K’s Letter in English & Why Not Adopt from USA?
Here’s what the letter says in English! The agency gave us a sample letter with a general format to follow, so it’s nothing really exciting.
Our names are Amy and Tyler. We are going to be your host family for your summer holiday!
We have two daughters. Rosie is six years old and she loves to play dress up. She loves to draw and dance, and she can’t wait to meet you. We have a bed ready for you in her room.
Our other daughter is named Ada. She is two years old and she loves to play with her big sister. She will want to do everything you and Rosie do! We taught her to say your name and she’s excited about you visiting us too.
We like to play outside with bikes and scooters, and we also have lots of fun toys that Rosie and Ada can’t wait to share with you. This summer we would like to take you to visit the zoo. If you want we can also go swimming and play at the park.
We hope you have a good flight to America. We’ll be waiting for you at the airport with a Welcome K sign!
Amy, Tyler, Rosie, and Ada
The kids are told that they are just going on a summer vacation to America. It’s a huge, huge highlight in their lives. We are specifically told not to talk about adoption with them. They know they are here on vacation and they will go home after a few weeks.
Of course older kids know that there is potential for them to find adoptive families, but just knowing that they were chosen by a family to come spend the summer is a huge boost to their self esteem and it carries over to their lives once they go back home, whether they are adopted or not.
I found out today that Toyota (where Tyler works) offers a $5,000 reimbursement towards adoption costs. He can’t get that until he’s hired on, which hopefully will be in October. We also don’t know if they put those benefits on hold due to the sluggish economy. Anyway, $5,000 is just a small portion but I’ll take it! The only thing that sucks is the word reimbursement. That means we’d have to pay for it on our own somehow then we can submit recipts from the adoption agency and Toyota will pay us back.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I don’t even know if we will adopt her. Tyler is completely overwhelmed by the cost and the idea of having to travel to Ukraine. However, when she gets here and if we fall in love with her…yeah…we shall see. Waiting to meet her is so hard! We’re setting up her bed tomorrow.
Several people asked me why we wouldn’t just adopt from the USA instead.
First of all domestic adoption costs just about the same as international adoption, so cost would not be a factor in the choice. (Yep, google it if you don’t believe me!)
The only way it’s cheaper to adopt in the US is if you do it through foster care, which has its own set of major complications. We can’t take the required foster care training classes because they are only offered on weeknights when Tyler is at work, so that is automatically ruled out.
And all things aside, the area we are thinking of moving to is 99.6% white. Most adoptable kids in foster care (looking on the photo listings) are African American. On one hand I would love a child regardless of their race. On the other hand I have actually spent some time reading up on interracial adoption. (Who by now has realized that I over research every single subject that crosses my mind? I have insomnia.)
I don’t think that I could adopt an older (read: not a baby) African American child into my white family in a very white area. Can you imagine how that would go? Just the comments we’d get in public in eastern Kentucky would be too much to handle. That’s not to say I’m afraid of what others think, but imagine if you were that child hearing those comments! That would break my heart for them, and enrage me too. An older black child would need support from a community. Racism aside, skin color is a part of your identity. It’s a vast and complicated subject. To sum it up and way over simplify, I’m afraid that love would not be enough.
I know there are some older white kids for adoption, but most of them are way older. I can’t adopt a teenager or a sibling set right now. I worry about past history of sexual abuse in an older adopted child from our foster care system. People who know about these things would agree with me that this isn’t an unfounded concern, sadly. Rosie and Ada are my first priority more than anything.
I don’t want to adopt an infant from a birth mother either, I can have my own babies. (Well assuming I ever get knocked up again…TTC is/was taking more months than expected.) That pretty much rules out USA adoption options.
And you know what? K doesn’t live in America. She lives in Ukraine. There’s one big reason to adopt internationally! People have different passions for different places, that’s what makes the world an intricate and exciting place.
I also think it’s kind of totally hilarious when so many people get all upset that someone might not choose to adopt from the USA first. (Not just on my blog, but in general this is a common statement.) I want to ask them, WHERE HAVE YOU ADOPTED FROM?
99% of the people: Nowhere.
You know in the United States kids get medical care, dental care, and so on. In Ukraine they do not. At all. If they are sick, they suffer through it. This includes everything from fevers to life threatening problems. If they get the flu, no one gives them Tylenol. If they need tubes in their ears? That would never happen. If they need a life saving operation? Sorry ’bout your luck orphan.
As if that’s not harsh enough…
60% of orphan girls in Ukraine become sex slaves at age 16 when they are kicked out of the orphanage with a 9th grade education. (Imagine being all alone in the world in 9th grade.) 1 in 66 people in Ukraine have HIV.
Imagine K as a teenage sex slave with HIV. Join me crying and rocking back and forth in a corner as your heart breaks into a thousand tiny shards.
Of course there is a chance she could be one of the 10-20% of orphans from Ukraine who commit suicide once they leave the orphanage. Is that better or worse than being forced to have unprotected sex with a billion dirty men for your entire foreseeable future?
The very, very worst part is those sex slaves then get pregnant. Ukraine has a very high rate of abortion and a lot of children with fetal alcohol syndrome. Guess what sex slaves have to do with their babies should they not abort them in time? Give them to the orphanages, of course. Ukraine doesn’t allow international adoption of healthy children under age 5, so those babies grow up in an institution, and the cycle just repeats itself over and over.
Guys, the world is a sad place. America is like a safe bubble where we can pretend none of these things happen. A lot of us don’t even know or care that these things are happening. We worry about stupid shit like cars and vacations, myself included.
But now that I know about things outside of my safe bubble I just can’t unknow them. I HAVE to do something, even though I am only one person.
Now that I’m entering more into the world of orphan hosting, sponsoring, and adopting I’ve found there’s a secret layer of drama. Of course, right? Judgmental people are everywhere.
Bottom line: If you want to give part of your heart to lonely kids it shouldn’t matter to anyone which kids you dedicate yourself to. Hurting, lonely, sad, unloved kids are the same no matter where they live on this planet.
So quit sitting around worrying about what others choose, and go pick a sad kid of your own to love on! Pick the ones you are best suited to help, where ever in this wide world they may live, and give them love however you are able.