Can you believe THIS? A mother in Tennessee is being criticized for changing her mind and shipping her adoptive son back to a Russian orphanage.  Apparently, the seven year old turned out to be a bit of a handful.  More to the point, the lovable scamp displayed alarmingly violently tendencies and had threatened to burn down the family home – with the family in it.  Mom claims the Russian adoption agency misled her by not informing her that the kid was a bad seed (or, quite possibly, a thirty year old dwarf with a drinking problem).  The Russian authorities insist the little ragamuffin was in perfectly good condition at point of sale.  For a floor model anyway.  And, besides, the return policy clearly states they are not liable for minor defects.  Mom insists they were more than minor defects.  She was saddled with a lemon.

It’s hard to pick a side on this one without knowing all the facts but, for now, I think both fearful mother and devil child deserve our sympathy.  Still, if movies like The Omen,The Good Son, and The Ring have taught us anything, it’s that children are inherently evil and extreme caution should be exercised in dealing with them.  Especially if they begin to demonstrate weird psychic abilities or worship corn.  So be warned.  If shipping them back to the orphanage isn’t an option (granted FedEx has been annoyingly particular about what it will and won’t deliver of late), then I’d advise you to stay on their good side.

Apparently, this international incident has so enraged Russia’s foreign minister that he has threatened to suspend international adoptions with the U.S. Yeah, suuuuuuuure he will.

On a thoroughly unrelated note, and for those interested in purchasing adopting their own international child, here is the approximate cost of a kid the various fees and clearances listed by country:

China = $20,000 to $25,000

Columbia = $12,000 to $20,000

Ethiopia = $20,000 – $25,000

Guatemala = $25,000 to $38,000

Haiti = $15,000 to $18,000

India = $12,000 – $25,000

Kazahkstan = $30,000 +

Russia = $35,000 +

South Korea = $20,000 to $30,000

Ukraine = $30,000 +

Vietnam = $20,000 – $30,000

The prices vary.  You can pick up a Haitian tot on the cheap or splurge one of those top-of-the-line Ukranian moppets.  At $12,000, those base model Colombian toddlers are a steal.  Alternately, you can get two modest Indian children for the price of a Russian one, but the latter comes with the burl walnut dash and tiptronic transmission so it’s a tough call.

59 thoughts on “April 10, 2010: The Perils of Adoption!

  1. Just stick with dogs, Joe…just stick with dogs. 😉

    While waiting for this entry, I decided to clean out the 300 unread/unopened e-mails I had hanging around in my account. Most were from places that I do business with, a few were ‘FW’ messages, and then there were a couple overlooked legit e-mails. I think I get more junk mail via e-mail than via the USPS. Okay – not all is ‘junk’, some of it is coupons and special offers and stuff, but for me it all boils down to tech/info overload. There’s just too much out there for my little brain to absorb and remember.

    I did a lot of running around today, so never got to comment further on Divided. Mebbe tomorrow. Just really tired now, so better call it a night. Sweet dreams, sir!


  2. When you consider the statistic that you are much more likely to be murdered by your own spouse or by one of your children then by a complete stranger, it is amazing that any of us would choose to have kids or adopt.

    Considering this…I think it is pretty funny (in a dark humour kind of way) that some countries actually charge a fee for adoption. It is like paying ‘for a hit’ on yourself.

  3. So, whilst compiling your research, was a “restocking” fee mentioned? And is there any credit card purchase protection…?

  4. Having gone through years of fertility issues before having a child… and seeing six.. count them SIX… friends adopt and have the birth mothers take the child back from a few weeks to 6 mos later, I understand people who can afford it going overseas. As for the woman in TN.. can I understand someone giving up a child? Yes. But put on plane to Russia? Makes me sick.
    Btw.. 🙁 Dixie Carter died. RIP to one of the strongest women.

  5. Wow! That’s pretty crazy to pay that much. I hope people know what to expect if they get a kid like the one from Russia.

  6. Ashleigh is pure evil. That innocent smile and cookie offering won’t fool me!

    Also, a couple of questions regarding SG:U.

    1) The last couple of episodes we’ve seen Destiny stop (seemingly) in the middle of nowhere. What is the reason behind this? Did the ship decide there was a planet of interest that the crew could gate to, but they’ve been too busy with “other stuff”?

    2) If Destiny is on autopilot, is there no failsafe for Destiny to automatically retreat/FTL away when faced with imminent shield failure?

  7. I’ve heard about things like this happening. The foreign adoption people think Americans are a bunch of suckers, so they foist off their demon children on us. Unless I knew exactly what I was getting, I don’t think I’d adopt a child who’s any more than an infant for the same reason I wouldn’t adopt a dog who’s any more than a puppy (at least a large breed): you just don’t know what sort of psychological damage they have, and if they’re damaged… well, you might very well have just brought into your home something that will eventually kill (or try to kill) you, your pets, or other family members. And that’s just not a risk I’d be willing to take.

    SGU question: Is there any particular guideline that defines which of the other stones a stone will connect to when activated? Why is it that if Rush had the stone on his person at all times, no one ever accidentally connected to him? Why did the stone go ahead and connect to Earth again and not back to the aliens (or did that ship get blown up)? Are there rules for how these work?

