Friday Links

1. Indonesian couple cares for orphans. From CNN. Pilot moonlights as father to 47

Soehardi, a 53-year-old Indonesian pilot living in Singapore, and his wife, Peggy, look after 47 children at the orphanage. They have a personal relationship with each one, and consider them part of their family. The couple named many of the children since they entered the orphanage as babies — some of them tiny victims and refugees from the conflict in East Timor.

Soehardi has three children of his own but says there is no difference between what he supplies for his biological children and those living at the orphanage. They all get clean living spaces, vaccinations, food, clothing and vitamins from the United States.

"Mr. Budi is like my own father," said Gerson Mangi, 20, a resident at Roslin Orphanage. Mangi, who came to the orphanage when he was 12 years old, had no means to attend school after his parents died. Now, thanks to the educational training at Roslin and a private sponsor, he is in medical school.

Soehardi, whose father died when he was 9 years old, can relate to these young people's hardships.

"Food was hard to come by and my school fee was very difficult," Soehardi said. "The refugees just really strike me so badly and [I want] them to be better off."

Read the rest of the article here.

2. Children's Book Author Creates Forum for Tween Girls and Their Moms.

When Eden was growing up, her parents–writer Darlene Friedman and children's book illustrator Roger Roth–recognized a dearth of books dealing with adoption within a school setting. And school, of course, is where children spend the majority of their time.

"We wanted to introduce the idea of adoption–and in this case, international adoption–in a non-threatening way, and help make it okay for children who might feel different for any number of reasons," states Friedman. "Our intent with the book is to start a healthy dialogue and cement the idea that what we share as humans is far greater than our differences."

Eden's Garden is located at www.edens-garden.com and the corresponding facebook page is also called Eden's Garden, located at www.facebook.com.

3.Thanks to Indi for this article. Wealthy Australian couple fight for custody of African girl; mother says she was duped into relinquishing her daughter. From the article:

In court documents seen by The Australian, the couple say the girl's mother – an African immigrant who works six days a week and is behind in her rent – signed a piece of paper entrusting the child to their care after acknowledging that she would find it difficult to look after her.

The mother's version of events is different. In court documents, she says it is common in African culture for the care of children to be shared among friends and neighbours.

She was happy when the wealthy, white couple – in particular, the wife, who is in her 60s, and whom she met at her workplace – offered to babysit the girl for free while she worked.

The arrangement, which began in mid-2001, soon expanded, with the little girl staying at the couple's home overnight and then for longer periods, and taking overseas holidays with them.

Matters came to head last December when the mother told the couple she wanted to take the girl, by then 7, out of the private school and get her into "normal clothes" and "African culture".

A short time later, the wife went to police and made a formal allegation against the mother, saying she believed she had circumcised the girl during the October school holidays. 

Female genital mutilation is a crime in Australia.

The girl was immediately taken into state care, and placed with African foster parents while police and pediatricians investigated.

The allegation has since been proved false; the girl has not been circumcised or cut in any way.

According to court documents, the mother was "distraught and distressed" at the "completely false and fabricated allegations" that she now believes were made "in a desperate attempt to keep the child" from her.

Read the article here.

4. A woman with Turner's syndrome adopts a girl with the same condition. From NJ.com: A different kind of adoption story. Story and video here.

5. Earlier this past year I posted about Americans arrested and charged with illegal adoptions in Egypt. Here is an update on the story. The couples were convicted of child trafficking and forging birth certificates.

6. Ethica reports that adoptions from Sierra Leone have been stopped. Read the brief here.

7. Photos of actor Katherine Heigl's adopted Korean daughter are here.

8. Finally, I have a new blog where I will be writing about social work that is not just relevant to adoption.

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One thought on “Friday Links

  1. on the heigl site, some funny follow-up headlines…..
    Come meet some GREAT ADOPTABLE ANIMALS this Saturday, September 19th from 12 noon-3pm at Encino Park!
    Get your dog fixed for FREE

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