Archive for July, 2008


July 31, 2008

Is it just me? It seems that life is crazy all the way around. Shorty, my favorite horse, has been crankier than a rattle snake. He has been charging, biting, and kicking everything in sight. My cat, Smoky, has been irritable too. The dogs are just plain hiding out. I know that we are going to have a solar eclipse soon. We are the rise with another moon. Two of my sisters are having issues with their kids acting up. Heck mine are too. Is it just the heat? What gives folks? I know that we have been facing 100 degree plus weather here. We have had several fires this year as well.



July 31, 2008

Have you ever wondered what the lemon laws were in your state? What is a lemon law anyway? It is when you purchase a car that has gone sour on you. Many people do not know what they are. They get suckered into purchasing a vehicle that is a bad deal. Sometimes it leads to getting an attorney to help you fighting for your rights.

California Lemon Law

Consumer Law Partners can help resolve this issue for you. I have had lemons for vehicles in the past but I did not know what I could do to get my car fixed. Consumer Law Partners also has on their website a list of facts that can help you determine if you do indeed have a lemon of car. So you can turn this lemon into lemonade.

Lemon Law information

This fact page also helps you determine which laws are for which states. The top link above will help you with California’s lemon laws. You can check all of the states in the country. The map shown on the Consumer Law Partners will give you each state’s laws. They can also hook up with an attorney to help you resolve your issue with your car.

state Lemon Laws

So if you have a lemon of a car and need help, check out Consumer Law Partners. Get the facts and make lemonade out of the lemon you bought.


July 30, 2008

I found this article today. Doesn’t the author realize that her child is an adoptee too? Geez my adoptive mother doesn’t even remember the date that she brought me home. She celebrates my birthdate, not the date that she got me. Disgruntled adoptees is not a good term to put into an article. She came off as entitled to me. That term is most definitely not a unifying one. I wonder what will happen if her adoptee becomes a disgruntled adoptee. Many adoptees can have a good adoption but we are disgruntled over the way adoption is practiced in the United States. Its just another example of “gotcha day.”

Here is the story.

Happy Adoption Day or not?

POSTED July 28, 10:37 PM

Friday was our son’s third adoption day so we behaved as many adoptive families do, we celebrated. We have long believed that the day our family finally became a family was a day to celebrate, much like AJ’s birthday is a day of celebration.

AJ’s birthday is the day of his birth, the day he was born to his birth mother. His adoption day is the day a Russian judge signed papers to proclaim that we could be a family and we are proud of that.

Unfortunately, many people don’t believe that we should be allowed this family celebration because they believe we, as adoptive parents, are celebrating the day he was “ripped” from his biological family.

What many people don’t understand (and I am talking about some disgruntled adoptees) is that every adoption is different. When we went to Russia we unknowingly adopted a special needs child. We adopted a little guy who may never cognitively understand the concept of a birth mother even though he may somewhat grasp that he was adopted from an orphanage and that he lived there before we came to him.

He answers questions about his adoption day, about his orphanage or about Russia. But to him they are just scripts. At the age of five he tells us he lived in Russia but he does not understand it.

So, when we celebrate his adoption and being a family it is to remind him of who he is, where he came from, and just how much we love him. He had a difficult time attaching to us so it is so wonderful to see him smile at us and tell us how much he loves us.

So, what did we do to celebrate? We did what he has been wanting to do for months (and what every little boy wants to do). We took the train downtown to the city. We ran an errand to the Guatemalan Consulate and then walked down Michigan Avenue. AJ loves to window shop.

The one store he wanted to go into? The Disney Store...

After one surprise purchase at the store our hunger pains drew us to Ed Debevic’s, a classic Chicago stop. Unfortunately, AJ’s sensory issues got the best of him and he ended up eating his french fries on the train. He did, however, love the orange pop and the dancing servers.

On the tran ride home he boasted to every passerby that he got a new firetruck for his adoption day and he was as proud as he could be. For him it was about the special day and spending time with us not about being “ripped from his birth mother”. As he gets older and asks more questions the day may be filled with more grief and the celebration may be more of just a dinner or a card but it is the day we remember becoming a family…becoming three.


