“Both Ends Burning” and baking cakes

For months I have been vaguely aware of the pro-international adoption organization, Both Ends Burning, whose subheading is “a global initiative to transform the process of international adoption.” The movement’s founder, Craig Juntunen, and his wife, Kathi, are adoptive parents to three children from Haiti. Juntunen has published a book, Both Ends Burning: My Story of Adopting Three Children from Haiti (Outskirts Press, 2009), and is producing a film, Wrongfully Detained, scheduled for release in September 2011.

I haven’t read the book and know little about the organization beyond the information on its website. But today I came across this  ABC15.com interview with Craig Juntunen, Valley group aims to make international adoption easier, and was able to listen to and watch Juntunen discuss the subject himself. The clip contains footage from what appears to be orphanages around the world, as well as a delightful singing performance by Juntunen’s son. Many of Juntunen’s views on international adoption mirror my own, including his belief that children everywhere deserve a nurturing, permanent home. However, I believe that government bureaucracy and shutdowns–current or threatened–and not expense or length of time, are the prime deterrents to international adoption. (Expense and length of time are folded into the bureaucracy, in fact.) More people might consider adopting internationally if they weren’t so afraid of the process.  And that, of course, requires careful collaboration and negotiation between countries to create a system that is transparent and fair to all, which is another extremely complicated subject.

But anything that raises awareness of international adoption deserves to be shared. Please watch and see what you think.

On a different and related subject: To cover the costs of adopting her then-14-month-old daughter, born in China with a cleft lip and palate, Kateri Lambrose baked cakes. Hundreds of them.  I’m posting the link to Cakes create a miracle not only because it includes the recipe for “Kateri’s Chocolate Candy Bar Cake,” but also because I was so moved by Kateri’s story. I’ll end with her words:

 ”You go into this thinking you’re going to bless this child, and give them a family they deserve. In reality, it’s the opposite. She has blessed our family so much… I cannot imagine our lives without her. It’s incomprehensible.”

I know what she means.


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3 Responses to ““Both Ends Burning” and baking cakes”

  1. Kateri says:

    WOW!!!! Thank you so much for linking my article on your blog. I did want to add that, as with any news reporting, there are subtle errors in the article. But for the most part, my family was pleased to have our story told in such a nice way.
    The newspaper is running the recipe again today because there was an error. For anyone that wants to bake the cake, please note that the recipe should read 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda. It currently lists baking powder twice :(
    Thank you again!

  2. JennSI says:

    Craig spoke at the Center for Adoption Policy’s (CAP) annual conference. Are you familiar with CAP? I think CAP’s philosophy is also in line with your views. Their blog is at http://www.adoptionpolicy.org . You can listen to the conference via Itunes if you are interested, just click the conference button on the left side of the blog homepage. It is a full day worth of speakers. I highly recommend listening to Kelly Ennslin’s talk which is part of the third panel following Craig’s speech.

    P.S. – I enjoyed your book and am enjoying your blog as well.

  3. Jessica says:

    Happy to link to such a great story, Kateri. Congratulations to you and your beautiful daughter and family. As for the subtle errors–I know how that goes. :-) Happy to hear that you are satisfied on balance. As one who knows nothing about your story except what was reported, I can say that it all sounded wonderful to me!
    Will make a note of the baking powder/soda mixup. Who can resist such a cake?! Thanks for writing.

    Hi JennSI: Thanks so much for posting the link to CAP and the important work they do. I’ll look for/listen to Kelly Ennslin’s talk; appreciate the heads-up. So happy that you read my book, and grateful you enjoy my blog. Those of us who are passionate about adoption do tend to be passionate to the extreme… speaking for myself, at least!

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