Category Archives: Jesus Told Me To

Make-Believe Make Believe is Too Damned Real

I’ve been writing this blog on no particular schedule for over five years now (I can’t believe it either). Sometimes I go dark for month after month, and when I do, I ask myself, “Snarks, what’s it gonna take for  you to post again?” And then something like this comes along, and I can’t not.

Mrs. Kristy Aldridge of Winchester (?), Kentucky says she wanted to share her adoption story and teach children about adoption. But how? Should she start a blog? Write a book? Write a press release? Set up an interview? No, none of those.

No. She opened a fake hospital-cum-baby store for little girls. (So her “adoption story” is yet another one told from the POV of the AP. What a surprise.)

Two weeks ago, Kristy Aldridge decided to start Choosing To Love Babies, a baby doll adoption program in an infant nursery room at the Kids’ Discovery Center.

And, being an a’mom, surely Mrs. Aldridge knows the importance of telling the truth about adoption. She isn’t just doing this to be cute. She’s there to “educat[e] them on adoption.” Sure she is. The education these little girls are getting from her is that adoption is a rainbow of perfect newborns put on earth for their benefit, their amusement, their selection, and their *purchase.

Interested children and parents can schedule an appointment to meet at the Kids’ Discovery Center at 9 S. Bloomfield Road in Winchester, which has been transformed into a mock hospital wing.

That’s right. Adopted children Come From The Hospital (not out of a woman’s body), just like your little brother did. They’re never not newborn. They’re never special needs. You don’t have to wait for them. You just pick your favorite one:

“So basically what it is the girls get to come in and they get to choose a baby that they want,” Aldridge said. “We have different races and different genders for them to choose from.

Pet peeve alert: Genders? Really? Why are we so afraid of the word “sex”? (Or can you really tell an epicine baby doll from an agender version one baby doll? cause I can’t.) You don’t have different genders of baby dolls, you have dolls that represent babies of two sexes.

[“]And we’re educating them on adoption and they have to make the promise of taking care of the baby. That’s a big part of it.”

Little girls don’t know babies need care if they aren’t told so by Mrs. Aldridge. And promising to take care of the baby is “a big part of” adoption, but it’s not the most important part. If it were, it would probably be discussed first. The most important part is customizing your fresh new baby, just like real adoptive parents get to do!–Only not so much. Not anymore. Not if they aren’t filthy stinking rich. Settling for a child who really needs you sucks.

 “We convert one of our infant rooms into the nursery and all of us have scrubs on,” she said. “I mean we really try to make this feel like an adoption.

Again, this is nothing like an adoption, unless it’s one of the ones done by rich, coercive people who don’t care who they hurt as  long as they get a newborn. Why not require the girls to take the doll from the arms of its dolly mother? Why not give the dolls fake umbilical cords for the little mommies to cut? (Why not just sit at home and watch reruns of Adoption Stories?)

These little girls come with their baby carriers and we have babies in another room, so when we re-stock and bring them in we act like they’re just born.”

Straight from the baby store to you!

Part of the adoption process after a baby is chosen is a 15-20 minute medical routine. Aldridge and her team of volunteer doctors teach the children proper care of their baby, such as how to hold the baby and how to change a diaper.

And that’s all adoptive mommies really need to know, isn’t it?

[…]

The program quickly became much more than Aldridge imagined. Part of the program was to raise awareness about adoption, but it has become educational in other ways as well.

“Another thing that is kind of awakening that we didn’t expect is that the children don’t see color.

Again with this color blind horseshit. Of course children see skin color. Before a certain age, they don’t realize it means anything, but they certainly see it. And so do lying grown-ups who want to deny systemic racism.

While they are going through and picking their baby I get to educate them on the true meaning of adoption is just loving the baby.

Wait, didn’t you just say kids are devoid of racism due to their tragic, somehow-universal optical impairments?  Then why do they need you to lean over their shoulders crooning “It’s about luuuuurve, so annny color you want is juuust fiiine” when they literally can’t tell the difference? They don’t, but I bet doing that makes you feel good, Ms. Aldridge.

[“]I have an Asian daughter from adoption and that’s what I bring up that it doesn’t matter. A white family doesn’t have to have a white baby.”

