|Peter Kassig and his biological sister, Jana|
Qatar does not allow adoption, and so the family was rare in that country. The Huangs were suspected of having adopted the girl to harvest her organs or for medical experiments. The couple was arrested, jailed, freed but unable to leave the country for
nearly two years until a judge finally decided that the girl was not starved to death. According to the couple, she always exhibited a strange food patterns, having been adopted from Ghana at four after a traumatic early childhood, and had a parasitic condition that is difficult to eradicate and impairs the body's ability to absorb food. Today the reunited family of two remaining children and the Huangs are back in the United States.
Perhaps because the girl was African, and black, the news stories never failed to mention that she was: adopted.
Contrast that with the news about the American aid worker, Peter Kassig, who was beheaded by ISIS. I watched his parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, on television talk calmly about their son; the news media covered the story thoroughly. I thought the Kassigs were unusually calm and composed, but I figured, everybody's different; don't judge. But until after the beheading, it was never mentioned that Peter was adopted, and had another family that he had a relationship with--mother, brother and sister--for the past eight years, and apparently he was quite close to them.
After Kassig was killed by ISIS, the Kassigs took to Twitter to mention that Peter was adopted, as they thanked his other mother, Rhonda Schwindt, in a tweet, later mentioning his two natural siblings, Jana and Sam. Rhonda Schwindt, his natural mother, is an assistant professor of nursing at Indiana University; her son Sam is a freshman at DePaul University, and Jana is working at a humane society, after graduating. On her Facebook page Rhonda notes that she "Had a Child" on February 19, 1988.
That would be Peter.
When I learned that he was adopted, I thought of how his first mother was suffering, but unlike the Kassigs, she and his siblings were in the shadows throughout the whole ordeal. The State Department did not contact them, I read somewhere earlier, and put the thought of his adoption, and his natural, biological family's pain, mentally aside. But then the Huang's story reminded me again: one can't be written about without saying "adopted," and the other's true history practically passed by unknown.
To mention or not to mention? Some adoptees want it mentioned in obituaries; others don't. If the parents are famous, it is impossible to keep the facts of birth from the media. Yet in some accounts of the life of Herbert Lehman, the governor under who sealed records were enacted in New York, the fact that his children were adopted is not mentioned. In others it is. For historical figures especially, I strongly am in favor of reality--and accuracy. When the race is different, of course it is obvious, and so it might as well be included. For some adoptees and first parents, including that information--adopted--in anyone's obituary will make search and reunion possible. It's hiding that birth information in the first place that is the cause of so much grief.
In my daughter's obituary, there was no mention of "adopted," but under the survivors, I was listed as the (birth mother) and my husband's first name (not her father) was included. I had been a part of her and her adoptive family's life for 26 years. Because I could have been obliterated in her obituary, I was simply glad to be included.
What do you think?--lorraine
Parents of aid worker Peter Kassig beheaded by ISIS tweet they had adopted their son at birth and publicly thank his biological mother and two siblings by name
TO READSon (Giver Quartet) By Lois Lowry
...a Handmaid's Tale for the young adult reader, but it is beautifully written and with an absorbing story on its own about a young woman who overcomes great obstacles to get back to her son. It needs to be in the hands of more young women before they are seduced into giving up their babies. Those who do don't realize what adoption does to the mother, to the individual handed over to others. They just don't know, and too often they don't want to know...and then they find out, but it is too late.
Part of a very popular series. The other books are The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger, with Son the last in the series. Gifts? Yes, great gifts.
THANK YOU FOR ORDERING ANYTHING THROUGH FMF.