"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier."
How is this even possible? Yesterday's headlines claimed that Angelina Jolie was on her way to Viet Nam to pick up a baby. Today's headlines say she's got the baby and she is on her way home.
Someone explain to me how an international adoption like this goes off without a hitch.
Wait. I can explain it to myself. Money Talks and Bullshit Walks. Angelina bought a baby. Like one buys a pair of shoes. Like one picks out a pound puppy.
She walked into a country, just like she's walked into a couple of others, and she announced:
"Greetings rulers and bureaucrats of this poor pissant nation! My name is Angelina Jolie! You may remember me from such movies as "Gone in 60 seconds" and "Cyborg 2". Well. Maybe not from the second one. Anyway. Long and the short of it is, I am a wealthy American Actor Woman, and did I mention wealthy means I have lots and lots and lots of money. And I know you simply MUST have SOME children SOMEwhere around here who are not wealthy, meaning they have no money... and it is a pain for the state to continue to feed and clothe them. As shabbily as you do. So. I would like one to take home, to make his life better and take them to a place where they can get punk hair cuts and get profiled in Us Magazine for the clothing they have on. Now. Give me a baby please."
And the government of that country said "Yes!" and probably didn't fill out a stitch of paperwork, or get a lawyer in a room. That country said "Red Tape? What is that? We don't know what Red Tape is. There is no such thing!"
Angelina smiles that big, beautiful, famously lip-enshrined smile, flashes her feline eyes, and hands them a big huge bag of money. She promises more money for the millions of kids that she can't adopt. After all. People are already making fun of her for adopting three and birthing one.
She would, you know. She would adopt more. Because she's got the money. And the big heart, of course.
They swoon and thank her. They cry and bow down to her. This Emissary of Capitalistic Kindness. This sultry angel who wants to save at least one baby from EVERY continent! (Good luck with Antarctica, sweetie. I hear their orphan population is limited to seals and penguins).
Yes! Hallelujah! My friends. That's how this international adoption, and her other two, went down.
There is a little girl in Siberia. She's not so little anymore. She will be 16 soon. Which is not good.
She's not a baby. She's been In The System for the vast majority of her whole life.
There is a woman in Massachusetts who wants to adopt her, just like Angelina adopted her babies. She already adopted the girl's little sister. Now she wants to adopt this one here, and reunite them. Make them a full, real family. Finally.
There is this wonderful woman, who has no money, but whose heart is caked with gold and jewels and the blessing of kindness and the indomitable spirit of God. There is this woman. Without the big bag of money.
And you know what?
The bureaucratic system in which her daughter flounders and does not flourish recently told her, "Yeah, we have decided there will be no further international adoptions. Ever. Have whatever kind of day you want, just don't have it around here."
And they have slammed the door on her hopeful face. That's it. Sorry. There's a short pier, honey. Go take a long walk.
Now. Unlike Ms. Jolie who walks in on Wednesday without and walks out on Thursday with, there are lawyers and government agents and representatives. There are agencies who would like the big bag of money. There is the endless, eternal No.
This woman, unlike the Angel of All Orphans Angelina, has no sack of cash. If only she had a sack of cash. A big, honkin' sack of cash.
What does one do?
What to do.
A big part of me would like to find Ms. Jolie and kick her awfully hard. Really super awful hard. But she'd probably immediately kick my ass. I saw her in Tomb Raider. She was mean.
And another big part of me wants to ask her for help. Call her up and say "okay. I'm sorry I accused you of picking out a baby like one would pick out a pound puppy. I'm just awfully envious. You seem to have a veil of untouchable super-magic about you. And I have this friend. See? Help. Please. Help us. Help her."
That's unlikely to ever happen. I wouldn't have the wherewithal to get ahold of the woman. I tried to google her for an official representative, an agent, something. But there are only fan pages that come up.
This has been eating me alive all day. I sit at a desk and right over the top of my cube there is a news ticker that is running on about 11 screens that I can see without even rotating my head. And all of them had a crawl-full of how great a story it is that Angelina got her baby. Maddox got his buddy.
And Anya can't get anything.
And I have been fuming. Surly. I pounded through my work today without the sense of satisfaction that I was getting something done for getting something done's sake. I was pounding through because I wanted to pound someone.
I hate her. I hate that Angelina Jolie woman... I really don't mean that -- hell, I don't know the woman. I know that she is trying to make the world a better place. She is trying to better entire cultures and countries. She is somehow qualified (just because she has a passion for helping) to be a UN Ambassador. Bags of money and good intentions get a lot of good press. Being good looking and incredibly caring go a long long way. I can't knock her for her efforts.
I just wish that there wasn't this incredibly painful process for people, not just my friend Keri, but anyone aside from Angelina Jolie or Madonna or some other oozingly-wealthy broad, who wants to adopt internationally.
I know people who have waited for years and years, who had to fill out the same applications repeatedly. Who paid thousands of dollars in fees, just to get a child from another country. Or even from this country.
It just breaks my heart and consumes me. It really does.
And I just don't know what to do. So I can only imagine how my friend feels. Her daughter doesn't know that the government will not allow her sister to be adopted. Yet. The truth will devastate her. It is what she holds on to. It is her only wish.
Angelina? can you give us a call?