  8. Coucou Joseph!!!

    Je suis désolé de ne pas être passé hier pour vous dire ce que j’ai penser du dernier épisode de sgu, c’est cparce que je n’ai tous simplement rien compris, je vais attendre les sous titres…

    O_O Punaise, c’est fou!! Mrd, avec les prix par pays ça fait un peu marchandise je trouve^^! Si un jour je dois adopter je préférez le faire dans mon pays..Mais le meilleur moyen reste des les faire soit même ..enfin si on peut.

    Et vous? ça ne vous dit toujours pas d’avoir des enfants? rohh quel dommage, je vous verez bien avec un petit bébé mais sa risquerai d’être drôle au début..enfin peut être pas pour vous lol XD

    Pasez une bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  9. I wonder what the silly bint would’ve done had she actually given birth to a defective model herself? Sending that one back would’ve been entertaining. I’d be interested to know what REALLY happened. I strongly suspect high expectations met with simple reality and over-exaggeration. She’s proven she’s not fit to be a mother in any case.

  10. reminds me of the movie Orphan, where the little girl actually was a 30 year who physically aged at 1/3 the rate. So she looked like she was ten, then murdered the orphanage caretaker, tried to kill the mother, and seduce the father. Then when none of it worked out, coincidently burned the house down…..did i mention she was also from Russia?

    Why do people need to adopt from other countries anyways? Unless i’m missing something, are there no orphans in the US? And what really blows my mind is people like Angelina Jolie. Why do you need a kid from every country you visit?? Personally I would just get the postcard or t-shirt, maybe even some sand in a jar.

  11. Hi, Joe.

    Wow, those are hefty international adoption fees.

    I know everyone wants to adopt a baby (or puppy or kitten), but think of all the older children in the US (or Canada or [your own country, where ever you are] that need either to be adopted or fostered. They too need a chance to experience a family.

    Just saying…

  12. Wow you are on a roll, druken dwarf, “minor defects”! That’s great, I’m going to use that – all kinds have minor defects *g* (Did you eat Ashleighs cookie – was it a *special* cookie? Is the world all rosy now? 😀 )

    I hear you can buy american kids as well but they are much more expensive because of the weight surcharge (duck!)


    Get a gmail account Das, they are very good at weeding out junk mail!

  13. havent seen Divided yet so no one spoil it!
    on another note, actually a completely different one, Joe, you being in the biz, can you tell me how an average person like myself can pitch a story to a TV exec or someone close? i might not be a good storyteller but man i got really cool ideas that need refinement and im sure someone would like to have it.
    because nothing is worse than having those ideas contaminate your head for years. especially one big story that i have on my mind, based on a series of short stories i wrote and im not sure if i want it as a TV/film script or book (ya right) or even a comic. inevitably, it will be something of those whether it gets attention or not. but i became greatly discouraged by people i met who wrote scripts that seem to never get picked up, no matter how many producers or directors see it. so what makes me so special?
    one consistant problem i have are the characters; how close are they to being stereotypes or how far? and female characters are the worst too, i try to avoid them or the best i can do is turn them into Jodie Foster-types. and what constitutes a 3 dimensional character and a one dimensional character? coz i like lots of movies with one dimensional characters so it cant be totally bad, books are totally different though. and nowadays most popular stories are character-driven. so you guys forcing yourselves to focus on the characters this time around is something i understood from the beginning because i know how tough that can be.

  14. I apologise for the long comment, but when adoption is brought up like this, it raises my hackles/heckles/whatever the damn things are called like a wraith on a feeding frenzy.

    The trouble is, the American home study system is woefully inadequate. Here in the UK, you spend months and months being visited by a social worker who assesses your entire lifestyle – income, home suitability, suitability as parents, etc. before you then go through to a panel who says whether you can adopt or not.

    From what I understand from the American system, the home study can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The system is run by private agencies, rather than a Government backed scheme, and not every home visit actually takes place in the home (i.e. you go to their office). That said, the agency must approve the adoption. It’s just that many of them go through far, far quicker than any other country.

    My wife and I attended a seminar hosted by a well known spokesperson and author on adoption issues and she said that you have to watch out for the kids that welcome you with open arms – these ones have attachment issues. The “normal” ones are those that will throw tantrums. After all, moving from an orphanage to a permanent home is going to be a massive upheaval for the child.

    Russia is well known for it’s orphaned children having fetal alchohol syndrome. This is by far the most common cause for kids ending up in these places. And a lot of orphanages either do not have full medical records or *do* mask the medical conditions of their kids. It’s an unfortunate part of the process, but that should never mean you should or can return the child. This does irrecoverable damage. While I blame the mother for her actions, I also blame the adoption agency that allowed her to adopt in the first place.

    @Kevin: Adoption is not at all funny. I’ve spent enough of going through international adoption myself, and my wife and I spend time working for an international charity who works in China and seeing what happens to these kids. It’s absolutely bloody heartbreaking. As for the money – it goes in legal fees (local and international) as well as a obligated donation to the orphanage. You are also required to bring nappies, toys, clothes and anything else when you go to replace anything that would have been used by the orphanage. They have costs to meet, and many have little in the way of any income.

  15. Divided was great, i’m really enjoying the series, it’s a huge departure from SG1 and SGA, and i think that is a great thing for the franchise. The entire production team deserves a round of applause!

