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Seewalds 36: Waiting for the Next Cute Kid Video or Photo

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Charliemae
17 hours ago, Georgiana said:

The thing is though: words have meaning.  You used a word that has a meaning that is not always applicable.  My (adopted) sister would tear you a new one if you called her adoption a tragedy.  That would be deeply, emotionally offensive to her AND completely dismisses her personal feelings on the event.  While my brother has different and more ambivalent feelings regarding his adoption, he also would be offended that you called the day (or the process by which) he was legally recognized as a member of his family a "tragedy".  

There is always a tragic situation that leads to an adoption, but that does not make adoptions themselves the tragedy.  Therein lies the distinction, and it is an important one when talking about something so deeply personal.  Some adoptions may also be tragedies, but some are actually events that mark the end of a particularly tragic chapter in a child's life or the best response possible to an incredibly tragic situation in which there are no better solutions.  

It was a tragedy that my sister's mother was so addicted to drugs that she could not stay clean for her pregnancy.  It was a tragedy that in her drugged out state, she was unable to control her temper and repeatedly (and dangerously) abused a newborn baby for doing normal, newborn baby things.  It was a tragedy that in the two years my sister was with us in foster care, my sister's mother could not or would not (she was court ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment and simply refused) get clean.  It was a tragedy when she showed up at the hospital, gave birth to another baby, and left before my sister's caseworker could even get there.  The tragedy was that my sister's mom loved drugs more than she loved her kids.  

But the day the court legally severed the ties binding my sister to the woman who had never shown any interest in mothering her and instead recognized the people who had actually functioned as parents to her was not a tragedy.  The fact that many of my sister's siblings landed in stable homes that were able and willing to care for them permanently was certainly not a tragedy.  Was it the best outcome possible?  Absolutely not.  It would have been GREAT if my sister's mom had gotten clean and gotten her kids back.  But she showed no interest in doing that, so we had to move forward with the next best thing.

That's how I would describe adoption: it's never the best option in theory, it's never truly equal to being raised by your natural parents, but the tragedy is that sometimes it's simply not possible or advisable for very good reasons for natural parents to raise their own children.  When that is the case, then what adoption may be is the next best thing.  

Another rant in my direction where we very clearly agree.  You point out the tragedy in adoption several times.   You seem to really want to ague with me?  I'm not sure why.  I already admitted that I used a strong wording to make a point.... 

If you want to arguing about the WORDING, you are better off blocking me.  I am not going to argue semantics for the sake of arguing.  If you want to discuss the ideas I'm presenting we can talk... but maybe take a step back and accept that we mostly agree. 

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Georgiana
1 hour ago, Charliemae said:

Another rant in my direction where we very clearly agree.  You point out the tragedy in adoption several times.   You seem to really want to ague with me?  I'm not sure why.  I already admitted that I used a strong wording to make a point.... 

If you want to arguing about the WORDING, you are better off blocking me.  I am not going to argue semantics for the sake of arguing.  If you want to discuss the ideas I'm presenting we can talk... but maybe take a step back and accept that we mostly agree. 

I'm sorry, but I strongly believe you are wrong. How we talk about things MATTERS.  Words MATTER.  The ideas expressed behind them are NOT the only part of something that should be paid attention to.  "All adoptions have a tragic situation at their root" and "All adoptions are tragedies" are actually two completely different statements.  One recognizes that while tragedy is involved, it may not be the adoption itself that is the tragedy, and that the adoption may be a positive or neutral event that is simply related to a tragic situation. 

You see that as a minor quibble.  I STRONGLY disagree that it is.  It's a difference in narrative framing, but it is a big one.  "All adoptions are tragedies" RENAMES adoption itself as a tragedy.  Since it's widely considered acceptable to replace the verb "is" in English with an equal sign as it denotes equivalence, you could rewrite that as "In all cases, adoption = tragedy".  Is that true?  IS an adoption itself always EQUAL to a tragedy?  Can it always be called or renamed as a tragedy? When a child has already been removed from their natural parents for several years, is it a tragedy when they are permanently added to a new family?  That means increased stability and sense of belonging for the child...are we really prepared to call that a tragedy?  No, their REMOVAL was the tragedy.  The adoption here is probably a happier ending than many other options.  You're probably thinking "Who cares?".  Well, I care.  I care about preventing tragedies, especially in issues that disproportionally impact women and children, like this.  Many people do.  If we say adoption = tragedy, the natural instinct in most people will be to seek to impede adoptions.  Would that be helpful in that situation?  No.  The tragedy would still fully exist without the adoption, because the tragedy is, in fact, often independent of the adoption.  Saying "adoption = tragedy" does not indicate this at all AND strongly implies otherwise.  We go off this, we would not be inclined to look for tragedy outside the actual adoption process, because why would we?  Adoption = tragedy, ergo the tragedy must be in the adoption, right?  So we're going to look closely at the adoption itself...and possibly miss things in the surrounding context. 

