Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We can't all be Madonna.


I have a white colleague who wanted to adopt an African American male baby. (At least that's what he told me.) Unfortunately for him, he was discouraged from doing so, and as a result he ended up going to a foreign country where he adopted what is now a sweet well adjusted little girl.

Now I could do an entire blog post around white couples adopting -or trying to adopt black children and why it is discouraged by many black social workers. I could talk about all the social implications and about the other side of the argument that says children need loving homes regardless of the race or sexual orientation of their parents. I am still trying to figure out where I stand on this subject, and I continue to listen to others who are professionals in these areas as I try to formulate a point of view.

I wrote those two paragraphs so you can better understand the reason I am posting tonight: I caught the following story over at AOL Black Voices. Seems like everyone can't play Madonna. I guess it's cool when we see celebrities doing certain things but when the rubber meets the road things tend to change.

Take the case of Anita Tedaldi, for instance. Who says that once you go black you can never go back? Anita and her husband sure did. Yep, seems Anita just couldn't bond with her adopted African baby, and, sadly, she had to throw him back to the wild.....OK that part isn't true (about throwing him back into the wild) but she did pass on raising the poor little guy.

"What happens when a parent and an adopted child don't bond? In blogger Anita Tedaldi's case, she and her husband gave their South American-born toddler son to another family. She related her story to the New York Times' Motherlode blog back in August and repeated it Oct. 1 on NBC's 'Today' show:"I loved him, and I cared deeply for him," Tedaldi told Matt Lauer Thursday in New York. "I tried to do the same exact thing I did with my biological children, but over time, it became clear that our family maybe wasn't a good match for him, that we were unable to meet some of his needs." SOURCE: MSNBC.com
Her adopted son, who is only referred to as D., had been found abandoned by the side of a road in South America. He was thought to be somewhere around 1 years old at the time. His legs were underdeveloped, and his head was flat in the back from being left in a crib unattended. Tedaldi and her husband, who is in the military, already had five natural daughters of their own and wanted to welcome an adopted child into their home. She says their decision to adopt was done after a lot of careful research, and that they were thrilled when they found out D. was available. However, once they had D., a host of physical, developmental and emotional problems plagued their relationship with him over the next 18 months. On top of that, parents and child failed to bond with each other.

He wasn't "attaching" and "the realization that I didn't feel for D. the same way I felt for my own flesh and blood shook the foundations of who I thought I was," Tedaldi confessed to Motherlode. They decided to find another family for him. "

"He wasn't "attaching"? Hey, I am not a woman, but maybe one of you ladies who have been blessed with a child can tell me how "attaching " works. Poor Baby D. I sure hope the little guy wasn't feeling his new mommy, cause she sure wasn't feeling him.

Anyway, here is hoping that he can find a nice loving home with folks who can "attach" to him. I am sure that if Mrs. Field didn't already have one big ass child on her hands she would give it a shot.




110 comments:

SickupandFed said...

If we don't like him, can we give him back?

WTF are they adopting from S. America for anyway? That's why they need to stay away from Black kids. F 'em.

3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

kids need love if they are alone

no matter if they are polka dot or plaid

the whole trip on skin color amuses me because all blood is red and there is one color dead

Anonymous said...

@Field -- Properly attaching or bonding is a serious problem for some parents and children. It happens even with natural children. However, it usually doesn't last forever. Since she's had five natural children, this woman may have mistaken the absence of natural hormones that mothers (and fathers) get flooded with at birth and that help parents immediately bond to a child for an attachment syndrome.

What makes me suspicious of this woman is that she's going on tv and exploiting giving back this child. If there really was a serious enough attachment problem that she couldn't handle (which like I said can happen) then she probably did do the right thing but there's no amount of money or fame in the world that would get me to go on national tv and exploit it --er 'talk' about it. More than likely, if her heart really was in the right place, she gave up too soon. Bonding can take a while in some cases.

Babies born into bad situations can have emotional problems even in infancy and attachment is one -- like if the mother is depressed it often shows. I was one of those babies. My mom has told me of how I was when I was a baby and even on up into toddler hood. I would've in this day and age been deemed as having a bonding problem. It was basically because my father died right after I was born and my mother was depressed in my earliest development. Had my mom died too this woman would've sent me back for not attaching. But the thing is after many years, I did attach to my mom and other relatives. It just took me longer because of the circumstances of my birth -- circumstances a lot of kids who wind up in the adoption system share.

On transracial adoption, I'm all for them provided the adoptive parents are educated about what they'll face and willing to educate their children. True adoption is the same as blood. I've known several black kids with white parents who've grown up wonderfully. I've heard horror stories --all anecdotal-- of kids made to feel inferior. That's bad parenting, imo and happens even without a racial element. All in all, kids need someone to love them more than they need something as superficial as skin matching. If a parent gives their whole heart then there's not much more the adoption system can ask.

--j

Anonymous said...

Oh and another thing on transracial adoption: aren't we really just talking about white parents raising black kids openly? Blacks have been raising 'white' kids for generations and some white mothers have been raising 'black' kids for just as long.

--j

Bob said...

In a way, she had the best of intentions. But with five daughters & a husband in the military, I doubt if she would've passed muster even with the local foster parent agency, except for emergency, temporary placements. I know a couple in Wisconsin who adopted an older African-American brother & sister through foster care, & it was a long, cautious, closely monitored, step-by-step process. They were well-qualified by temperament & education to love & nurture two kids with some emotional issues.Those children have a family now. It can work.

Anonymous said...

At least she was honest and I give her credit for trying. But I suspect that the child's disabilities were a bigger factor than race. Heck, she knew the boy was Black when she got him. Rasing a child with disabilities and mental or emotional problems can literally drive parents crazy and cuase marriages to break up. I wouldn't be too critical of her decision to give up the boy sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Although the story doesn't go into great detail, it appears that baby D may have reactive attachment disorder. Children with RAD need a lot of attention. A family with 5 children isn't the best situation for such a child. Children with RAD can be very violent.
As far as matching skin color being so "superficial" that's very easy to say on the outside looking in. As an adult transracial adoptee who was raised "white" because the parents involved were so-called "color-blind" I find it very irritating that a person that has been exposed to their own culture and had the privileged of being raised around people who looked like them could make such a comment. Knowing your own history and culture is not superficial. Love isn't enough. A simple search for blogs written by transracial adoptees is enough to make this very obvious. But nobody really seems interested in the adult adoptees perspective because it makes people uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

@anon -- If it was disabilities rather than bonding it would make more sense that she couldn't handle it. It still wouldn't be a scenario that I'm comfortable with. You don't choose family --even if you adopt; it's permanent and once the decision is made they are blood forever. I guess I'm closed minded but in my eyes, that's the only legitimate way to look at adoption. I still have relatives who I don't know whether or not they're blood kin or adoptees from along the way and I don't care one way or another. Family is forever no matter how imperfect.

--j

brohammas said...

in regards to us white folks adopting black babies, I say it all depends on the mindset of the white people.

By this I mean that many white parents looking to adopt are truly good and well meaning people, but that isnt enough for transracial families. Most white people think the ideal is to be colorblind and intend to "do the right thing" by ignoring the child's skin color.
This is a horrible thing. Race should be recognized, appreciated, and any child not matching the predominant complexion should be properly prepared to deal with the realities of that child's world. Ignoring a child's race is not proper preperation.
Most white people do not understand this. It is not racism, it is not lack of love, it is simple ignorance and lack of knowledge of another's reality other than thier own.

This is not to say white people are incapable. I know many who "get it" and do just fine with black kids. They are sadly the exception.

Anonymous said...

@anon 11.38 -- I know as much about my culture as you. So yeah, I do understand what it means to have a lack of identity and to try and piece that together. Some people --myself included at times-- wallow in not knowing. However, my family is my family whether they're family by blood and regardless of color (we don't all match). Culture and identity is something I've got to work out on my own but we all have our burdens.

