Posts Tagged ‘orphanage’

Letter to Mrs. Obama about Russian Adoptions


This is worth sharing…..A letter from an adoptive mother,Stacey DiBlasi Seeley‘s  on the Russian adoption ban

A few days ago thousands of Russian citizens marched in protest of their government’s new legislation banning adoptions to American families. There are more than 700,000 orphans in Russia; 120,000 of those eligible for adoption. Many of those children have families here in the United States wanting desperately to bring them home. I watched in amazement as these Russian individuals braved the cold weather and possible arrest to make a point. And then I looked at my son, who just six months ago lived in a Russian orphanage and thought: “Where is the fight on our side?” And so I reach out, the only way I know how and make an appeal to a mother’s heart:

Dear Mrs. Obama,

I am writing you today to ask for help with a concern that weighs so heavily on my heart. As I am sure you are aware, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that essentially ends inter country adoption between the United States and Russia. I could give you thousands of reasons why that legislation is cruel and unjust but instead I will give you just one: my child’s eyes.

I met my son Aleksandr at the age of 10 months in February of last year. I knew from the moment his eyes looked into mine, that he was indeed the child of my heart. This was not because his eyes sparkled with love and excitement but rather because they looked so uncertain. “Who are you?” those blue eyes said to me. And my soul answered: I am your mother. While other mother’s can look into their child’s eyes for the first time and say, “Welcome to the world Little One,” I understood that my little one already knew too much of this world’s chilling cruelty and I promised then and there to give him all the love and protection that a mother can give.

On August 4, 2012 we brought Aleks home at 15 months of age. He was quickly diagnosed as failure to thrive and he has global developmental delays but through amazing programs available through the state of Virginia and the excellent medical care and support of our military community, Aleks is flourishing and “catching up” to others in his age group! He loves pigs and horses, coconut yogurt and “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. He leans in to give the sweetest kisses to his Momma and Daddy and the twinkle in his eyes (that was absent when we met him) lights up my world. I never imagined that my husband and I would have to travel halfway across the world three times to find our son. But I would do it again and again.

My family is a success story and a blessing thanks to cooperation between this great nation and Russia. But right now, mothers here in this country cry desperately because they are losing their child due to this legislation. A child who has the chance to know a mother’s love will be condemned to life in a less than adequate orphanage where he or she will not ever develop a sense of self worth or know the love of family. What if that was my son? Oh God, I don’t know how I would ever rest if my child were kept from me in those circumstances. And that is why I am writing to you today.

Please, Mrs. Obama, I beg you to speak with your husband on behalf of all the mothers stuck in this limbo, those who have officially started the adoption process, who have held their babies in their arms or have stared deep into the eyes of their child a half a world away. We respectfully ask that President Obama and Vice President Biden appeal to Mr. Putin from a humanitarian stand point and fight for the child’s right to be able to continue to know the mother’s love they had a glimpse of on that first meeting. We hope and pray for an agreement that allows the families who have already petitioned to adopt their child in Russia to be united as a family. What do we lose in trying?

Shared by…Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach, parent of 5 great kids- 2 of which were adopted from Russia. Everything for Adoption


Living (?) with Teenagers

Well…I have lived with 3 teenage boys and survived…my youngest of these sons is now 19 and I hope the worst is over with my adventures with him. Now that we are into the world of ‘teenage girls’…a whole new world for us…we are learning that the world actually does revolve around her.
I have learned that when teenage boys get mad at us they tend to slam doors, punch walls, yell and then just give up. Girls, on the other hand, yell, try to bargain with us, pout, and use as much drama as they can until we give in to their needs. ( I have found that my daughter can do this on and off for days or weeks trying to get me to back down on what she wants.) It’s extremely tiring.
I do have a new appreciation for families with more than one girl. Wow! How do they do it?
Our daughter, now entering freshman year in High School, is a great kid…don’t get me wrong. She had a rough start in life living in orphanages and foster families in Russia until she was 10. However, she has quickly assumed the ‘Princess’ role in our home…thinking others will just do things for her all the time.
She loves to enter rooms and turn on all the lights. She will then leave the room with all the lights on…and this happens all day long. She loves being on the phone so it is not unusual to find all 3 of our home phones up in her room. She leaves a trail of wrappers and glasses of half drunk juice by the computer or TV since she likes to snack but ‘forgets’ to clean up. Her bedroom is a sea of clothes – all over the floor — yet she complains of nothing to wear. She manages to take over an hour to get ready to go places as she must try on different things multiple times and do her make up and hair to perfection.
She wants to have sleepovers on a daily basis in the summer where I can enjoy multiple teenage girls all doing the same annoying things! More food and clothes laying around the house with bursts of giggling or screaming coming from the bathroom where they take endless photos of themselves. Sigh…
Do I sound like I am complaining? Maybe. It is exhausting trying to keep up with the latest drama of friends, boys, clothes, whatever. It is hard to imagine that just 5 years ago she was living in a Russian orphanage and virtually had nothing. So now she may sometimes complain that her Dad and I are too strict and never let her have anything…but I know she really knows what it was like to have nothing…and this isn’t it.
The Russian judge at our Adoption court yelled at us that she would never be an American girl…she’d always be a Russian girl. Well, if he could see her now — this Russian girl sure acts like a normal American teenage girl!
So—God give me strength to make it through these upcoming high school years with a girl! It’ll be a whole new experience for us and I’m guessing somehow we’ll survive it!
Do you have teenage girl stories to share? Let me know. It’ll make me feel better to know I am not alone. Ha!