However, saying that tragedy surrounds adoption directs our minds to look consider the situation as a whole, include this context fully, and look for underlying causes, in which case the removal will immediately jump out at us.  Would directing our resources towards addressing the reasons children are removed from their parents AND adding resources to help enable struggling parents to keep their children be helpful?  YES!  In fact it is incredibly needed, and many programs that do seek to do this are very successful.  We need MORE programs that help parents keep their children, but we DO NOT need efforts to complicate the already complicated and barrier-riddled process of adoption.  And that small change in framing naturally directs our efforts to one over the other.  To give a private adoption example, when a parent recognizes that they cannot raise a child they have conceived, is their finding a new family for that child itself tragic?  Or are they doing the best they can, and the real tragedy is the fact that they are not provided with the social support mechanisms that would enable them to keep the child? 

The way we word things is how we frame them.  Framing primes others to see things in a certain way or direct their energies down a certain path.  It indicates which experiences are valid and fit our narrative, and which experiences are the outliers or should be ignored.  When we prime people to look for underlying or surrounding issues that are creating the tragedy that results in adoption, we enable them to address those issues head on.  When we try and say that adoption itself is a tragedy, we DISTRACT from the root causes, place all the blame on the adoption process, and seek to create a stigma surrounding adoption that ultimately hurts adoptive children and parents.   In addition, many adoptees and adoptive families, while they may experience tragedy as related to the adoption process, do not relate to the adoption ITSELF as tragic.  That phrasing leaves space for that experience and recognizes that it exists.  And that's important, because those people deserve to have their experiences validated as it is VERY much a valid adoption experience.  

Here is an article on why how we frame things matters, why the words we use to describe something are important, and how even small word choice changes can change a narrative, how people frame an issue, and be used to manipulate how people think and feel about a topic.  You'll notice many of these changes are just as much of a "quibble" as this one, but they still changed where people placed blame, how they felt about the same event, and even which actions they found to be ethically permissible:

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2015/10/05/445780706/stuff-happens-and-the-way-we-talk-about-it-matters

 

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SilverBeach
15 minutes ago, Georgiana said:

Here is an article on why how we frame things matters, why the words we use to describe something are important, and how even small word choice changes can change a narrative, how people frame an issue, and be used to manipulate how people think and feel about a topic.  You'll notice many of these changes are just as much of a "quibble" as this one, but they still changed where people placed blame, how they felt about the same event, and even which actions they found to be ethically permissible:

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2015/10/05/445780706/stuff-happens-and-the-way-we-talk-about-it-matters

Good article, thanks for posting. I believe in being very careful with words, and I have a bad habit of expecting people to mean what they say and/or write. Don't try to bullshit me, gaslight me, or any of that crap. I will call it out every time

Edited by SilverBeach

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Meggo
2 hours ago, Four is Enough said:

 

Being selected by our birth families to raise their child has been by far the most humbling and incredible experience of Mr. Four's and my lives. 

This. Forever this. I am not just trying to my best as a Mom to a little boy - but I am trying to do right by his birth mom. 
And when I brag about something amazing he just did - I email her straight away. When he was SO wee and going to doctors appointments it felt like weekly - I would email her before I even left the doctors office. "He's 6lbs and the doctor says he's absolutely perfect!" 

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Charliemae

This is LITERALLY the most frustrating conversation in the history of the world.  I really think it's tragic that my words are being twisted.  It's a literal fact that context matters in the meaning of words.  Some people seem to SEVERELY lack in basic reading comprehensive. For example like the part where I literally REDACTED my use of hyperbole and literally agreed with 99% of what's being said. 

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AstridM
On 10/18/2018 at 7:30 PM, Georgiana said:

The thing is though: words have meaning.  You used a word that has a meaning that is not always applicable.  My (adopted) sister would tear you a new one if you called her adoption a tragedy.  That would be deeply, emotionally offensive to her AND completely dismisses her personal feelings on the event.  While my brother has different and more ambivalent feelings regarding his adoption, he also would be offended that you called the day (or the process by which) he was legally recognized as a member of his family a "tragedy".  