Color is superficial in the grand scheme of things and culture and identity is something we've each got to find. I don't dismiss the challenge --it's hard-- but I don't see it as something that matters as much as love.

--j

La♥Incognita said...

I have always been skeptical about white people adopting black children for various reasons. But lately I'm more open to it in good faith. But I still can't get my head wrapped around blacks adopting non-blacks, mainly because of the gross disproportion of unwanted black children in the system. (Please, no one say shit about crack babies, because there are plenty white meth babies floating around. And they will kindly stick your fast black ass with one). I've also noticed that when whites adopt black children, they tend to prefer black males (??). I'm not sure how I actually feel about that either, it's just an observation.

Now to be honest, I don't know if I would have bonded with this child either. For me, it wouldn't have anything to do with his race or nationality. However, I'm not sure if I am able to bond with a male child who wasn't my own (I have one female child who I love more than life. I've even been specific to choose only female cats and various pets - that's just me). More so, I think I would have had a bigger issue based on whatever physical or emotional issues this child may have.

I can't say for certain what Anita's underlining issues were. But I suspect his dark hue didn't make it easier. This is also why I think many white people prefer to adopt Asian or South American babies etc. Perhaps a more matching skin hue wouldn't be so much of a "in your face" reminder. And that's by me giving them the benefit.

Anonymous said...

For clarity what I mean by color being superficial in the grand scheme of things is that it's superficial in terms of whether or not someone's my family. Quite simply: blood doesn't matter to me if we're family by adoption or by blood.

--j

Anonymous said...

@La♥Incognita -- Now that you mention it, I don't know a single female adopted by white families. I know plenty of black males. I wonder if that's because black females are more likely to be adopted by black families and that leaves a disproportionate number of black males in the system or if something else is going on. Anyone know the numbers of males versus females put up for adoption?

--j

grinder said...

My brother and his same-sex partner have five adopted kids. Two are black males. Two are Latin females. The other, I don't know.

The two black males were the first. They started as foster parents. They took who was available, and those were the kids available at the time. One of them is grown up now, and the other is in high school, and it is jaw-dropping to see how well they have turned out given the problems they started out with.

I ought to ask my brother for the precise ethnic breakdown of the other three. I'm a little fuzzy on it. I have the longest acquaintance with the black kids, because I was living in the same city as my brother when they adopted them.

I can say this much: He and his partner paid a great deal of attention to the trans-racial issue, and took steps to be sure that those kids saw other brown people while they were growing up.

It is impossible for me to render a judgment on the adoptive mother in field's story. I just don't know enough. But I am glad that my brother and his partner were able to do what they did. They have an outstanding family.

La♥Incognita said...

--j, you might be on to something. As for me, you can see I would have clearly preferred a black female child myself.

I was also wondering if adoption agencies might have been more grueling when it comes to black females being adopted. Particularly due to intentions of molestation or purpose for gaining domestic servitude around the home, etc. It's something interesting to check out though...

La♥Incognita said...

I meant to say: when it comes to black females being specifically "requested" for adoption.

Anonymous said...

If we don't like him, can we give him back?

WTF are they adopting from S. America for anyway? That's why they need to stay away from Black kids. F 'em.



Word! You hit the mark.

R. Maldonado said...

This is the weakest shit I ever heard of. I feel for that little man, I hope he's okay.

Anonymous said...

@La♥Incognita -- It could be like you say that they're more protective of females. I bet truth be told social workers are more skeptical of all parents adopting any females and doubly so when it comes to black females to non-black families for reasons you mention. People have the attitude that males are tougher and can take care of themselves and that *might* just factor in when it comes to adoptions here in the US at least on a subconscious level. Assumptions about male toughness are one of the areas where boys are really damaged by persistent stereotypes regarding gender. It's just one more reason men need to care about gender inequality and sexism every bit as much as women do. This stuff ends up hurting everyone on some level.

--j

Monie said...

What the hell is up with everyone feeling they need to go on TV to tell all of their personal business!?

If I was to find myself in the position of needing to give an adopted baby back I'd be too damned ashamed of my failure to tell the world about it.

Anonymous said...

@Monie -- AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Clearly, too many people have chosen the Jerry Springer method of 'healing.'

--j

Smashed The Tiny Black Box said...

Am I opposed to white parents adopting black kids? NO. Not under sincerely good intentions and in the correct environment. For example, Grinder's relatives. Yes, I am pro-gay parent adoptions.

This selfish piece of offal already had five kids. I believe her husband was deployed. My assessment of this situation...she thought it would be cute to adopt a colored boy. When her relatives and children gave her the usual crap about "what will the neighbors think about you raising a future thug," she decided that he wasn't a good fit.
"Couldn't bond" my ass. I have two of my own and it can take up to a year to bond if you have mental health issues of your own, or the child has certain illnesses, or a different personality etc. Did this selfish bitch not know that this kid had been abandoned and probably had trust issues.

You all better hope I never encounter this cow or her crotch fruit. They made a child who has already suffered neglect and emotional damage suffer even more.
To those of you whom this message applies: PLEASE STOP shitting on your kids. If you love yourself and your future children, don't create one until you can take care of one. You don't want your own in an abuse ridden child welfare system or with the likes of the Tedaldi's of the world.

grinder said...

My assessment of this situation...she thought it would be cute to adopt a colored boy. When her relatives and children gave her the usual crap about "what will the neighbors think about you raising a future thug," she decided that he wasn't a good fit.

I don't think there's any evidence to support that speculation, and I think it's (fill in the negative adjective) to depict the adoptive mother as selfish. She could be many things, but "selfish?" I doubt it.

Foxy Brown said...

i would like to think (read i am hoping) that it was the emotional, physical, and developmental issues that proved too much for a family with five other children than the color of the child's skin. those issues could prove to be too much if he was their only child, much less being their sixth. would anybody care if the kid were white?

I am not Star Jones said...

Monie said...
What the hell is up with everyone feeling they need to go on TV to tell all of their personal business!?

If I was to find myself in the position of needing to give an adopted baby back I'd be too damned ashamed of my failure to tell the world about it.

----

Well if Jon & Kate can get on TV with their issues, why not this woman? I hope D. can find a home with parents who will love him unconditionally but the thought in the back of my head is if one of her biologicals suffered from the same problems, would she ask the state to terminate her parental rights?

Who knows but just a thought?

Smashed The Tiny Black Box said...

@ grinder
I'll say selfish as a parent of a kid with a disability. You don't give up because you are thrown challenges. There are days when I want to leave and go to Baja. I don't because I am responsible for my kid. Love is action. Not just bonding and emotion. Any real parent knows this. I've seen single moms with far worse situations never give up. Is she going to give up her bio kids when they don't bond as teens? She also didn't have to advertise her failure if she was sincerely un-selfish. She wands adulation for her choice.
She gets no "aww you tried pass" from me. Yes, she's a selfish quitter.

Anonymous said...

@I am not Star Jones -- This "but the thought in the back of my head is if one of her biologicals suffered from the same problems, would she ask the state to terminate her parental rights?" is what's so disturbing. I think we can guess that the answer is NO. She'd never think of giving up one of her own. I guess that's a good enough reason as to why she should NOT have D. or any other adopted child.

I said it before but to me family is family regardless of blood. You don't give up just because hard times come and they always do in some form or another. It's hard to relate to anyone who'd just give up on their child like this. I think it's clear that she's the one who didn't bond and it's hard not to think ill of anyone who'd do what she's done.

How is this not going to give her blood children issues? Do they fear that if they don't please her she'll send them away too?

--j

Anonymous said...

@Smashed The Tiny Black Box -- You said it better than me. You don't just quit your children and that's what she's done.

--j

Monie said...

