Home School, Labor Day, and Vietnam Adoption — In That Order

Today we are officially starting our school year.

Can you hear the lack of enthusiasm in my voice?

Of course not.  This is a blog.  So go back and read that very first sentence with an extreme lack of enthusiasm.

The thing is, I love that I can home school my kids.  I love the curriculum we use.  I used to love the virtual charter school we use.  But now?  Not so much.  One of these days I’ll actually take the time to articulate my reasons for being really, really tired of them.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out ways I can make some money from home so that I can dump the charter school and just buy the curriculum.  So if anyone has any ideas about how I can make $8,000 – $10,000 to fund next year’s schooling endeavors, I’m all ears.  Just no direct sales pitches, ‘kay?  I’ve tried it.  It is soooo not me.  Plus?  I live in the middle of nowhere.  Remember? 

My friend R~ and I came up with a really great book idea over the weekend, but it is going to take time and research, and time.  No way I’ll have school money for next year out of that idea.

Moving on . . .

The Labor Day cookout was, I think, a smashing success.  I had fun, anyway.  My only complaint is that I felt like I didn’t get to talk to everyone enough.  But I suppose that is impossible when there are around 80-90 people at your house and you want to visit with everyone. 

The pond was full of kids and adults of all ages, which is how it should be, how I wish it could be much more often.  Everyone also seemed to enjoy my “gentle reminder” signs that I hung from the shade canopies:

“Unsupervised Children Will (most likely) Drown”

“We Love Your Children.  But Dredging Our Pond?  Not So Much”

“You Are More Than Welcome to Use Our Restroom Facilities.  Our Pond is Not our Restroom Facility”

“We Know the Rocks Are Tempting to Throw.  Temptation is of The Devil”

But, sorry, no homemade “White and Nerdy” video.  Hey, he’s sporting long hair for me, I can’t really push the request to dance like Donny on camera, can I?

Lastly, I feel like I should write something to mark yesterday as the expiration date of the MOU between Vietnam and the United States.  Believe it or not, that whole thing just has me at a loss for words.  I feel so badly for the families that have been waiting and will now have their dossiers returned to them rather than be able to adopt a child.

That said, this whole process has opened my eyes and left me with opinions and impressions about lots of things having to do with Vietnam adoptions.  I don’t know what is up with our own government, what the embassy’s and the State Department’s agenda is, but I do think they have one.  Which isn’t to say I don’t believe corruption exists in Vietnam, because I wholeheartedly do; and I think we have been naively turning a blind eye to the fact that the very culture of that country engenders the corruption (because as adoptive parents we are supposed to reverence and revere our children’s birth cultures).  I’m not saying there aren’t beautiful aspects to Vietnamese culture, but come on people, no culture is perfect, and I’ve heard too much from people who have lived and worked in Vietnam and surrounding countries. 

While I sincerely pray that the families who have seen their hopes and dreams crushed and tossed to the wayside find some peace, some new hope, somewhere, I think it is incredibly naive to believe that all of these problems may be fixed by the end of the year (a hope that even our own adoption agency seems to be trying to spread), or even by next year.  Should a new MOU be magically put in place in such a short period of time, my recommendation to prospective adoptive parents would be this:  run, don’t walk, away.  Unless you are okay with the idea that your child might have been bought and sold, or, at the very least, placed for adoption by a birth family that was hoping to get enough money to build a house out of the deal.

This, of course, is unfortunate for the children who need families, and even for the children who maybe don’t need families in the way we usually think of orphans, but who need families who value them as more than a commodity.  But there it is.  It is all ugly, and it is all sad, but I believe it will take generations before the necessary paradigm shift could occur in Vietnam that would allow a mostly non-corrupt adoption system to be in place.  And, of course, it will take time to get some fresh blood into our own government offices.  I hope someday we can actually know what the hell has been going on with those people.

Hmm . . . what happened to that whole “loss for words” thing?

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is going to go hide from the slings and arrows that are probably heading his way.

8 thoughts on “Home School, Labor Day, and Vietnam Adoption — In That Order

  1. No arrows from me. Only props for the funny reminder signs! Love your humor! Glad the cookout went well and you had such a great turnout.

    Had a feeling when I read “loss for words” that the words would be forthcoming! You’re not one to mince. I totally agree with you, BTW- as if that’s worth anything… 😀


  2. Glad the party was a roaring success and that no dredging of the pond was necessary.
    No arrows from me. The same can be said for just about every country international adoptions are done from. Ukraine is one of the worst.
    If you come up with any spectacular money making ideas, let me know. I’m off to guru.com to try and find some freelance writing work. I need to just get past the whole fear thing and take the leap. I’d rather be home with the kids than back in a stuffy old office with no schedule flexibility. Wish me luck! 🙂


  3. Christina

    Oh my gosh, LOVE the signs!!!

    And I think you are right on target with your VN summary… I hate to say that, but this is no time to bury our heads in the sand. And I agree with Tami – good luck finding any adoption program that is void of corruption… guess the best bet is to find one where the corruption is at least avoidable.


  4. Glad the party was a success, and I, too, love the signs. I’m super bummed about no video though, I really could have used that kind of entertainment! Totally agree with you on what you are saying about the VN program. Granted it’s easy for me to say, but I just can’t support a re-opening or continuation of the program until true safeguards for the children are in place.

    Good luck on the work thing – I’m working on the very same thing and have to get serious about it this week. If I find anything legit I’ll let you know, and please do the same (baby needs formula and mama needs a paycheck!).


  5. According to my new work “health advisor” I am required to have “a minimum of 5 belly laughs per day” (I’m truly not making this up)

    Your signs made my quota! (I extra laughed re-reading them) I’m still recovering from the tears and spontaneous giggles…

    That is so sad to hear about Vietnam and the crushed hearts of hopeful adoptive families. (OK – I’m going to re-read those signs again)


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