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More Facts About US National Adoption Related Arrest in Belize and My Surprising Medical Refund

Some of you may have read the recent news about the recent US National adoption related arrest in Belize. They extradited Mary Mooney from Belize right around the time I got sick, held her in Miami for a week, and no one was able to tell her clearly why. Mary is still waiting for charges to be officially explained in court tomorrow and as far as she has been able to determine, they are based on a company she was employed by back in 2007 and 2008 and the indictment has to do with placement of Deaf and HIV positive children from Ethiopia.

I agree that it is important for news agencies to help the public be informed and part of this includes letting us to know who to watch out for. Seeing this story progress, I have gained a new perspective about how damaging it can be to label someone guilty (right down to the ‘mug shot’ picture everyone chose to use) without giving everyone enough facts to make an informed decision. What happened to consideration of a persons life, future and who they really are? Anyone could have found a nicer picture on Mary’s Facebook page, I picked a nice one for my feature image to this post. Of course doing so would not have matched the guilty criminal side of the story that was being reported.

As far as I read, not one news agency took the time to look at who Mary Mooney really is in the adoption word and what her track record has been so far. Please keep in mind I am not faulting anyone for doing their job based on the one report all of us saw, and that I am writing this from a personal point of view because I believe a second side of the story needs to presented.

The other thing nobody bothered to mention was the fact that Mary has been coming and going between North Carolina and Belize for years now and always had plans made and a plane ticket booked months ahead to go see her kids. Was there really a need to spend a large chunk of US taxpayers money, put on a big show and have Belize police deliver her to Miami?

They could have easily picked her up at the airport in the States anytime or at her place of residence. When in NC, Mary lived at her recently passed mothers house which matches her current drivers license. She was there for thanksgiving,her nieces’ wedding in early December, Christmas, and would have been back in March as she already had her return ticket booked well in advance.

To fill you in a little on Mary’s adoption resume, she was selected by the Council on Accreditation as a volunteer, has won some very honorable awards, and been written up in well known publications for her work in adoptions. This clearly shows Mary was passionate about her work and recognized for it. She specialized in placing children with disabilities such as downs syndrome, deaf and HIV children, knowing that in 3rd world countries these children will have have a very rough life.

Mary was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine which is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award.

Mary was a Volunteer Hague evaluator for the Council on Accreditation which is the agency hired to regulate Hague accredited adoption agencies in the United States. The COA does not take just anyone off the street and prides itself on selecting a high caliber of volunteers for the job. To read more on the criteria to be accepted and the role of volunteer Hague evaluators, visit the Council on Accreditation website.

Back in March 2001 Mary was dubbed the Ralph Nader of adoption for her advocacy work and efforts to bring ethics to international adoption in US News and World Report. Other publications that have covered Mary’s favorable adoption work include: The Roanoke Times, LA Times, Canadian Providence, MSNBC, and USA Today.

On a personal note, Mary Mooney is the kind of person who always considers others. She often cooks more than enough so she can share with the security guards in her building, who do not earn a lot and are always appreciative of a late night home cooked meal. Knowing we both skipped the cooking gene she often includes us on her food share delivery list.

Mary has told me how grateful she has been for all the support from her friends during this difficult life altering time. Over the past several years both Paul and I have come to know Mary as a very supportive friend, and we are both sending good thoughts to her and her family for a fair and speedy resolution. I hope that everyone who has been touched by Mary will say a little prayer for her during these trying times and keep in mind that she has always been a positive influence here in San Pedro, as well as in her native North Carolina.

Last week I became a member of a club I did not really want join, the ‘colonoscopy club; My cost to do so was $1040 for the procedure and $213 for the prep stuff to go along with it. It was bad, but also it not as harsh as I was expecting, after hearing everyone’s colonoscopy stories and watching Paul go through one first hand.