@I am not Star Jones


"Well if Jon & Kate can get on TV with their issues..."

OMG, I am soooo sick of those people. I wish they would go far, far away!

They are a perfect example of tellallyourbusinessontvitis.

Lol

Black Diaspora said...

@brohammas:

"Most white people think the ideal is to be colorblind and intend to "do the right thing" by ignoring the child's skin color.
This is a horrible thing. Race should be recognized, appreciated, and any child not matching the predominant complexion should be properly prepared to deal with the realities of that child's world. Ignoring a child's race is not proper preperation."

brohammas makes a good point. This is why I'm reprinting it. Most of the points are salient for their wisdom and insight, and, for that reason, I have little to offer.

I still believe that childrearing is not a mom and dad proposition, although that's how our society has constructed it, but is the preserve of teams of moms and dads.

Were we to follow the latter construct, many of the social problems we're now facing would be things of the past.

grinder said...

She gets no "aww you tried pass" from me. Yes, she's a selfish quitter.

You might be right about her, but I don't think there's enough information in the article to support your conclusion.

Lady-Cracker said...

Mother and step mother, doesn't matter which it takes some time in either case. It can really take a lot longer in the case of step children because of the situation between their natural parents and the torque that people will put on their kids.

Work at it hard enough and long enough and there is no appreciable difference, from either side. It was slightly worrisome when one of my step children started referring to me as "mother" to other people since their mother is still alive. Just another one of those mistakes that cannot be put right no matter how much she would like. I pray God that I don't make that bad of a mistake, because God knows I have made mistakes too.

M. Rigmaiden said...

Whoa! I suspect this woman's motives too. Adoption process should always be well supervised as one poster aptly pointed out above. I just don't get how people think they can just pick an abused child up from a completely different culture and background and think that everything will be hunky dory. I recall hearing about Romanian adoptees with attachment disorder years ago. The parents stayed and worked with these troubled children in the majority of the cases.

That woman is a quitter. I am a mother of a Black boy. He has caused my soul to leap with joy and agony as well at times, but that is parenthood. After having five kids of her own, she should have known this. Her mental health should have been accessed before ANY adoption could have taken place.

But that leads to the bigger problem, in other countries there are limited rules for adoption. That is why those celebrities go to Malawi, where they can basically BUY the child...If every country had strict adoption protocols, I doubt stories like this would happen...

field negro said...

Great comments! Of course I didn't expect anything less.

At first, I must admit, that I was really pissed at this lady (although you probably can't tell from how I wrote the post)but some have you have made pretty strong arguments to soften me a bit. Iam still pissed at her, but not as much.

And, as Monie said, what's with the going on TV and telling the world your business? Everyone wants to be Jon and *&%$ Kate these days. :( (Name drop alert! Jon's lawyer is a friend of mine)

Someone above asked about the Af. Am boys being adopted as opposed to girls. I am not sure about other people, but in my friends case I think he wanted the next MJ or Tiger. He is a sports nut and I suspect that he wanted a little athlete in his home. I could be wrong but that's the vibe I got from him throughout the entire process.

maria said...

she knew he'd probably have attachment disorder and he did, so she gave him back.

wow. what a great parent!

i agree i didn't need to know about this story; she doesn't need to be talking about it and profiting from it. it seems HIGHLY unusual that they found another family so fast and one that fit so well.

she wanted other people to know they're "not alone." really? everyone knows at least one bad parent, don't we? how many people are going to relate to her story?

why she was allowed to adopt a special needs kid when she already had FIVE other ones is beyond me.

and yeah, is race at work here? is that why she couldn't bond? did anyone ask her that? did any of her "exercises" have anything to do with that? given that the boy was only 1 when she got him my guess is he wasn't rejecting HER because of her race.

can't say the same about her, tho, can we.

btw--nice to come and not see another crazed exchanged between your resident lunatic and resident racists...tho i guess it's still early.

alicia banks said...

fn:

reveresed adoptions are on the rise across ALL boundaries of race and class

i have seen black parents do this often!...children are increasingly chemically damaged in the wound and severely emotionally damaged after birth

white adoptive parents return/reject/fail to bond with white adopted babies (and even older children) for the very same reason often...

race, gender, sexuality, class, education, income etc...have NOTHING to do with quality parenting...

parenting is SOLELY an issue of character, nurturing, love and skills
and being a parent of ANY child is the hardest job on earth

it is why i adore teaching children but would never ever adopt or give birth to one...i have never been pregnant by choice and i would never choose to foster and adopt any child...

i see no racism here

just one failed interacial adoption

Tafaraji said...

I just want to know: 1) Isn't there baby jumpsuits that could have aided in preventing the child from digesting his waste? 2) Did that information need to be shared? 3) If that information was shared to garner sympathy for the adoptive parent, and 4) Was it shared publically at the child's expense?

I don't think I like the former adoptive parent very much.

alicia banks said...

grinder:

that is wonderful..

i am very cautious about judging any adoptive parents...because all are far noble than i am just because they even try adopt...

i would never adopt a child and i pity how horrid and spoiled and selfish and lazy etc.. most bio kids are today!

i cherish my free childless personal life even as i have dedicated my professional life to children...

and ALL interracial adoptees who are well are so because their superior parents similarly exposed them to their OWN racial role models in addition to their multiracial influences...

kudos to your brother and his hubby!

alicia banks said...

another freudian slip

i meant:

children are increasingly chemically damaged in the WOMB by toxic young parents who are drug addicts/alcholoics/recreational drug users during pregnancy etc...

and they are increasingly WOUNDing adoptions and our world...

Eddie said...

I've got no problem with interracial adoption because at the end of the day most kids are looking for consistant love and guidance. If a parent of another race can do it, let them have at it. There's enough broken people as it is now and whatever keeps it from happening is a good thing.

With this couple though, I think they got in over their heads. Raising healthy children is hard enough, but children with health problem will drain you if you're not up to it. I don't see they did wrong intentionaly, but I feel sorry for the child because someone gave him up again. Sometimes I do wonder why so many choose kids from different countries instead of all the kids here that need help. Guess it's better to have a child from Borneo than one from Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

We need to keep them off our kids. Letting them adopt our children is just another way for them to destroy our culture.

alicia banks said...

anon:

have you seen the parenting/family stats for black america?

too few blacks today are even raising their own bio cildren!

too few black people adopt any children...including myself

millions of abandoned black kids are never adopted...

so numerically, it makes no sense to ban anyone including positive adept whites or gays from adopting black kids

all kids ONLY need love and nurturing and neither have a color/gender/sexuality etc

uptownsteve said...

"We need to keep them off our kids. Letting them adopt our children is just another way for them to destroy our culture."

Have you adopted a black foster child?

If not you need to shut up.

"white couples adopting -or trying to adopt black children and why it is discouraged by many black social workers."

I don't understand this at all.

I'd like these social workers to explain how being a ward of the government is preferable to being adopted into loving home.

This is a case of negroes acting stupid.

See grinder, I go after my fellow blacks as well.

chicago dyke said...

haven't read all the comments, but i agree with the ones that are suspicious of this woman for being on tv. i am so sick and tired of the american worship of the glowing idiot box, some days i just want to scream. whatever her reasons, it's beyond sick and twisted to do something like this, and then go on tv looking for sympathy.

as to interracial adoption: i'm firmly in favor of it. the bottom line is that there are millions of unwanted, unloved children who need good homes and good parenting. i understand why some are suspicious of white people raising black children, but i reject the idea that all us black folk share some singular culture and cultural experience. that's laughable to me.

there is no way a black person in our society cannot perceive that she is black. having white foster parents isn't going to erase that. raised in a loving home, given education and opportunity, i'm sure a black child adopted by white parents will come to understand her "essential racial reality" just as well as any other black person.

but it's just plain wrong for social workers to fail to place a child in a home for purely race-based reasons. no child should be left to suffer in our system, if a good home with responsible parents can be found for them.

maria said...

alicia...go away. stop responding as if this is your blog...no one wants to read constant comments..you are unable to stay on topic...get a life...get a job.

momo said...

