Re: [Slovak-World] How We Adopted
- Fabulous, thanks for that Martin.
--- Martin Votruba <votrubam@...> wrote:
> Up to 90% Slovaks say in opinion polls that they=== message truncated ===
> don't like the
> Roma/Gypsies. Schools sometimes group Romani
> students in special
> classes for children with learning disabilities,
> which, some take to
> be genetic. Fewer than 2% of the people in Slovakia
> registered Romani
> ethnicity in the census, but the Romani activists as
> well as the
> authorities estimate that close to 6% might do so if
> they weren't
> faced with prejudice. A Slovak blogger has written
> about her
> experiences with the adoption of a Romani baby girl.
> I post its
> translation below.
> votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
> x x x
> [a Slovak blog, Feb. 26, 2007]
> by Natalia Blahova
> HOW WE ADOPTED
> "Don't adopt a Romani child," the psychologist kept
> telling us during
> the pre-adoption counseling, "you have your two
> White children, it'll
> catch people's eyes, all that'll come of it will be
> trouble for you."
> However, he also told us not to adopt a girl
> because she could be
> molested by someone in the family.
> "Oh my, it won't be our blood! What are you
> thinking!" our extensive
> family said, for whom she is now their dearest
> LAGS BEHIND
> She lags behind both mentally and physically. She
> cries all the time,
> vomits a lot, doesn't sleep at night. This was the
> information we got
> as we were picking her up from the children's home.
> Regardless, she'd
> attracted our attention with her interest in the
> world around her.
> She observed every movement in the room, everyone
> who began to talk.
> We didn't need to be psychologists to guess that
> enchanted energy was
> hiding inside the still little body, and a desire to
> live and enjoy.
> We were getting ready to undo the spell.
> CRIES ALL THE TIME!
> As I was changing her diapers for the first time and
> got my first
> glimpse of her "just a little sore buttocks," I
> thought I'd faint or
> throw up. In addition to the usual children's
> cosmetics, we also
> bought a pint of Betadine, washed her wounds with it
> regularly, and
> covered them with a thick layer of creme. We first
> heard her cry
> after three months when a very ugly uncle came for a
> visit and pulled
> faces at her.
> VOMITS A LOT!
> We saw her vomit for the first, and last, time at
> the children's home
> when they allowed us to feed her. The nurse brought
> a baby bottle
> with a cut-off pacifier, which left a hole the size
> of my little
> finger in it. Full of doubt, I put it in her mouth,
> and the whole
> content of the bottle disappeared in her within
> seconds. "Enough,
> enough!" shouted the nurse, "that's just froth now,
> she'd be
> swallowing air."
> But the baby went on gulping at full throttle.
> Clearly, she was
> hungry after a 4-hour fast. And since it went in so
> she shortly regurgitated half of the carrot puree.
> Then, with her
> stomach half-empty, she waited another 4 hours for
> more of the same.
> A vicious circle.
> At home, we fed her when she asked for it. Not by
> crying. She
> wiggled discontentedly, lost her good mood... We
> mothers recognize
> that. She's never vomited since.
> PHYSICALLY UNDERDEVELOPED!
> That was undeniable. A 6-month-old child should be
> able to roll from
> back to belly, sit, reach out for toys while
> sitting, grasp things.
> Our Alz~betka wasn't even able to lift her head when
> she was
> belly-down. She was like a rag doll. It was
> actually something of a
> problem to caress her in your arms. When you pick
> your baby up, it'll
> automatically hold on to your sides with its knees,
> it works with you
> a little as you carry it round. But try to mind and
> cuddle a baby
> that's never been carried in arms. Her tiny arms
> and legs would hang
> by her sides, she kept sliding off us like a little
> We went for a neurological exam 2 months later. The
> doctor shook her
> head in disbelief when she read the release report
> from the children's
> home. The child meets all the benchmarks, she's
> completely all right.
> Her diagnosis: 'social deprivation corrected in a
> home environment.'
> The 'correction' hadn't come from any special
> exercise or constant
> attention. She was simply at home. A week before
> her first birthday
> she set off running towards me across the children's
> room. With lots
> of giggles and joy for her. I cried.
> MENTALLY UNDERDEVELOPED!
> How would you judge the mental retardation of a baby
> who had no reason
> to be interested in the world of her existence,
> which consisted of the
> spindles of her crib and the nurse?! We saw
> children there who made
> more effort, whose motto was 'Don't give up!' She
> had given up. She
> didn't initiate contact sensing that she would only
> get as much as
> they had to give her, and nothing would help her.
> So she lay and
> stared at the white ceiling.
> If only you could see the fright and horror in her
> eyes when we took
> her outside in a stroller for the first time. "The
> ceiling is blue!
> And something's shining so brightly in my eyes."
> Terrible noises, a
> dog barked, a car passed. Each event caused a
> scared start. But we
> threw her in the water and she swam. She was able
> to make more than
> two-word sentences within a year. Now she never
> stops talking. Don't
> let me forget. She's taking English classes with
> her brother. She
> can count to ten in English, name colors, some
> animals, sing a few
> English songs. After 6 months in kindergarten.
> DO NOT WORRY
> "You know, I was born to an auntie, and she couldn't
> take care of me.
> And mommy and daddy were just looking for exactly
> such a pretty girl,
> so they took me from the children's home with them,
> to our home."
> That's what 4-year old Alz~betka tells you upon
> request today, and
> very happily so. It's a beckoning story for her,
> which, moreover, she
> uses to flatter herself. That's why I'm not anxious
> about the day
> when someone tries to present it to her in an
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