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An African Child: Get yours today!


Burris

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It has been awhile since I last discussed Kelly Crawford here, mostly out of respect for the amount of personal effort she had to put in to rebuild after that heart-shaped tornado loved her house to pieces.

Kelly has recently come to my attention, however, with an article about how adoption is a chance at “pure religion.†(generationcedar.com/main/2012/02/adoption-your-chance-at-pure-religion.html)

We've discussed fundie adoption across multiple threads, usually in relation to how some foreign agencies cut cornerswhere best practices are concerned. (Almost all the fundies we know of who adopted did so from overseas, probably because they would never qualify through agencies in Canada, the United States, or Europe.)

These kinds of adoptions are placing children in danger:

Lydia Schatz, who was adopted as part of a sibling group from Liberia, was beaten to death by Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz.

Hana-Grace Rose Williamsm, adopted from Ethiopia in 2008, was left to die of exposure by her adoptive parents as a form of punishment. Coupled with malnourishment – her adoptive parents didn't feed the girl adequately – the chill air was enough to kill her.

Those potential adoptive parents who believe the switch is an effective and innovative form of child-training – and that's pretty much all of them among Kelly's friends - are not equipped to deal with the special needs of an older child adopted from overseas.

This is part of the reason why we hear whispers of disrupted adoptions in that community, including several (?) by Nancy Campbell.

Kelly writes...

The Lord has awakened, it seems, a tremendous passion in the hearts of His people for adoption. More and more Christians are seeking to answer the call of caring for the orphans, the most fundamental command of Scripture, through many different avenues, whether adoption, helping a family adopt, or just meeting the immediate needs of someone in front of them

Before I get in to what's wrong with the adoption fad among fundies – like VF gear, I guess an African child is the new must-have accessory for every dominion-minded family – I would like to point out just how little Kelly and her friends do for people “in front of them.â€

They talk about helping the needy elsewhere, but when it came to sharing the massive largesse they were given after the destruction of their homes, Kelly merely smiled – because she could turn down FEMA thanks to a little help from her friends.

From what I could tell, only three families benefited from the VF/Bradrick fund-raising efforts, even while thousands of others were out in the cold for want of the simplest necessities.

These people then have the audacity to oppose those social programs (such as FEMA) because they want to hang on to as much of Caesar's money as possible, giving it only in exchange for the rush of power they feel in bending someone else to their will. (For an example of that, check out the wildly misnamed, “Earn While You Learn†programs at certain crisis pregnancy centers.)

When these people bring an orphan – or perhaps not an orphan at all – to a Western nation, they expect that kid to be grateful. Don't doubt it for a second. And when that gratitude fails to materialize, then the exotic and potentially lethal punishments start.

Kelly continues...

You could, right this minute, help change an orphan’s life forever…keep reading to find out how.

Actually, allow me to tell you how. You can donate money or time to organizations that promote health and welfare in the developing world – for example, maternity hospitals and free schools for kids who couldn't otherwise afford to attend. You can follow Amnesty International and participate in letter-writing campaigns that are designed to pressure governments into complying with international human rights standards.

You can give a gift card to a homeless person here, 'right in front of you.'

Or, if you're like Kelly, you can “help†bu enabling these fundie fetishists to gather another child into their existing collections.

Kelly continues...

Our friends, who have adopted three African/African-American children, have, as a result, had a whole new world open up for them as they care for children, with no expectations, in their path, for as short or as long a time as they are needed…a simple, organic, caring for the fatherless. Their simple obedience inspires.

The Wintons recently released the wonderful movie, Rescued, a heart-warming, convicting documentary that challenges believers to really put their faith in action. [bolding in the original]

Notice the emotional appeals. First of all, these are Kelly's friends that did this. Wow. Look at how good her friends are. And secondly, those heroes rescued the kids. It's right there in the title of the documentary they're selling.

Kelly makes her bad intentions even more clear in the following paragraph:

It is not difficult to find such opportunities. As more and more families seek to rescue an orphan into God’s marvelous light, demonstrating the most basic story of the cross and redemption, many of them desperately need our help. If we aren’t adopting, couldn’t we at least help someone adopt?