There is always a tragic situation that leads to an adoption, but that does not make adoptions themselves the tragedy.  Therein lies the distinction, and it is an important one when talking about something so deeply personal.  Some adoptions may also be tragedies, but some are actually events that mark the end of a particularly tragic chapter in a child's life or the best response possible to an incredibly tragic situation in which there are no better solutions.  

It was a tragedy that my sister's mother was so addicted to drugs that she could not stay clean for her pregnancy.  It was a tragedy that in her drugged out state, she was unable to control her temper and repeatedly (and dangerously) abused a newborn baby for doing normal, newborn baby things.  It was a tragedy that in the two years my sister was with us in foster care, my sister's mother could not or would not (she was court ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment and simply refused) get clean.  It was a tragedy when she showed up at the hospital, gave birth to another baby, and left before my sister's caseworker could even get there.  The tragedy was that my sister's mom loved drugs more than she loved her kids.  

But the day the court legally severed the ties binding my sister to the woman who had never shown any interest in mothering her and instead recognized the people who had actually functioned as parents to her was not a tragedy.  The fact that many of my sister's siblings landed in stable homes that were able and willing to care for them permanently was certainly not a tragedy.  Was it the best outcome possible?  Absolutely not.  It would have been GREAT if my sister's mom had gotten clean and gotten her kids back.  But she showed no interest in doing that, so we had to move forward with the next best thing.

That's how I would describe adoption: it's never the best option in theory, it's never truly equal to being raised by your natural parents, but the tragedy is that sometimes it's simply not possible or advisable for very good reasons for natural parents to raise their own children.  When that is the case, then what adoption may be is the next best thing.  

As someone adopted as an infant in 1968, I can say it IS truly equal to being raised by my bio parents. My adoptive parents ARE my only parents. I found it very disturbing to read that anyone could be sure that it wouldn't be.

Edited by AstridM

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Mama Mia

My extremely important contribution to this conversation is that too many posters have very similar cute baby avatars - making it appear that they are arguing vehemently with themselves. 😂

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SadieJane

My sister adopted my nephew from his birth mother who was strung out on heroin during her entire pregnancy.  It was a closed adoption, and no one "paid" for the baby. My nephew was born, addicted to drugs, and was the most beloved and wanted baby in the world.  He had complications from the drug use and did not live but a month, but in that month, he was so loved.

 

Are there sad elements to adoption. There is tragedy, however there is amazing, great, unbelievable love as well.  Of course there are shady adoptions and  there are baby farms still, but they are the exception. Not the rule.  My sister gave a baby a very loved life for as long as god let him be with us. Adoptive parents and birth parents do the most unselfish thing by giving life and GIVING life. Don't belittle that.

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cascarones

I simply don't know enough about adoption to contribute in any sort of meaningful or logical way, but I've learned quite a bit (one of the reasons I love FJ).

I did however remember to take a mum photo since I'm at my parents, it was a few threads back, but I promised someone I would and it's homecoming weekend here!

Spoiler

There's a huge bin in my closet, with the big ones kept but deemed too special to be allowed to get dusty, so it's just the ones that were on the front of my sophomore sash + little one, brother was forced to make me and he refused to ribbon.

20181019_204012.thumb.jpg.cb6876aa591a5b3179056ca0f1aa8246.jpg

 

Edited by cascarones
I forgot about my brother

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Shadoewolf

I refer to my one son as adopted even though he wasn't legally. He ran away from home and the relatives who got custody of him after that sent him to me (guardianship) until he turned 18. I paid for his plane ticket here and that was all. His mother was being evicted every few months due to her husband's meth habit and the kid barely ate when he got here because he was so used to going without so his younger sibling and nephew had food. He got an amazing education here for senior year, had decent clothes and shoes for the weather,  scored in the top 3% of the ASVAB and is rocking it in Air Force basic, which he loves because he CHOSE it and not because he felt there was no other way out. He calls me mom and his mother by her name. It's me he calls when he can have phone access. She hates it and doesn't understand why their relationship is in the toilet.

Is it tragic that he went through so much? Sure. But without that he wouldn't have come to us and be where he is now. There are horror stories in adoption just like there is everything else, but we can't lump them all together when in most cases it's a wonderful thing.