Certainly not. A white family can have pretty much any child it can pay for, sue for, or otherwise acquire, whether they’re in the legal right or not.

[“]Pets are also available for adoption and include a lesson on proper pet care and responsibility.

“The pets we also put in the cribs.

(I originally thought they meant real live pets. They mean stuffed animals, which is bad enough.)

[“]It’s about teaching them responsibility and not just ‘Let’s go to Walmart and get a pet,’” Aldridge said. 

Let’s go to the fake maternity ward and get a baby–or maybe a sea turtle!

Although, of course, “adopted” pets and adopted children do have some things in common: Some people will judge them for being adopted even though it was no fault of their own; and, if you get bored with one, you can easily discard it. I know you promised to take care of Baby, but grownups break their promises to pets and children all the time. It’s fine. You did your best. Your dolly or pet had RAD, or was otherwise simply unlovable. This currently happens to 25% of adopted children in the USA, but I’m sure Mrs. Aldridge doesn’t mention that at these events.

[…]

Adoptions are made through the week by appointment. The adoption experience includes a baby blanket, diaper, bottle, birth certificate, adoption certificate, baby and mom matching medical bands, a medical exam with the doctor and ends with the adoption promise for the baby or pet. Pricing and other information can be found on the Choosing To Love Babies Facebook page.

Ho lee shit. Holy shit, it IS like a real adoption! You, adopting little girl, are somehow both the adopting mommy and the doll’s only mommy ever. You have a birth certificate that says so and a hospital bracelet to back it up. Yet you also have adoption papers. If I were a little girl, I would be incredibly confused about all this, whether I already knew Where Babies Come From or not. In fact, as a little girl, I was confused about all this. I thought for a brief time that everyone was adopted. I also thought I had been brought home from a sort of combination supermarket and auction house. You know, kinda like this-here educational setup.

My cold and prickly heart is very sad for any little adopted girl who gets roped into this charade. Becuase you know it’s going to happen (if it hasn’t already).

I think if you want to give little girls dolls and impress on them the Whateverwhatever of Motherhood, that’s…OK, as long as it’s OK with the girls. I also think calling it adoption, and claiming to educate children about actual adoptions by saying this is what they are like, is preposterous and evil.

Now here’s the worst part: Mrs. Aldridge, who is busily teaching little girls (and, no doubt, her own adoptee) that adoption is a funsie wunsie visit to a hospital vending machine, is…well, you guessed it:

The Aldridges run Choosing to Love Ministries, where they help families during the adoption process. A portion of every Choosing to Love Babies adoption helps fund the ministry for those families. 

She’s grooming little children into future consumers at the expense of reality and of other little children (and their mothers). I can’t help but suspect her adult clients expect the same experience.

PS–How do I know it’s adopting families her ministry helps rather than relinquishing ones? Silly girls, adoptees don’t have families! Not until you pick them out and put them in your baby carrier!

*Fees aren’t quite mentioned in the article, but I think they’re strongly implied.

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Filed under Colonialism ROCKS!, It Can't Be Racist. I Didn't Use the N-word Once!, Jesus Told Me To, Stop Saying That, WTF?!, You're going to Hell for this.

I May Vomit

tummymommy

…in an extra special way. When will this syrupy, patronizing, manipulative crap end?

Whoever invented the term “tummy mommy” should die. But “tummy baby”?! That is a new low.

8 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, General Ignoramitude, Jesus Told Me To

Some Pedestals Are Higher Than Others

A friend called my attention to this blog post. I don’t want to critique the whole thing, because I don’t find it 100% horrible. But something really struck me about the way the a’mom involved chose to describe herself. So:

Has anyone else noticed The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal has levels? That it’s more an Adoption Process Totem Pole? Andrew MacDougall got to climb it because he brought a whole kid from overseas instead of just sending money for food. The maker of the “adoptees dodged a bullet” graphic got to climb just it for not being a relinquishing mother, which seems like a lower level to me. Pastor Boob Job Baby got to climb it for being just a little less ignorant about international adoption than the average person who isn’t involved with adoption is–fairly low, but probably still higher than Graphic Maker. Deb Goldberg got to climb it for presuming to tell the poor they need to save their money, which any non-adopting slob can do. And Jeff Gates got to climb it just for being insulted about being taken for a pedophile. (His pedestal’s probably pretty low, but he can still lord it over Masha Allen’s “adoptive dad,” right?)

