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Adoption Journey: All About Making Money

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Tracy Mazuer and her husband once proudly proclaimed on national TV that they were child-free by choice, dammit! Ultimately the couple changed their minds and embarked on a journey that took them 30,000 miles, cost her $35,000 and finally landed in their own backyard. Tracy documented her experience in both words and video. In part four of this gripping series, they realize they've been duped.

Read Tracy's thoughts after she discovers what happened.

Tracy Mazuer: I'm so f*&#ing pissed I can't even see straight and I can't stop crying. The people we trusted -- our facilitators in Kyiv and now here, in Dnipropetrovsk -- are liars and people I now view as the enemy. Our person here in Dnipropetrovsk, I'll call her "Irena," is the sister of our main guy in Kyiv. We trusted her when she said she'd seen Snizhana and that she's perfectly healthy. That was utter bullsh*t. This is all about making money. They'll say and do whatever they have to to get us to adopt a handicapped child. It's clear that the adoption center in Kyiv is only allowing sick children to be adopted by Americans. Massage? A little physical therapy? Are you f*&#ing kidding me? Here's this poor child who's already been told, by the way, that we're her new mommy and daddy and we're having to walk away! F*&#! Had they been honest with us, we wouldn't have made the trip to Dnipropetrovsk. Save us all a crapload of heartache, time, money, and stress.

We're talking non-stop to our friend on the "inside." He knows this is all corrupt and he's desperately trying to help us get a healthy child -- there are thousands of them here in orphanages all over the country. We're ready for PTSD, developmental delays, learning disabilities, but not freaking cerebral palsy. We made it clear to EVERYONE involved that we wanted a "healthy" child and here we are walking away from this beautiful little girl. John and I are wracked with sadness and grief. Snizhana is a beautiful, funny, smart girl who will be a blessing to the right family. It's just not us.

The only person we can trust here is our translator, Sasha, who, by the way, is the employee of the facilitators. When he was translating the Russian to English, I noticed him wince when they were saying Snizhana had no problems that couldn't be resolved easily. I watched him intensely and then at one point, as he was translating word for word, he said, "This is what they're saying, not what I'm saying." We knew that he saw exactly what was going on. He knew they were lying and pressuring us to adopt this child for their own profit.

Our friend tells us we must try to get Sasha to break away from his employers and SECRETLY come with us to L'viv. We'll be safer and we need him. We have a job to do in L'viv. He'll tell us what that is when we're safely on the train. We are not to tell anyone. Not even our friends and family. You never know who's listening.

Sasha is willing to go. He doesn't like what he is seeing. He, too, was an orphan. He's lived in Ukraine his entire life and understands the nature of corruption and greed. He wants us to find our child and is willing to do what it takes. Can we adopt him? He's 24 and a spectacular human being.

December 19
We're on the train. We've essentially stolen the translator right out from under their noses. Now we're laughing. We feel like we're living "The Bourne Ultimatum." The people technically responsible for us in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk are panicking because we're leaving and we're not telling them where we're going or why. We say we'll be back to Kyiv in about a week. They actually demand that we head immediately to Kyiv with all of our paperwork. All this while we sit on our train with Sasha on the top bunk. Ha! F*&# you. We're in charge now.

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46 comments so far | Post a comment now
MCW April 13, 2009, 11:11 AM

This is for the three Z’s and not the goody two shoes making the uninformed comments which I have read. Way to go guys. You are a blessing. To the critics, walk in John and Tracys shoes for just a little while.

UnleashedinNC April 14, 2009, 7:56 PM

Ok…this note is for all of you judgemental freaks who trashed this couple who are trying to share their story in this forum…i surely hope those pretty glass houses you live in don’t get hit by a tornado or some other natural disaster.

Shame on all of you for sitting in judgement when you know nothing about whether they could handle a special needs child financially, emotionally, physically etc. The point of their story, which you obviously aren’t getting, seems to be to expose the corruption that exists in the system of international adoptions. Duh.