  16. Wow that’s just crazy, did the mother still have the receipt?
    I have often thought about foster parenting, but you really need to be a special kind of person to deal with the baggage some of these kids walk around with day to day. It’s not like you may get a normal child who lost their more or less normal parents in an accident and that’s all the child has to deal with, some of these kids have some heavy emotional baggage. I guess they try to match kids with families and try to know what you as individuals can handle… but there are kids out there who really just want normal and someone to just love them.

    Well this is day 5 and still barely have a voice to speak with, the doctor told me not to talk, I talk all day on the phone, I gotta get back to work… how do I get around this? My husband and birds are enjoying this too much. Joe what do you do when an actor can’t speak??? Doesn’t that slow up your production schedule? You’d have to write me out of the script, I’d be unemployed which is what I may be if I can’t get my voice back.

  17. I agree with Das. You can put dogs on leashes and walk them in public, spank them, and leave them unattended in the fenced in back yard for hours without people calling social services on you. As far as the woman putting the child on the plane. Well, one, she’s from Tennessee. that explains a lot right there.,(hey, with the mine disaster it would be gauche to make West Virginia jokes right now). Second, what about the airline? I’ve not read what role they played in this. Did they raise questions at a child being booked by himself for a one way trip? Finally, not suprised by the Russian response. But it seems obvious the Ruskkies aren’t adopting their own, and there is money in it, so like you I don’t see the practice stopping.
    As for the Ukraine babies getting optimal prices, well, it’s not exactly racism, but is sort of is racism. White babies bring in more on the market. Plus standard of living. Second vs. third world nations will charge more. And interracial adoptions tend to have extra issues to deal with. There are those who do not believe it’s appropriate for a child be be adopted by a family of a different race. As an adoptee, I personally think that if the child goes to a loving family they can cope with any extra stress involved.
    Anyways, thanks for the interesting information. If I ever decide to move from dogs to kids, I’ll keep the price list in mind. Hope veryone is having a good weekend.

  18. That’s pretty funny Joe! That mother failed to consider all her options. She should have purchased a modest life insurance policy on the kid then held it over his head. Straighten up son, or I’ll cash this in, one way or another. Accidents happen all the time. I’m just kidding, of course…maybe.

  19. There are many reasons why people go abroad to adopt, not least of which being the ridiculous PC rules here in the UK that prevent overweight people adopting also excluded are smokers and by now probably Christians. There was a terrible case here a few years ago of a mixed race child being removed from the whit foster family she had spent all her short life with because of bloody PC Social work-do-gooders insisting she go to a family of similar ethnic origins. the media reports showing the child being forcibly removed and crying and holding out her arms to the only mother she had ever known whilst being carried away were awful to see. My thoughts are that love knows no prejudice.

    See what a can o’ worms you opened with this one?

    I would dearly love to foster once all my own kids are grown and settled(2 down 2 to go) I know about issues and baggage,I’d just like to give these kids a chance.

  20. So sad for the children – it’s not their fault they are so messed up. Many of these kids are not really “orphaned,” but their own families didn’t want them either – particularly the older kids. FAS is definitely a problem, but a surprising number of these children are simply neglected and abused and then passed on to others with no notification of their needs. Adopting families feel cheated by the adoption agency so they give up on the kids too soon. Even children with severe problems like this are redeemable, you just need training and education to be able to help them – and a lot of love and patience.

    On a SGU note: Divided-great eps, lots of surprises and possibilities for future shows. I’m a tried & true SG fan, but I have to admit it’s been a little hard to get into SGU; still mourning SGA here. Any movement on the movies yet?

  21. My son-in-law’s brother recently adopted a little boy from Russia. I asked why go so far and pay so much (incidentally, in-country adoptions aren’t exactly free either), and was told that many would-be parents go overseas because here in the US, the birth parents can come back years later and get custody of the child. They’re almost never refused, no matter how horrible they’ve been in the past. They only have to prove that they’re “rehabilitated” and “willing” to provide for the child, and that usually to some activist judge who believes genes trump history. Thus, a child who’s been with one family its whole life can be ripped away and given over to what is essentially a stranger.

    I was lucky to have children of my own, but if I had ever considered adoption, I’d have bought one from Mexico. Some people think of it as child-selling. I prefer to think of it as child rescue.

  22. Our family adopted a little boy from another country almost two years ago. We honestly spent a long time considering adopting domestically (a child here in the United States), but the law here seems to strongly favor the rights of birth parents and relatives, making the endeavor seem risky. While I can’t speak to whether that’s right or wrong, I did see first-hand our friends and acquaintances welcome children into their lives, care for them, and fall in love with them, only to lose them to birth families who decided they wanted the kids after all. One couple we know went bankrupt fighting a legal battle against a birth relative. That birth relative, by the way, gave the child back up for adoption again within a few months.

    Of course, adopting internationally has its own risks, too. We adopted from a country that is well-known for the quality of care of its orphans, but growing up in even in the best institutionalized setting (or being passed from foster family to foster family for that matter) is never ideal for a kid. It leaves a mark, and no matter how willing and loving you are as a parent, no matter how great the adoption agency you worked with, it’s difficult to be fully prepared for it. So it’s hard to imagine, then, trying to be somehow “prepared” to deal with a child who has grown up in much worse situations, places where neglect and abuse is more common. Hard as it is to face, regardless of how much love and therapy they get, some of these kids just aren’t ever going to recover or live what we consider normal lives. It doesn’t help that some adoption organizations do paint a happy face on things, in order to get their kids into homes.

