Monday, June 24, 2013

International Adoption: Why don't you adopt an American?

This is seriously such a rude question but I will answer you anyway.  I really don't know that much about you and don't know your background or heritage but I can pretty much guarantee than unless you are an American Indian you came from someplace else somewhere along the way.  

I also don't know if you have a background in faith.  So I'm just putting this out there that I am a woman of faith in the Elohim of the Bible.  Yahweh is His name.  My husband is a man of the same faith.  We have read the Bible through and through.  It says over and over again to take care of the orphans.  Nowhere does it specifically say where those orphans live.  It just says orphans.  And I'm pretty sure he means all of them, no matter where they live.  

Let me take a moment and educate you on the plight of the orphans in Ukraine.  I can speak to that because I've been to Ukraine, been in an orphanage there and have an ex-Ukraine orphan living with me now as my son.  

In Ukraine children from orphanages are looked at as the lowest of the low citizens.  At best they will work a minimum wage job their entire life.  Even though it is certainly not their fault that they have a non-existent father and a drunk drugged out mother the society there looks at them like pariahs.  My son started cooking at age 4 because it was the only way he could eat.  His mother dropped him off at a shelter when he was 7 because she had another baby and couldn't take care of them both.  (Two different fathers, neither married her - all of them on drugs and alcohol).

She lost her parental rights 6 months later and he was transferred to the orphanage.

Let me tell you about that.  It's not a place you would want your worst enemy to live.  Smells of sewer, older than dirt, a place you know existed during the worst times of the soviet union and you wonder what has gone on in those walls.  Beautiful children running around but then look closely and see how hungry they are and how thin.  But the smiles - oh the smiles.  How can anyone in this situation smile?  It still astounds me.

A 12 foot high iron fence and gate.  In a word - prison.  For children who have done NOTHING wrong except be born to a person who could care less about them.

So that is the good part.  YUP!  

So they turn 16.  Now 16 in a Ukraine orphanage is like 10 here in the U.S.  They have little to no education or skills in anything.  No one cares about them.  They have no material possessions.  They don't own anything.  Even the clothes they wear are shared between the other children their size.  

So they turn 16, but think of any 10 year old that you know and know that this orphan is not as educated or has the common sense needed to survive in the world as your 10 year old.  So it is now August 31st.  The BIG DAY has arrived.  Graduation from the orphanage.  It sounds so good, right?

Wrong.  The children have no idea what is coming except they don't have to live in prison anymore.  But they have no idea what life is like on the outside.  They are woefully unprepared for it.  They leave with the clothes on their backs (more than likely the worst of the lot) and maybe a small bag of anything personal that they've collected over the years.  That's it.  No money.  Nothing.

Where do they go.  Your guess is as good as mine.  I do know the following facts:

Ukraine has a huge human trafficking problem
80% of these children do not live past their 24th birthday and half of them won't make it to age 20.

So you fill in the blanks.  I'm sure that people wait for this day with excitement, waiting to tell these children that they have a place for them to live and a job.  I don't have to go any further - you should get it by now.

So now let's take this journey to America.

How is it different here:

The children can stay in foster care until 18 or graduated from high school.
Children get to actually go to school and be educated
Children after turning 18 have programs to plug into to further their education.  In many states they get free college and money to live on while they are in college or trade school.  
They have a support system in place to transition the children to adult hood and living on their own.

Not to say they have it great, but they are not in the distress the Ukraine teen is in.  

If that doesn't answer your question, well, I can't help you.  I love America as much as you do.  In fact I'm so proud to be an American because we Americans typically step up and do the right thing all around the world.  We are the world's helpers.  We go where we are needed at a personal cost that is very  high.

So instead of opening your mouth and saying stupid things, maybe instead ask how you can help.  There are plenty of adoptive families out there trying to raise funds to adopt one of these distressed orphans.  You may not want to adopt one yourself but you can certainly help someone else do it.

And in the meantime, stop with the stupid comments.  They just show your ignorance.

This is simply my opinion - a little rant today! 

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