an answer to that question"...for almost everything she asks me, but I think if I have done my homework, felt my emotions on the subject now, while she is young.....maybe I can be the one to hold her hand while it is her turn to feel HER emotions later.....I don't think it would be healthy for her to have me breaking down at the possibility of her having been stolen- I want to be secure in my thoughts on the issues when she asks me "what would you do if we found out that was me?".....I'll break down (I'm a cryer!) b/c of her pain- sure....but I need to have worked through my emotions first.......imo.

Donna said...

I cried reading about your twins. Just thinking about their little fists banging on the door begging you to not make them go back "home". Devastating.

I was a social worker and I saw this often and each time I sat in my car all by myself and cried my heart out. This is why I wouldn't adopt from our Foster Care system.

There's little chance that either of our girls were abducted and sold to an orphanage but we keep our blog public so that their birth family might find them. A simple search of their finding date and location turns up our blog - even on the Chinese search engines (except now blogs are blocked in China but you can get around it using proxy sites).

With the help of more than 100 parents who adopted from Maddy's SWI, we created a book of photos of all of the kids listing their baby photo and current photo, Chinese name, birthdate, adoption date and email address. Then we sent the book to the orphanage. None of the families objected to having their email address listed even though it opened a door to birth families being able to find their child and contact them. (We found Maddy's Foster Family this way). I think it's especially interesting that not one single parent objected to having that door open.

Our Blog: Double Happiness!

triciah said...

Heartbreaking. Would you mind if I ask about the current conditions and ages of the twins ~~ although I'm afraid I already know the answer.


tricia from de

Diana said...

I honestly can not imagine your pain on having to "give" back the twins that became part of your family...The system so needs help to protect these kids from the hell they are having to live in!!
Do you know anything about them now and how they are doing? I just can not imagine....

t~ said...

Tonguu Momma, again, you said my thoughts perfectly.

They Called Her Chloe, what a very interesting link. I watched the videos and thought how imperfectly perfect & how enriched the lives are for all involved.

TK, yeah...that damn case plan. I feel ya.

Tricia, I will sometimes get updates from the pediatricians office, but it's been a very long time since I've gotten one. The last time we saw the twins was 5 1/2 years ago. We were on the beach and they had 2 new siblings. By all accounts, we hear they are fine.

Donna, I love this idea!

Polar Bear said...

NEVER in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it was possible our child could have been taken from her home unwillingly. I thought by going through a reputable adoption agency, following all the rules, doing all of the necessary paperwork and hoop jumping we doing the right thing.

What a bubble I live in. All of this scares the Hell out of me. Am I wrong to want to finish the journey we started, knowing that there is this possibility? All I have ever wanted to be is a mom. I hate that now the possibility is finally within my grasp and there is this darkness creeping in that makes me question. I HATE IT! I have really been struggling lately with all of this and it sucks. Part of me wants to crawl back in my bubble and hide. I know that is not the answer, but right now I don't know how to deal with this?

I am so sorry for the pain you and the twins went through. I can't even imagine how difficult that must have been. As hard as this is, I so appreciate you bringing up these topics. I know in the long run it is better to be informed, just wish it didn't hurt so much.

sorry to ramble...

Laurie said...

I knew your hearts were broken over your twins but hearing these details I don't really know how you got thru it. I think of G and C who must've been so confused. That said, you certainly have a unique perspective in sorting through all these issues.

I still believe the chance of our daughters (I say ours even thought I am still waiting) being stolen is very, very small. We knew nothing of this possibility when we got into this almost 5 years ago in my case and longer ago for you.

I agree with your first commenter, that you can't torture yourself over this. I do believe we need to be as educated as we can and think about the tough what ifs, but we can't put ourselves into a mindset that it is probable they were stolen, because it is not.

Randi said...

Another great post about this whole situation. I still can't even put my thoughts into coherent words. thanks for your words.

Trudy said...

There is always so much to learn in your honest posts. At least your twins deep inside know what a real family and love is because of you. It may be covered beneath pain but it's there for them to seek as they get older. That struggle has taught you how to protect your daughter.

a Tonggu Momma said...

T ~ There is also a teen adopted from China from our home state who reunited with his biological family. You can read about it here:

And - again - I am so sorry about the loss y'all experienced. That must have been so very difficult.

Stacy said...

Your post was extremely moving. Thanks for opening your heart and giving us the perspective of someone who has had to give up a child.

t~ said...

Just as gain is to us in life, so is loss. Just as I cherish each gain, so do I cherish the loss. Without one, the other would mean nothing.

I don't torture myself over the what if's, I feel as though I have questions for my daughter that deserve to have answers. She deserves the truth of her life. I believe that knowledge is power and we can do better for our adopted children. If I can't process all this, how will she? I'm learning as I go and have enjoyed all the different thoughts and perspectives.

InMySeoul said...

Didn't you "argue" earlier with Mei-Ling that a child is unable to comprehend having another mother, who they have no contact with, before 5 (or maybe later)?

If you really believe that, and Eme is only 2, then I am confused as to why you think it will cause "irreparable" damage to Eme? (since nothing is known about her parents, the quality of their parenting has no bearing in this query) Wouldn't your previous argument support that as long as the transfer happened before the age of 5, in a very short time she will no longer associate you as a mother? Or the rest of your family as "her family"? And after a few years that "place she doesn't know exists?" will be the USA...

Since she is less than 5 years old, language will hardly be a setback. Since the brain is capable of quickly learning languages at that age.

While I do have a heart for those children you cared for in foster care, it is logically improper to use that isolated case as support as to why its in Eme's best interest.

To be honest, if she's only two, and she was sent back to her native country...I would be highly doubtful that she would even be able to remember what happened 10 years from now. Not only just because of her young age and the whole debate of when someone can start remembering events in their lives. But the fact that she would be returning to her native country and culture. She is going to look like everyone else and talk like everyone else. She will be able to blend in perfectly. There will be no daily reminder that she is different.

Comprehending that you were kidnapped and eventually returned is much easier than trying to understand/comprehend that you were abandoned/given up for adoption.

Campbell said...

It's not that difficult to understand why some people are "abandoned" or given up for adoption.

What's hard to understand is why some grown adults can't bring themselves to realize that it wasn't something against them personally. The person giving us up didn't know us, period. Yes, for some there is an emotional connection from conception, that's a fact (I wish people would stop kidding themselves that all mothers are maternal and have an instant bond with their baby). But it isn't like they took a look at our face, or listened to us tell a story of our day or sing and then shook their head in disgust or disappointment and walked away saying, "I just can't stomach being anywhere near this person so I'm going to give them away".

If you're adopted, you weren't abandoned.

t~ said...

Thanks for your insight Campbell, I couldn't agree more.

"If you're adopted, you weren't abandoned." this line.