So I’ve been thinking about the pedestals and how they’re measured. Here’s what I’ve gathered from the way I’ve seen people react online and IRL to adoption stories about APs (hey, is there any other kind?).

Rich couples who advertised themselves to “birthmothers” and scored a white, domestically adopted newborn get the lowest pedestal. Not only is there a chance they waited less than nine months to get their baby, they didn’t even have to get a passport. And they didn’t have to settle for a lesser product, the way people who get foreign or older or otherwise special needs kids do (did you know not being white is a “special need” in adoption?). All they had to do was put out a lot of money and get chosen by a “birth mother” who didn’t change her mind. Hell, they probably didn’t even do it because god told them to.

As the adopted person becomes less ideal (less white, less healthy, older) the pedestal gets higher. The pedestal also gets higher to the extent that the adoptive parents talk about religion.

International adoption is complicated: The pedestal might get higher because the APs have rescued an orphan, often for Jesus. But it might get lower because “American kids weren’t good enough for you?!”

The pedestal gets higher the longer the APs wait to adopt, and it grows a yard or more for every adoption they don’t complete because the first mother changed her mind. And if they ever had physical custody of a child and lost it because that custody was not entirely legal, their pedestal shoots into the clouds, borne aloft on a fountain of righteous anguish. Your pedestal grows if you claim your adoptee has RAD, and it gets taller the more out-of-control, dangerous, or even murderous the child becomes while in your care. Oddly enough, it retains its height should you decide to get rid of such a child. And, as we’ve learned recently, having one’s adoptee search still boosts the pedestal in some people’s eyes.

But the very highest pedestal is reserved for those for people like Megan (sorry: Megan!!!). Not because she adopted six times. Not because at least one of her children is from overseas. Not because she is a cheerleader for adopting older children, as if everyone were equally prepared to do such a thing. (Yes, it really is that simple–do it.)  Not because she has adopted four older children, and not because she congratulates herself for doing such a “simple” thing. (Most would snarl their faces with the thought of adopting an older child, let alone an older boy but not us.) Not even because, at least in one case, she and her husband had “paperwork approved for an infant” but instead chose to adopt an older kid (and let me tell you, very few things ramp up a pedestal in most people’s minds like turning down an infant in favor of an older kid).

No, Megan is the best kind of AP because, for her, adopting was never “plan B.” If there’s one thing that sets my alarm bells off, it’s the AP who takes pains to point out that s/he didn’t have to adopt. Not like those infertile slobs who had to settle for less…wait, not for less, because adopting is universally wonderful and your kids rock! So what the Hell were you doing just now besides taking potshots at people who couldn’t have their own kids?! I mean, isn’t that kinda…low?

I know, I’m silly expecting this stuff to make sense. So I’ll accept it. Nothing (except maybe ditching a kid you adopted) proves your worth as a human being and an adoptive parent like bragging about owning the functioning reproductive system most people take for granted. AdoptoLand is a strange place.

 

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Filed under AdoptoLand, Colonialism ROCKS!, Forever Family, It Can't Be Racist. I Didn't Use the N-word Once!, Jesus Told Me To, NaBloPoMo, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal

Oops, Part Two

The answer, of course, is that nothing has changed. Read this article. Read how horrible it makes Mariette’s adoptive mom look.

Mariette was adopted in October 1986, at a time when adoption in Haiti was barely regulated. Most of the children in Haitian orphanages had at least one living parent, and the concept of signing away rights to see children was foreign, and still is.

Mariette’s adoptive parents were Sandra and Albert Knopf, at the time empty-nesters in their 40s with three grown sons. Sandra said she felt God’s call to adopt.

“I believed that I was doing it for the Lord,” she said. “I was not doing it for the children and I was not doing it for me.

Really, Sandra? I mean… you know you’re supposed to pretend you’re doing it for the children, right?