    I don’t know. I read stories like this one about the Russian boy, and I can’t judge. I just feel sick for everyone involved. For a woman who ended up so far over her head (I can’t even imagine living with someone who was threatening to kill me) that she actually thought putting a little boy on a plane was an answer. And for a child who needs far, far more help than he got.

    Speaking of that system, though, I was a little confused by Martyn’s assertions about the U.S. home study process. While laws vary somewhat by state, Hague Convention regulations are pretty specific. Our home study process lasted over six months and involved intense scrutinization of our personal lives, our psychological and physical health, our finances, our families, and our parenting. All of it took place in our home. Family members, friends and acquaintances were also interviewed, we were required to take a number of courses, and even after all of that we were by no means guaranteed approval. We actually went through the same process after the adoption, too, with home visits that continued for six months after our son’s arrival. It isn’t a faultless system by any means (as we’ve just seen), but with respect I don’t think any system that holds children’s lives in the balance can ever be good enough.

    And…I’m sorry. This was longer than I meant it to be. I do want to say, before I’m done, that while our own experience hasn’t been easy, we are so grateful to have our son in our lives. He’s amazing. We’re head over heels in love with him. And we have no regrets.

  23. I’ve noticed that the tendrils on the aliens’ faces actually connect to the collar of their “wet suits”. Was that done simply as a design detail, or was there a specific purpose for it?

  24. Deni: prayers for a great outcome! Give Elway a hug from all of us. I went to see my mom but I had hubby check for updates on his condition.

    Mr. M, Law & Order did a show on Russian adoptions a few years ago. The kid died in that episode, much different in real life, which is a blessing. I don’t know what went on in the home but I believe the mom should have gone through proper channels. I don’t like sending kids on an airplane alone in most normal cases.

    Visit with my mom went well. We took her shopping and out to eat. She lives in the middle of nowhere, so luxuries like getting out in town are nice.

    Hubby is completely OCD about the chess website now. He has joined the tournaments and is currently playing 38 games. So I drove and he tethered his laptop to his phone to play chess. It was a good anniversary but odd. We are both odd, so it works for us.

  25. WOW were you on a roll today, very funny tilt on a serious matter! Hopefully more of these go “RIGHT” instead of wrong,for the child’s sake!! Waiting to hear from Deni about Elway,praying things continue to improve!! HI love, call me!!,na i will call you first, Happy Sunday. Sheryl.

  26. @Gen – Hasn’t the US only fairly recently adopted the Hague Convention rules on adoption (back in 2007). Prior to that things would have been considerably easier and less time consuming, I guess. What you’ve described of your home study very much now resembles what is happening here. So I’m guessing this may have been the result of the US moving to Hague. Very pleased to hear that your experience has been a positive one, and that you’re enjoying your son.

    Prior to the US moving to Hague rules, I’ve heard of some dual nationality American couples living in the UK moving back to the US temporarily to perform the adoption itself, get the kid, and then move back to the UK. Which is, I believe, not entirely legal. Anything than rather than go through the UK system. Unfortunately there are people who do abuse the system and these are the people you read about in newspapers. One rarely hears good things in the press about international adoption. What also gets my goat is that the press always refers to adopted children in any articles rather than their children (full stop). When you adopt, you become that child’s parents.

    I should also mention that some countries prefer the US to other countries, although Spain is also becoming very popular, as is Sweden and other Nordic countries. Russia did have relatively good relations with the US, but a spate of incidents involving Russian children (most of them very tragic) have severely soured relations and is perhaps now much more difficult. And for those that think it’s easy – Russian adoption requires multiple stays over in Russia for some time organising the paperwork and legalalities. It’s not a question (and this goes for all international adoption) that you hand over the cash – here’s the kid. Not. At. All.

    As for people asking why people go about international adoption – there are many reasons. The first being that domestic adoption usually involves older children. For a young couple with no children of their own (biological or otherwise), this can be extremely difficult. International adoption generally involves younger babies, but these days it also usually means special needs children (babies or at least young toddlers). China, in particular, are almost always now special needs children.

    Whenever adoption is mentioned, it tends to open a right old can of worms. I just hope people keep open minds about it and can also shake off some of the stereotyping that surrounds it.

  27. Personally I think anyone who sells their children shouldn’t ever have any in the first place, it seems so wrong to put a value on a life like that.
    Not calling adoption wrong, but those who want to make money out of it, and the parents, they are the wrong ones.

    I feel sorry for the children.

  28. Hello mr. M

    Sorry I haven’t been around, I was away for the weekend. But I watched divided now so I’m reporting to you.

    Suprisingly, I feel like I’m missing out on the fun. Everyone seems to love it while I only like it. For some reason, I was left with wanting more.

    Please note I am extremely tired from the weekend, and I plan to rewatch divided at some point. I often found I enjoy episodes more the second time around so we’ll see!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  29. A surprisingly high percentage of kids adopted at an older age do get returned – yes, full adoption, not just foster situations. Their rough pasts create something called reactive attachment disorder. They’ll seem normal to the outside world and even to the parents at first. This is called the honeymoon period where the kid doesn’t feel an attachment coming on so just goes with the flow.