After all, how much fun can you expect to have not eating, chugging back 4 liters of salt water in 4 hours, and what comes after. The day of was not so bad either all things considered, you have to stop drinking water 6 hours before the procedure. I thought that would be torture because I have been having a hard time staying hydrated enough. I made it as bearable as I could by bringing a big bottle of water to do a few discreet rinse and spits along the way, and for immediate hydration afterward.

As soon as I got there, they were ready and I was ushered back through the ‘secret garden’ to the procedure room. I got changed into a stylish blue and white gown and a pair of rose colored pants with an opening at the back. The room was cold, so I was glad I packed socks, an airline blanket and a small pillow to put between my knees for comfort. After they hooked me up to the IV and administered the drugs it was not long before I drifted off.

Unfortunately I came to with a rough re-entry, the anesthetic had made me sick and Dr.Lerida could not finish the procedure. Everyone was so nice afterwards, and Dr.Lerida immediately produced a nice cold red Gatorade (which was heaven) and the other doctor tucked me in. They both comforted me as good as my mom would have if she was there.

Lerida, the other doctor and her receptionist/assistant reassured me that they have seen all kinds of aftermath, and I should not be the least bit bothered or embarrassed by what ever my body was deciding to do. Paul said the same as soon as he turned up to bring me home to rest, and boy did my body want sleep – a good solid 2 days worth.

When I went back for a follow up appointment yesterday, Dr Lerida showed me pictures of my insides, explained what everything was and that so far she did not see anything wrong. She went on to tell me they were only able to get as far as my spleen before I started throwing up, causing them to stop short. Then she surprised me with the news that as a result of not being able to finish, I was getting a $200 refund. I was given 2 weeks of new medication and a flight to Belize City for a 9:30 am appointment at Belize Health Care Partners for an abdominal CT scan, so they can check the rest of me and hopefully figure out what is causing my distended colon and pain.

Thanks for everyone’s well wishes and support. I will continue with behind the scenes work as best I can, so I do not have a huge pile up when I have the energy. But for now my top priority is resting and working on a healthy body.

P.S. Anyone have a reasonable shipping option from California to Belize or a closer source for wheelchairs? Lions Den urgently needs 3 new or very gently used wheelchairs with footrests and has asked San Pedro Red Cross to help get the word out.

belize doctors
Tropical garden at Dr.Lerida’s office
dr lerida rodriguez belize
Flowers in Dr.Lerida’s yard
belize shopping
Handy reminder on the way home that I needed to buy ice
tropic air belize
Sunset flight about to land
san pedro town
Sunset view from lagoon side of the island

11 thoughts on “More Facts About US National Adoption Related Arrest in Belize and My Surprising Medical Refund

  1. Lynn Stewart says:

    I know that Mary loves the country of Belize- so glad that so many there have reached out to share their love of her back- which is exactly what is happening in the states now. She has helped so many – take care of yourself and thanks for sharing!

  2. Henni says:

    Thanks for the kind words on Libber…She has been my best friend since college.As we all know the media seldom portrays good, and is always one sided. She’s going to be fine…it’s been a tough year…Tacogirl, thanks for having her back over there!

  3. Charlotte says:

    Best wishes to your friend Mary. It all sounds terribly unfair. These disadvantage children need more people like her in the world. Also sending prayers and best wishes your way.

  4. Carbunkle Trumpet says:

    Kuddos to what you said about Mary. She has been a friend of the island and a good friend to many of our common friends and sadly everyone is quick to condemn someone before all sides of the story have been told. I mean it took 4 US Marshalls to capture all 95 pounds of her to bring back to the US? I call crap on that, Speaking of Crap, what in the world is going on with you Tacogirl? Get better as I am not ready to get a weekly email from Tacoboy anytime soon. Feel the hugs and good Ju-Ju from Crime Free Memphis.

  5. Lisa says:

    The news paper did write their article about Mary
    As though they were guilty. And like they had
    been doing it for years. Thank you for sharing
    Mary’s accomplishments with us. People do
    need to know the whole story. Not pieces
    And dramatized.

    I hope all goes well with your test. Praying for
    A speedy recovery.

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