Monday, December 31, 2012

mine and yours (favorite posts that is)

So, I have never mastered any kind of analytics for my blog beyond the basic one that blogger provides.  I really have no idea what were your most favorite posts over the last year, but I can share your most favorite posts (by numbers of visits to the page) since this blog started.  Not too surprisingly I guess, most of them are about adoption in DRC.

Writing this post in February of this year was really hard for me.  It has been the #1 most read post on my blog.  Taking the stance that adoptions should be put on hold was (and still is) quite a painful one to take.  But I still stand by it.  "What are we so afraid of anyway?"

But, I didn't stop with that.  I figured most people reading my blog are folks that are going to adopt from DRC regardless of my opinion on their current state and my opinions about not starting adoptions from DRC.  (And those of you who know me personally, know how conflicted I am about this).  I decided maybe I could still help those adoptions that are going to happen, be as ethical as possible.  Maybe I could help adoptive parents along with the way.  Because, honestly adopting from DRC is confusing and heart wrenching.  The 4th most read post was one that was actually created by a bigger group of adoptive parents (from African countries) that were concerned about ethics in adoption.  I added and modified it to fit DRC.  "Questions to ask your agency."

The third most read post was the very first post I wrote about adopting from DRC in August of last year.  I was definitely going out on a limb praying it wouldn't break.  I don't regret writing that post or the ones that followed, but it certainly hasn't been easy.  "For all of us adopting parents and those that consider it."

Fifth most popular post (I know I'm jumping around, sorry about that) was also the most commented on post.  Actually some of those really nasty comments made me want to take a break from the adoption stuff.  But I'm still here and going strong.  I realized I just needed some support to keep on going.  This post almost made me regret my policy on not moderating comments and allowing anonymous comments.  I still see the benefit to it (I mean, allowing the ugly comments reveals the ugliness out there in the adoption world), but if the nastiness continues, I'll moderate (which may happen sooner rather than later).  I'll always allow anonymous commenters however.  "Adopting from DRC: Pray hard and reconsider." 

Okay, so the second most read post is the one where I said I bribed the immigration of DRC and also basically implied that so has (mostly) everyone else that has adopted from DRC.  (Also more nasty comments).    I did bribe DGM (immigration) and so did everyone else that paid one penny or more to them.  Legally, in DRC law, DGM should charge no money for this immigration letter.   But we all do it, so it's okay, right?   "Yes, I bribed DGM. Or did I?"

I'm so glad this post made the list of top read posts.  Here is a quote from the post, "Ask your agency/organization about the orphanage that your child is coming from.  Ask other adopting families about the orphanage.  Ask about how your donation is being used.  Follow your money.  Ask about follow up of the funds.  Ask about receipts from the director.  Ask about independent oversight.  Ask about the investigations on the abandonment of the child you are adopting.  Ask about the conditions of the other children.  Ask about the transparency of the leadership of the orphanage.  Ask to visit the orphanage without an appointment.  Ask about what other partnerships the orphanage is currently involved with and how your agency collaborates and works with those other agencies/organizations.  Consider asking this question to your agency/organization, "If I went and gave $1000 to the director of the orphanage, are you confident that that money would be used for the children in the orphanage and do you have a way to verify it was used for the children in the orphanage?"  "Orphanage, ethics, and international adoption"

#10 read post was two essential ways to increase the chance of an ethical adoption.  Follow your money and orphan status investigation (Basically making sure the story about your child is true.  So key.  Take some time to read the guest posts.  Especially #1, #3, and #5).

And I'm so happy that two posts about Reeds of Hope made the top 10 list!  The news that we received our 501c3 status and changed our name to Reeds of Hope with babies that need sponsors is a key post.
And an older post about babies that needed sponsors.

And the story of Cito Wambili, that really got this all started was on the top 10 as it should be.   She should be the first one on the list.  Really, in the end, children left in orphanages that suffer neglect and harm should be our first responsibility.  And the wonderful part about the orphanage we work with is that all the kids have families and almost all of them can go home.  That is the exciting work we are a part of at Reeds of Hope.

Okay, for some of my favorites not in any particular order).  Well, I'm just going to a pick a few from my whole blog since I have a lot of favorites.  Why not?

The follow up to Cito Wambili's story up there is probably by favorite post.  That was the best day at the orphanage I ever had I think.  I will never forget that little girl reaching up for me, smiling, and laughing.  "Some things are too amazing NOT to share."

Saying goodbye to Moses was very hard.  He still lives at the orphanage (not the one we support).  There are so many complicated circumstances around his birth that created the situation why he lives at the orphanage and why he probably will grow up there.  Because of corruption we had to stop our adoption.  I will always pray for him and he will always be in my heart.

A random glimpse into my life when I lived in DRC.  Pushing my BOB stroller passed lots of soliders and lots of guns, can't get much more surreal than that.

Writing letters to my daughters' mother.

The story of Howard Patric.  Really a story of my struggle with my faith and trying to trust when surrounded by suffering.  Actually, it's a story about an incredible family that openned their arms to a very very special brave little boy.  Please be praying for Howard, he is still a pretty sick little guy, but doing well every day.

How really life is in God's hands, and not mine as I tend to think sometime.  My attempts to save a little baby's life and her death.

The words of Dr. Mukwege and when I met him and I thought I was in labor at his hospital in eastern DRC.

A letter to my amazing daughter Natalie while we lived in DRC and her bigger than life heart.  Also the story of being handicapped in DRC and the brave women, men and children that make their lives there.
And the second part of the letter where I write, "What do I want you to remember Natalie?  I want you to remember the world as you saw it as a small child.  I want to remember the world as you saw it at four years old.  As adults, we often see in pieces, "he is handicapped, he has no legs, he is poor, he is black" or the hundreds of other labels we place on people around us everyday, we judge, we compare, we try to measure up, we fight to be noticed, we step on others to get our way, we put "me" before anyone else.  You will soon be surrounded by a world that judges you based on your external appearance, your wealth, your education, your skin, your... this or that, that pulls people apart piece by piece leaving no room for grace and compassion, for love.  As a small child, you don't look in pieces nor do you see fragments, you see it all.  Somehow, in your child-like innocence, you saw Laurent as a whole person, just like your self; someone to treat with dignity and respect (to share your cookies with). "    And the final part where I realized if you are handicapped in DRC you might just get treated like you are a dog and the village response.

I have been so fortunate to have some wonderful guest posts written by some amazing people on my blog this last year.  Please take a minute to read them, they are on the right side of blog.  That has certainly been a highlight.

So, with that I will sign off for now.  There are more I could share, but it's late and this has been long.
Happy New Year!

Oh--I forgot one.  Cammie, this is for you!  "Motion detected automatic toilets: the bane of my existence!"  


A Nielsen, Vancouver said...

Have you seen that they close?

Isn't it possible to do something? This is sad!

Would be great to find a group of really dedicated AP to continue their work.

Cammie said...

Oh my, I read it again and started crying with laughter--again!! And then I cried with joy looking at the pictures of precious Chito from last summer. What a wonderful day that was!