My biographer Delinda McCann wrote an article on foreign adoption, a topic on which she is certainly expert, but…well…boring. I do respect her abilities as a writer. She can be quite entertaining in person. I often chuckle at how she tells a story. However, let that woman near a social topic and she becomes tedious. I’m sure her articles are appropriate for a professional journal that nobody reads, but well…. To save my dear readers from her professional jargon, I have undertaken to write a few articles for her while she cleans her house. It seems her house became quite disorganized while she was helping me with my autobiography.
Learning to Love All Our Children
By President Jake Jaconovich
First, I’d like to commend my colleague President Vladimir Putin for signing a bill barring adoptions to the US. He needs to go much further toward stemming foreign adoption, as do I, for I’ve become convinced that it is very hard for children to adjust to yet another disruption in their young lives. The ability to adjust is particularly challenging for children born to women who use alcohol.
My own country is very poor so I am well aware of the problems of orphaned children. When my own children were small, I had three orphaned children living in my home. They were the housekeeper’s niece and nephews. I realized then that these children were the poorest of the poor. They had nothing—not even a mama or papa. We worked hard to give them stability and love, but they were hurt and grieving. When I think about further traumatizing such children by sending them to a foreign country my heart weeps.
When I became ill, my papa sent my housekeeper and the children to live with her extended family in the country. We just didn’t have enough adults in my household to keep the children safe and give them all the love they needed. One thing we did right was to keep the children together. Their love for each other was their greatest source of healing. I wish I could have done more to convince the oldest who was only five when he left us that he did not have to work to support the younger children. He needed to be a baby much longer than he allowed himself to be.
I got my second lesson on orphans when I took my beloved Celia to an orphanage to see if she had any insights on how to care for my nation’s precious children. At that time, we were still sending many children overseas. I can’t help but smile when I think of her determination to save every child in my country. Of course, love was the key element. Love proved to be more important than money. It was Celia who taught me that the children would form sibling-like relationships with each other. When we started watching and learning from the children we discovered that they often adopted their caregivers as parents. How thankful I am that I did not fire the administrator of the orphanage in the capital! The children looked upon her as their mama or auntie.
I had ample opportunity to learn about loving orphans when Celia installed a hundred children in The Compound, which is the president’s residence in my country. That woman had more creative ways for providing homes for our children--even to the point of ordering my military about. The key element in our transition away from foreign adoption was to help our children form sibling family groups within an extended family of other orphans who became cousins. The people in my country are still very close with their extended families so our plan for the children fit well with our culture.
In the very near future I hope to work with other countries to find more ways to provide for our children within our country. I am convinced that all our children especially those with brain damage from pre-natal exposure to alcohol do better growing up speaking their birth language, eating the same foods their parents ate, and living in a culture with extended family support. Learning how to convince each child in our country that they are thoroughly and completely loved should be the highest priority for leadership. When we provide for the most helpless and vulnerable, then we are providing for everybody.
Thank you for listening to my story,
President Jake Jaconovich
Aka The M’TK Sewer Rat