If you are feeling so judgemental why don’t you go spew your idiocy on the pages of the stories on momlogic of the woman who “ate her childs placenta” or the one who “wants her dead son’s sperm procured to have his child born postmortem”….im sure those pages have plenty of space for your idiotic and hateful comments. Have at em…and leave this couple alone.

smoore April 14, 2009, 11:41 PM

Were you given permission to video the baby and put her and her disability on the internet for the world to see? Seems like that would be some sort of breech of confidentiality and her rights not to be exploited.

UnleashedinNC April 15, 2009, 8:51 PM

You know…the more i thought about all of those ridiculously judgemental comments the more angry i got…even after i responded the first time.

Those of you who were railing on this couple for “walking away” from an “unhealthy” child need to remember that ALL of the children in these orphanages probably suffer from all sorts of emotional issues, learning issues, socialization issues etc and therefore it’s even more ridiculous and short sighted that you are accusing them of being selfish drawing a line at being able to adopt a child with medical challenges.

Clearly they have open hearts and are prepared to deal with all sorts of issues and challenges that most of us will NEVER ever deal with with an adopted or birth child.

We all have our limits people and you are lying to yourself and everyone else on this site if you claim you don’t. You’re just too self-righteous and cowardly to admit it.

Bravo to them for knowing what they can handle and what they can’t. There are so many people who have kids (birth or adopted) who don’t know squat about what they want or what they can/can’t handle. I am the mom of one child and have been so don’t even try to slam me saying “clearly you don’t have any kids cuz you’d be wrong….AGAIN.

Zach  April 16, 2009, 12:51 PM

Tracy I know it’s tough to hear what these people are saying but I know your heart and how tough it was for you guys. What you are doing here is great and I am so glad you are putting this story out there for others to expierence. Love you guys and we’ll see you soon.


Anonymous April 17, 2009, 3:53 AM

I am amazed by this story. Tracy and John have put themselves out there and are being honest about their experiences. As someone who once considered adoption, we were told clearly by our social worker to really think about what we could and could not handle! Tracy and John have done just that!

I admire your courage and your honesty!

Mom of Ukrainian kids April 17, 2009, 12:26 PM

Tracy, You did the right thing. Adopting from Ukraine is not easy. It is hard and even the “healty” kids are all in trama. Stick with it and keep asking for a healty child. They are there. I have two and am going back for more soon. I would like to take this little girl if she is still there when I arrive. We can handle her with the help of our other kids.
Blessings to you!

Anna May 19, 2009, 3:12 PM

This blog breaks my heart.

We adopted our son from Ukraine in October of 08. He has Down Syndrome. He is beautiful and and sweet and yes, there are challenges. Ukraine no longer adopts out healthy children partly because folks are not sending in their post placement reports that they agree to send to the Ukrainian Embassy when they return home. There still are plenty of adoptable children with minor health concerns available, as well as healthy older children.

I am sorry you guys feel so disappointed. I doubt the foster care system will be the answer for you. I hope it will be, bt we did that for 8 years and gave up. Too much heartbreak.

Gina May 24, 2009, 12:52 AM

This is unbelievable!! - I can’t believe the amount of hate I just read. Tracy, thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts and experiences.

Gina May 24, 2009, 2:43 AM

Just to clarify my first post — The Hate is from the readers’ posts and NOT from Tracy. I think Tracy has a ton of love to give her future child and a lot of generosity in sharing her story with us all.

Sarah June 22, 2009, 1:27 PM

I think everyone is out of line here. No one should be pressured to adopt a special needs child. Its not fair to the children either. Adopting isn’t something you should do for charity but because you WANT to and know you can provide a loving home and family for that child. It is a recipe for disaster to pressure or coerce someone into adoption.
Tracy is being insensitive with the “no freaking cp” but bear in mind she had always been quite clear on what type of needs and age she was prepared to adopt.
People are right to say she didn’t do her research, but it is a lie that young children with mild or correctable needs aren’t available. The system is corrupt and not standardized and they hooked up with terrible facilitators who lied to them. Facilitators that are well connected are the ones getting parents these children…its corrupt but its the nature of Ukraine adoption right now. She should have asked for several references and talked to families who had worked with those facilitators. Or chosen a country with a standardized procedure. 4 years is an awful long time to wait to travel to Ukraine, if she had done enough research that would have been a pretty big tip off that her facilitators were useless.

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