July 30, 2008

Are you a blogger? Do you have a WordPress blog? If you do, would you like a new WordPress template? has what you need. They have recently revamped their design on their website. Oh and the great thing? Its free. These WordPress themes are absolutely free. They have tons of stylish and stunning themes to make your blog really stand out My personal favorite is the Blue Phoenix WordPress theme. The phoenix represents an adoptee. When an adoptee begins their journey and search, they become a phoenix rising. They come out of their journey forever changed whether or not they enter reunion. This could be a real symbol of change for an adoptee.

wordpress themes

So if you want to make a change and stand out on your blog, look at They really do have some cool stuff.


July 29, 2008

I was checking out the previous adoption agency, Buckner International. I went to the COA website.

Here is the message that I received:

Reported Attack Site!

This web site at has been reported as an attack site and has been blocked based on your security preferences.

Attack sites try to install programs that steal private information, use your computer to attack others, or damage your system.

Some attack sites intentionally distribute harmful software, but many are compromised without the knowledge or permission of their owners.

What this message means:

What is the current listing status for

Site is listed as suspicious – visiting this web site may harm your computer.

Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 1 time(s) over the past 90 days.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 5 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 5 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 07/27/2008, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 07/27/2008.

Malicious software includes 5 scripting exploit(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 0 new processes on the target machine.

Malicious software is hosted on 1 domain(s), including

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

Over the past 90 days, did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

Has this site hosted malware?

No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

How did this happen?

In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.

Next steps:

Now I am sitting back laughing my big butt off. Oops!!!!!! I wonder what happened.


July 29, 2008

Before the prospective adoptive parents go running to adopt in Russia, there is some vital information that you folks have got to know. Buckner is a Texas adoption agency. I have a few places that you need to read and research yourself in order to proceed with this agency. In Texas, one of the good things is that you can research an agency and its reputation with the state. Buckner is not a good agency. There are no ifs or ands about it. They are a NCFA member agency. I believe one of the founding members. They are also members of the JCICS.

First things first. You can go to the Texas Family and Protective Services website. Click on the Residential services. You will see adoption services. It will take you to a list of adoption agencies. You can check any of them out yourself. You can review the complaints and inspection violations of all the adoption agencies. Buckner has several branches. They all have complaints. Buckner also does domestic infant and foster care adoptions. Many of the complaints are basically not getting enough background information on prospective families, not getting background checks on its employees and volunteers, personnel training is not done adequately, and a few others. They have a history of slap shod work.

Here are the financial facts just for Buckner International according to Guidestar for 2006.

Gross receipts were $7,586,822.
Total assets were $213,614,260.

Five Highest Paid Employees (financial compensation plus benefits):

Patricia Puckett, Payrol Manager, earned $74,141.
Bruce Johnson, Controller, earned $113,853.
Russell Dilday, Director of Communications earned $95,702.
Pat Williamson, Executive Assistant, earned $88,907.
Rita Boothe, MG Total Comp, earned $88,277.

Highest Paid Contractors:

HRHG Benefits Services, Inc, earned $607,641 for employee benefits.
HR Houston Group earned $246,229 for Human Resources.
Grant Thornton earned $82,047 for auditing purposes.
Buchanan and Associates earned $160,156 for Information Systems support.

Highest Paid officers:

Kenneth Hall, President and CEO, earned $358,721.
David Kihneman, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, earned $308,267.
Tony Lintelman, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, earned $234,775.
Jack Davis, Vice President and General Council, earned $236,964.
Scott Collins, Vice President of External Affairs, earned $170,103.
Steve Ingram, Vice President of Information Services, earned $163,142.
Lloyd McWilliams, Vice President of Facilities Management, earned $171,051.

They also paid $18,000 to a political advocacy group for the purpose of educating and informing legislators about issues that potentionally present a negative impact on those served by Buckner’s programs. I guess this was the NCFA.

Other organizations that they are associated with:

Buckner Children and Family Services.
Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services.
Buckner Retirement Services
Rio Grande Children’s Home.
Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The article in the Dallas Morning News states that they have now received accreditation from the Russian Federation. Here is the press release:

Buckner International, the Dallas-based, Baptist-affiliated charity, reports that its adoption operation has been re-certified by Russia. Here’s a press release:

Buckner Adoption Receives
Accreditation from Russia

By Jenny Pope
Buckner International

DALLAS – Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services received its official accreditation certificate from Russian authorities July 28, completing a two-year process that caused Buckner to suspend Russia adoptions until the notification was received.