Regardless of my opinion of this woman's motives or actions, my gut tells me that this child will ultimately be better off if placed with a family that WILL be willing to do the really hard work of parenting him with his special needs. I pray that this happens.

alicia banks said...

maria

you are not the police of this blog

you will never police me

you will not make any selective rules that i will ever follow

you are here too
i have 4 jobs

you?

alicia banks said...

maria:

what do you see as off topic?

why did you ignore ALL of the other posters who are responding herein precisely as i am???

your envy and hatred are showing

i live online
you may purchase the same gadgets that allow you to do the same...
fyi

alicia banks said...

maria

i see "constant comments" from many posters herein daily
so
why do mine exclusively vex you so???

fix that curious problem asap!

blackgirlinmaine said...

I read about this story last week and it pissed me off beyond words. Interracial adoption is not an issue as far as I am concerned provided parents are willing to learn.

What gets me with this woman is I wonder what the hell she was thinking? The child had a lousy life before she came into it and the fact that he spent his first year not bonding with anyone would make any reasonable person assume that this kid might need extra time and attention in order to learn how to bond. Sorry but that's just common sense.

So from that viewpoint I am suspect that a woman with 5 bio kids would take on another child who any sane person would plan on needing extra time.

I think she was on some save the world mess and when it didn't happen she bailed plain and simple.

najahf said...

I just read the motherlode blog and the facts are a little different. it seems like the woman had 3 children when she adopted D, didn't tell the agency that she was pregnant with a 4th and then proceeded to have a 5th baby while he was in the home. Given those facts, I think she is terribly selfish and irresponsible. Why would she have 2 more children after adopting a speical needs child that she was having trouble bonding with? I think she was/is addicted to having new babies. Her older children are probably neglected as well. very angry about this story.

know the whole story said...

Ok, so I have been a long time reader of this blog (and all of the interesting comments, shouts to AB, US and Grinder) and now I have decided to become active in expressing my own opinions on the stories that Bro. Field posts.

First observation, this woman has given birth to FIVE children in the past. This indicates to me that, since she hasn't lost her mind already, she is more than equipped to handle and parental challenges that baby D may pose. She also says that she did extensive research on the adoption process, so she probably already knew about his disabilities and still decided to move forward in the process.

Second observation, I'm not an expert in cognative, emotional or physical development of children as it relates to parental attachment, but it seems to me that most of this burden for developing that attachment should be on the parent. And given the condition of Baby D prior to him being adopted, there should have been and even greater burden on Anita to forge a relationship with the child.

Given the fact that she knew what she was getting herself into with this unique type of adoption and the fact that she is a highly experienced parent with five babies of her own, my conclusion is that Anita was simply doing what was fashionable. Given the fact that Baby D was brown, made it all the more easy to "toss him back to the wild."

Whatever her intentions were, the bottom line is that there is one more black child in the world lacking proper guidance and support needed to live a normal and successful life. SMH

Anonymous said...

once you adopt a child he/she is your, period. the "non attachment" excuse speaks to the adult not the child.

Sharon from WI said...

WTF are they adopting from S. America for anyway? That's why they need to stay away from Black kids. F 'em.<<

I've read of accounts of adoptive parents "giving back" or "returning" Russian and Romanian kids who had issues. So it's not necessarily a racial thing. I sure hope that little one can find a family that can love him.

grinder said...

See grinder, I go after my fellow blacks as well.

And I am not shy about calling out whites. I hear tell there was a famous guy 46 years ago who talked some about "the content of our character."

amy said...

Why is this all being framed as the woman's adoption, the woman's failure, the woman's fault? This was a married couple that adopted a child, and they both chose to give the child up. True, the mother is the one blogging about it, but that doesn't mean she was the one who made all the decisions. I think there's unconscious gender-stereotyping here -- that women are supposed to be the primary caregiver to children, supposed to be nurturing, supposed to make every sacrifice for the good of their children, and men are just supposed to stand off to the side and bring in the money. If something goes wrong with the children, it's the woman's fault. That's just malarkey.

grinder said...
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grinder said...
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know the whole story said...

@amy

Well if you read the story, she makes no mention of her husband, so the only person we're allowed to observe as having problems "attaching" with the child, is the female. Anita made numerous refercences to "I." "I didn't feel..." "I tried to do..." etc. True there is no mention of the father, but her statements on her personal feelings do say a lot about her parental abilities and her disinterest in once again being a parent.

uptownsteve said...

"And I am not shy about calling out whites. I hear tell there was a famous guy 46 years ago who talked some about "the content of our character."

That same guy also said:

"A nation that has done something special against the negro for 150 years must now do something special for the negro."

Like that one too?

grinder said...

Like that one too?

Yeah, I did. I think "something special" is called affirmative action and other anti-poverty programs targeted more at minorities than at whites, and I support them.

But none of it absolves black people of the eventual responsibility of getting their collective shit together, either.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

If I was a black child living in foster care and was praying for a loving home and life,the color of the provider would not be something on my mine.So for all of the do gooder social workers against cross racial adoption think long and hard.

Dara said...

I think it shouldn't matter who adopts who, as long as there is love and nurturing for the children.

field negro said...

"know the whole story", thanks for finally jumping in. What took you so long?

Anonymous said...

i heard "D" wuz trying to pimp out his White sisters and selling crack @ the daycare!

check it out he wuz even on youtube with a White friend and started singing!

grinder said...

Field, how come you didn't report that the mother found another family for the child? It's in one story that you linked to, but your posting didn't mention it.

I wonder how many people read the whole thing. I know I didn't until just now. I think the adoptive mother did the right thing by the kid. She didn't live the kid on a doorstep somewhere, she found a different family that could give better care.

I felt I was swimming upstream until one early morning Jennifer called, and told me that she had found a great family for D. They had seen his pictures, learned about his situation, and fallen in love with him. The mom, Samantha, was a psychologist, and the family had adopted another boy with similar issues just a couple of years before.

I spoke to Samantha and her husband a few times on the phone and right off the bat I felt comfortable with them. During one of our conversations we decided that she’d come down to meet D. by herself, to ease the transition.


What should the mother have done? Kept the child and been overwhelmed, or realize her limitations and give the child a better life? Reading the whole story, I give her credit.

I also think it's okay for her to tell the story. There must be other people who have faced the same thing, and looked for a way out. This mother's story could be useful to them, and could be useful to others who are thinking about adopting and need information about the potential risks.

All in all, I think it's pretty hard to call the first adoptive mother "selfish." The worst I can say about her is that she bit off more than she could chew, but I also think she rose to the occasion and did right by the child.

Sharon from WI said...

Grinder,

Re-read the post. It does mention that another family took the baby in.

grinder said...

Sharon, it's a little confusing on that point. At one point in what Field wrote, he talked about then deciding to find another family, but near the end he talked about hoping the kid can find a nice loving home with parents who can attach to him.

Anyway, the comments on the NY Times blog were interesting, especially comment #36 on comment page 2:

I worked in Child Protective Services for many years and saw the whole gamut of adoption results. . .from wildly successful to unexpectedly unsuccessful.

The unsuccessful ones were for a variety of reasons–but chiefly because of failure to attach. Every one of the parents who faced this reality had to decide to tell themselves and their child (ren) the TRUTH and to try to move forward with their lives.

You did the right thing and your D will/would thank you for it.


I appreciated that comment for its combination of experience and realism.

I'll have to ask my brother to be sure, but I seem to recall that he and his partner started on the adoption path by being foster parents. I think the first two or three kids started as fosters and then become adopted. I think one foster child was reclaimed by his or her mother, which made my brother and his partner very sad, because they had wanted to adopt that one.

