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Adoption Journey: Heading Home Alone

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"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.

Tracy Mazuer travel log

December 23
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?

December 24
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.

January 27
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?

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36 comments so far | Post a comment now
zack April 23, 2009, 1:53 PM


Anonymous April 23, 2009, 2:51 PM

I don’t think its fair to assume all children in foster care have crackhead parents. I didn’t. And I really wanted to be adopted. I was really pulling for you, but if that’s the kind of crap you’ll pass on to kids, then…

Anonymous April 23, 2009, 4:26 PM

I understand the corruptness of being only shown children with disabilities. My question for you is, if your objective is to give a child a home who wouldn’t otherwise have one, why are you so close-minded to giving a home to a child who might be LESS likely to get one because s/he is disabled or in foster care?

Reality Check April 23, 2009, 5:37 PM

Frankly I’m finding it hard to muster any sympathy for this couple seeing that they come off so selfish and spoiled. I hate to think these would be the traits they would pass on to a child. Maybe it is meant to be that they remain childless. Crackhead parents? Not all kids in foster care have crackhead parents and even if they are what does that have to do with it? What a close minded remark! I can’t get past the fact that a child with a disability in their minds is any less deserving of love. Things happen in life. What if they were to adopt and something happened to the child which caused them to be disabled? Would they simply return her as defective?
Do the world and the potential adopted child a favor and keep with the childless thing! It seems to fit!

wth April 23, 2009, 6:21 PM

The “daughter of her dreams”?

How disgusting!

Adoption is about finding homes for children who need families - not shopping for a child like they are pets!

This couple should never be allowed to adopt.

JL April 23, 2009, 7:14 PM

“Heading Home Alone”
Well, sometimes stories do have happy endings! Go get a puppy and call it quits!!

Kris April 23, 2009, 8:31 PM

Either you are really using emotion to make for one heck of a blog or you are really truly selfish. With what you are ranting, you don’t deserve a child. You hold too much bias and pre-judgement about what you consider acceptable. I sure hope you turn this into a positive spin. I’d hate to think that the stuff you are putting out her are truly your real feelings. I’ll be waiting.

David Cottrell April 23, 2009, 9:57 PM

Quite frankly it doesn’t seem that any of us give a foul mouth care about what you want.

David Cottrell

Anonymous April 23, 2009, 10:14 PM

Honest emotions!
Real concerns!
No sugar coating!
Fresh Honest emotions!

I think you are amazing and I hope that you find your child. The one you are meant to be parents too!

I understand your concerns and worries!

eric April 24, 2009, 12:18 AM

Alright folks, here’s the real poop. John and Tracy are easily… EASILY among the most giving, selfless, compassionate people you could imagine. For someone to say that someone else is selfish, and to harbor judgment towards someone whom you’ve never met is selfish/self centered. So, for those holier than thou few who have chosen to berate Tracy and John without digging deeper before casting dispersions, educate yourselves completely before jumping to conclusions. It’s easy to focus on what may not adhere to your beliefs, but don’t overlook the wonderful thing that this couple has done for the child they adopted.

P.S. I’m an adult that needed a helping hand, and received one from these wonderful folks, so I speak from first hand experience.

Kris April 24, 2009, 8:32 AM

With all due respect, they may have done a wonderful thing, but could have been a bit less raw with their words. They have shown little respect for the country they tried to adopt in. They thought their “connections” would given them the edge. They “kid shopped” and didn’t appear happy with choices given. Tracy’s words were negative toward kids in foster care. Typically people try to be controlled in thier words and judgements around people they don’t know and if they are willing to be so blunt to strangers, it is scary. It seems like they saw a picture of a beautiful child adopted from the Ukraine and they wanted a carbon copy. As I have said, I am hopping all of this is just drama to see a good ending.

Barb April 24, 2009, 9:25 AM

Eric, I understand your need to defend your friends. But look at it from our perspective: all we know is what we’ve read here, and it isn’t pretty. Do YOU feel proud of the words Tracy has shared on these pages? Can you honestly say they come across as anything but selfish and jaded?

Based on your post, it sounds like they now have a child—hooray. I hope it’s a good fit for everyone involved. But I can’t see beyond the broken dreams of the children they deemed not good enough; the children they went out of their way to “see for themselves,” then left behind. From face value, it seems like a good story — a loving couple giving a home to a child who needs one. But from her words shared here, it’s a nasty, heartbreaking horror story for just about everyone involved. I don’t consider that a happy ending, but I’m watching to see how this turns out.

Stella  April 24, 2009, 12:04 PM

Dear Momlogic,

Please see >

maryanne April 24, 2009, 5:01 PM

You are amazing and wonderful. Keep up the good work in reporting the facts of adoption. I have laughed with you, prayed for you on your long journey and cried with you for your heartbreak and the sorrow of leaving these children behind. I am so sick of reading from these do gooders that havn’t a clue what they are talking about. The worst of which is the so called ukrian/orphan adoption agency. He should be investegated. I am soooo proud of your news. Keep up the good work.

maryanne April 24, 2009, 5:10 PM

Eric, way to go . Thanks from me for John and Tracy. Barb and Kris, go nag at your husbands or someone else. You know squat about this and have not paid attention. It is much better to see the good than focus on the negetive.

Kris April 24, 2009, 7:56 PM

I am only expressing my opinion on how Tracy and John have handled this. As a parent who has adopted a child, internationally, I undertand that in doing so, you have to be accepting that laws change and that in many countries, especially eastern Europe, rules get made up and change as you go along. it is not right, but that is how it works.

From this site, I did not see any mention of an adoption agency, just “inside help”(mistake #1).When we adopted, we researched agencies for months before committing to one and many agencies are unscrupulous(both here and abroad).

They assumed everything would go smoothly(mistake #2). As we were adopting, rules in Guatemala changed and everything was up in the air and there were possibilities that our daughter would never come home. Happy about that? No, but with everything there comes a risk.

I also have 2 biologcial kids and one has Asperger’s. So I have experience with special needs and a topsy-turvy international adoption. So I guess I am not a “do gooder with no clue.” As far as my husband goes, he was taken aback but the choice of words expressed by Tracy as well.

As I have said each time, I am still hoping for a positive end.

Any criticism I have made has been the naivete in which they have handled the situation. When you put your life up on the world wide web for all to see, you have to accept both the good and the bad.


Sara Jane April 24, 2009, 8:28 PM

How heart wrentching!

Anonymous April 24, 2009, 9:25 PM

It is raw. It is not pretty. But it is honest!
Tracy is sharing real feelings and reactions, not something sugar coated for an audience!

Well done you!


Kris April 24, 2009, 10:39 PM

Thanks you for the reference to the site. I read through it and found it quite insightful. Many topics discussed are things we know will come up with our daughter. Hopefully we can be the best parents for her. Many compare our adoptive daughter to our biological kids. Typical, I guess, but unfair, but we roll with it. It took a year before those in our lives realized that she is who SHE is. It is very obvious she has different strengths that our bio kids and we will allow those to be pursued, it is who she is.

maryanne April 25, 2009, 12:48 PM

Kris; Thank you for responding. John and Tracy did have an agency here in the states and the insider is a friend of theirs who was only trying to help. There are a lot of good people in this world but there are also many,many bad people some of which deal with these children. They use them as pawns and that is what is so sad. John and Tracy have only hit on the surface of all of this.

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