Kelly then encourages people like us to give people like her friends money so they can adopt internationally.

If they qualified, however, they could adopt any number of kids in foster care in their own area without having to pay anything.

No, it's not enough that the child be in need of a permanent home. In the Dominionist worldview, adoptees from the Dark Heart of Africa are not only being saved from the physical hardship, but they're also being rescued from spiritual barrenness.

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These children are the new fundy status symbol. The Redman family (QF royalty) sell books and programs on how to fund your international adoption so that you have no out of pocket expenses. Another cottage industry for SAHMs.

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Great, more attempted cradle conversions of brown people for the lord.

The only reason anyone should adopt (or have a biological child) is because they really, really want to. Chances are that the kid you brought into your house (or the world) isn't going to fall all over themselves being grateful for it. Nor should you expect them to.

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I somehow got the impression that her brother had adopted a child... I remember that Kelly mentioned that her brother had been encouraged by a family he had recently met: aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/2010/03/we-didnt-get-memo.html.

Oh, here is her post about it: generationcedar.com/main/2011/08/living-for-him-looks-crazy.html

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What do they take Africa for, a petting zoo?

No, because in a petting zoo you actually WANT to touch and cuddle the cuties. Fundies certainly don't want to do that with these children.

I think that all the reading of Rousas John Rushdoony has made them aware that slavery can still be alive and well in the 21st century. No, you might not have the slave auction block to go get your slaves, but they have the next best thing. Online albums showing pictures, stats, etc. Just like in the old South where the number of slaves showed your status, so does the number of children you purchase, buy, adopt (its all the same).

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We looked into adopting from Ethiopia, but was entirely turned off by what I read. The agency I talked to is very reputable, and they did steer me towards waiting children, all of which were over the age of 4. There just isn't a glut of young children desperately needing adoption, and if anything, international adoption was creating a demand for those children. The agency I was looking at is only taking parents who want older children now.

Once I realized I couldn't ethically adopt a child 3 and under, I realized I'd be better off adopting in the US through the foster care system. I'm reasonably sure that's what we'll do once my stepson is settled into high school a bit more. I don't want him to feel like I'm trying to shove him out or anything. :)

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What worries me about the the fundie scramble (omg, remember Haiti?) for international adoption is a serious lack of training and care about where these children come from and the lives they will lead here.

There's an undercurrent of nationalism and regionalism and "first-world privilege" among fundie adopters that really concerns me. Basically, it feels like these people are adopting children, not necessarily to give them better lives and love, but to pull a kid out of barbarianism and heathenism, and crow about saving them in God's chosen nation, the United States of America.

International and interracial adoption needs to be approached with as much sensitivity as possible. A child is being plucked from her home into a family that may look nothing like her. OF COURSE there are going to be issues.

Also, I'm afraid fundies may not address issues of privilege and racism with their adopted child. America has very real issues with white privilege and racism, and this needs to be addressed as the kid grows. Fundies are so caught up in their revisionist, white-man history, that they may not equip a child of color for the harsh realities of growing up in America.

I am not opposed to interracial or international/cultural adoption, but I do know that it comes with its own set of both challenges and rewards (my roommate is a social worker who deals a lot with interracial adoption). I just don't feel that fundies, especially those in ATI and VF circles, are able to adequately rise to the challenge because they see it as a FAVOR to the child, rather than unconditionally loving a child you fell in love with.

tl;dr I got opinions

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I can't help but feel that this 'adopt-an-African-child' is somehow thinly veiled racism.

It has a very white-man's-burden feel to it.

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Also, many kids available for adoption are as likely, or even more likely, to be LEGAL orphans rather than true orphans. Many are available for adoption due to lack of resources in their birth families. I don't think international adoption should stop, because there are kids who need families NOW and cant' wait for change to come, but that every person adopting should also do at least a little to help end the need for adoption in the future.

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I somehow got the impression that her brother had adopted a child... I remember that Kelly mentioned that her brother had been encouraged by a family he had recently met: aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/2010/03/we-didnt-get-memo.html.