So, off the top of my head, and fully realizing that there is a lot of circumstances I still don't know, I'd wonder whether it wouldn't have been a better idea for the mother in this case to ease into it as my brother and partner did, starting as a foster parent.

Along those lines, while I realize that some people regard her as shallow, I prefer to look at this as a de facto foster care outcome. The child was eventually placed in a permanent situation, and hopefully it's working.

In the real real, there are zillions of infants who are in foster care while very young, and eventually are adopted by someone else. In practical reality, that's what happened here, isn't it?

kathy said...

Grinder, I am going to jump in here and say, this woman is a selfish bitch who is trying to make money, profit, if you will, off of this child's personal story, it's not hers to sell, it's not all about her.

She was pregnant when she adopted him, and then had another baby after that, he needed someone to help him learn to trust, after all, he lost everything, his mother, his biological family, his country, his culture, HE lost everything, she is supposed to be the adult, but she actually blamed him for the failure to attach, go back and read her shit again.

Also, as far as trans-racial adoption goes, just imagine, Mr. R. would probably pass a homestudy, provide a nice house, good education and all the trappings, but would you really want him to be your father?

grinder said...

p.s.: If she had REALLY been shallow, foster care would have been more like it. Foster parents get paid by the state. Adoptive parents don't. That's not why my brother and his partner went that route. They did it because it was required in their state. But there are a shitload of foster parents who take in kids for money and not love.

The adoptive mother in this case, while you might criticize her, is clearly not in that category, anyhow. I really think she's someone who was unprepared for the reality, and then faced up to it and did the right thing.

I give people credit for facing up to the truth. You can't read that story and think that the woman was just casually tossing that kid back into the pond like a fish in a catch-and-release derby.

grinder said...

Grinder, I am going to jump in here and say, this woman is a selfish bitch who is trying to make money, profit, if you will, off of this child's personal story, it's not hers to sell, it's not all about her.

How is she profiting? Maybe there is something I am missing. All I see is that she told her story to the NY Times and the Today show. Is she writing a book or something?

She was pregnant when she adopted him, and then had another baby after that

I didn't see that, either. The NYT blog said she had five kids born to her, and that the adopted one was #6. I didn't see any mention of pregnancy or another birth.

HE lost everything, she is supposed to be the adult, but she actually blamed him for the failure to attach, go back and read her shit again.

The baby didn't lose here. The baby got another adoptive family. Fact is, there are zillions of infants who pass through foster care before being adopted. The first adoptive mother turned out to actually be a foster mother. That's really what happened here.

kathy said...

Grinder, she is writing a book too, and it is not her story, it is his, she even complained because he was eating his own poop. Yes, she was pregnant when she adopted him, and had another baby after that, that is fact, even if the NYT article doesnt say it, it is not that hard to find out what she did.
NO, she was not a foster mother, she was an adoptive mother, although, given that she was unprepared and unwilling to care for him, I, too, am glad that she found a better home for him.
Yes, Grinder, all children who are adopted DO LOSE in order for the adoptive parents to GAIN, the baby did lose his mother and every thing else I already spelled out for you, extended family, country, culture, the baby lost for the adoptive family to get that baby.

Tara said...

From what I've read on this woman's blog, I am so glad she gave that child to a family who can care for him. Her family would have that child miserable and he will have enough challenges to deal with without worrying about that. I might be remembering this wrong, but I don't think she knew the full extent of his disabilities. You have to be prepared to take that on, let alone take on race matters.
That said, I am in the process of adopting now, and want a healthy child, but I'm prepared to parent the child i get, whatever issues come up I will deal with them.
The agency asked me if I wanted to adopt transracially. Since I'm Black in a program for Black children, I'm not sure why, but I said I'm open to adopting across race. The literature I got was about how tough it is being a person of color in America, and how I should not dismiss the child's ethnicity in an effort to be colorblind. Tell me something I don't know! Not sure what that would mean for a white child. They have nothing to offer when it's the other way around.

Black Diaspora said...

@Tara: "Not sure what that would mean for a white child. They have nothing to offer when it's the other way around."

Now, I wonder why?

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Angie-in-Japan said...

Hello everybody...glad to be back. Just finished a grueling move to another apartment. Missed you all dearly...!!

It is said that there is a "s"/reason for everything. Maybe, as a few others noted, the family and mother provided that much-needed route for D to meet and bond with a family more suitable for him and his needs. In that respect, I am happy that they did not keep him, though he may be experiencing some of the pain of that decision. Fact is, people make difficult decisions that we must live with every single day...sometimes selfish decisions...and at times "selfless" decisions. We only know a mere snippet of what was going on in that household, so it's difficult to choose which side of the fine line to stand on.

IMO, if something positive and in D's best interest results from that pain at the end of this story...then maybe it is, in actuality, a good thing. At least this mother and family won't be locking him up in some filthy, underground room molesting/beating him for years upon years because they were too proud to be seen as failures to give him back. And though some parents will kill their own kids when they become overwhelmed with them and/or other family problems, this family refused that route, as well. Their so-called selfish decisions represent a selfless choice to give that little boy a new lease on life, in my opinion.

I think it was Grinder who mentioned something above about people facing their "truth." Based on what I read, the mother and family couldn't and/or wouldn't commit to the entire journey with "D" after the adoption. Of course, I could be judgmental and say truly negative things about her and the family for a series of supposed shortcomings regarding D. No such stones from me today...as my energy is on wishing the thoughts below:

My prayers go out to D and his new family. May he, with their assistance and love, live a happy, fruitful life!! And through his experience, may we all learn how to provide better for the children of this world, regardless of their gender or race.

Stay blessed all...

Angie-in-Japan said...

Kathy said: "Grinder, she is writing a book too, and it is not her story, it is his, she even complained because he was eating his own poop. Yes, she was pregnant when she adopted him, and had another baby after that, that is fact, even if the NYT article doesnt say it, it is not that hard to find out what she did."

I think it is HER story as well as HIS story. As it is their story, maybe she should use part of the profit to set up a fund for D. As you allude, she wouldn't be writing this particular book without his active participation in her life.

On a more personal level...a few years ago, my father told my sister and I that he and my mother were going to adopt a 1 year-old, Hispanic baby from a teenager in my town. I was moved that my parents wanted to help the mother and baby...but flat out told him that it was a BAD decision. He thought I was being heartless and a part of me felt so, too. That seemingly IR/rational part of me asked "who will be taking care of this child when you both get too up in your years to chase after her"...(they are both approaching their 70s). I also asked where the money to take care of her would come from, as my mother is currently a VICTIM of the US health care system (lost both legs to diabetes and insurance companies that refuse to cough up money for care!!). Dealing with such rogue companies (not implying that all are) has nearly destroyed their savings, putting the responsibility of their future financial well-being on me and my sister.

I hated to do it but knew that the majority of responsibility for the child would be dropped on MY shoulders, which is something that I did not ask for nor want at that time in my life. The fact that the child is Hispanic was irrelevant. FInancially, I wasn't prepared for a life with her in Japan (where I would have had to quit my job to raise her!!) and felt that the child would be better off with someone who DID want her and COULD care for her. That was one of the best decisions, difficult and "selfish" though it was, that I have made in a very long time. It hurt my parents (and me as well)...but it was ultimately the best thing at the time, given our set of circumstances, to do.

Black Diaspora said...

@Angie-in-Japan: "My prayers go out to D and his new family. May he, with their assistance and love, live a happy, fruitful life!!"

It's my hope and prayer as well. I can't speak for others, but I've missed you.

If your ears have been burning, you can blame me. Thanks to your sharing here about your experiences in Japan, I was able to share with others what you shared with us.

You're having an impact that you're not aware of. How's that for the power of the Internet.