    When they feel themselves starting to bond, though, is when their defense mechanism of preventing that comes up. They strike out at the parents. It may seem they are trying to provoke the parents to hurt them so they can get it over with, but really they are fighting their own instinct to bond and getting the parent to be afraid of them is one way to do it. They can try to get the parents to hate them through other behaviors as well.

    Patience just causes them to escalate until the situation is unworkable, lack of patience is equally unworkable. I don’t see how the parents have a choice when things are this bad.

    They cannot do anything for them, but put them in a place where they aren’t such a danger to anyone. I’ve heard of a parent being able to control rages with drugs, but this particular child is already known to have a terminal illness so liver damage is being considered a little better for him than spending his life physically restrained.

    I don’t have enough information about the Tennessee woman to know how hard she tried to find treatment for him or go through the right channels for a return, but there really are unworkable situations no matter how well-intentioned a person may be.

    Here’s the cost break-down for just getting knocked up the old-fashioned way.

    Cesarean: $26,000
    Hospital birth: $18000
    Birth center: $10500
    Trained mid-wife: $3000-$5000
    Birth attendant (who’s more to a midwife what a trekker is to an engineer): $800
    Oops, I waited too long to go to the birth center: free

    On top of some of these options, there’re OB fees, extra procedure fees, ultrasound fees, prenatal care fees, more frequent pediatrician visits early on. You don’t really get to plan to only have to spend the least costly of these options because, if something goes wrong, the two most costly options is where you end up.

    So, adoption doesn’t seem so expensive after that.

  30. @Randomness: Sadly, it’s more complicated than that. Unfortunately there is a very stiff price of giving away children in China. You have the 1 child policy in effect which means either jail or a stiff fine. There are some exceptions to this, but generally one child. That’s it. What happens if you have twins, for example.

    If you’re caught abandoning a child in China, you’re sent to jail and/or another stiff fine. What do you do? Well, they mainly leave their children near somewhere where they’re likely to be found.

    And nobody should be making money from adoption (unless, of course, it’s an illegal adoption, but you’d soon be found out – again, plenty of cases come to light). But one must ask what adoption agencies make from it. Sadly the official US web site regarding intercountry adoption is currently broken. :\

    But *generally*, monies paid go to paying for social workers, the orphanage donation, and the lawyers to tie up all the paperwork. Nobody must profit from adoption – including the biological parents. But how many do? I don’t know. 🙁

  31. On a more positive note I am UBER PSYCHED FOR FAITH. At first I hated the concept but now I love it. It seems very intriguing and entertaining. This Greer scene made me laugh so much.–sneak-peek–stargate-universe/v1217466

    Also, believe it or not im growing sick of the dark depressing halls of the destiny, espically considering the last episode, Divided. Im excited about getting to a nice open planet with sunshine!!

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  32. @ Shadow Step – Well, the ‘junk mail’ I speak of is mail I have requested – stuff from Borders, Pier 1, Amazon, Wine Enthusiast, Macha Source (Joe – have you ever visited their site? ), Gardener’s Supply…and others. Also, a few FW funnies and stuff from friends (in all honesty, I rarely open a FW message due to the lack of time…unless it has kittehs in it). So, no real ‘junk’, just really TOO MUCH INFORMATION! My brain can’t process all the sales, special offers, giveaways, jokes, and other stuff that comes through my mail, so I just leave them unopened unless I’m looking to buy.

    @ Thornyrose – Plus, with dogs (and cats)…if they become too much to handle, you can eat ’em! 😀 I mean…you can’t eat a human kid because that would be murder, and really creepy…but you can eat a dog or a cat…NOT that I would recommend it unless it’s part of your culture, but in a pinch, ya know…I hear they’re tasty. 😉

    And before any of you call me out on what I just said, remember, everytime your precious li’l kitty or puppy licks you, it’s not because they’re giving you ‘kisses’, but because – as Mr. Das says – they’re ‘tenderizing you’. I betcha if we could read their minds, they’re thinking, ‘Yup…tastes like chicken. Maybe if I walk under their feet and trip ’em, they’ll fall down and knock themselves out…and then I’ll be eatin’ high off the hog for a week!’

    I keep a sharp eye out on my cats…I’ve caught ’em a couple times eyeing me up when din-din was late, licking their chops. Yeah…I don’t trust those furry li’l farts one bit. 🙂

    @ Shiningwit – I remember a case like that – I thought it was in the US, but mebbe it was England. A child can thrive in any ethnic environment as long as there is love. (Which reminds me, I really need to watch The Blind Side.)

    Hubby and I toyed with the idea of adopting a child (preferrably from China), but when we learned of the cost, we decided against it…we’re just not in the right income bracket. Every now and then I wish we had, but – oh well – it’s not going to happen now. So…we just keep adopting cats…big, fat, juicy cats…



  33. And, of course…I spelled Matcha wrong…AND on The Matcha Man’s blog, no less! God…that’s probably worse than joking about eating puppies. 😛


  34. @ Joe – (Hey, look! I remember it IS your blog! 😀 )

    About Divided…just a quickie…with a kinda-sorta question, if you’d like to address it. (Not sure if anyone else has brought this up – forgive me if they have, but I’ve only skimmed through most comments.)

