Posted by: 지인 | 14 December 2007

In the babysitter’s words

I didn’t get a link to the original source of this article, but I believe it is this article from the Telegraaf, a Netherlands newspaper. This is a translated version, as interpreted by some fellow transnational adoptees. There are some grammatical errors and wobbles here & there, but I think you can get the general idea.

Former baby sitter: Jade got less attention

By Bart Olmer

AMSTERDAM – “There was my sweet Jade for whom I baby sitted two years long and with whom I played -… My heart broke when I read yesterday’s Telegraaf.”

These are the words of the Dutch former babysitter of Jade. ‘I’d love to adopt this child myself and give her a good home!”

She stutters, overtaken by emotions and is looking for the right words. Her use of language makes clear she lived for many years in Asia and Latin America, as daughter of a Dutch couple that for their work travelled the world. That’s how she got to know Raymond Poeteray, the Dutch consul in Hong Kong, of whom the whole of Asia speaks in shame these days.

Less attention
Yearlong the babysitter, in the meantime settled in The Hague and studying, lived in Jakarta, nearby Raymond and Meta Poeteray, who were then attached to the Dutch Embassy in Indonesia. She was a regular guest of the house and saw from close how the diplomat couple, who already had a 7 year old son, adopted the four-month old Korean girl. “But since the beginning I felt something was wrong: they gave her much less attention as their own son. It got wrong since the beginning.”

The former babysitter knew Jade until her second year. ‘IN the evening I looked after her. During the day there was an Indonesian woman who looked after Jade constantly. But Meta treated Jade directly as not her own daughter. Their son, by the way, was very fond of Jade.”

The Dutch babysitter, who yesterday cried dire tears about Jade’s fate, remembers her as ‘very sweet, but also very quiet’. There is absolutely no abuse in the family, she says.

‘I am very angry at the adoptive parents Poeteray. I could hate them for what they did. I am amazed by their action. You don’t do such thing. When you adopt a child, you are fully responsible. It is not a dirty sock, which you throw in a corner. The girls is not a piece of dirt? I would like to adopt her myself. Make sure she gets a good home. But whom should I call for that in The Hague?”

The babysitter denies that Jade would have behavioural problems, as is being said by the Dutch ex-parents. “She was very quiet. But I can of course only speak for the first two years, not what she became later on. That her adoptive parents say there are problems with eating is incredible. You should just work on that. Patience, take your time. Give her a chance. But the strange thing is, Jade at anything at home, she ate anything. We have not noticed an eating disorder. The parents Poeteray speak about a difference in culture, but that’s a lie: the girl was already in their family at the age of four months. She was shaped by their education!’

The former baby-sit is very worried about the current emotional well being of the child. ‘I am doing everything to find out where she is now. Jade must be very confused. She can impossibly understand what is going on. She sleeps in another bed, with unknown people, at a unknown address. She is being damaged in a terrible way. My baby-sit child is somewhere all alone, that hearts me terribly.

Apart from the avelange of furious reaction from the Netherlands and the whole of Asia, the revenged diplomatic couple gets support of Huub van ‘t Hek, chief editor of the magazine Perspectief, a magazine about parents and children in youth care. He has understanding for the diplomatic couple:

“It may sound paradox, but breaking up with your adoptive child can in exceptional cases be in the interest of the child. If you adopt a child of four months, you don’t know what you get into your house. I do not know what happened at the time with this child, or if there is possibly a genetic problem.

Most foster cares do more than the average parents. They work very hard for the well being of their children. Bu ta child can by psychologically so damaged, so unadapted, so unreachable, that it is not able of any bonding. Such children remain ‘bodemloos’. In such cases it is not ‘dumping of children’, but parents are simply broken by the slow poison that is destroying their family life. In such cases ‘dismantling’ is in everyone’s interest.

While poking around at the Telegraaf site, I also saw this article, which is in Dutch, but running it through Babel Fish gives a crude translation, which seems to quote social welfare officials as saying that there is actually nothing wrong with Jade, other than crappy, clueless parents. (OK, I added the bit about the parents.)

I remain deeply disturbed by this whole situation, but less and less shocked.



  1. ah fuck… I want to bring her home with me. So, according to the experts and social workers, they found no evidence to back up what those fucktards said about her… why does that NOT surprise me?
    Gawd. The thought of that little girl, confused and alone, not knowing what’s happening, why she’s been removed from her ‘home’ (the word being used in a very loose context here)… aaarrgh.
    I’m so pissed right now I am pounding out every single goddamn letter on my keyboard… will have to take a huffy walk to calm down. Bastards.

  2. I think I shall have to skip committing to typed words what I think of that asshole and his bitch. I can only hope that somewhere down the road, like tomorrow, they get back a million fold what they have given.

  3. you know, i was wondering if anyone would step forward on jade’s behalf. glad to hear someone tell her side of the story. at least part of it.

    this whole thing is very disturbing. i agree with mama nabi. those selfish idiots. they need to be stripped of their positions. and their bio-kids? why not send them off to live with jade. they’re f***ing unfit to be parents.

  4. I’ve been wondering all this time, what her brothers think of the situation, if they feel protective or at all fond of their sister.

    I can’t help but feel hopeful that Jade will prove to be resilient, as so many other adoptees have learned to be. I just hope she grows up knowing that it’s not her fault, not beating herself up for what’s happened to her.

  5. i don’t doubt that jade’s brothers will be given a different story of why their sister is suddenly no longer with them. the eldest is 14? that’s old enough to really wonder what’s going on and question…

    i hope for the same thing for jade….

  6. I’m sure you’re right, Nabbi. I would not be surprised if the sons are being told something quite reflective of the delusional nature of the parents’ explanations thus far.

    Jade is awfully young to be burdened with the task of making sense of her situation, but I still hope for the best outcome for her.

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