May 31, 2009

Julia's light

still shines.

This week, I went back at last to the chats I saved, but have been unable to read, and read snippets of our conversations. Three things jumped out at me: Julia's humor, her strength, and her wisdom, which far exceeded her years. She was a rare soul, truly rare.

I'm remembering Julia today, in disbelief that it was a year ago today that she lost her battle with leukemia. I'm thinking of her, of John, and of Julia's family and friends, who I know are mourning deeply again today.

May 29, 2009

Watching a nation mourn

MBC had live coverage of the funeral of former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun yesterday evening. I watched until about two in the morning, at which point the formal ceremony at Gyeongbokgung and the public rites at City Hall were over, and the hearse was making its way out of Seoul.

It was incredibly moving. Roh Moo-Hyun was clearly beloved by the people of South Korea. The video tributes played at both ceremonies show a man of warmth and humor, approachable and down-to-earth. Roh's story tells of a man unafraid to stand up to corruption and the self-interests of other nations (including the U.S.), one who loved his country and people above all.

It is small wonder that the allegations of corruption he himself faced, which also threatened the peace of his family, affected him so deeply. I don't know what the investigation into his apparent suicide will bring to light, but I do know that his loss has cut to Korea's core.

You learn a lot about a people by watching it mourn. The outpouring of pure grief that I watched yesterday confirmed what I already know about the Korean people: that they love deeply and are unafraid to show it.

I extend my sympathy to Korea and its people, offer my prayers for the spirit of Roh Moo-Hyun and his family.

May 28, 2009

Unplanned absence - but for good reasons!

Holy smokes, I haven't looked at any blogs, never mind written anything for this one, in weeks. This is entirely unintentional - life has just taken one of those insane turns that has had us hopping since I returned from Ohio. Let's see ...
  • The throes of The Girl's last couple of weeks of high school.
  • Helping The Boy with his summer job hunt - man, it's tough out there!
  • A bunch of finance paperwork to get us ready to pay for two sets of college fees in the fall.
  • Thanks to Virginia's annual growth bomb, yardwork galore.
  • A trip to Norfolk to see Wicked, many thanks to the kids' thoughtful Mother's Day gift - great fun!!
  • Work, work, work. My group's been moved again, this time to a far more appropriate organization, which means there's a ton of pent-up demand for us to sink our teeth in.
Honestly, I've simply been too tired at the end of the day and too busy during the day to get online. The light's beginning to shine at the end of the tunnel, though, so hope to see everyone again soon.

May 18, 2009

Still absorbing and thinking

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion here and here and here and the gazillion other places in adoption internet-land where adoption corruption have been the topic. Good stuff, and lots of it! I have a few more thoughts on this, but the weekend was packed with continued recovering from The Boy's return from college and a bunch of other housekeeping chores that there wasn't a moment to pull my thoughts together.

But in a moment of surfing for possible recipients of a whole lotta books we need to offload, I found something that really intrigued me: BookCrossing. This isn't the solution to our problem, but could be a lot of fun for some of the books. Has anyone heard of it?

May 12, 2009

Intercountry adoption corruption and the adoptive parent

There's a post up at ARP today reflecting on E. J. Graff's article The Lie We Love, her recent article in Slate, and a number of other articles on the topic of intercountry adoption corruption.

The post itself and much of the ensuing discussion struck me as a serious case of not seeing the forest for the trees. The author states:
I believe that one case of corruption is one too many. What about balancing these stories with some of the other international adoption stories?

In my opinion, this logic is flawed. It's like saying "One murder is one too many, so let's balance it out with a few stories about people who didn't get killed." Yet it's the same argument I often see when the subject of intercountry adoption corruption comes up in adoptive parent circles.

There is, in my opinion, no other response for an adoptive parent to make to allegations of the existence of intercountry adoption corruption than to agree. We then have a further responsibility to get under what that means, learn to recognize it, speak out against it, and understand our role in it. This neither diminishes our families nor undermines ethical transnational adoptions.

It would do my heart good if one day an article like Graff's could be met by adoptive parents with praise first of all for shedding light on this problem, followed by reasoned critique and dialog on how we collectively can bring intercountry adoption corruption to an end.

Related links:

The Lie We Love
Brandeis University's Shuster Institute Gender and Justice Project on Adoption
Ethica articles on intercountry adoption corruption