Adoption, Humanitarian

I STAND WITH ADAM :: Korean Adoptee in ICE Custody, Faces Deportation

STANDWITHADAM

If you are connected with me on Facebook at all, you’ve seen my outrage at immigration officials over the despicable treatment of Adam Crapser, the Korean adoptee whose abusive adoptive parents failed to file for his U.S. citizenship.  Adam, now 40 and married with children, is facing deportation to South Korea.

This is outrageously and unequivocally wrong.

Adam Crapser is a victim, and should not be held responsible for the wrongful actions of two different sets of adoptive parents while he was still a minor.

Adam’s story is long and tragic, full of horrific abuse and injustice. Left at an orphanage in South Korea at age three, Adam’s first set of adoptive parents surrendered him to the state of Oregon after years of abusing him. His second set of adoptive parents “choked, beat and burned Adam; the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of Adam and his foster siblings was so severe the Crapsers served jail time for 11 counts of child abuse.” [1] While Adam was sixteen, drifting in and out of homeless shelters in Oregon, he returned to the Crapser’s home to retrieve his Korean Bible and a pair of rubber shoes he’d worn at the orphanage. The court considered this burglary, and Adam was sentenced to twenty-five months in prison. [2]

The Crapser parents withheld the adoption paperwork and documentation rightfully belonging to Adam, something that’s not uncommon in abusive situations. In 2012, Adam finally obtained his own adoption documents from the Crapsers and began the process of filing for a green card, in an attempt to straighten out his legal status.

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But his initiative was not taken kindly by immigration officials.

To the Department of Homeland Security and to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, it does not matter that Adam was a victim of abusive parents who failed to ever file the paperwork necessary for him to become a naturalized citizen. Immigration officials do not care that Adam was already a legal adult by the time the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 automatically enacted automatic naturalization for adopted children under the age of eighteen. They do not care that Adam took it upon himself to file for legal status, something his parents never had.

To immigration officials, Adam Crapser is a simply an illegal immigrant non-citizen with a criminal record, and they can’t wait to get him out of this country.

On February 8th 2016, he was taken away from his wife and children by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and placed him in the Tacoma Detention Center, where he waits to find out if he’ll be deported to South Korea.

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I want to say the threat of deportation is unfounded.

I want to say it’s unlikely that he’ll be deported.

I want to say Adam Crapser’s case is an anomaly, an aberration.

But the truth is, adoptees have been deported before. [34] Thanks to immigration reform in 1996, any adoptee whose parents failed to file for citizenship is view as a non-citizen immigrant, and if a run-in with the law results in a prison sentence — even for non-violent crimes — they’re subject to deportation. (Remember Adam’s twenty-five month prison sentence for burglary, a.k.a. retrieving his Korean Bible and shoes from his parents’ home?)

Kairi Abha Shepherd’s adoptive mother died, never having filed for her to become a naturalized citizen. Kairi was deported to India. [5]

Jennifer Edgell Haynes’ adopted father sexually abused her, and never filed for her to become a naturalized citizen. Jennifer, who has multiple sclerosis, was deported to India. [67]

Joao Herbert’s adoptive parents didn’t file naturalization papers until he was seventeen, and the process wasn’t completed in time. Joao was deported to Brazil, where he was murdered. [89]

John Gaul III’s adoptive parents also didn’t file in time. John was deported to Thailand, and can never enter the US again. [10]

Rudi Richardson was born in a German prison. His birth father was a U.S. serviceman. He was adopted into an American family, but they never filed for him to become a naturalized citizen. Rudi even served in the U.S. military, but age forty-seven, he was deported to Germany. [11]

Monte Haines a.k.a Ho-kyu Han served in the U.S. military, too. But his adoptive parents never filed for him to become a naturalized citizen either, and he was deported to South Korea. [12]

These are all complex cases — and sadly, there are so many more. But they all have one thing in common: irresponsible adoptive parents who failed to file the paperwork necessary for their children to obtain U.S. citizenship. Over 18,000 adoptees from South Korea alone still aren’t U.S. Citizens.

These children are victims, not perpetrators.

And in the case of Adam Crapser, he has been a victim many times over. Not only did his adoptive parents — both sets! — neglect to file for citizenship, they also horrifically abused him. And now the United States, the only country whose language he knows, is ready to boot him out forever, separating him from his wife and children. Won’t you join me in standing up to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and let them know you  STAND WITH ADAM?

Demand that Adam Crapser be removed from deportation proceedings.

