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December 04, 2008

More agencies under fire...

We've got another lawsuit filed. This time against Adoption Partner's. Info can be found here:
http://www.courthousenews.com/2008/11/13/Adoption_Agency_Accused_Of_Extortion.htm

In addition, a story has appeared about Celebrate Children which indicates that Florida DCF is investigating them. It can be found here:
http://www.seminolechronicle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2008/12/03/4937184fab40b

Posted by Kevin at December 4, 2008 09:57 AM
Comments

Glad to see this article and information shared with others. As a client of this agency who has now faced retaliation for also making a honest report to the State of Florida, I have to say that we have arrived at a very sad point in our adoption agency accountability laws in this country. When an agency can intimidate, threaten, refuse info, deny medical evals, and in my case, connect us to three different children over 2 years, with only one of them coming home, there is a problem! Three of the attorney/facilitators are also under investigation in Guatemala that this agency connected us to, and one of the children we accepted, Maria Fernanda, has now been returned to her mother in an apparent kidnapping as recognized by the police department and a judge in Guatemala City. The agency, of course, denys any knowledge of this, but we, as clients, sure didn't choose the attorney!

I do credit R. Klarberg at the COA for listening to AP's and PAP's, and fully investigating true complaints. But it is still unfortunate that law suits seem to be the only way for victims of these rogue agencies to have a voice. I am proud that many families, and attorneys have shown courage and determination for what is right and wrong. After all, the waiting children have no voice.

I also find the photo with this article most disturbing! IT is so sad that in the State of Florida the 'business of adoptions' can be advertised on a road sign in the same way you might find 'hot coffee' at a gas station. How distasteful and degrading to the waiting children and adoptive families. Florida really needs to re-evaluate the way they allow agencies to conduct themselves!

Elizabeth
former CCI client

ps- my hat is off to this reporter, she did a good job of exposing the need for reform in the Florida laws. I hope that will happen soon!


Posted by: ERE at December 4, 2008 01:58 PM

Iam glad to hear about AP. Back in 2002 when we started our adoption many families saw Joanne Mitchell for what she was, a liar. Although we did bring one little girl home through her it was with no help from Joanne. I owe it to the attorney that handled the case. Our other little girl has sat for 6 yrs waiting to come home. Joanne was using some horrible facilitators and attorneys. We got stuck with one of them and have paid the price for over 6 years now. During that time Ive seen many families hurt terribly by her lies and rude, angry treatment and threats. Many had to go to Guatemalan to finish their cases on their own. I know several that lost their referrals and fees and were never able to adopt after that.
I hope she is stopped forever.

Posted by: Glad to hear at December 4, 2008 07:38 PM

Elizabeth - Can you tell me what 3 Guat attorneys connected CCI that are under investigation? We didn't use CCI - but used an attorney that they also use a lot. Thanks,

Posted by: R at December 5, 2008 01:27 PM

This whole thing just makes me want to cry. We too used CCI for our adoption and had quite a frustrating experience. The long and short of our story is that we lost our first referral...supposedly our daughter was taken back at gun point. After almost a 2 year process we finally brought our daughter home. (our 2nd referral) I never felt like I was being told the whole truth and had to beg/"badger" Sue Hedberg to get information on both of our cases. I am thankful to have our daughter home with us, but I hate the fact that this is going on. I know that I wouldn't recommend CCI to anyone! Thanks Elizabeth for posting. Sorry we are in the same "boat".

Tami
another former CCI client

Posted by: Tami at December 5, 2008 02:36 PM

Tami,
That is SO odd...we were told that men with guns were present when violence occured in the attorney's office involving him and his mother when our 2nd referral was lost.
And, wow, when my first referral was lost after 9 mos., there was also mention of a man who had a wepon with him, being in the attorneys office with the mother while asking for her 9 year old back. She was terminal, and had already let her other daughter be adopted. She sadly passed away only months later, and never got the child back.
Man, there sure was a lot of trouble with 'men with guns'! Very sad indeed.

Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 6, 2008 10:40 PM

R.
The attorney/facilitators from my cases can be found on 2 list from last spring this site in the archives on CNA investigations from translated news accounts. I believe they were in the Prensa Libra or La Hora. There were two list that Marie S. translated last spring I think. If you can't find them PM me and I'll send them to you.
The attorneys for my 1st and 3rd cases were
Alphonso Close, and Carmen Esmerelda. The 2nd attorney/facilitator was Marvin Bran and he was not listed but had a warrant issued for his capture by the judge that returned my referral to her birth mom last Feb. So far, he is still missing, but his mother and her friend who actually did the 'coercion' (kidnapping) and handled the documents with our birth mom, have been arrested. Guatemala seems to be doing a lot more to be sure the corruption stops there then the US govt., in my opinion.

Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 7, 2008 09:01 AM

The bottom line is this: these persons were in "business" only tomake money. They never cared one fig for the children and families involved other than the checks they were sent. It is criminal that this type of business is allowed to operate in the US. Joanne & Todd Mitchell have fled the country for yet a second time when the heat got turned on them. Hopefully, this time that tactic won't work.

Posted by: olimomi at December 7, 2008 01:17 PM

we also got that story with our lost referral. how many times did this happen? if it happened at all? i am horrified... and deeply saddened.

Posted by: anon at December 7, 2008 01:49 PM

UNBELIEVABLE!! I always wondered if CCI had real knowledge of what EXACTLY happened in our first referral, but chose to make up this "taken at gun point" to cover something up. Hearing from you and others who have posted just confirms my suspicions. Well, I hope things get straightened out and that the parties responsible are punished and not the many hopeful forever families waiting for their children to come home. My heart is sickened...how do we prevent them from hurting others. I have told anyone my story when asked about our adoption and I WILL NOT recommend them. How saddening that they come off as being a "Christian" organization. Thanks again for all who are posting. I check back faithfully to see if anything else has developed.

Blessings to all who have been "touched" by Celebrate Children. We'll continue to pray for you and your children!

Posted by: Tami at December 7, 2008 06:07 PM

I had a brief encounter with Sue and CCI. Thank goodness we never formally signed on with them after our first agency closed. I got to experience first hand how many of you have likely been treated by that agency. Horrible ! We are thankfully still in process and communicating direct...but I pray for all those hurt by CCI. Blessings to you all.

Posted by: Lynn at December 8, 2008 09:16 AM

I just want to say: That I am thankful for this site and what it offers all of us in information, education and support. And, no matter what happens with these agencies, (and I do agree that they need to face accountability), that like everyone else, I feel incredibly blessed to have my daughter home from Guatemala! I do not credit the agency, but do realize my connection to them was important and for a reason, (even though it was difficult). I credit God for creating her life and for guiding her birth mom to make this choice, and for leading me to the good people I was able to hire in Guatemala to help me find the truth and finish her case.

In this time of sorrow for the tragic loss of one of our precious Guat-princesses, little Josie, we all have to know that nothing else really matters, not agencies, attorney's, facilitators, or money, or time,... but only the unconditional love we all have for the children of Guatemala, and the welcome support of each family on this site. Guatemala is a special country that has touched all our lives. The affection and devotion we all share for it's people and culture, and especially it's orphans, is greater and stronger and way more important than those who chose to walk the crooked path in adoptions. They will all face the ultimate judgment one day and none of us on earth can say what punishment would be appropriate for crimes against any child. But it is all really so minuscule in the big picture of our special group of families here! The sorrow these agencies have caused me and others is huge, but pales in comparison to the untold heartache little Josie's family is facing today. Only God and time will be able to heal this pain for them. A sad situation like theirs keeps our prospective on things in our lives in line. I know you all join me in thoughts and prayers for them as they face these difficult days. Josie's sweet smile will never leave any of us who have seen the light in her eyes. We are so thankful she knew she was deeply loved. And, we know she was indeed, deeply loved.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth
betsyleslie.com

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 8, 2008 02:15 PM

I believe it was about a year ago Joanne Mitchell was in with another agency, I dont remember who it was though. I remember it was with another country. The Mitchells seem to pop up under all kinds of means to continue working in the adoption world.
Also, one of the facilitators Joanne worked with was Guillermo Bosque. I was told he is under investigation as well.

Posted by: Glad to hear at December 8, 2008 07:47 PM

I used CCI, as well as one of the attorneys/facilitators listed in the comment above. I myself "lost" my first referral after two years. To this day I don't know where he is. Sue has zero interest in helping me locate him. She referred to him as a needle in a haystack. Thankfully I was able to bring my daughter home (our second referral), but I am still hoping to find the first little boy who remains in my heart. I am relieved that CCI, or more specifically Sue, finally has to face the consequences of her irresponsible (and that is nicely stated)behavior.