“We are so thrilled to receive this good news,” said Debbie Wynne, director of Buckner Adoption. “Russia is our oldest international adoption program, so it’s a privilege to be able to continue serving these children and to find them loving homes.”

“It has been a long process, but we’re so thankful to the Russian government for working with us to get to this point,” said Albert Reyes, president of Buckner Children and Family Services. “Having this accreditation means Buckner is able to provide loving homes for Russian orphans.”

In May 2006, Buckner Adoption’s annual accreditation expired. Laws required Buckner to file paperwork as an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Russia before reaccreditation would be renewed, Wynne explained. From that point, the Ministry of Education had to review paperwork and receive signatures from multiple government agencies in regions across the country.

There are currently 38 U.S. adoption agencies accredited to facilitate international adoptions from Russia.

“The good news about all of this is that Russia passed a law which provides accredited adoption agencies with a non-expiring certificate,” Wynne said. “We used to have to reapply for accreditation each year.”

With the non-expiring certificate comes much stricter regulations and close monitoring to assure adoption agencies are working with utmost integrity, she said.

“It has been our goal all along to continue to operate with the highest standards in adoption,” she said. “We want to show them that they made a good decision.”

There are currently 20 families who have waited for more than two years with Buckner to adopt children in Russia.

Felipe Garza, vice president of the ministry and missions group at Buckner, said his heart goes out to the families who have been waiting for two years to complete adoptions in Russia through Buckner.

“There are 20 families who have been waiting and can now send in their dossier to get started,” he said. “Talk about faith and patience. There’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.”

It is Buckner’s goal to move these families forward in their adoption as quickly as possible, he added.

“Buckner will seek new ways to develop its Russian adoption program to help meet the needs of Russian children,” he said.

Part of the new development includes providing the government with support, education and training to facilitate their own domestic adoption and birth parent counseling programs.

There will be some “starting over,” Wynne explained, to establish new relationships and learn new regulations in the country. “It’s going to take a little time.

“We need prayer to help us move through this transition and re-establish things quickly.”

With more than 700,000 estimated orphans in Russia, there is still a huge need for adoptive families; especially families open to adopting older children and sibling groups.

“Most of the children we see available for adoption are 5 years old or older,” Wynne said.

In addition to facilitating adoptions from Russia, Buckner works with several orphanages, providing consultation, staff development, foster care, and humanitarian aid. Russia was the first country Buckner entered in 1995 when the Dallas-based organization began working outside the United States.


July 29, 2008

This is just sickening. Really sickening. You have to read it to believe it. They are going back into Cambodia. Its not just Americans who have this disease.

Here is the link and the story.

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July 29, 2008

Gap-year mission to find baby orphans for France

Eighty-three of the 103 children abducted by the French charity, Zoes Ark

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From building homes in shanty towns to helping to save rainforests, travelling to exotic locations for well-meaning projects has long been a gap-year rite of passage for many a 19-year-old. This year French volunteers have been set a more challenging task: to scour the world for orphans for childless families in France.

The volunteers – described as a Gallic Peace Corps – will be asked to put prospective parents in touch with abandoned children in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The government plan follows claims that France has been outflanked by Spain, Italy and the United States in the fiercely competitive world of international adoption.

However, critics question whether school and university leavers have the experience or tact for what are likely to be highly delicate missions.

“My qualm is that the legalities, moralities and ethics of inter-country adoption are very complex, and students coming out of university will not be prepared for that,” said Julia Fleming, of Oasis, the UK overseas adoption support group.

Rama Yade, the French Under-Secretary for Human Rights, said yesterday that the first group of volunteers would arrive in Cambodia next month before being sent to 20 other countries over the next year.

They will be based at French embassies under a programme financed in part by the Foreign Ministry and in part, Mrs Yade hopes, by private donations. “They are going to use their talent and their generosity in a fine cause with a mission to improve the access for children without parents and to help them to get out of institutions as quickly as possible.”

Ministers also hope that state intervention will curb the sort of initiative that sparked outrage last year when six members of Zoe’s Ark, a small French charity, were arrested in Chad as they tried to fly 103 children back to France. They said the children were orphans from neighbouring Darfur. But it emerged that most were from Chad and a few were not orphans. The case illustrated what critics say are the risks of international adoption. “Everywhere there are unscrupulous intermediaries ready to steal babies and sell them to people wanting a child,” said Jean-Jacques Choulot, a paediatrician and author of the French Guide to Adoption.

