"It's clear to us that the government's main objective is to only show Westerners the children with serious physical or mental issues." In part six of her journey, Tracy accepts the fact that she won't find the daughter of her dreams in the Ukraine and heads home -- brokenhearted.
Our job in L'viv is done. We've traveled to three orphanages and have met the directors; they've all been angry to hear of the lies coming from Kyiv about the availability of healthy children for adoption. The kids are here and so are we. Now what?
We're back in Kyiv and the laws are changing daily. We're being told by our facilitators, whom we now loathe for being flat-out liars, that if we wait for a second appointment -- which would be granted in two to three months -- we'll be shown healthy children. What? For Christ's sake! We're here right now! We've seen plenty of healthy children with our own eyes. We've seen the sadness of orphanage directors who desperately want to find these children homes. WTF is going on here?!?
The politics of this proves to be far bigger than we are, and right now I'm not even writing about the way money changes hands here or the dark system in which the facilitators must work. It's just so effed up and the children seem to be the pawns.
It's clear to us that the government's main objective is to only show Westerners the children with serious physical or mental issues. Our only choice is to go home and wait for another appointment. We are sick, tired, and desperate to get out of Kyiv. It's Christmas week and our "round-the-clock international adoption travel agency" that guarantees they're there when you need them, is nowhere to be found -- their emergency number goes to a dead-end answering machine that's checked by no one. We call ad nauseam, e-mail, nothing. Merry Christmas. We're trapped in this godforsaken town in a postmodern Arabian Nights-themed apartment for another three days. I will now close the pale yellow curtains that encircle our bed and hide.
We've been back in L.A. still trying to wrap our heads around what happened in Ukraine. I'm sobbing on the phone with our social worker, and now friend, Carri, about this mess. What are we supposed to do now? Wait and take another risk in Ukraine? We're four years into this and we're getting older by the minute. We've spent all of our money and everyone is trying to send John and me to "an attorney who can get us a baby in three months." WE DON'T WANT A BABY, GODDAMMIT! If we had wanted that, we would've had our own. And, besides, there are people clamoring for babies. We want to adopt a toddler who doesn't have much of a chance of finding a home. We know "our" child is out there -- it's just a matter of finding her.
Carri, who now works for a foster care agency, pulls the pin on her social work grenade and lobs it at me: "Would you consider adopting a kid through foster care?"
I freak out. "WHAT? AND DEAL WITH A CRACKHEAD MOTHER WHO GETS OUT OF REHAB AND COMES TO GET HER CHILD BACK? Forget it. Not a chance! I want to get my kid, come home, and close the door."
"I have an idea," says this adorable foot soldier for children. "There's an orientation that you can come to just to see what it's about. I'll be there. It's free, we'll feed you dinner, and you've got nothing to lose."
"Carri, because I love you, I'll try to talk John into coming. But I'm telling you, I've done shows on this [from my old talk show days], and I'm not interested in battling lunatic, biological families and then ultimately losing. I just don't have it in me. I'm wearing down."
The orientation is next week. John's never gonna go for this. I have to approach it delicately. She did say there'd be food, right?
|Tracy Mazuer is a TV producer/writer and creator of TheReluctantGenius.com "for professionals who need professional help." She and her husband John have been married for 23 years and live in Playa del Rey with their 2 dogs, Hankie and Lizzie.|