I've been to your blog, but I was a little confused as to whether you were the blogger, or if it was a team effort with you contributing from time to time.

Will you clarify.

I would like very much to have you blog on those things that matter to you. Your voice is a rarity in this world. And I'd like to hear more of it.

Seattle Slim said...

How do you not attach to a child as a mother? I mean, I know it happens. That's like me not attaching to my boys because they have asthma and are mixed.... I don't get it....

Love is UNCONDITIONAL. She simply didn't love him.

I'll adopt him.

grinder said...

Kathy, I was all set to disagree with you and blast you a new one, but I went and did some more reading and I think Anita Tedaldi and her story look curiouser and curiouser, to put it mildly. The story is like an onion. Just when you think you understand it, another layer comes off.

That said, it is probably still for the best that Mrs. Tedaldi found a different home for the child before she could do any more damage.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wonder about the day a wealthy Malawi couple come to the United States to adopt a white child and then return to raise him/her in Malawi...

grinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie-in-Japan said...

Thank you, Black Diaspora. Even while moving, I sometimes dropped by to read the latest FN news... just didn't have time to leave any comments. I did stop by your blog once this past week, as well...and will be stopping by from now on. I LOVED what you had to say!!

As for the blog, I was asked to contribute whenever I had time. I guess I am in the position to offer somewhat of an interesting twist considering the country that has graciously "adopted" me as a permanent resident. It is still a challenge keeping people out of my hair and all here. LOL...(literally and figuratively speaking!!)

Not that I am putting all my business out there for the world to know, but a little baby in my aunt's city was left on the steps of a Catholic church when she was just a few days old. There were many people interested in adopting her but my aunt was the one given the opportunity. As for the true meaning of MOTHER, Aunt "B" has been and will always be the only one my cousin knows. Cousin "K" is every bit our family, and the love we feel for her is no less that we show other family members. The fact is, we consider her GOD's gift to us. Maybe a similar "intervention" happened with D.

IMO...no mother, even when it comes to her own kids, is perfect. Like many of you, I have several questions and assumptions circling around in my mind when it comes to the explanations given surrounding this story...but...the point that hits me the most is that this family actually tried to find a decent alternative to what they could offer. They didn't kill him, abandon him out in the countryside, or toss him out with the family trash. I'm not sure if my cousin has been told the details surrounding her "rescue"(we simply didn't discuss it growing up)...but if she knows the truth, I'm sure she'd be the first to inform us all that being saved from a difficult or less than desirable environment by one mother only to be given to another mother who is possibly capable of providing substantially better care is nothing less than a miracle for a displaced child.

Someone mentioned that a mother loves her children unconditionally, absolutely without reservation or "conditions." I felt like "YEAH" that was an excellent point...then I started thinking. We humans probably use conditions in our interactions with others at least 99.9% of the time. Then, as I was listening to some Mahalia J, I thought about all the "conditions" that Christians must first accept to be saved from eternity in hell. Now, if GOD has a list of conditions when it comes to us, how in the world can I expect mothers to be above that?

(Just thinking out loud...no disrespect meant to you believers, non-believers or folks practicing other religions out there.)

uptownsteve said...

"Yeah, I did. I think "something special" is called affirmative action and other anti-poverty programs targeted more at minorities than at whites, and I support them."

I would love to see you or anybody else prove with evidence that "anti-poverty programs" were targeted more to minorities than whites.

AAs biggest beneficiaries were white women.

Sharon from WI said...

Grinder, I am going to jump in here and say, this woman is a selfish bitch who is trying to make money, profit, if you will, off of this child's personal story, it's not hers to sell, it's not all about her.

She was pregnant when she adopted him, and then had another baby after that, he needed someone to help him learn to trust, after all, he lost everything, his mother, his biological family, his country, his culture, HE lost everything, she is supposed to be the adult, but she actually blamed him for the failure to attach, go back and read her shit again.

Also, as far as trans-racial adoption goes, just imagine, Mr. R. would probably pass a homestudy, provide a nice house, good education and all the trappings, but would you really want him to be your father? <<

What is the financial incentive behind this woman's motive? And the example of Mr. R that you offer--and I shudder at the idea of Mr. R having any child in his care--is a rather extreme one. I would rather see a child of any ethnicity raised in a loving, good home than languishing for years in foster care.

Adam said...

Field,

You stated:

"I am still trying to figure out where I stand on this subject, and I continue to listen to others who are professionals in these areas as I try to formulate a point of view."


I think one good gauge to use on trans-racial adoptions are the testimonies of children (now adults) who have been raised by parents of a different background.
For instance, interviews of adults who were adopted from China, Ethopia, or Guatemela as children -do they now feel that something was lost as a result of being adopted and raised by a white family?

I do wonder if their testimonies would fly in the face of the experts who warn against it? Or, would their testimonies validate the concerns that social workers of color have?

black grl #1 said...

for me it's 3 issues:
a) adopting kids in the US is WAY too difficult. therefore only those w/ the means and resources and perseverance can adopt. there's an entire community in Canada where couples have adopted African-American children.
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20147746,00.html

b) there's a level of stigma placed on Af. American children because of our on-going racial politics. many people often see black children as "ruined" and in too many cases they are. there's a shit-load of bad parenting going on in Black communities. however this is by far not exclusive to the Black community. but it does mean we should be open about who can adopt our children.

AB: you are ABSOLUTELY right - our first priority should be about getting children into loving situations as much as possible.

c) international adoption fails to take into account the experiences and horrors children have faced from their respective countries. to think for a moment that raising a child from the Congo or Serbia, who witnessed, or perhaps was even victimized by the atrocities that occurred from their home country, wouldn't have SIGNIFICANT problems is ridiculous and irresponsible.

it's why you hear so many stories about people "returning" kids.

in the same vein: we have MANY Af American kids come from some pretty messed up situations right here in the US and since we rarely adopt ourselves, having the ability to make sure these kids land in loving homes should be our main priority.

as for homegrl: well something doesn't measure up if she's trying to exploit this situation. & i DESPISE people doing the "... with good intentions" bit -- it sounds a bit too missionary for my taste. not to mention she has a bunch of her own children? i'm sure she's waiting for a call from TLC. but maybe i'm wrong.

grinder said...

uptownsteve, you have a point about AA benefiting white women, but I also think it has successfully integrated the U.S. military and many police forces around the country. I very strongly support, in particular, the application of AA to the police and military.

The Kerner Commission report after the riots of 1967 talked about the police being seen as a white occupation force in the inner cities of America, and I think that problem has been largely corrected as the result of AA. In the military, you've seen minorities rise to leadership positions over time. I think that is a success story, too.

On the poverty front, blacks and Latinos are much more likely to be poor than everyone else. Any broad initiatives against poverty are going to help these groups more. It's true that in absolute terms there are more poor whites than poor blacks or poor Latinos, because whites are three-quarters of the overall population. But on a percentage-of-the-group basis, blacks and Latinos are much bigger beneficiaries of general assistance and food stamps than white people are.

By the way, I'm a fairly liberal guy politically, and I think anti-poverty programs have been reduced too far, especially food stamps and housing assistance. If there is any aspect where I could be fairly labeled a "bleeding heart," it's with food. People are going hungry, and that's flat wrong.

I would also greatly expand programs to teach English. This would benefit primarily Latinos. Lots of them very much want to learn English but have nowhere to do it.

And then, of course, there is health care, which I think should be treated as a basic right for all Americans. I think we should use a combination of the Canadian system and the Veterans Administration system and have the whole thing run by the government.

And we should go in and act like a proctologist with a depth perception problem as it concerns the finances of the drug companies, medical device companies, and big hospital and nursing home chains, taking the unwarranted profits out of those industries. And the health insurance companies should be out of business.

Those things would help everyone, but because poor people have the least access to health care, and because blacks and Latinos are much more likely to be poor than everyone else, they would be bigger relative beneficiaries than everyone else.