So they found a man named Henry Wiebe who could arrange an adoption from Haiti for $3,500 per child, or $6,000 for two.

He came by with photos of older children, but Sandra only wanted girls under 2.

Because fuck the Lord’s opinion, right? Sandra wanted what Sandra wanted.

He called the next day. He had found them. She was going to call them Christa Gail and Jennifer Lynne, but they already had names: Mariette and Patricia.

This is the worst kind of pile-all-over-the-shitty-a’mom clickbait, isn’t it?

Sandra never met the Haitian lawyer who processed the papers, or went to the hearing where the judge approved the adoption. Platel handled all that while Sandra got visas. It took a month.

As the plane took off from Port-au-Prince, she felt overwhelming relief.

“Circling the airport, I just looked down and thought, ‘God, I never want to see this place again.'”

Sandra’s awfulness is the point, surely? Because when Mariette discovered she had never been relinquished for adoption,

her adoptive mother didn’t seem surprised. Yes, she conceded, there had been red flags about the adoption. The fact that Mariette’s age was off, the way the birth and other documents weren’t available at first and then suddenly appeared, at night, some filled out by hand.

We’re supposed to hate Sandra and her pious hypocrisy, aren’t we? The article could not have been written to make her look any worse, could it?

Now read the comments. Read the comments and tell me how much our attitudes about adoption have changed.

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Filed under AdoptoLand, Colonialism ROCKS!, Jesus Told Me To, NaBloPoMo

God Even Rewards People for NOT Adopting

Sometimes, just for wanting to adopt, he gives them their very own baby!

The Jensens had a child, but they wanted another. So after they spent lots of money on fertility treatments and went through two *miscarriages, they decided to adopt because some of their friends got cute little Ethiopian orphans-or-were-they-who-cares?

Like many people who started out wanting Ethiopians, they chose Congo instead. Pardon my suspicious mind, but why not Ethiopia? No more babies, too much money, too much waiting? I mean, that’s what happens when everybody gets there before you: The country gets wise to the lying, cheating, child-purchasing  international adoption game, er, runs out of kids worth adopting, er, waiting children.

Admitting they just didn’t know any better (and didn’t bother to find out), the Jensens turned to the so-corrupt-it’s-been-closed-but-we-won’t-mention-that-either Congo. A Google search would have turned up horror stories, but that’s too hard. So is keeping in touch with one’s adoption agency, which didn’t contact them often enough. The Jensens believed everything said agency told them, including that the girl was Really Truly Theirs. Then

The adoption failed.

Their little girl’s grandmother intervened and took custody of the child and her brother

Um, didn’t you guys want to help a child who really needed a family? You didn’t say so, of course, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt since this story is about your good intentions.

…because she feared they were being brought to the United States for slavery. […]

You know, if I were a grandmother in the Congo, and some Nice USAian White People wanted to spend lots of money to take my grandchild away from me forever (and I’m assuming here she wasn’t promised the kid would come home again at age eighteen as so many foreign relinquishers have been), I might think that, too. Because if there are two things everyone knows about the USA, it’s that we perfected race-based chattel slavery and that we almost never do nice things without expecting anything in return. We certainly don’t often spend money without expecting anything in return. But on to the happy ending and god’s mysterious ways.

When the agency sent a caseworker to the village to try to explain that the Jensens wanted to make a new life for the girl, the grandmother wouldn’t believe it. According to Jennifer, the woman told the agency members to never return.

Despite the heartache, Jennifer said she is convinced that God wanted them to attempt to adopt.

“I honestly don’t think we would have gotten pregnant with Makenna if we didn’t send in those adoption papers. I think (God) wanted us to trust him.” […] Makenna was born in January 2013, six months before the adoption failed.

Well, the Jensens are wiser now, and if they had it to do all over again, they’d do it differently. For one thing, they didn’t get all their money back. For another, they’d definitely nag the agency more so they didn’t get such a nasty shock. In other words, they have learned nothing. Nothing about international adoption, nothing about corruption, nothing about the folly of trusting people who take their money, nothing. Which is exactly what readers will learn about adoption from this article. Which wouldn’t bother me so much if it didn’t pretend to do otherwise:

Accurate data on failed adoptions can be difficult to find because a child’s records may be closed or personal information may be changed during the adoption process.