Demand that “Adam and all international adoptees adopted by U.S. citizens should be granted U.S. citizenship immediately.”

SIGN THE PETITION 

or 

SEND A LETTER TO JUDGE JOHN C. ODELL AT THE TACOMA DETENTION CENTER

We can’t sit back and do nothing as Adam’s human rights are violated. We can’t do nothing as his family is torn apart. This is no time for apathy as immigration officials life is destroyed even more.

This is happening on our watch, and we must act.

Crapser


For more information on the Adoptee Rights Campaign organized by the NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium), click here.

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Adoption, Humanitarian, Inspiration

ADOPTION :: 1.1 Million Diapers

Show Hope to Orphans | 1.1 Million Diapers | Give Diapers Now!

I’ve metioned Show Hope a few times before (see 18 Gifts for Giving Tuesday and A Cure for First World Problems). Founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Show Hope runs several care centers in China dedicated to providing loving care — and medical help — to special needs orphans. The care centers go through more than a million diapers each year!

Let’s help Show Hope stock the diaper cupboards —

  • $30 for one package
  • $60 for two packages (choose this option and a donor will fund an additional package in your name!)
  • $90 for three packages/one case
  • $180 for six packages/two cases (choose this option and you’ll receive original artwork from the kids one of Show Hope’s care centers!)

Give Diapers Now

Show Hope Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Adoption, Humanitarian, Inspiration

ADOPTION :: The Drop Box Film (Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak’s Baby Box) in Theatres March 3, 4, 5

The Drop Box Film // in theaters nationwide March 3, 4, 5 | Adoption, Korea
Image Credit: The Drop Box Film

I remember when I first read a news article about Lee Jong-rak, the South Korean pastor who built a small street-facing deposit box on the front of his home.  On a sign on the front of the box, Pastor Lee wrote, “This is a facility for the protection of life. If you can’t take care of your disabled babies, don’t throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here.”

And people did. People brought babies there.

In the night, in the dark, in the cold, in the heat, in the spring, in the winter, in all hours and times in between.

Since 2009, people have placed more than six hundred babies there.

The Drop Box Film - Arbella Studios Photo
Image Credit: Arbella Studios

Six hundred.

There’s something about this baby box — something about Pastor Lee’s reckless, wild, all-in, risk-everything love — that won’t let go of my heart.  Of course the baby box is not the answer to all the issues, to all the problems, to all the hurts and wrongs in the world.

But the drop box is life to the one child who is placed there. “The babies that come to me,” says Pastor Lee, “are the ones who’d otherwise die.”

And now the story of Pastor Lee, the story of these children, will be in theaters across the United States on March 3, 4 and 5.

See a list of theaters near you playing The Drop Box Film: check show times and purchase tickets.

Website | The Drop Box Film  // Facebook // Twitter // Buy Tickets

Give Diapers, Bottles, Hope, and more to Pastor Lee's Drop Box Babies

P.S. You can give diapers, formula, wet wipes, bottles, straws, cups, clothes and more to Pastor Lee’s drop box babies! Read more about the Kindred Image Boxes of Hope project.

Adoption, Christmas, Humanitarian

CHRISTMAS :: 18 gifts that matter for #GivingTuesday (and every day)

#GivingTuesday is a terrific opportunity to look up and away from ourselves. Of course, this outlook shouldn’t be confined to just one day a year, but I can’t argue with a movement that encourages us all to reach out. And so, in celebration of Giving Tuesday, here are eighteen different ways to give a gift that gives. A gift that loves. A gift that matters.

For more information about a particular gift, simply click on that photo.

Image Map Provide EDUCATION IN CHINA Provide for FOSTER FAMILIES IN CHINA Provide ORPHAN CARE IN CHINA Provide MEDICAL CARE IN CHINA PROVIDE REFUGEE RELIEF around the world PREVENT human trafficking and exploitation Provide CLEAN WATER around the world FEED A HUNGRY BABY for a week PROTECT vulnerable women Provide WARM COATS AND SHOES CARE FOR Romanian orphans SUPPORT a crisis pregnancy center in Taiwan Sponsor a baby in a TAIWANESE ORPHANAGE Provide SURGERIES for infants and children in China Provide EVERYDAY NECESSITIES for care centers in China Sponsor the EDUCATION of a child in Ethiopia Build a HIGH SCHOOL in Ethiopia Provide a VOCATION for an adult or care for a child