You and I might bitterly clash on a few things, but I suspect that if we were to meet someday and actually compare our perspectives right on down the line, we'd agree on one hell of a lot than we disagree on.

One thing where we might disagree is on the design of some anti-poverty programs. I think some of the Great Society stuff had the unintended consequence of weakening family ties and personal initiative. If, for example, you simply hand an apartment and a per-child government check to every girl who gets pregnant out of wedlock, you might not be doing a lot of favors in the long run. It's a tough issue, but here we are with three-quarters of black births now out of wedlock, with most of those having no father anywhere in sight.

I think the roots of that problem go all the way back to slavery and the breaking up of families, but subsequent subsidies for this stuff has had something to do with it. In any case, I do think none of this can work without everyone concerned dropping their guard and talking about the real issues in the real world. In ELEMENTS of the black population (and the Latino one, and much smaller elements of the white population, for that matter) you've got some really serious problems.

kathy said...

Sharon,
John Raible, a transracial adult adoptee has written extensively about transracial adoption issues. Here is just one of him articles, he is well worth reading.

For international adoptees, Transracial Abductees is also the voices of adult adoptees of color.

Maybe mr.r is extreme, but i bet it happens, and for that one child, that is too many times.

grinder said...

Back to the topic at hand, this woman. What an odd case. I swung from "not enough information" to "supporting her" to essentially "opposing her" within one day. The more I read, the weirder she looks.

I don't know that she's a "selfish bitch." I am extremely reluctant to go there. With the exception of one individual on this message board who I think deserves the "B word," it's not something I do.

Instead, I see the woman as mentally "off." She seems narcissistic and shallow, and dishonest. To write that article for the NY Times without mentioning that she was pregnant with bio child #4 and gave birth to #5 after the adoption was misleading as hell. And to take the kid out of the house while the other kids sat there and watched television, well, I missed it on the first couple readings but when I focused on it I was pretty stunned. What an example to set, that human beings are so disposable that you don't even have to interrupt what you're doing to say goodbye. Man, that's low.

The adoption agency screwed up by giving the woman the child while she was pregnant, although I could imagine that she concealed that from them, too. You never know.

The bottom line, though, remains that the woman found another home for the child. Which is to say that it could have been a lot worse. We read about crazy mothers who kill kids. Well, this looks like it could have been one of those if it had taken a different turn. So, I think it's best for the child not to be with the family.

This does leave the question about the five bio kids with that kind of mother. Yikes! You hope for the best, huh? As for the woman's book deal, here's hoping it flops.

grinder said...

p.s.: I don't think that the case says a single thing about transracial adoptions, by the way. I checked with my brother. Three of his kids are black, and two are white. That family is fantastic. I have a friend who adopted two kids from Guatemala with his wife, who then passed away. He got remarried to a woman with a couple of bio kids, and the family has merged very well.

It's really about the people involved, and to some degree about the luck of the draw, just like the rest of life.

black grl #1 said...

grinder: you're absolutely right -- homegrl could've done something far worse, she did find another home for him. there are WAY too many examples of people not bothering to do that much for children they can't "bond" with.

grinder said...

If there was ever a story about the "mixed bag" of real life, this one is it.

kathy said...

black grl #1 and grinder, I do agree that she could have done far worse, and I am really glad that she found a family for him, on the other hand, all that time when he could have healed and learned to trust, and that he was rejected, in a sense, is very painful to think about, at least, for me.
Grinder, I left the link to John Raible because Sharon asked about how trans-racially adult adoptees feel, John Raible is an excellent source of information about adoption.

kathy said...

Grinder, I think she might have lied about the 4th pregnancy too. That is a very unfair thing to have done to the baby.

grinder said...

I did some checking around, and the woman's writing is really all about herself. I suppose "selfish" does cover it, but I think this one's a little more than your average selfish person. I think there are a few bolts rattling around in her doors.

sjelly said...

It is well documented that many new mothers can't bond with their children. Post-partum depression is only one manifestation of this issue. I don't understand people's surprise and outrage at this common fact. Not every woman who uses her womb is cut out to be a mother. Even mothers who have more than one child can find it difficult to bond with a specific child. This woman, as far as I can tell, took on more than she was capable of handling. That she managed to do something about it before she did more harm to the child has to be seen as a good for the child. Even with the most loving heart and best intentions, raising a child with severe disabilities is hard, hard work, and she strikes me as a person who could not handle it. She may very well have done "D" the most good she possibly could, by giving him up to people better suited for the challenge.

Stephanie said...

My suspicion in this case was that this woman (and by extent her family) had no real idea what they were getting into adopting a child with various disabilities. The underdeveloped legs should have been a marker that this little boy may - MAY - have needed a level of care that was going to be challenging for a family with five children. I think this is a case of do-gooderism that got tarnished by the very real complexities of raising a child with complex needs. The attachment issue may very well have been a real and legitimate concern, but again, this was something that should have been more seriously considered a priori to the adoption. The fact that they had the child in their care for 18 months suggests, to some extent, that they attempted to make some sort of a go at this. But the relinquishment at 18 months also leads me to believe that the strain of raising this child was too much for the family to handle. I have to imagine that they did some soul searching prior to the adoption, but they seemed to fall short of assessing their suitability in all potential scenarios.

I hope that little D finds a place and a space in which to blossom.

BroadSnark said...

I was adopted.

As an adopted person I want to say that, while adoption may sometimes be the best choice amongst many bad choices, every adoption is a tragedy. Every adoption is a failure. It isn't a failure of the birth mother or the adopted mother, at least not just. It is a failure of humanity.

Why are children given up for adoption? They are given up because women are coerced or slut shamed into giving up their children. Women are convinced that being poor makes you unworthy. Society refuses help with "her problem" or "her behavior" or "her promiscuity." We don't want to provide drug treatment or social services or job training. We'd rather just stick people in jail and their kids in an institution.

The poverty, wars, violence, social stigmas, and judging that causes mothers to give up their children is the essential problem. And their are many mothers and fathers (biological or not) that get in over their heads and need help. If we lived in a society where a mother wasn't expected to be able to do it all by herself, we would provide the help needed.

And it is always the mother who is expected. Even if she is married (the prerequisite for being an acceptable mother) we still blame only her. If it weren't for Amy, nobody would have even mentioned the father in these comments.

Black Diaspora is exactly right. "childrearing is not a mom and dad proposition, although that's how our society has constructed it, but is the preserve of teams of moms and dads."

More people should come out of the closet with their bad parenting experiences (biological and adopted). It's time we stopped with this "everybody should have kids" and "being a parent is the best thing" horseshit and started admitting that sometimes it is a disaster. Most parents are too ashamed to come out and say anything other than that it was the best thing that ever happened. That is a lie and a dangerous one at that.

grinder said...

As an adopted person I want to say that, while adoption may sometimes be the best choice amongst many bad choices, every adoption is a tragedy. Every adoption is a failure. It isn't a failure of the birth mother or the adopted mother, at least not just. It is a failure of humanity.

Wow, I respect what you wrote, but I just have to disagree. Some of this is semantics. If you'd written that every adoption follows a failure, then I'd be with you. But the adoption itself? No, I'm sorry, I can't agree.

When my brother and his partner told me they were going to be adopting kids -- not just kids, but black kids with serious special needs -- I was skeptical. Never voiced my skepticism to him, but I felt it.

It's now been 15 years, and they've had five of them, and the results have been just stunning. Truly amazing. So no, I really can't buy into the "adoption as tragedy" idea. Just can't go there.

Why are children given up for adoption? They are given up because women are coerced or slut shamed into giving up their children. Women are convinced that being poor makes you unworthy. Society refuses help with "her problem" or "her behavior" or "her promiscuity." We don't want to provide drug treatment or social services or job training. We'd rather just stick people in jail and their kids in an institution.