Oh, here is her post about it: generationcedar.com/main/2011/08/living-for-him-looks-crazy.html

Goodness, let's hope Kelly's brother doesn't meet Father Maxwell this side of Heaven! Such a nexus of condemning pleasures as simple as a manicure would soon result in hand lotion and sanitizer condemned as idols. At least Kelly's bro seems to enjoy writing his bouncy and dynamic posts, and picking out illustrations.

I'd write more, but I'm due for my semi-annual mani, srsly!!! :D

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Do adoption agencies ask people what religion they are? I may be going to hell for this, but I feel like adoption agencies should ask people what religion they are, that way when they look them up or some such they can keep in touch if they think the child/children are going into a cultish family. What happens if the child is in a different religion than their adoptive parents and has to change it but doesn't want to? Somebody please tell me if I'm being anti-theist or not.

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Adoption Agencies ask pretty much everything about you. You also have to go through a home study that is supposed to figure out if you are capable of adoption, and within what parameters. How rigorous that home study is, and what gets written up probably depends on the agency. Adoptive countries themselves also have regulations on who may adopt, which are typically very stringent.

Ethiopia was VERY lenient until recently - mainly because adoptions from there exploded, and the ethiopian government was pretty much just rubber stamping everything. Once you've legally adopted a child in Ethiopia, the state department will then decide if they want to issue a visa to your child to allow you to bring him home. It's the last check, and the embassy has tightened down a ton. Ethiopia also slowed processing after various problems were uncovered, which included brokers just out right buying children, or lying to birth parents about the kids just going to the US for school.

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We looked into adopting from Ethiopia, but was entirely turned off by what I read. The agency I talked to is very reputable, and they did steer me towards waiting children, all of which were over the age of 4. There just isn't a glut of young children desperately needing adoption, and if anything, international adoption was creating a demand for those children.

Yeah. I went on something of an international adoption blog reading binge last week (focused on adoption from China) and this topic came up - it's a "thing" in certain churches now, to promote this "culture of adoption" and those who aren't so involved with it yet seem to have these outdated gauzy images of hordes of healthy baby girls "thrown away" in China just waiting to be saved by Christian families in the US, so they can know Jesus (and the knowing Jesus was the main thing).

Problem is it's outdated, for a few reasons, and so there just ISN'T this endless list of perfect little cute girl babies out there just waiting to be saved.

Reactions to people pointing this out can get interesting. People also didn't seem to understand how people can put their kids into "orphanages" so they get fed, while still visiting them weekly and having a full relationship - as happens in various places.

People who were saying well, really perhaps we should put some efforts towards supporting kids in place (meaning, make things so that their families don't have to give them up to start with!) were painted as anti adoption or worse anti-Christian (because those kids won't be raised Christian in their home countries).

There were people talking about "our next one" when the last adopted kid had only just recently arrived - it was like J'chelle but with adopted kids, a creepy feeling of collection. "I've got 6 so far, we're thinking of going to Vietnam for the next. Because Jesus laid it on my heart." Many of them had older biokids in their teen years, and now start a second group of adopted kids as young infants. And a lot of the pages were IMHO disturbingly fetishistic.

Which is all just to say, heck yeah there's a fad of sorts going on. Search on "culture of adoption."

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I think you all laid out the problems really clearly (and Burris, as usual, bravo!)

But here's another wrinkle from this weird "culture of adoption" thing - we have friends whose adopted sibling is only a few years older than their son. The adoptive parents are retirement age. So our friends fully expect to be raising that adopted child at some point, because she's likely to be orphaned a second time at a young age.

It's like they couldn't think of what to do with their empty nest and instead of developing a hobby or opening up their home to exchange students or doing something else that is not a lifelong commitment, they were influenced by the fad to go get a baby. It's just one more burden on the older (or in qf families, oldest few) kids.

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Thank you, Burris, for exposing this racket. Adoption is & should be a wonderful, heartfelt act but the way these fundies talk, it seems to be on a par with collecting Beany Babies or something. No consideration of what's best for the adopted child.

Then there's the diva known as LL...