Posted by: NotForgot at December 11, 2008 11:42 AM

Notforgot,
I am so sorry for your hurting heart, as I do know the feeling of 'not knowing' where a child is that you feel attached to beyond words.
May I ask you if there was also mention of violence or men with guns from the agency when you got the story of your 'needle in a haystack' lost child (referral)?
After loosing two referrals with CCI, I never understood how someone just looses a child! It turned that neither of my lost referrals were actually lost at all...someone knew where they were ALL ALONG!
Other families have also mentioned men with guns or violent events related to lost referrals. It seems to be an unfortunate pattern.

Elizabeth


Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 11, 2008 03:16 PM

Elizabeth,

No mention of violence. But I am so amazed that so many people - Sue, the facilitator, the attorney, the pediatrician - could all collectively "lose" this child. Obviously this is a lie and they just don't want to tell me what happened to him.

Posted by: NotForgot at December 11, 2008 04:02 PM

Glad to see the Florida DCF is finally seeing what the Hague Council on Accredidation saw immediately: that Sue Hedberg has ZERO business being involved in adoptions.

Threatening a PAP for asking questions (when they start to realize Sue is a liar) by forcing them to undergo a psychological evaluation? That's EXTORTION. And repeatedly lying about referrals being taken at gunpoint? That story's getting tired, Sue. How many of your referrals now have been "taken" at gunpoint? What, like 6 now? And it's never once been in the news?

Well she sure has been. Here AND in Guatemala. People have figured out what she is all about. And I pray for the families and lives that lie broken in her psychotic wake of destruction.

She deserves jail. After the IRS gets through with her, I suspect she might get what she deserves.

Posted by: Lover of Justice at December 12, 2008 09:44 AM

It's been amazing to see how this discussion has grown. It saddens me to think of how many families got that story (child taken at gunpoint). It makes me sick to think I put my trust in CCI. I am grateful for my daughter and am so glad to have her home. I'm not sure what I would do if we were in process with them right now. Let's keep those families in our prayers and remember that whatever happens to Sue here on earth...eventually one day justice will be served through our Lord Jesus Christ. Is there anyone who is lodging complaints against CCI and knows how to go about it? I don't want to see anyone else be "used" by them and would be quite happy to see them out of adoption. Thank-you all who have posted and shared. I REALLY helps those of us who have gone through them and still survived on the other end!

Blessings to all,
Tami (former CCI client)

Posted by: Tami at December 12, 2008 12:40 PM

Tami,
I agree with you and the poster before you, Lover of Justice. But probably, nothing will change with this agency until families figure out a way to find each other, compare cases, and decide how or if they want to express valid concerns about the treatment they received, or violations they feel occurred during their process. If there is a group of former clients, I wish they would chime in here so other interested families could connect with them.
Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 12, 2008 02:40 PM

Tami you can direct your complaints to the woman Amy (I forgot her last name but it's in the article) with the FL Dept. of Children and Families. They are the regulatory body responsible for the licensing/overseeing of adoption agencies.

The Hague COA happened to interview (randomly) some of the people whose children were "taken at gunpoint". And people who were FORCED to undergo psychological evaluations when they confronted Sue with her lies. They were particularly grossed out by Sue's repeated use of "you aren't a good Christian if you aren't trusting us and trusting God. Which means you'll be a bad parent without parenting classes."

That plus the fact that they received numerous complaints - some so heinous, up to and including child abduction on the part of attorneys working with CCI, that they denied CCI from working in Hague Countries.

Basically if you feel like you were dealt with unfairly, the FL DCF is the best route to have her license further reviewed. That, along with the Seminole County State Attorney's office - if you feel a crime has been committed against you.

Also you can contact Joni Fixel - she is the attorney that is filing several of the RICO statute violation acts against some of these int'l adoption agencies. I'm sure Kevin has her contact info - or you can google her.

Posted by: Lover of Justice at December 12, 2008 02:57 PM

Is there a statute of limitations or something on how long one can wait before filing a claim against an agency? We are still trying to get our son home and are fearful of ANY retribution (Sue's hands reach far in Guatemala, particularly into certain hogars and certain attorney's pockets). We have since had to hire a new atty and are currently working with the CNA. Until we know w/out a shadow of a doubt our son is SAFE, we cannot afford to step out.