Mrs Yade said: “My aim is to put order back in all this.” Her initiative follows the launch in 2005 of l’Agence Française de l’Adoption, a government agency based on a model developed in Scandinavia and Canada, meant to help couples in what is often an administrative and human minefield.

But childless French families claim that they are still at a disadvantage. A total of 30,000 families – mostly couples unable to have children but also families with children and single people – have been approved as adoptive parents by the authorities. With only about 800 French children adopted every year, most prospective parents look abroad. Last year, however, 3,162 foreign children were adopted by French families, a 20 per cent fall since 2006. French families say they have been pushed to the back of the queue in former colonies such as Vietnam and Mali because they do not have the diplomatic support or financial clout of wealthy Americans.


July 27, 2008

Living on a ranch in Texas, a cowboy needs workboots. A cowboy has to protect his feet. Cowboys work fence, pastures, cattle, and penwork. Workboots are the way of life for a cowboy. So my hubby and I checked out Workboots USA. We both like the Wolverine boots. These work boots help protect our feet from possible snake bites, fleas, ticks, chiggers, and other lively creatures. Rocks have been known to break through on regular tennis shoes when working fence line. A cowboy can’t leave his feet vulnerable like that.

steel toe boots

So if you do either cowboy work or even work outdoors, you should check out Workboots USA.


July 27, 2008

This came up in the google alerts again. Another adoptee is on the losing side of the law. This girl lost her country. Her adoption was not done completely. Her citizenship papers were not filed. Her adoptive mother dies. Her family basically abandons her again. She pays for her crime of forgery. Homeland Security steps in again. They put her in jail for deportation. In doing this, she violates her probation from the other offense. Because they can’t get a control on the illegals in this country, they go after the adoptees. Why isn’t the NCFA and the JCICS jumping on this to help these adoptees? Oh that is right, they have already made their profit. Time to move on right.

It is simply a famous fuck you to the adoptee. It doesn’t matter your nationality, citizenship or even your humanity. Shame on the adoption industry for leaving the adoptee out in the cold. You are hurting the adoptees of this country with this kind of shit. That infuriates me. In time we shall see more and more of this coming out.

Here is the story:

Meth, adoption, and deportation
By Rebecca Walsh, Tribune columnist.