    What the hell was Wray & Co. thinking, and why is Young taking it all so casually? What I mean is this…

    The Destiny is a bloody ship, not a democracy! Aboard a ship the ‘captain’ is God. The captain is the one responsible for the safety of both his ship, and the people aboard his ship. Now, granted, the people aboard this particular ship are not the ones who should be there, so they don’t just fit into nice, neat categories. Still, the person who should be in charge is the one who acts as ‘captain’. Now, who should that be? Well, under the circumstances, I think it should be the one with the most tactical experience, as well as the one who is familiar with being in command and all that such command entails. Young (as far as I can tell) is the only one who falls under that description. He’s military trained so he should know basic tactics, and he’s used to giving people orders – he knows how to delegate. You just don’t go taking command away from someone like that, especially when you’re under attack! What was Wray planning to do in battle? Throw ugly chairs at the aliens? 🙄

    Perhaps Wray thought that she could set up a ‘government’ that gave orders to the Captain. Well, here again we have a problem. Sure, she could try to do it – speak for the governments back on earth and tell Young what to do – but that presents another problem. Though she might be the eyes and ears for Earth, she can’t possibly be connected to Earth every single moment of the day. Split second decisions need to be made…decisions based on a situation so unique that there’s really no precedent to follow. These folks have to make stuff up on the fly, as it’s happening. They don’t need to be immobilized by the red tape Wray wanted to wrap them all up in.

    Arrgh. She really got my goat. But Young irritates me a bit by being too soft. Sure, I know he couldn’t throw them all in the brig, but I sure would have done something other than talk nice-nice. They really need to make sure these people don’t go off all willy-nilly again. Now, that said – IF Young had behaved in a manner deserving of mutiny, then – sure – I’d be all for it. But this mutiny talk started long before Rush was abandoned on the planet…so that wasn’t the issue. The issue was Wray being a man-hater. 😀 (Okay…I’m just joking about that.) The issue (imho) is that Wray thinks too much of herself, and can’t humbly see the need to work together instead of having things her own way. I might be wrong…but right now all I see is an arrogant, self-important woman who wants to boss everyone around. Damn…I wish I had been on that ship, because – unlike Chloe – I would have ratted that biatch out in a heartbeat! 😀 (Whoopsies…Is my misogynistic slip showing…? Oh well!)


  35. @das, if you think 300 emails is bad, you should have seen my sisters email inbox last week. Over 1000 unread emails! It really drives me crazy knowing that (I hate having unread email in my inbox), so I made her clean it out by threatening to befriend some kids and get them to talk to her (she gets freaked out by children).

    Actually, I should thank you for the price listing today Joe, now I can threaten her a bit more substantially by saying I’m saving up to buy her a child. That should go down well 😉



  36. As a mother, this story absolutely makes my blood boil. I’ve certainly had days I wished I could run away from my children, but when you agree to become a parent, whether naturally or by adoption, you are agreeing to be responsible for that child’s well-being, no matter what. I have no sympathy for this woman at all. In fact, I am in favor of something like a public tarring and feathering at the very least. And that’s probably all I should say about that, or it will end up being several long posts.

    hi joe! — That’s a message from my 15 yr old Stargate freak.

    We loved Divided — when it ended, we were like, it’s over? already?!? When people say the show is not Stargate-ish, I just don’t get that. And we are big fans of SG1/A.

    Speaking of children, mine older one is annoying me terribly right now and interfering with my post! Can I send her to Russia? (jk) (MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! says the evil 15-yr-old-Freak) And her goal in life is to be an astrophysicist.

    So, padawan Ashley has learned too well from the master? Watch out, she may be trying to displace you as reigning supervillain.

    When are we going to see the sinister fridge aliens in an episode? Maybe its ultimate goal is to take over the writing staff, and write its own ep.

    One time, a missionary team from the church we attended then was served dog in rural China.

  37. Hi Joe,

    It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted here (and I’m sure you absolutely noticed my absense *coughs* ;)), but I finally caught up with SGU and I wanted to tell you that I’m really enjoying it. I’m not addicted to it (yet), the way I was to SGA, but I’m certainly starting to feel a little…deprived now that I have to wait a whole ‘nother week for the next episode!

    Setting aside the how’s and why’s of Destiny itself, what intrigues me the most is Greer’s loyalty to Lt. Scott, demonstrated by Greer’s refusal to leave Scott behind in Air III and by his insistance on accompanying Scott in trying to rescue Chloe from the aliens in Space. It makes me wonder how long Greer and Scott have known each other, because something in Scott or something he’s done must have instilled this kind of loyalty to him in Greer. Were they friends or team mates or something before the attack on Icarus Base? Will we find out more about the bond between the two of them in coming episodes?

    My other favorite thing about this show is Eli’s tentative friendship with Lt. Scott (yeah, I tend to focus on the interpersonal relationships of the characters). They remind me just a little of Sheppard and McKay, who had a dynamic and a kind of friendship I’ve always loved and adored. Will we get to see Scott and Eli’s friendship grow and develop, too (though not necessarily the same way McKay and Sheppard’s friendship did, of course)?