Posted by: CCI victim, still waiting at December 15, 2008 11:19 AM

I am still mixed - feelings of gratitude for bringing my daughter to me - and feelings of anger and confusion over who/what/when/where/why with my first referral. I hate calling a child a referral, but I can't really call him my son, either. Do you think anyone cares enough to look into these specific cases - to check out what happened to these specific children??

Posted by: NotForgot at December 15, 2008 02:52 PM

to "NotForgot"
I wanted to share part of our story b/c of yours: We ran into major trouble with our child's case less than 1 mth into the process. We were then strongly 'encouraged' to "trade referrals". Those were not my words, but Sue's. She acted like he was a pair of pants or something! She went on about how our case would have such a hard time if we proceeded, and how she "just got in" another baby. Yes, she said, "just got in", again as if they were products. It was/is disgusting. When we refused to "trade referrals", our case did go downhill with her. We found out later (thru the new atty) it was purposefully dropped. Paperwork was never filed when we were told it was, etc. Abandonment was never followed thru, you name it. We also found out she never paid our old atty his portion of the first fee we paid! Which, btw, she cashed and it cleared OUR bank within 4 days. When we pushed for answers, Sue berrated us and humiliated us saying that we weren't strong enough Christians to adopt (altho we had 1 Guat-born child at home, and was in process with 1 other at the same time and he's home now), that she didn't think she could work with us anymore b/c we were "too emotional", ETC. That's just the tip of the iceberg with our case.
I wanted to share that with you b/c yes, there are attys out there who are ethical and who will help you find the status on the child of your heart. It is not fair to 'only' refer to him as a referral, I agree. If you are able, I would pursue this; for closure & b/c who knows what really happened to that child. You may be the only voice that child will ever have. These are not isolated incidences. Sue sees a case may have trouble, and if the family does not cooperate under her terms (which usually means "trading referrals" or something awful happened to the child that forces a new referral, OR thru threats, whatever her vice for the day), she wants to wash her hands of it and/or distance herself.
I'm truly sorry for your hurt and am sending a big hug,

Posted by: CCI victim at December 15, 2008 04:01 PM

Tami, and Lover of Justice,
It is very important to get your complaints or concerns about any FL agency to the State of Florida office of DCF. However, Amy Hammett is out on leave until late Jan. and her boss, Maria Nistri can take the reports. There is such a strong need for reform in the laws that govern international adoption agencies in FL, and the DCF is aware of that, but as you know, things tend to happen very slowly. The agencies know that too! The codes and requirements of accountability are very minimal in comparison to many other states. The number of agencies located in Florida give good measure as to just how easy it is for them there.
Also, be sure any reports of concern you may have on any agency are sent to the Council on the Hague (COA). They have done a good job of investigating honest concerns and want to stay informed on the activities of all agencies. Even though some agencies were denied accreditation, doesn't mean they will not apply again.
It seems that until now, many families have stayed quiet, (and suffered silently,) but we all know that until the voices of AP's and PAP's are heard, nothing will change!

Maria_Nistri@dcf.state.fl.us
This is the person in FL to take reports right now

coainfo@coanet.org
this is the general address for the Council an Hague Accreditation
I would direct your reports to Jayne Schmidt, Hague Proj. manager
OR you can call them at 212-797-3000

Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 15, 2008 04:07 PM

Not Forgot,

Absolutely, someone cares about your pain from losing the referral of your first son! Other families who have also been through what you went through care! We are out here and just need to connect to each other some how. The State of FL cares, and the US DOS cares. And we all understand your feelings being mixed because you do have your daughter home. We all feel thankful for the children we brought home., but out of those who had very difficult processes, few actually credit the agency. Sure they connected you to the child you have home, but as far as things go, (and I have no idea on your status... some people say it's Karma, or just Fate that was meant to be, some say it was their faith in God and his plan for life,) I think you'll find a healthy mix of credit recipients among the AP's here.

I think it was meant to be for the 3rd child I was referred, to be home with me now, but I also KNOW that I have been a strong advocate for the other two children I am connected to by my agency, but lost,...because I was able to keep looking for answers and eventually got them. Not everyone can keep looking, for several reasons,,,it might be to expensive, or too emotionally draining, or they just want to put the sadness behind them and move on with life. Those are ALL valid reasons. For me, I just kept up my search because I could not sleep at night with out knowing if they were safe. I do consider them 'my' children of the heart, and I consider myself and advocate for them. Not everyone feels that way, and that's OK too.