Shepherd was one of those women who is going to save the world – one sponsored child in Guatemala, one stray cat at a time.
Before she died of breast cancer in 1991, Shepherd adopted eight children, paid 50 cents a day for another dozen around the globe and took in every lost pet she found. She kept important documents in two tote bags in her car. They were eventually stolen. And she died before she could file citizenship papers for her youngest – a little girl adopted at 3 months old from India.
None of those details should matter.
Except that 12 years later, Kairi Shepherd got caught forging checks to pay for her meth habit. Erlene Shepherd’s quirky record-keeping went on trial. And as a result, her daughter has been snared in the morass of sometimes conflicting American immigration laws – legally adopted, a permanent resident, but still facing deportation to a country she never knew.
“They tell you you slipped through the cracks and that’s your luck,” she says.
Kairi Shepherd’s troubles started with her mother’s death when she was 8 years old. She was passed between older siblings (her maternal grandmother suggested offering her up for adoption again). A co-worker introduced her to meth – for its bursts of energy and appetite-suppression – when she was 17. In 2003, she was charged with forgery. Immigration came calling. Then she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
She has been in jail most of the past year, detained by Homeland Security, shuttled between four county jails from Ogden to St. George, sometimes allowed to take her MS medication, sometimes not.
All of which is to say: Enough already.
“Yes, she made mistakes. And she should be held accountable. But she has been,” says her older sister, Kristi Tafoya. “Why aren’t adopted children protected?”
Prosecutors use their judgment in cases where mothers and fathers leave their babies to bake to death in the car, with maliciously repetitive drunk drivers, or when con men bilk their LDS ward members out of millions. But not, apparently, in this all-important application of post-9/11 red tape.
Unable to staunch the flow of undocumented immigrants slipping over the Mexican border, government lawyers are going after the ones they already know about, the ones they can: immigrants who came here legally, then broke the law. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regional spokeswoman Lori Haley says the agency works closely with local law enforcement to identify those who should be deported. Kairi, it seems, is on that list.
She is not unique in Utah. Immigration officials also tried to deport 25-year-old Samuel Schultz last year after he was convicted of felony car theft. Schultz’s mother adopted him from India when he was 3 years old and she, too, did not complete his citizenship paperwork. He appealed all the way to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, which upheld his deportation order.
Congress has attempted to streamline adoptees’ citizenship applications. Until 2000, parents simply had to fill out a form before a child turned 21. Erlene Shepherd’s daughters believe she filled out the paperwork but never filed it before her death. After 2001, legal international adoptions automatically confer citizenship on children adopted by U.S. citizens. But 26-year-old Kairi’s birthday missed the new deadline by a matter of months.
Twice, immigration Judge William Nixon has dismissed the government’s Notice to Appear against her – once because everyone involved in the case, including prosecutors, assumed Kairi’s legal adoption would grant her citizenship, and a second time because her volunteer attorney Alan Smith argued the government could not refile its Notice to Appear to try to change Nixon’s original ruling. Undeterred, local ICE prosecutors have appealed to the agency’s Board of Immigration Appeals.
“It’s really a garden variety case of how bureaucracy operates,” says Smith. “From their standpoint, they’re just doing their job. From my standpoint, I would like a little more equitable discretion to be exercised in a situation like this, where you have a young lady who has gotten off on the wrong foot.”
Kairi has left a 40-pound box of supplies – clothing, a pair of shoes, pre-paid phone cards – with Immigration, just in case. If she is deported and India accepts her (the country has refused to take in U.S. deportees in the past) she and her sister plan to buy a plane ticket to London. She won’t even leave the airport in Delhi.
“She’ll die in India,” the older sister says. “If [deportation] happens, she’s got to be OK.”
Meantime, Kairi has been charged with violating her probation for the original forgery charge. She didn’t notify her probation officer she was being held all those months in jail by Immigration. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.


July 27, 2008

It seems like more and more countries are putting restrictions in their adoption laws. Azerbaijan is another country to do just that. I am also sure that there will be additional changes to come out of Russia. From what I understand on Russia, they follow the U.N. convention on the rights of the child.

In this article, the Azerbaijan government is requiring visitation and reports on the child for up to three years after the adoption. They also make it very clear on how the adoption fees will be charged. The other interesting part to this is the agency has to be Hague accredited but they also have to be accedited by the State Committee for Problems of Family, Women & Children. Its only by the looks of it for two years.

Here is the article.

Azerbaijan endorsed order of certification of adoption by foreigners and non-citizens of the country

Baku, Fineko/ The Cabinet Ministers issued Decision #166 from July 22, 2008 on approval of “Order of certification of bodies given juridical support in the area of adoption to foreigners and non-citizens of Azerbaijan. The Cabinet press service reports that foreigners and non-citizens of Azerbaijan can adopt children in the country through central bodies of juridical support of certification.

Activity of accreditation body bears non-commercial character. The accreditation body cannot receive unfounded finances relating to adoption or any other profit. The body can be paid necessary finances relating to expenditures, including for legal assistance, wage to employees, registration of documents and gathering of data about life of children. Cost of services is defined by the signed agreement.

Accreditation authority is given for two-year period. Bodies of foreign countries acceded to the Hague Convention on Protection of Adopted Children can acts in Azerbaijan if central bodies (State Committee for Problems of Family, Women & Children) give a relevant permit.

Accreditation bodies should provide data within 24 hours to central body abut depth of the adopted child, treatment towards the adopted child, non-adaptation of the child in the new family, refusal from adoption or transfer of the child to another family.

Bodies desiring to get the right of accreditation can be decline in case provision of false information, negative reference, difficulty to protect the child and in other cases.

Accreditation bodies should report to central bodies about conditions of life and raising in the family of the adopted child. In the first year of adoption a report should be submitted for 7 months after five months of adoption have passed. The second report should be submitted for at least 13 months after 11 months of adoption, the third one for at least 19 months after 18 motnhs of adoption, the fourth for at least 25 months after 23 months, the fifth or at bat least 37 month after 35 months of adoption. In necessary cases the report can be presented after three years and before the adopted child reached his lawful age.

Accreditation bodies should keep confidentiality of data and documents presented in the process of adoption.