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Daisy0322
On 10/19/2018 at 10:37 AM, Meggo said:

Here in Canada - absolutely NO money, gift, benefit changes hands between the adoptive family and the birth parents. I couldn't even give her FLOWERS because it could be seen as trying to buy her favor. 
The money we paid for the (private) adoption process was for legal fees, for our adoption workers fees (no one works for free), for any counselling Birth Mom or Birth Dad might need (up to a certain amount) - and for a search for Birth Dad if required. (it wasn't required in our case - we did not pay that fee). We didn't buy him. 

My son's birth mom is an amazing woman and an amazing mom to the son she chose to parent. I will hear NOTHING bad said about her, no assumptions that she was addicted to something, that she abandoned him, that she didn't feed him - nothing. (not saying anyone here did - but I have had to defend her to some family members) She was a young woman with an 11 month old when my son was born. She knew it was hard to raise one baby on her own and she knew she wouldn't be in the best position to handle it. So she made the choice, the decision, to put my son up for adoption and HAND SELECTED us for our son. She and I are in communication - we email all the time, share stories of the boys, marvel at how they even SLEEP the same way (hands thrown up over the head taking up as much space as humanly possible). 
She is a part of our family. Yes, open adoption is a little weird - but it's like every relationship - we manage it the best we can. Does it look like we thought it would when we started out? Likely no - but we're in this together. 

I silently thank my lucky stars for her every.single.day. Every time that boy says "momma". I tell her thank you every birthday, every mothers day. And she thanks ME. Thanks ME for taking such good care of the boy she gave birth to. For letting her stay in our lives as she has. 

Yes - adoption can be tragic. And there is always an element of sadness to it on someone's part (birth mom, family, child, adoptive parent) SOMEONE has sadness about this. BUT. It can also be filled with love, respect, gratefulness, joy... It's transformative. 

/soapbox

Not to getvtoo involved in this conversation because I don't know much about adoption but that story is beautiful and now I'm crying. You are both amazing women and moms. 

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Hisey
On 10/19/2018 at 9:43 AM, Charliemae said:

it's never the best option in theory, it's never truly equal to being raised by your natural parents,

Of course it's never the best option. And of course, it's not the same to being raised by your natural parents.

The real tragedy would be to leave your sister with an unstable, abusive mother. 

I suspect that whoever called it a "tragedy" is actually doing nothing to help drug-addicted mothers or their helpless little babies. 

If I were a baby in an abusive, unstable home, I would vastly prefer a stable home with loving adoptive parents than a precarious, dangerous childhood that I might not even survive. I wouldn't care about my culture, or my birth country or my relatives if I were starving or getting burnt with a cigarette daily or if I lived in an orphanage that couldn't afford the heart surgery I needed. 

I do think there is some racism involved here. A lot of these babies are minorities, or they are Asian or African. It's fine for these brown and black babies to stay in orphanages or terrible unstable homes. This seems to be attitude among adoption nay-sayers.  It's fine for them to grow up physically or emotionally stunted, as long as they stay with their own people.

2 hours ago, Daisy0322 said:

Here in Canada - absolutely NO money, gift, benefit changes hands between the adoptive family and the birth parents.

This is the same with the private adoptions in the US that I know about. 

 I'm most familiar with Chinese adoptions though. In our two adoptions, we were give a list of fees: translation fees, social worker fees, court fees, etc. We paid each of these fees. That's all we paid.

Some people just want to keep babies in orphanages, and will say whatever they can to make adoption seem ugly. Again, this just hurts the children from these orphanages, most of whom have a very shaky sense of "belonging" to begin with. Does the OP want to go up to these kids, tell them that it would be best if they leave their mommy and daddy and go back to their orphanage? Because that is their greatest fear. And what would the OP have to offer these kids instead? 

Edited by Hisey
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Rachel333

Okay, I have never seen anyone say babies would be better off staying in orphanages and other abusive situations, I've only seen that argument presented as a strawman from people upset about adoption abuses being talked about. I don't even agree with the way some posters here have talked about adoption, but I think it is incredibly unfair to say that they "just want to keep babies in orphanages." You can disagree without accusing people of views that extreme.

A few weeks I was looking through some old adoption threads on FJ and the same conversation came up in this thread.

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Carm_88

I'm changing the subject. Jessa has been posting a fair amount less then normal. Is it because of the much anticipated third pregnancy?