There might be an element of what you say in some adoptions. I mean, there are a whole lot of them, so you can never just slap on one label or take it off. But I think the practical realities are much more complicated than what you've suggested.

More people should come out of the closet with their bad parenting experiences (biological and adopted). It's time we stopped with this "everybody should have kids" and "being a parent is the best thing" horseshit and started admitting that sometimes it is a disaster. Most parents are too ashamed to come out and say anything other than that it was the best thing that ever happened. That is a lie and a dangerous one at that.

Now that is something I can sign onto. I think that, as a society, we've become more are more adept at articulating "purist" points of view on every subject, and less adept at looking realistically at how real and fallible people live their real lives.

We are too willing to point fingers at people and declare them "all good" or "all bad." Even in the case that prompted these comments, while I think that the woman who adopted the child in question has a screw or two loose, the realities are more complicated.

She clearly gave it a real shot, and when she couldn't hack it she found another family. I wouldn't nominate her for any prize, and in general I'd be more inclined to use her experience as a cautionary example than as a positive one, but she and her husband still did some things wrong and some things right.

In short, they are real people living real lives, and as much as she makes my skin crawl in certain ways, she didn't try to put so much of a Hollywood happy-ending ribbon on this that it disguised the failures at the heart of it. At some point, people ought to be able to step back and see people and life in the terms that we really live it.

grinder said...

p.s.: Why was I skeptical of my brother's adoption plans in the beginning? Here's why, in order:

1. Gay couple adoption. At the time, that was very new, and he'd been with his partner for less than two years. I thought, wow, if you guys split up this could really turn into a five-star disaster.

2. Trans-racial. I wondered whether this was a fashion statement on their part. I wondered whether the kids could ever feel at home in the white, upper-crust suburb where they lived.

3. Special needs. These kids were really in need of special care. Did they have the time or the patience?

Well, folks, I'll tell you, I spent a bunch of time with the family a month ago. It was the first time in quite a while, and I walked away close to tears of joy and amazement. I was utterly blown away, and still am.

Never has it felt so great to have been proven totally wrong. Everyone ought to have a chance to be proven wrong like this at least once in their life.

cinco said...

A child doesn't need to be where they are not wanted...too many social issues are a result of childhood and/or their upbringing/environment.

She has a large enough family. No two children are alike.

May little 'D' be swept up by someone willing to love him just as he is...

Things could always be worse...she could have 'snapped' and made 'D' an example of permanent detachment.

Going as public as she has about all of this just doesn't seem in anyone's best interest. What continues to motivate her to air her dirty laungry is the real concern...

grinder said...

Going as public as she has about all of this just doesn't seem in anyone's best interest. What continues to motivate her to air her dirty laungry is the real concern.

Even though she's something of a whackjob, I think it's a net positive that she wrote about it. Forget about her for a minute, and think about the issues she raised. Is it really a bad thing to have that stuff out there for the potential education of someone else thinking of doing the same thing?

Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} said...

As an adoptive mom, I find this story really bothersome. At the end of this day, this woman "auditioned" a child, and then let him go when he didn't meet her expectations. Bonding takes time, and parenting (and any good relationship, for that matter) is not always about warm fuzzy feelings. An adoption should be a lifetime commitment. I don't think she's "brave" for telling her story. I think she's a really disturned person trying to get her 15 minutes.

I think/hope that this has more to do with the disability and not about the race. I do think that transracial adoption can be a positive experience. I agree that it is important to listen to the voices of adult adoptees, however, a website called "transracial abductees" may not be the most objective place to start. A good book to read is "In Their Own Voices".

I'm always a little curious when people categorically don't believe in transracial adoption. Granted, we have our work cut out for us in making sure our children have a positive racial identity. But we are not talking about a different species here. I worry that statements like "white parents can't raise black kids" further perpetuates some notion of black children as being OTHER. At the end of the day, I'm still doing all the same things black parents would do with my son - wiping his nose, taking him to church, worrying about his education, driving him to sports, keeping him from eating too much crap, build his self-esteem, making him clean his room, teach him values, etc etc etc. I just have to take some extra steps in the cultural identity piece and be willing to reach out and learn from others. It's important (really important), but it's not impossible.

Anonymous said...

the topic got dropped and not to start a chris rock riot, has anyone considered the role that hair care plays in adopting black females. If you are not a black female yourself or a hairdresser, this can be an area of significant challenge. I'm not saying one can't learn, i'm just saying that the hair care ritual is often very different.

Sharon from WI said...

You sound like a great mom. :-)

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Anonymous said...

The charity 'Raising Malawi' (PR firm) founded by Madonna AND TWO OTHERS in '06' held fund raisers for over two years before finally getting registered as a non-profit. In other words, Madonna and the others were free to squander that funding any way they saw fit for those first two years. In fact, they still havn't accounted for the 3.7 million raised from a single event in the fall of '07' (The grand opening of a Gucci flagship store in Manhattan.). She also pleaded with her fans worldwide for donations along the way. In the meantime, she toured the world to promote her latest CD and raked in another $280,000,000 gross in just over 12 months. To date, the basic financial info for 'Raising Malawi' still hasn't been posted on the website or anywhere else. The 'progress' page only tells of the collective works by over 20 seperate charities. Each of which have their own sources of funding and may have recieved some sort of promotion or support from 'Raising Malawi' in order to be considered 'partners'. But no indication is made how much of their funding came from 'Raising Malawi' or how much of their progress if any could be directly attributed to 'Raising Malawi'. The fans/donors have no clue how many millions of dollars were raised in that first two years, no clue how much Madonna herself chipped in, and no clue how the money was spent before they finally registered as a non-profit. No clue what fraction of funding or works listed on that 'progress' page could be directly attributed to 'Raising Malawi'. Nothing to go on but the vague and misleading word of Madonna. For example: She states in her latest promotional video that she will match any contributions made to her charity (PR firm) "dollar for dollar". However, there is a disclaimer posted on the website for 'Raising Malawi' that Madonna's total contribution will not exceed $100,000. Thats not per donation. Thats a maximum of $100,000 TOTAL. Less than a single days pay for Madonna. Also much less then she will surely rake in by promoting her own CDs, DVDs, and 'for profit' merchandise through this massive worldwide publicity stunt. So I called the office of 'Raising Malawi' in an attempt to verify some sort of efficient financial operation (310) 867-2881 or (888) 72-DONOR). These details are ALWAYS made available by legitimate charities. But not in this case. I got nothing but recorded messages and hangups. So I did some research on my own. 'Raising Malawi' still hasn't been given any kind of rating by ANY independent charity watchdog like Charitywatch.org. The vast overwhelming majority of 'celebrity' foundations never are. In general, they are inneficient and riddled with corruption. Like the promotion of CDs, world tours, commercial websites, entire lines of jewelry (not just the single piece from which proceeds are donated), and high end retail flagship stores. Its far less expensive to promote your image and product with a contribution to your own charity (PR firm) than it is to buy commercial airtime worldwide. This is why its become such a trend. Celebrity foundations are also notorious for squandering much of their funding on private jet rides and super high end accomodations for their managers, PR crews, and celebrity figure heads. Its legal even for a nonprofit but not noble or efficient by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, non-profits are not actually required by law to be efficient. This is why the independent rating is so important. In general, 'celebrity' foundations never even get one. They are a twisted inefficient mutant of charity, self-promotion, exotic travel, and PR crap. Still, they compete for funding with more efficient legitimate charities. The celebrity figure heads often disregard the primary donors, co-founders, and managers, take personal credit for any collective work done, and seek maximum publicity shortly before or after the release of their own commercial projects. Its a sham. So if its not rated, then don't support it. Instead, support a top rated charity like any of those given high ratings at Charitywatch.org.

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