Is it really? …May they REALLY?! How do such things happen?! And how is it an audience can be as ignorant about adoption as this article’s readership is presumed to be?

Also, adoption dissolutions and disruptions may both be categorized as failures […].

Because they are failures, damnit.

Dissolutions and disruptions often happen because the adoptive family identifies behavior problems they did not foresee or find themselves incapable of handling.

And they often happen because APs who adopt in order to “save an orphan” can be entitled people who act on impulse, do no research, lack all foresight (like the woman yesterday who couldn’t believe her new child jumped on the sofa), and can’t finish what they start. But, like pretty much anything factual about adoption, that’s not something this article talks about. It talks abut being rewarded for such ignorance, and that is all fucked-up. (Forgive me for pimping that post again; I think its brilliant.)

*which is really horrible and I am truly sorry

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Filed under AdoptoLand, Colonialism ROCKS!, Jesus Told Me To, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal

No, really: Stop. Doing. This.

Here’s another image floating around FB for National Adoption Month.

saddest-things-300x300

Fuck David Sitton. Fuck him right in the ear.

One of the saddest things about this patriarchal world is that so many men can feel so much more empathy for an embryo that lacks thoughts and feelings than they can for a living, breathing, thinking, feeling pregnant woman who does not want to be pregnant.

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Filed under Jesus Told Me To, Misognyny, NaBloPoMo, Sad and beautiful, Stop Saying That

How Dare You?

IIRC, Susan Faludi discovered in an interview she did for Backlash that Randall Terry got the idea for Operation Rescue after his infertile wife took to hanging around the local abortion clinic holding a sign that read “Don’t Kill Your Baby–Give It To Me.” I feel very sorry for anyone, infertile or no, who got married to Randall Terry, but the sentiment drives me nuts. And it just…won’t…go…away. This popped up on a couple of adoption-related FB groups I frequent recently.fuuuuckyouuuuuuuu(It made me so mad I downloaded it under the title “Fuuuck youuuuuuuuuuu.”)

“God loves you and your baby.” Translation: We don’t love you. We think you’re an incubator. Too bad God doesn’t love you enough to fix your life so you could raise your own baby, if that’s why you’re aborting. Truth is, we don’t care why you’re aborting. Women’s lives are never complicated, and certainly not by such easy-peasy little ol’ events as pregnancies and child rearing. Women don’t actually have feelings. Well, women like the wonderful Christian lady in the photo do, but the kind of woman who even considers having an abortion? Pffft. Fuck them. Er, I mean, God loves you!

“Don’t abort!” Translation: Don’t carry on with the twenty-minute, actually-safer-than-pregnancy-and-childbirth procedure you decided on long before you had to encounter our righteous asses on the way to your appointment. Do what we, two strangers who know nothing about your life, want you to do!

“We will adopt your baby!” Translation: Come on, just devote the next several months of your  life to making a human being out of your flesh and blood and bones? Pwease? Risk your health, perhaps even your life, just because we asked you to? Pleeeease? And then give birth and hand over the baby to us? We’ll be your best friends, honest.

“Come talk to us!” Translation: We don’t give a flying fuck about you, but you have something we want. Come on, Girl! C’mere! [whistles] That’s a good girl, who’s a goood girl?

How dare you people, whoever you are? If you think she’s aborting because she can’t afford a baby, how dare you attempt to prey on her instead of doing the truly Christlike thing: offering to help? If you think she’s aborting because she’s alone and scared, or can’t face her parents, how fucking dare you decide this is a situation for you to gain from rather than offering to help? If you think she’s a beloved child of God and your sister in Christ, why can’t you have the least speck of empathy for her and offer to help? How dare you see her as less human than the embryo you believe she’s carrying? (She might be going to the women’s health center for any number of other reasons, you know.)

How dare you expect anyone to give you a baby to raise?

And how dare you call an embryo a baby? You fucking well know better.

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Filed under General Ignoramitude, Jesus Told Me To, Misognyny, NaBloPoMo, Stop Saying That, Those Wacky PAPs, You're going to Hell for this.