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nst
12 minutes ago, Carm_88 said:

I'm changing the subject. Jessa has been posting a fair amount less then normal. Is it because of the much anticipated third pregnancy?

yes - that and she is creating something special for xmas in her garage 

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SapphireSlytherin

Does Jessa have a garage? Or is this a euphemism that I'm totally missing? lol

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Mama Mia
5 hours ago, SapphireSlytherin said:

Does Jessa have a garage? Or is this a euphemism that I'm totally missing? lol

Or maybe the garage is where they are creating their special surprise Christmas announcement 🤣. It’s one place you can safely avoid toddlers. Not that I’d know, of course. 

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nst

jessa's garage is in her backyard. The real one we don't see 

She often sits in there and hums Live a Virgin and decides whether she will write a book based on how to show us to curl one's hair with a rock.

Then she decides to post it on a secret you tube channel under the name code name 

Henrietta Volk Wagen 

look it up it's hilarious - 

 

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Jinder Roles
11 hours ago, Carm_88 said:

I'm changing the subject. Jessa has been posting a fair amount less then normal. Is it because of the much anticipated third pregnancy?

Never did I ever think I’d be grateful to see Schrodinger’s Uterus pop up in a Duggar thread. 

Thank you Carm. 

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Sky with diamonds
11 minutes ago, nst said:

jessa's garage is in her backyard. The real one we don't see 

She often sits in there and hums Live a Virgin and decides whether she will write a book based on how to show us to curl one's hair with a rock.

Then she decides to post it on a secret you tube channel under the name code name 

Henrietta Volk Wagen 

look it up it's hilarious - 

 

I laughed so hard that I nearly dropped my tablet. 

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Carm_88
51 minutes ago, Jinder Roles said:

Never did I ever think I’d be grateful to see Schrodinger’s Uterus pop up in a Duggar thread. 

Thank you Carm. 

Anytime! :)

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zee_four
On 10/21/2018 at 10:42 PM, Hisey said:

Of course it's never the best option. And of course, it's not the same to being raised by your natural parents.

The real tragedy would be to leave your sister with an unstable, abusive mother. 

I suspect that whoever called it a "tragedy" is actually doing nothing to help drug-addicted mothers or their helpless little babies. 

If I were a baby in an abusive, unstable home, I would vastly prefer a stable home with loving adoptive parents than a precarious, dangerous childhood that I might not even survive. I wouldn't care about my culture, or my birth country or my relatives if I were starving or getting burnt with a cigarette daily or if I lived in an orphanage that couldn't afford the heart surgery I needed. 

I do think there is some racism involved here. A lot of these babies are minorities, or they are Asian or African. It's fine for these brown and black babies to stay in orphanages or terrible unstable homes. This seems to be attitude among adoption nay-sayers.  It's fine for them to grow up physically or emotionally stunted, as long as they stay with their own people.

This is the same with the private adoptions in the US that I know about. 

 I'm most familiar with Chinese adoptions though. In our two adoptions, we were give a list of fees: translation fees, social worker fees, court fees, etc. We paid each of these fees. That's all we paid.

Some people just want to keep babies in orphanages, and will say whatever they can to make adoption seem ugly. Again, this just hurts the children from these orphanages, most of whom have a very shaky sense of "belonging" to begin with. Does the OP want to go up to these kids, tell them that it would be best if they leave their mommy and daddy and go back to their orphanage? Because that is their greatest fear. And what would the OP have to offer these kids instead? 

Not to drag this out but as one of those "brown people" who cares a lot about her culture it's pretty messed up that you are belittling those of us who are advocating against decades of abuse in residential homes, where Native/other minorities were taken from their own people and put in homes or adopted out to white Christian families. The fact that you're saying a brown or black baby being cared for or being kept with heir culture and extended families is mutually exclusive is tantamount to saying that part of our cultures are to abuse babies. I don't think you mean that but on the topic of words having meaning, please be respectful to that.

(I know this all said, is COMPLETELY different than the adoptions being discussed earlier by other posters. I have an adopted sibling, he was a blood family member but was adopted formally as my brother. I respect adoption so much, as well as support all the safe guards in place today. This poster is just saying that you can't keep a child around their culture because they'll be abused at worst, or at best a child's cultural heritage isn't important. To me that overlooks generations of abuse in Christian residential homes for Natives and other whitewashing attempts that have very real pain for people affected and their families today.)

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nst
33 minutes ago, SapphireSlytherin said:

On another note, Ben's friend Flame is kicking off a new concert tour:

 

 

 

 

Whose on board to go ? shall we crowd fun so we can hold up Ben Seewald rocks signs 

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