Lost Opportunity

October 6th, 2011

iStock_000014869787XSmallI am disappointed.  Disappointed at a lost opportunity. This morning, over a cup of coffee, I read this headline in the Hollywood Reporter. Jillian Michaels Warns Against International Adoption Unless You Have ‘A Lot Of Money’ In the current issue of Prevention Magazine, Michaels, a former trainer on The Biggest Loser, discusses the difficulties she’s had adopting internationally.  She left the TV reality show last December and this February announced she was adopting a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Celebrity adoptions are not uncommon.  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.  Madonna controversially adopted a boy from Malawi.  Meg Ryan adopted a baby girl from China, and Katherine Heigl adopted a special needs daughter from Korea. When celebrities adopt… [more]

Madonna’s Expectations of Her Children Unhealthy

April 13th, 2009

When you ask adoptive parents why they choose adoption you may hear different reasons. Infertility, inabliblity to carry to term or other health problems, do not want to go through a pregnancy, single mothers or fathers who want to parent without a partner, etc. Many different reasons, but if you break it down the reason people adopt is to be a PARENT. To raise a child. We want many things for our children. We want them to be healthy, happy, strong and productive. We also have dreams for our children. Dreams of raising an athlete or talented musician. I dream of raising girls who are very compassionate and make an impact on this world. Wants, dreams… [more]

Here We Go Again – Madonna’s Adoption

April 1st, 2009

When When I learned of Madonna's bid for another adoption, I couldn't help but sigh. I don't like feeling that way when hearing about an adoption, but I don't think celebrity adoption is always the best advertisement. There are a lot of ideas and statements being thrown about that are not educating or empowering for anyone. Right now many GOOD people and organizations that care about children are fighting with eachother and when this happens the kids are the ones that lose. Spokesman, Dominic Nutt, for Save the Children UK has said "many international adoptions are unnecessary -- and some even feed into a criminal "adoption industry." and that," he was not suggesting that Madonna was doing anything wrong -- but… [more]

Angelina Jolie, Zoe’s Ark, the UN on Burma and other nettles

November 15th, 2007

My daily trawl for blog fodder always presents something interesting, but often some of it at least consists of the make-my-teeth-hurt grating variety. That seems to be the flavor of the day on the international adoption front. Oh, goodie. Starting out with some very iffy celebrity adoption-related stories circulating around the fringes of what might be called news, this story claiming that Angelina Jolie's daughter Zahara has a birth mother in Ethiopia wanting her child returned. Anyone else want to admit they were expecting something like this at some time? It's been a while since there's been any good dirt thrown at the Jolie-Pitt family, so it was just a matter of time before somebody decided to trash the family from yet another angle. Of course, clamor… [more]

Cambodian news: Angelina, monoculture, rice and AIDS

June 22nd, 2007

Angelina Jolie has been talking to Anderson Cooper about Cambodia, among other things. "I fell in love with the people of Cambodia," she told Cooper, "and I was sitting with a little kid playing blocks and feeling like my son was somewhere there. And he was." As well as discussing her extensive humanitarian and environmental efforts, she also slipped in that she and partner Brad Pitt discuss wanting to adopt more children and fluctuate between seven and twelve as a goal. If I was young and rich, I'd be thinking about the same. None too concerned about the environment, I'm guessing, the Bien Hoa Sugar Company of Viet Nam has decided to cultivate 2,000 hectares of sugarcane in Cambodia's Svay… [more]

Trash adoption, sell a book

June 10th, 2007

clearasmud/©2006SHBenoiton I'm tempted to kick myself for making much of Mirah (aka Marsha) Riben's latest spew of mediocre pap designed to turn Mothers Day into a drive-by slapping. Please don't misunderstand; I'm not regretting pointing out the poor quality of the prose, even though the simpy writing does speak for itself, or her agenda-encumbered POV that reduces any part of the big picture to the narrowest of misleading apertures. Nor am I having second thoughts about summing up the diatribe as 'steaming verbiage' sans any golden balls of wisdom ... in other words, poop. Nope. I'm just annoyed that I gave her space. I should have guessed it, but didn't twig until today that she's out there with the presto-weirdo anti-adoption… [more]

When poop is just poop

June 10th, 2007

elepoo/©2007 SHBenoiton It's not been long since I felt compelled to address a poorly composed bit of tripe from anti-adoption swill-tosser and Origins co-founder Mirah (aka Marsha) Riben. The last time, she was slinging words that accused international adoptive parents of being racists and perpetrators of "cultural genocide". (For a look at this from an cultural anthropologists view, see this post from January.) Apparently stepping up the attack on international adoption and trying to build some momentum behind her 'cause', Mothers Day must have seemed too magnetic an attraction to let go by without attaching some bottom-feeder fodder, and a celeb name to grab attention: "A Mothers' Day Letter to Angelina Jolie ... ... and all considering international adoption ... " Oh, paaaaleeeeeeaase!… [more]

Knowing Little Faces

June 5th, 2007

This continues on from the last post. MeRocky/©2007SHBenoiton During Gay's house building trip to Cambodia last year, she spent some time at AOA, my kids' former orphanage, on our behalf, dropping off gifts and recent pictures of our kids for nannies. While there, she took a lot of photos, most of children. Many little faces I knew, having photographed the same kids myself on our trips to pick up Sam and Cj, and the act of recognition was both pleasant ... knowing specific children were looking well ... and sad ... realizing that yet another year had come and gone while they were confined to orphanage life. One face, however, took my breath away. I don't know why this little five-year-old… [more]

Heads up: stuff needing attention

May 24th, 2007

Wish I'd seen this yesterday, but perhaps it's not too late to email in some impact on the New Jersey Senate's vote today on S-2249 , a family leave bill that would include adoptive parents. This could be groundbreaking, so if New Jersey is your state and you'd like to see adoptive families get the same benefits as those making their kids from scratch, email the heads of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Sens. Bernard Kenny (SenKenny@njleg.org) and Sharpe James (SenJames@njleg.org). To read all about it, see musings:mamahood&more, the blog where I picked up the news. She has a great template there, too, which will save composition time. Summer of Hope, a program that brings older orphans from Philippines to the… [more]

Global Action For Children: Applaud Angelina Jolie

April 28th, 2007

Celebrity and international adoption go together like soup and sandwich in the media, and so many people are happy as clam chowder to be served up whatever can be scraped from the bottom of whatever pot happens to be going around at any given moment ... most of it unpleasant pap with a revolting flavor and lingering aftertaste. I'm not big on jumping on the celeb bandwagon or perpetuating hype, but fair is fair, folks. This week's news does, indeed, feature Angelina Jolie prominently, but you can bet the headlines aren't screaming. No way. This time, the articles are short, the photos are tiny and the stories are buried. She was in Washington lobbying for increased US support for… [more]