1. Love Without Boundaries | EDUCATION | Provide education and school access to at-risk children in China ($10+)

2.Love Without Boundaries | FOSTER FAMILIES | Provide a family environment through foster care to orphaned and at-risk children in China ($10+)

3.Love Without Boundaries | ORPHAN CARE | Provide access to care, hope and healing to orphaned and impoverished children in China through LWB’s programs ($10+)

4. Love Without Boundaries | MEDICAL CARE | Provide medical care and surgeries to orphans and infants/children whose parents would not otherwise be able to provide care. ($10+)

5. Samaritan’s Purse | REFUGEE RELIEF | Provide tents, heaters, food and more to displaced people ($125+)

6.Samaritan’s Purse | PREVENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING | Provide education in at-risk locations to empower potential victims to recognize and avoid exploitation and trafficking. ($100+)

7. Samaritan’s Purse | CLEAN WATER | Provide a water filtration system to give 3,500 people access to clean water ($20+)

8. Samaritan’s Purse | PROTECT VULNERABLE WOMEN | Provide literacy classes, maternal/child health education, protection and support for victims of gender-based violence, and more. ($30+)

9. Samaritan’s Purse | ONE WEEK OF FOOD | Provide food for a baby or nursing mother for one week. ($9+)

10. Samaritan’s Purse | CLOTHES & SHOES | Provide warm coats, clothing and footwear to displaced people in refugee camps. ($25+)

11. Anchor of Hope Romania | FOSTER CARE | Provide family-like environments and other vital care for orphans, abandoned babies, and at-risk young people in Romania. (Any amount) To give directly to Christian & Marie Burtt, full-time missionaries serving in Romania with Anchor of Hope, click here.

12. Taiwan Xi En | CRISIS PREGNANCY HOME | Provide nurturing care for infants and expectant mothers at the Taiwan Xi En House of Hope. (Any amount)

13. Taiwan Xi En | SPONSOR A BABY | Provide diapers, formula, clothes, shelter and caring nannies for abandoned and at-risk infants 0-2y at the Taiwan Xi En Orphanage. ($50/mo)

14. Show Hope |  SURGERIES | Provide heart, cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to orphans and infants/children in China. ($65+)

15. Show Hope | EVERYDAY NECESSITIES | Provide diapers, food, and clean drinking water to the special needs orphans living at the Show Hope care centers in China. ($12+)

16. Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | EDUCATION & FOOD | Provide access to education and nutritious meals for a school-age child in Ethiopia. ($19/mo)

17. Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION | Provide the resources necessary to build a high school so the Adami Tulu + Ziway students can continue their education. (Any amount) Or, donate in honor of a loved one, and send a card to a friend! ($20+)

18. Lifesong for Orphans | WHERE MOST NEEDED | Provide life-giving care for children, and sustainable micro-business opportunities for adults, in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zambia, Cambodia, India and Ukraine. On #GivingTuesday [2 December 2014] only, your gift to Lifesong for Orphans will be multiplied 4x through a matching grant when you give using this link. (Any amount)


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Adoption, Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: A cure for #firstworldproblems

We all need something to keep our priorities in order. Something to keep us grounded, for lack of a better word, something to prevent us from wallowing in our #firstworldproblems.

Sometimes, all it takes is to stop focusing on ourselves. I’m preaching to myself here. My daily complaints do NOT constitute suffering.

Not when Naghmeh Abedini has to tell us this about her husband, Saeed [Saeed Abedini is an American citizen from Utah, imprisoned in Iran for his faith.]

Not when these sixty-seven people have nothing left.

Not when I have a family to call my own, and this girl (shown below) has none.

adriana2

Almost every day, a story about a child lands in my inbox, and every time, I read it. Not because I love sad things. Not because I want to have pity. But because the broken parts of this world will never change if we’re too busy holed up in our comfortable little havens. Because the broken pieces will never be picked up if we’re too busy creating ourselves a safe little bubble.

I want to look up. I want to look outward. I want to make a difference.

Because every child matters.

RESOURCES a.k.a. a partial list of the blogs and newsletters I read.

Gladney Center for Adoption’s Waiting Child (Blog)
Subscribe by Email: Click here and you will see the subscription field in the upper right hand corner of your screen

* Taiwan Xi En (Website) 
Subscribe by Email: Click here; only the red ’email’ field is required

*Bringing Hope to Children (Facebook)
Subscribe by Email: Click here

* Show Hope (Website)
Subscribe by Email: Click here

* And of course, the Ziway + Adami Tulu Project in partnership with Lifesong for Orphans — the organization through we which we sponsor children.