But, Please be encouraged let the authorities know about your situation, and what happened surrounding your lost child, no matter what the year was. At a state level, it is important to share your case details. As an agency is re-licensed each year, the state may notice a pattern in the cases and want to investigate that. At a federal level, of course Hague Accreditation is important, and sharing your info with the Department of State is important. The US DOS will have to step up the accountability for agencies with international programs because there are some who are not Hague countries, and the number of complaints and cases hitting the courts are now growing as well.

So please, do share your case info with those who do care for the sake of the child you were connected to and for new families as they enter the adoption journey. If you need more contact information, please feel free to PM me and I'll help you every way I can.

by the way, I am really sorry for your heavy heart. There are many of us who do know how bad it feels, I still feel it for my first little girl who was referred to me. I think of her every single day and I just hope some one loves her. I know I still do.

Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 15, 2008 05:02 PM

CCI victim,
I agree with every word of your post, and your kind words to the other family who also lost a child were wonderful and filled with compassion. Please let me know through PM if there is a group of other families who have endured many of the same things. I had no idea there were so many of us out here. I was told many of the exact same things I have read in these comments! When you are going through this, you feel so isolated and afraid. The threats from the agency, and negligence in your case, or cases are horrible to worry about. You can't talk about it on the CCi yahoo group, because you'll be removed. I am glad we have at least connected on these comments, but wish we could all meet by email or phone.
I am thankful for guatadopt, with out this forum, I would have never known I was NOT the only one with these exact issues!

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 16, 2008 09:57 AM

I think I forgot to sign my name to that last post to CCI victim.
Email address is on our family blog if any of us who do not know each other, want to connect.

Elizabeth
betsyleslie.com

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 16, 2008 10:08 AM

The power of this is amazing! Thank-you all for your kind words and information on how those of us who lost children can somehow get "justice".

Not Forgot, I wanted to address something you mentioned about not wanting to call your child a "referral". First of all, that child will always be YOUR child. When we lost our first child to "men at gunpoint" after we had gone through the whole process...I felt like there had been a death in our family. Heartbroken doesn't even express how I felt. She will ALWAYS be my daughter and I pray daily that God keeps her safe and that she is healthy. I decided that maybe God brought her into our lives so that we become her "praying parents". I would love to know that she is okay and safe, but some times we need to just walk by faith. NEVER think of yourself less than her parent...for you are, even if he/she isn't physically in your arms.

I also wanted to say that I too struggle with knowing how to handle whether to lodge a complaint or not. I am VERY grateful that Sue helped us bring our daughter home even though we went through the ringer to get her here. I truly believe that the only reason our second daughter came home to us is because we didn't completely blow up in her face and stired the pot. At the time Sue had too many others shouting at her and I think she needed a few "calm ones" to bring children home so that she could keep going. I'm NOT justifying what she put us through and will NEVER recommend or give CCI a good rating. I guess I'm still working through all this. Emotions are still raw!

If there is anyway we could all connect outside of this post please let me know. The only way to get through this is to stick together. I know others who might want to "join".

Blessings to all,
Tami
former CCI client

Posted by: Tami at December 21, 2008 12:02 PM

Do any of you realize that Sue is in constant contact with the atty's in Guatemala, but has NO control over what they may do? (ethical or not) If they lie to her, how is she to know different? How are we to know different (as the adoptive parents)? Her main focus to get these children with no parents a home. She also focus' on getting the kids in orphanages support and homes (if adoptable). Adoption is risky, and tremendously emotionally taxing. Unfortunately the result of getting a child home is totally in the hands of the facilitator and attorney. If the crap hits the fan (so many ways that can happen) then Sue reports what she gets in her reports.

Posted by: Understandstheprocess at December 23, 2008 03:58 PM

Understandstheprocess,

My first question to you is...did you encounter any problems that have been mentioned by the rest of us? Did you loose a referral? Was he/she taken by gun point just as you were waiting for your travel date or mysteriously lost? Did you ever have to "fight" with Sue to get any information about your child? If your answer to any of these questions is "NO" then count yourself blessed and DO NOT presume to have walked in our shoes. I understand what you are trying to say and have every right to your opinion, but please understand there is ALWAYS two sides to every story and some of us got the "raw" end of the deal. I rejoice with you if your adoption with her went off without too many obstacles...but for some of us that's all we faced with her. We need to be there for each other and share. It's the only way that healing can begin.