    One thing about the show I could do without though is the constant distrust. However, I realize it’s a realistic effect of having a large number of people who barely know each other thrust together in an unnatural environment far away from home and the people they love. I just, you know, prefer it when people learn or have learned to depend on each other and have each other’s backs 😉 But we’ve already seen bits of that so I have high hopes that eventually at least some of them will learn to trust one another. Of course, this whole military vs. civilians thing will have to be sorted out first 😉

    Either way, I’ll be tuning in again next week 🙂

    X Jenn

  38. P.S. Ashleigh, sorry I spelled your name wrong. Won’t do it again. Promise!

    Joe, have you ever eaten at a Brazilian steakhouse?

    There’s an awesome one near us, called Rafain’s. We had lunch there today to celebrate hubby’s birthday. The meats are always cooked excellently, and the service is impeccable. I don’t know if Ashleigh is willing to enter places that serve meat, but their salad/veggie buffet is a meal in itself. And they have to-die for desserts, featuring lots of chocolate.

    And they can handle large groups, so it could be a stop on your tour in the Dallas area. We are invited, right?

  39. Awesome to hear Brand New’s You Won’t Know on Universe last night!! Great band…Who’s idea was it to use that song? Gonna take a wild guess that it was Ashleigh…

  40. Joe,

    I think you are being a little harsh. Many many many adoptions are successful and create wonderful families for all those involved. You just don’t read about those because they don’t warrant media time and attention. My daughter is adopted and she has been such a blessing to me. She’s bright and compassionate, and has a great deal of personal integrity and courage. She’s 17 and graduated high school a year early and earned a full scholarship to college. She doesn’t smoke, drink, take illegal drugs and she’s not pregnant, so I think she’s a good kid.

    I don’t mean to imply that there aren’t adoptions where certain information isn’t disclosed. My brother and sister in law adopted two children and the eldest boy was born to a drug addicted mother. This was not disclosed to them at the time of the adoption and that child has been very difficult and at times also scary. I do understand how that adoptive mother felt though, and even though sending him back like that was not the perfect choice, I’m sure it was not one she made lightly. I know there were better ways to handle their situation.

    I guess my point is there are many wonderful adoptions that take place too.

    And while I’m here can I mention Divided was an amazing episode. Brilliant dialogue and inspired direction and acting. I’m with you on that, it is one of my favorite episodes so far.

    Sorry about the adoption mini rant, it is a subject close to my heart…


  41. @Das. I won’t jump you on the dog thing. I agree. When push comes to shove, doggie goes on the menu before starvation. Though like in a Boy and his Dog, I’d have to consider the relative value of my own pooch vs two legged canines.
    Which brings a book to mind. One Second After, by William Forstchen. A very scary novel because of the plausibility of the plot(terrorist or enemy nation sets off a nuke in high atmosphere, delivering an EMP that knocks out everything in the continental US). As a post apocolyptic type of book it holds its own. And there are some scenes in the book involving dogs guaranteed to leave you teary eyed. The first couple of chapters move a bit slowly, but the book is like an avalanche. It just keeps building momentum until it buries you.

  42. Martyn and Tammy, thanks for sharing your experiences. I’d like to add to the discussion but having trouble framing thoughts. Maybe tomorrow.

    All involved in Chimaeracon were left with impression that it went well. Looking forward to final $ and attendee counts. Think we’ll have a very positive post-con review in two weeks.

  43. Time again for a quick Elway update for those of you who have asked and/or care 🙂 Went to see him again this morning, still painful, still tired, but wagging his tail like crazy when he saw us, so that was better than yesterday. I’m a mess waiting on the pathology report, jumping every time the phone rings. The surgeon wanted him to come home tomorrow, but his ER vet and my regular vets all feel that because of his seizures, he should stay there an extra day or two to let the incision heal a bit more. I’m not equipped, emotionally or otherwise, to handle an incision ripping open, and I have no way of stopping a seizure with IV drugs the way they do. So, my daughter’s headed home tomorrow and that just makes me a little sadder than I’ve been in the past two weeks, but hopefully we’ll see each other again soon. She’s been such a comfort to me during these past few days. Anywho, I’ll update again as soon as I know something and meanwhile, I’ll keep getting the sleep I haven’t gotten for YEARS 🙂 Good night everyone!

  44. @ Tammy – Nope. I’ve always meant to, but I’m more of a navy gal, so when it comes to period war pieces, I tend to go with the ships. I keep telling myself that I gotta sit down and watch Sharpe (I did tape the last two that were on PBS, buuuut…deleted them in favor of rugby before I could watch them 😛 ).

