Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So sad, so very sad...

The fact that it happened wasn't very surprising, but it still hits you like a ton of bricks. The MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the U.S. and Vietnam will not be renewed. The current agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam expires on September 1, 2008. What exactly does not mean? No more adoptions from Vietnam. According to the U.S. embassy, referrals will continue until September 1, 2008 which means that children currently referred and any future referred children (before September 1, 2008) will be allowed to join their forever family in the U.S. Why has this happened? Read here for all of the devastating details. Many of these things have been whispered about for over a year on the adoption forums and blogs. Baby selling, kidnapping, forgery of adoption documents, deceit, bribery, all of the horrid whispers have been confirmed. The associated press has began reporting bits and pieces of the devastating truth. The news reports that referrals will only continue until July 1, 2008, but I am hoping
the embassy's report of September 1, 2008 is accurate. Although, I can only imagine that referrals will slow down amidst all of the accusations and finger pointing.

It is sad for the prospective adoptive parents that invested years of paperwork and lifelong hopes into the process, it is sad for adoption agencies that have established relationships with Vietnamese officials and orphanages, it is sad for the ethical men and women in Vietnam that have earned a living by facilitating adoptions with the U.S., it is sad for hotels, shops and restaurants in Vietnam that have come to rely on adoptive parents from the U.S. as a steady source of income, it is just...sad. However, it is devastating for the kids that will wake up and go to sleep hungry. It is unimaginable for the kids that will not have the chance to know the love of a family.

It is horrible for the adopted kids that will grow up wondering...was I kidnapped? Was I taken from my mother because she didn't have enough money to pay the doctor? Did my family sell me to the orphanage? I can't even imagine.

I have already gotten a few inquisitive looks and questions in the last few days..."Is she from...vietnam?" "Oh, I saw the story on Yahoo this morning." ""I can't believe they are selling babies over there." I can only imagine what was going through their minds while staring at Sophie Le.

I give all thanks and praise to God that I was lead to Dillon International for our Vietnam adoption. I respect and trust my agency. I believe they did everything in their power to ensure that every child they placed with a family was truly in need of a home. There were many times throughout the process that I wanted things to happen quicker. I wanted "the call" to come months before it did. I wished that they would process the paperwork faster. I am thankful they didn't cut corners, I am thankful they made sure all of the paperwork was in order, I am thankful.

In an adoption world where 85% of the adoptions in Vietnam are due to "desertions," I find it encouraging that my agency's percentage is much lower. I can't know for sure what that number is because I don't the circumstances behind all of the adoptions, but almost every other family I have been in contact with has a letter from their child's birthmother, birthfather or both. Of course there is always a chance these letters are fraudulent and that will always be in the back of my mind, but I honestly, truly believe they are true and correct.

In a country where the capital sees more abortions than live births, I can only imagine what will happen when adoptions to the U.S. are no longer an option. Was the possibility of their child growing up with a loving, caring family the encouragement a few birthmothers needed to continue their pregnancy? Please keep the children of Vietnam in your prayers. I have been there, I have seen them, I love them.

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