Deborah Mumm
The Adoption Coach
Everything for Adoption

Finding a Frog

Finding a Frog

Age 6 in Russia

Age 6 in Russia

Warner Bros. responds to Orphan movie Protest

As per my last post, I was disappointed to see a movie that offers people another reason to be scared to adopt an older child.  I realize it is a horror movie and not real but I don’t like any negative messages getting out there about adoption that might scare potential adoptive families.  Warner Bros did listen to our protests and this is a response Facebook member received yesterday.

Warner Bros. response to Orphan movie protest

So, you can see that even a small group of people with a concern for their childrens well-being can make a difference.  Will the movie still be played across the country?  Yes, but we have made some small steps towards improving the situation.

Let’s keep Adoption as a term used positively for another way to build a family.


Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach

Everything for Adoption

Alex’s 4th birthday–but he is 10!

Our son, Alex, turns 10 tomorrow. It is only the 4th birthday he has celebrated however since he was adopted from Russia four years ago. I remember the first time he was given a present. He just sat and looked at it. He had no idea what this box wrapped in paper was. We had to show him how to rip the paper off to find the gift underneath. He was a quick learner and soon had all his presents ripped open.
His first birthday, when he turned 6, was a total blur to him. He had no expectations and no understanding of all the attention he was getting. He did like it however. The next year, he was like, “Wow! We get to do this again?” Still expectations were low…kind of nice when a simple cake and a few presents is plenty.
Well, now it is the 4th time he has been through this…plus, he’s been to many other parties for people. He has been questioning us all week if we went shopping for him yet. He still gets upset if I say I bought a Baby Wet & Spit for him! No way!!
We will be taking 10 boys to the Y to swim and play…eat cake, drink punch and of course, open presents. He is on Cloud Nine and is counting the minutes until the party.
He is thrilled Kellen is coming in for his birthday. (Actually Spring Break at college starts today…but he thinks Kellen is coming in for him, mostly!)

I am sure we’ll all have a great day watching Alex revel in all the attention. He is a great kid and deserves a day just for him! We just remember all the kids in orphanages who never celebrate birthdays or go to parties…and are happy that Alex’s life has changed for the better!

Happy Birthday Alex!

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach



What is your opinion on this video?

I finished ‘tweeking’ my Adoption Highway video…to encourage people to use my system to make International Adoption easier & less costly.

What do you think of it?


It’s a Small World After All—

It was amazing for me to hear….

Our daughter, Tania, had just returned from a 2 week camping trip in WI.  She had a great time.  She confided in me that she had met another girl from Russia while there.  I had commented I thought that was pretty cool.  She then told me even more.  As the girls spoke about Russia, they both realized they had been adopted from there…and that they actually were even from the same orphanage in Komsomolsk, Russia!

While I thought this was absolutely amazing…that these girls would learn they were from the same orphanage in Far Eastern Russia, they both just went on with their camping adventure like it was a normal, everyday occurance.

I guess, as the adults who lived through an International Adoption, and one that is from such a faraway country, I found it amazing that these two girls would meet again in a small tent in a Wisconsin campground several years after living in an orphanage together.  (They didn’t know each other well in the orphanage.)  I know how difficult the trip was and how we struggled to get there and home each time.  Kids however, just follow along and do what kids do when traveling.  It’s not stressful for them…so Tania had no idea how unusual it was to meet someone from her orphanage while camping! 

But….I had to sit back in awe…it really is a SMALL world after all….

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach….

School Causes Meltdown…

On Monday Alex came home from school much like a tornado going through the house.  I could tell he was very hyper and looked a bit ‘crazed’.  His tutor came shortly after this and he was rude to her and kept running away.  This was very uncharacteristic of him.  He isn’t always thrilled to be tutored on Mondays but she is usually able to control him.  After she left, I told him his behavior was not acceptable and that he could not go out and play with friends. He really lost it then.  Screaming, swearing, throwing things and telling me repeatedly to shut up.  Even Kellen came to my aid and spoke with Alex…calmer than I thought he would…but in no uncertain terms, told him his behavior and language was not acceptable in our house.  Alex looked absolutely shocked for this to be coming from Kellen and was quiet for awhile.  But soon he started his rampage again.

There is a book called ‘Holding Time’ which advocates holding kids like Alex, who are in distress until they calm down.  I actually held him for about 10 min. with him screaming…he even told me he felt like biting me.  (This I found interesting, because instead of biting me he told me he wanted to…which I consider progress.  Alex used to bite others in our early days at home.)

Dennis came home then and took over with the holding.  When Alex began to settle down, Dennis asked him if he wanted to eat dinner.  He said no, but we fed him anyway.  Between sobs he ate what he could.  Then Dennis bundled him up and they went outside to walk in the snow.  About 45 min. later Alex came walking in, all red-faced and cold, but smiling ear to ear.  He loved walking and playing with Dad in the snow.  He then…on his own….apologized to us for acting mean….and then apologized to Kellen.  I was shocked because Alex has a hard time admitting to his mistakes.  (See earlier blog about sins!)

The next day we learned that Alex had had a substitute teacher in his classroom who just let the kids run wild while she just sat there.  Alex, because of being in an orphanage for five years, thrives in a lot of structure, but becomes very over-stimulated in a non-structured environment.  This chaos caused him to just ‘lose it!’.  He didn’t know how to get back to feeling normal again.  Poor kid.

I spoke with the Asst. Principal about what happened and she said that substitute will not be asked back to their school.  I just feel bad that I cannot always be in control of Alex’ surroundings to protect him from the things that scare him.  But I guess that is the concern of most parents for their kids.

Deborah Mumm, The Adoption Coach,