    Here’s the thing, too. I’m very picky. People don’t believe me when I say that, but – trust me – I am very, very picky. I’m not picky when it comes to quality (sometimes the worst movies, etc. work for me), but picky in that I have to love someone or something in a show in order to keep watching (same with books/comics – if I don’t love a character, I will stop reading). I might watch Sharpe and like it, but Sean Bean has never been my cuppa…I’ve never been able to ‘fall in love’ with any of his characters. All my life – since dear ol’ Fess Parker as Dan’l Boone – I’ve needed to fall in love with a character in order to fully enjoy a show. By ‘fall in love’ I don’t mean just physical attraction, it can be something much different. I loved Columbo, and not because I thought Peter Falk was hawt (OKAY…he was darn cute, but still…). I just loved Columbo, just like I love Suchet’s Poirot, and Brett’s Holmes – quirky works wonders for me! (Abby in NCIS, for instance – absolutely love her, and that’s a very unusual thing for this misogynist to say. 😉 ) That’s a totally different ‘love’ than what I felt for David Cassidy back during my Partridge Family days. 😛 😳 And that was even different from what intrigued me about the Wraith. Yeah, sure, I think they’re extremely beautiful, and I really love bugs :D, but despite their hotness, it was (and is) their whole dietary dilemma that really made me sit up and take note. Honestly, if they were soulless vampires I wouldn’t have been half as interested – no, I became so passionate about them because their needs were dictated by nature and not the supernatural. How can you hate something that has no choice in what it eats? I can’t hate killer whales because they eat cute seals, or cats because they eat adorable baby bunnies, so how can I hate Wraith because they feed on people? And all of that ‘love’ is totally different from the love I have for film noir, which has less to do with the characters, and much more to do with shadows, camera angles and dialogue. “‘Okay Marlowe,’ I said to myself. ‘You’re a tough guy. You’ve been sapped twice, choked, beaten silly with a gun, shot in the arm until you’re as crazy as a couple of waltzing mice. Now let’s see you do something really tough – like putting your pants on.'” I mean, how can’t you love a line like that!

    You see, I have to love something in order to watch – probably the weirdest thing a person can say, but I’ve lived with myself long enough to know what I need for something to hold my attention. I can’t just watch ‘to watch’, just to say that I saw something. (Hey, even New Moon had Todd’s alter ego in it! 🙂 )

    So, back to Sharpe. I want to watch it, but in order to make the commitment I have to get past Bean first. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the guy…but I prefer him as the bad guy. So I’m just not sure I’ll stick with it unless I can somehow fall in love with someone or something in the series. If I can’t, I’ll get bored and move on…as I do with 99% of the stuff I start to watch, and never finish.

    And, once again, I’ve totally over-explained myself. 😛 It’s what I do. 🙄


  45. Joe – You ate Kraft Mac & Cheese for dinner last night didn’t you?

    (I have the funny feeling that when you don’t tell us what you eat, it’s because it’s naughty).


  46. Joe, she adopted the child from an orphanage in Siberia. She then put the 7 year old child ALONE on a flight back to MOSCOW (which is 2000 miles or more from Siberian towns and cities!). Sorry that’s just wrong no matter what the kid turned out to be like.

  47. Also, the minister has threatened to suspend the adoptions ONLY until there are some adoption guidelines laid out. That actually seems like a good idea, it’ll protect both the children and the adoptive parents from all sorts of mishaps. More over, this is not the first incident – only maybe three years ago an American adoptive mother killed her adopted Russian child, and recently, a few cases of sexual abuse of adopted children by their American “parents” have come floating up, as well as numerous cases of fairly severe physical abuse of the adoptive children. At the same time, USA adoption agencies complain the screening for psychological problems in potentially adoptable children is lacking, especially where it concerns the less obvious psychological disorders and not something easily visible such as Down syndrome.

    Clearly, something about the system is flawed. Some rules will do no harm in this regard. Also, it’s not that unusual to suspend foreign adoptions. Romania has suspended foreign adoptions indefinitely many years ago following a series of human trafficking scandals (and is now criticized for not re-initializing them), adoptions from Haiti were put on hold while the mess with the earthquake was being sorted out, etc.

    Sorry but I’m kind of on Russia’s side with this (and the European press seems to be too) and I fail to see what is so ludicrous about what Russia wants in this regard – some simple rules about adoptions, so I suspect the press in the USA might have misrepresented the case a little bit in order to gain viewers.

  48. A very close friend of mine works for an American adoption company and they will not work with the Ukraine or Russia for this reason. Very often when you arrive there the child you thought you were adopting is “no longer available” but this child with “insert serious physical or psychological problem here” is and you can have it! (For the same insane price though) American families want these children and want to take care of them and love them, but a lot of them are taken advantage of once they are in the adoption process. It’s not easy to adopt a foreign child and there are boat loads of standards from the U.S and the Home country of the child.

    Another problem they have is with sibling groups. A family from my church adopted three siblings from Russia several years ago. And, again, upon arriving they were offered two more children who were part of the same family. Apparently during the course of the adoption the mother had a couple more kids and decided that she didn’t want them either. They know what causes that these days!

    The whole process is very heart breaking, but I just don’t understand why U.S. families don’t just buy domestic.

  49. Please, *EVERYONE*, *do not* refer to children as being bought or sold when applying this to adoption (international or otherwise). Let’s know go down the route of the gutter press, who are constantly feeding this particular stereotyping.

    As for domestic adoptions, there are many reasons, as I have stipulated further up in these comments, why this is not the preferred route for some.

  50. I prefer animals myself. They are easier to train, stay loyal, and are only a financial liability for a maximum of 15 years.

    They should do extensive psychological, IQ and financial testing on anyone who wants to have or adopt children. They are not toys, as some people seem to believe. And women should SERIOUSLY consider the reasons why they are having them – is it really a ‘biological’ instinct or just a vain attempt at self-perpetuation or ‘infallible love’?

    In Australia, it’s about money – a ‘baby bonus’, so they can buy their plasma TV and stay on the welfare forever… *rolls eyes*

    Do-gooders interfering again…damnable socialsts.

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