[Edited for iPad riffles]

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Thank you for this. Y'all KNOW I can't keep my butt off a post with key word "adoption". But to find out that I got the newest fundie acccessory before the fad really hit, well, I feel like Dougie on intern selection day.

As if I needed another reason to loathe Kelly Crawford, but it does strengthen my resolve to help end these fundie adoption for "pure soul salvation" or whatever the eff she called it. I may have just figured out what to do with the next "season of life" for me. Thanks, FreeJinger!

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Thank you for this. Y'all KNOW I can't keep my butt off a post with key word "adoption". But to find out that I got the newest fundie acccessory before the fad really hit, well, I feel like Dougie on intern selection day.

As if I needed another reason to loathe Kelly Crawford, but it does strengthen my resolve to help end these fundie adoption for "pure soul salvation" or whatever the eff she called it. I may have just figured out what to do with the next "season of life" for me. Thanks, FreeJinger!

Really? You'd rather keep kids in a third world orphanage to die of illness or malnutrition? Or to experience abuse or discrimination? Or to receive little or no education, and spend their life in a filthy factory job?

Because that is what happens.

And have you talked to any older adopted kids? Most of them want a family more than anything in the world. Why not give them credit for being able to deal with a fundie family. It's far better to grow up with crazy parents than not to grow up at all.

It is the height of first-world arrogance to assume that if you can't provide a perfect family, then these kids should just wait around in the orphanage till one shows up. You need to recognize that their situation is not ideal, they are not searching for ideal, no one expects ideal--the ideal family exists for maybe 5% of internationally adopted kids. The rest get flawed parents. Fundies may be flawed more than usual, but it is better than the things these kids experience in an orphanage--chronic illness and infection, frequent unnecessary death, and poor treatment and abuse.

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It's far better to grow up with crazy parents than not to grow up at all.

While I understand and even agree with you to a point- fundie parents do kill adopted kids.

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Hisey, what about the alternative of supporting the families these kids come from, in raising their own kids?

There are big-picture ways to do that (general development aid) and small-picture (the orphanages where an older child from the same family comes with the at-risk kid, and cares for them and gets schooling, then both go back to the extended family; aid to the orphanages that take care of kids til their families get back on their feet; aid to grandparents raising orphaned grandchildren). It's not "adopt or do nothing".

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Hisey, yeah, what Rosa said.

As Angri-la is a devoted adoptive mum herself, I don't think she's saying "Leave the kids alone". But not all adoptive parents have good motives. One can provide all the child's physical needs yet abuse them horribly mentally. Yes, they didn't starve (mostly, apart from poor Hana-Grace) but did they starve in other ways?

I have no opposition to international adoption in principle, and it works out beautifully sometimes. (I should get my mum to post on FJ. She's opposed to all adoption on principle. ;) ) But there are loads of issues. It's not just as simple as "child moves from third world to first world, child wins."

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Okay, I've been reading A Place Called Simplicity all evening now, their adoption story and all that, and I have some questions. Why does she write Ch*na and Special F*rces and depl*yment like that? It's like she's trying to prevent people from finding her blog using those keywords. But why? Who's going to care that she has an adult son in the military and adopted her third-youngest from China?

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Quite interesting. My own country doesn't have a system with adoption within the country. It's almost impossible to adopt Swedish children in Sweden. There are approx. 5-6 children who get adopted within the country each year, through foster-care. I have thought about adopting a child in the future, international, will say.

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I have some pretty strong feelings against the adoption industry ( not necessarily the practice in and of itself per se, but the machines that facilitate it). I would rather put my money towards programs that benefit the people of these countries to help themselves rather than taking their youth - the county's future - away.

Ugh. It boils my blood as an adopted person that these fundie families take older kids and expect no problems adjusting and to be grateful to their adoptive parents. I know exactly what it feels like growing up under those circumstances, and it becomes all about the adopting parents. The kids feelings matter very little, and the birth familys' feelings have zero consideration. Children are reduced to mere commodities.

I realize this doesn't happen with every family, but I've seen a lot of adoption blogs and it happens frequently.

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