Blessings,
Tami-former CCI client

Posted by: Tami at December 24, 2008 12:46 PM

People being held at gunpoint was NOT a normal occurance in adoptions. In fact, I am struggling to think of any incidence of it I have of outside of a CCI client.

If this was all just repeated what you were told, then any agency would have logically had to wonder why it only happened to them. It is not like Sue was not deeply involved with Guatemalan adoptions.

Kevin
Guatadopt.com

Posted by: Kevin at December 25, 2008 09:06 AM

Tami-
I believe, from what you write, that you are trying so hard to blame a particular someone for your misfortune in the adoption process. There are MANY MANY misfortunes in the process (in and out of Guat)
Yess, missy, I did loose a my first son in the process. When I needed info about both adoptions (2 of 3) I asked. Many times, she didn't have the info because the people who have ENTIRE control over the process etc, hadn't reported to her. But when they did, she reported the outcome. Or she was persistant in getting it FOR ME! When there were problems over her head of understanding (because it was the Guatemalan side of things that she doesn't deal with- then we had 3 way call to attorney) Believe me, it took some persistence on her side to find just the right moment that the 3 of us were available to do conference call. She knew I needed explanation, and she went through mud to get it for me.
Just the same type of mud she goes through to provide support for the children of Guatemala (in adoptions, not in adoption, unadoptable kids who still need financial support etc) If you would like to hear just how much more she has done, take the time away from your devious process of trying to put her in prison and LOOK to see just how much she does. There is a long history and plenty documented. What do I mean by that? Well again.. pay attention to just how much she traveled to Guate to see our children, video for the parents, seek out medical concerns by PAP, mission trips to orphanages and there is plenty more.
After 3 adoptions, and plenty of emotional distaste and struggle and many problems, I have walked in your shoes. Different problems, people & such. I now have 2 of those 3 kids home, and focus on raising them, providing a wealth of information about their birthcountry and how to be as giving ...as 99% of the folks involved in adoption (agency or parents).
Why don't you focus your energy, time and money towards giving back to the community and misfortunate, hardworking people of Guatemala. You might not feel so much vice in your head and life. What kind of example is that for the children you raise?

If your stmt is true about suggestion of a psych eval, what did you give her to present such an unstable state. My guess is there were grounds for that thought.
I shall pray for your children, and you, as well as bless those that still live in the poverty they were born to in Guatemala.

Understands the process
Proud Mother of 3
(2 Guatemalan angels)

Posted by: Understandstheprocess at December 25, 2008 01:26 PM

Understandstheprocess,

Let me say congrats that you were happy with your adoption processes and glad you got your kids home, hope you get your last one home soon. But, I am offended by your comments to the other poster, Tami. I don't know her, but you calling her 'missy' is demeaning, and I think saying that there must have been a stability reason to ask for an evaluation, is very unfair. Do you know her on a personal basis?

And as far has our processes go,... I think each family as the right to feel what they feel, and not be criticized by others. I have not seen anyone blasting those who had easy processes, or say that they are not telling the truth. I have not seen anyone say that want to put an agency out of business, (and it is sad to call adoptions business, but that road sign in the article, says it all), and I have not seen anyone claim that no goodness comes from adoption agencies in the form of humanitarian aid in Guatemala. You are way off base here and a bit overly sensitive it seems.

I am thankful for informative forums such as this, where you are certainly free to post how you feel about your agency and your process, but to flame someone else for their honesty, is not nice. I would suggest that you contact a reporter of your choice, and have them write your 'story of glory' in a newspaper and then perhaps you'll feel better.

And just so you know, the honest reports made to the State of Florida by concerned clients, are open to the public under the Sunshine Law. I believe that is how this reporter was able to talk with several families. I also think you might be better informed if you requested the complete copy of the files and read those reports. Perhaps a little more compassion towards those who did not have a good experience would be in your heart.

And let me say, that I am glad that all famous 'conference call' worked for you. For me, I just sat and listened to two other people talk in Spanish, and got nothing out of the call! You need to also consider those who did hire other attorney's in Guatemala to help them find accurate information on their cases. .. I also agree, the violence with guns surrounding lost referrals does seem to be unique to this agency! Had there been more of that going on, I think we would have read about it.

You need to realize that not everyone had the same experience that you did. Not everyone got accurate info upon request. I was told to stop asking questions, had my faith questioned and process threatened! You are free to believe what you like, but (the other posters) and I,.. know what we lived. I would not dare question you about your process! I totally believe you! But, we should not disagree with each other on the processes we had, because they were not all the same.

