How The Stateless Project Became A Bridge To Overcome Barriers

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“Not qualified.”

I don’t know about you, but when I see those words, they tend to elicit a lot of negative emotions — discouragement, fear, worry. And when they’re given in response to something I truly care about, those words carry the sting of rejection and failure.

A brief background

In a recent post, I mentioned that there are no resources for stateless orphans - specifically families who are adopting stateless children.

If you’re a recent follower, you may not know about how my husband and I came to adopt stateless twins. We got a call one day asking if we would help and a few days later, I was bringing home the twins - nicknamed “Squirt” and “Squish” for the purposes of this blog. You can find the whole story here.

Through the process, my husband and I realized how many children like our girls are left vulnerable to human traffickers because of their stateless identity (or rather, lack of any identity).

To say or not to say

In fact, you may notice that I never mention our daughters’ statelessness in those first blogs. I was actually afraid to discuss it until we were able to get their birth certificates. At least we have some proof of their existence and identity now. And this is a reality for many parents with stateless children who are working towards or are stuck without citizenship - they feel vulnerable and alone.

REJECTED

The adoption process isn’t cheap. If we were Malaysian citizens, it wouldn’t cost as much but then we wouldn’t be able to get citizenship for our girls either. This is an ongoing battle for Malaysian parents right now.

Even though a fundraiser was started for us on YouCaring (which has since shut down), we are still a long way from raising the funds we need to finalize the girls’ adoption/citizenship. So, I downloaded an “adoption kit” that lists various grants available to adoptive families.

Again, and again, I’m finding out that we’re not qualified.

Not only is this discouraging, it makes me feel like somehow, I did something wrong. But what I’ve come to realize is that doing the right thing doesn’t always mean checking off everyone’s boxes and following the normal, accepted procedure.

So what’s to be done?

At first, I was inclined to sit and feel sorry for myself. But obviously, that wouldn’t do much in the long run.

I realized that my husband and I aren’t the only families in this situation ...

I started The Stateless Project with the hopes of raising funds for emergency situations. But why not use it to help other families like us too? I reached out to a couple families I know and asked if I could design a card specifically for them. Not only could they send it out to family and friends, 100% of the proceeds would go to them for adoption/citizenship expenses.

Current progress

Because we’ve only had a few orders, I’ve been splitting the proceeds between the two families, the emergency fund and us. Our proceeds are currently being put back into the project to cover the cost of printing.

We’ve also started reaching out to private individuals to explain our situation and see if others can help us raise awareness about the lack of resources for those helping the stateless.

Thank you for all of your support!

Even though “not qualified” initially felt like a barrier and even a reprimand, it’s turned out to be a challenge to face and overcome! And the support and encouragement from fellow Steemians (like @em3, @chrisrice, @public-eye, @homescoolkidz, @charitycurator, @myreader and @creativecrypto) has been super motivating!

So here we go ... one step at a time!

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I resteemed this post @helenoftroy and wish your project the very best.

I know that you want to serve and help others and I also believe that more people will be joining you in the future.

@fundition should help a bit 👍😊

Posted using Steeve, an AI-powered Steem interface

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Thanks for your encouragement and support @chrisrice! 😊

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I'm sure your hardwork will be pays off. The girls are so lucky to have a parents like you. Such s beautiful family. Blessings!

Thank you for the kind mention, we are more than happy to help!

It is exciting to be able to work together in the future!

Upvoted!

Best,

@charitycurator

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Glad to see your recent report! Just as a suggestion, it might be helpful to list the causes of the groups you’re supporting and what you hope they accomplish with your support. I saw some groups on your list that I didn’t recognize as having charitable causes and was curious ... but didn’t have the time to track down their mission statement. 😊 just a thought for a future post!

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Thank you.

In the middle of the report there is a list of 48 causes that we are currently supporting! We'd like to think that the causes we support are charitable and positive, ofcourse we are happy for feedback.

Best,

@charitycurator

Merry Christmas to you too!

Don't give up! i bet there are some funds still out there that you do qualify for. Can i inquire as to the reasons your application wasn't accepted. Residency or income?

Baby Steps are steps none the less! And puts you one step closer to the goal!

All the best and...... for your cute and positive Posts

Thx!!

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If it’s an organization that reports to the government, any 501c basically, then they can’t help adoptions in non-Hague countries or ones where placement has already occurred.

There may be some funding out there for non-traditional cases like ours, but it will probably take a lot of digging and word of mouth to find it. Most people in our situation raise the money on their own or have a private network of supporters. And we don’t know many who are dealing with the same legal complications we’re facing with the girls’ statelessness - only two in fact.

But thank you for your encouragement! One Steem at a time ... I mean, step 😉

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I see. Wow. lots of obstacles to circumvent and overcome. I can't imagine how that feels.

Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us!

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The main issue is that the girls were not ”placed” in our care by the government first.

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ah.... do they look at you as traffickers?? I certainly hope not. And I guess it hurts that you are not natives?

Best wishes with you. I try to stay up todate through Helen's blog.

Thx

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No, it’s not bad. It is just not normal according to western standards. Thus disqualified.

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And maybe the confusion is that the US government didn’t sanction the placement first. The Malaysian government had granted us guardianship and we will finalize the adoption through them. Then we go to the US for approval and citizenship. This is all according to procedures, but there are no US adoption grants for it that we’ve found. It would probably have to fall under a naturalization grant or something ... and I don’t think those exist.

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Well i wish you massive luck! i am sure it will happen. Just hope it is the shorter route. not the long and cumbersome route!

All the best!