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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
Kris April 25, 2009, 11:30 PM

I apologize about know knowing about them having an agency they were working with. In each excerpt, one was never mentioned. Many who try international adoption try to go what seems an easier route(i.e. “cheaper” or “faster”) and ultimately get burned in the end. Without mention of one, I assumed they tried a more independent route. From my research, trying to adopt from Russia, the Ukraine, or Guatemala can be riddled with corruption. Many other countries have these issues as well. None of this is a shock to me. With domestic or international adoption, it is a risk that the child you are hoping for may never come into your arms. I have seen positives and heartbreaks with both types of adoptions through friends. Many of those in charge do not care how wonderful you are, how loving of parents you are, or how much opportunity you can give to a child. They care about what they can get in the end. None of what shocks so many here surprises me, just research it and you can find stories of similar heartbreak. I do feel for how Tracy and John were taken advantage of, but had she not been so “hostile” per say in her choice of words, I would not have had such a reaction. CP outwardly looks “worse”, but having taught pre-primary impaired(special ed) for infants and toddlers, I’d take a child with physical impairments any day over one with emotional impairments, attachment issues, or FAS(fetal alcohol syndrome). When impairments aren’t obvious they may seems better, but they most certainly are not easier. I applaud anyone with the strength and patience to adopt children with those impairments, or any kind of impairment. Having said that, it is why I got so defensive on her view of CP. I know she cannot make this an epic, but a bit more info might help others to see this in a more positive light.

Bec Thomas April 26, 2009, 4:26 AM

I hear alot of poeple saying the Ukraine is using children like pawns but has anyone stopped to look at it from the Ukraines side of things? They have alot of disabled children that they are not able to care for and have very little chance of getting adopted. From their side of the fence it is prudent to only offer disabled children to foreigners to try and get them placed somewhere, not to mention they would have better medical care if they were adopted out of the country. I’m not saying that everyone should adopt disabled kids, you shouldn’t unless you are able to handle taking care of one, but for the Ukraine this really makes since from there side of it.

Barb April 26, 2009, 8:34 PM

Why is this story buried, momlogic? It takes jumping through hoops to find this page.

To maryanne, I could focus on the positive if I saw one. Call me names if it makes you feel better, but if you stop and look at what’s printed here, there is nothing positive being said. And because of all the negative comments from Tracy, I find it hard to feel good about any “happy ending.” Look at most of the comments made by your friend and ask yourself if you’re proud of her.

maryanne April 27, 2009, 12:30 PM

I have not called anyone names only made observations which is more than you have done and yes I am very proud of Tracy and Johnny. You know nothing about them and yet you are judging them. That is very sad indeed.

Barb April 27, 2009, 3:57 PM

There must be more to this story… because everything I’ve seen here has just made me sick to my stomach. I don’t see how Tracy can flip the comments she’s made to be positive with a happy ending. Happy ending for who… I truly have tried NOT to judge anyone, but seeing the way this has been handled is disappointing and disturbing.

Kris April 27, 2009, 9:53 PM

Uh, Maryanne, you did call Barb and I “do gooders without a clue” and told us to go nag at our husbands. How is it fair for you to judge those of us who are only seeing what is being presented to us but we cannot have the same opportunity to comment on how we are assessing this situation? BTW, I think Bec has a valid point. I had never quite considered that aspect. What we have access to in the US can only be dreamed of in impoverished countries with regard to therapies and early intervention. Good thought.

Chrissy April 28, 2009, 12:46 AM

Tracy, if you really wanted to adopt a child who doesn’t have a chance of a home - an “impaired” child seems to fit the bill.
Further, there are numerous reasons why a child is in foster care. Not because they have “crack head” parents.
Completely ignorant comment.
And as one poster already stated - it doesn’t take much research to know which countries have corruption in their adoptation process. Or countries where children are actually stolen from their parents.
And some countries won’t allow you to adopt if one of the parents are over forty.
And now you’ve ruled out foster care. Four years into this, you may need to re-evalute your psoition/situation.

Brett Bellinghausen November 26, 2010, 12:00 AM

Now I am just learning much about it. but perhaps I will be writing articles like this in four years

Dalton Becks November 27, 2010, 4:22 AM

I agree consent with you, the way you say is actually so admirable. it’s nifty to know that someone’s view is so

Pozycjonowanie December 1, 2010, 3:03 AM

I normally don’t stop to leave a gloss, but Todayit is hard to find worthy information on this topic. I simply appreciate it.

Pozycjonowanie December 2, 2010, 2:29 AM

you made me feel like I should read more about this.

Pozycjonowanie December 2, 2010, 3:06 AM

Is there a explanation why should I accept this? In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense and I’m real disappointed .

Pozycjonowanie December 2, 2010, 3:38 AM

What you’re talking about is completely true. I know that everybody may not admit the same, but I just must admit that you submit it in a way that everyone can understand.

Pozycjonowanie December 6, 2010, 4:45 PM

Let’s hope that many persons leave comments on this site After reading the article?

Pozycjonowanie December 9, 2010, 3:26 AM

You are so amazingwith this article.

Denise Parral March 29, 2011, 6:39 PM

Hello.This post was really interesting, especially since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Friday.


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