Also, I feel you are out of line to say that the other poster has a 'vice in her head' or imply that she is not raising her children right! In fact, now that I think about it, your post sounds a lot like a letter I received from another CCI client several months ago containing questionable mis-information. Your judgment against others here is unreal. I even have to wonder why you didn't post your name?

My name is Elizabeth, you have no way to possibly know what I have endured in my process, not the details, the painful frustrations or the untold joys of the child I have home now. I have adopted 4 other times with 4 other agencies, so I have a good comparison in my processes. I can tell you that I am glad my first process was not like the last one. I probably would have never adopted again! I can also tell you that my other children are aware that we have made an honest report of our process concerns to the State of FL. My husband and I don't see this as a poor example to our children. They see us stating what we feel were rightful concerns with-in our process about the children our family loves in Guatemala, to authorities. Now the authorities have the information, and can act as they see fit in governing, or not! In keeping ourselves in line with our beliefs, we have tried to contact the agency 'directly' countless times about our concerns! We have now faced what is in our opinion, retaliation from the agency shown by timing, nature, and content, in writing to the FL-DCF! You should know that our requests to talk with the agency directly about this have been completely ignored! I honestly didn't expect anything else from such professionals. If there are no real issues with your agency, I guess, I really don't understand what you are so upset about. Let's all be respectful of each other!

The best to you,
Elizabeth

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 26, 2008 02:23 PM

Understandstheprocess- Please tell me why my case was kicked out of PGN for six months and Sue didn't do a darn thing to help? She was in that country in March 07, May 07, and August 07 - She did not do one thing to get my case resubmitted to PGN. It was not until I told my attorney to get his butt into gear or else I was going to press charges against him.

Posted by: Hmm? at December 26, 2008 03:23 PM

Everyone probably already realizes that adoption "professionals" regularly read and post on forums. That may explain a lot.

Posted by: olimomi at December 27, 2008 07:58 AM

Elizabeth,

Thank-you for coming to my defense. I must say I was taken aback with the "harshness" I felt when I read "Understandstheprocess" and didn't know how to respond. Thank-you for truly understanding how I feel and knowing that you've walked in our shoes, means more than the world. I now know that I'm not alone and have the support of others. You are a God sent.

Understandingtheprocess...I don't really feel like I need to respond. Elizabeth posted exactly how I feel. I rejoice that you got everything you wanted out of your adoption. Just PLEASE understand that some of us got trampled on the way.

Thank-you all who have posted on this article and for sharing your stories. It has meant a lot to me!

Blessings this holiday season,
Tami

Posted by: Tami at December 27, 2008 09:08 AM

I, too, am sickened that someone who had a successful adoption and obviously no real issues with CCI can so readily attack someone else simply b/c they didn't. Those of us who have lived the nightmare, know the truth. Still, I could never condemn or even discount someone else's firsthand experiences, simply b/c I never experienced it myself. Unfortunately, in this case, I have. We are still living the nightmare, 14 mts later and our child is still waiting for us. If you have your child home, congrats. Truly, congrats. If you had no major issues in your process, double congrats. But just b/c you didn't, doesn't mean they do not exist in other cases...and yes, Sue has her hands in all of it. Make no mistake. Sometimes the truth is not only hurtful...it's downright scary.

Posted by: CCIVictim at December 29, 2008 10:55 AM

CCIVictim,

My heart goes out to you that your child is STILL not home after 14 mths. It is unfair! Know that we'll be praying your child home. Please keep us up to date. We will cry and rejoice with you. Know you're not alone and there are those of us who have walked in your shoes.

Hang in there girl...you are NOT alone.

Hugs,
Tami
former CCI Victim

Posted by: Tami at December 31, 2008 11:42 AM

Are you interested in discussing your problems with a journalist researching complaints? If so, please send a 'yes' reply to adoptionreport@yahoo.com

Posted by: journalist at January 20, 2009 02:48 PM

Just to let families know,... out of curiosity, a friend of mine emailed this reporter several days ago with interest in talking to them, and she has received NO response. One has to wonder about a reporter who will not give their name or who they work for, and then does not respond to a solicited email. Was this the agency staffers snooping? It seems a legitimate journalist, would give their name and respond to an email.

Elizabeth

Posted by: ERE at January 27, 2009 11:47 AM
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