The Badys’ Story, Part II:
Denise in the Hot Seat
Immediately afterwards Constance became acquainted with Diana Adams at East West Adoptions. She would help the Badys out.
When Constance told her about their treatment by Denise, Diana told Constance that she would not accept a dime from the Badys until they Badys accepted a referral from their agency. Constance and Alan thought this fair.
Constance would like me to add that within a week, Diana Adams sent them along a video of a young boy from Russia. She sent the video to the same verboten specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
It was like night and day. This
child was nothing like those on the videos they had received from BBAS. He was healthy, active and on-target for a child in an
Although they did not accept this child’s referral in late June, Diana sent them another referral of a three-year old boy of Roma descent who was housed in Moscow’s orphanage No. 2.
He was the one. This boy was healthy, developmentally
on target and ready to be adopted. They
informed Diana that they would adopt him and wanted to know what they had to do.
And they hadn’t sent her or the agency a dime, nor had they even signed
any formal contract with East West Adoptions.
Unfortunately, their paperwork was still tied up with BBAS and Denise had their
homestudy. They needed it in
order to complete their INS clearance. Denise
also wanted Ivan and Lisa’s videotape back to forward on to another family —
Towards the end of June Denise became very hard to reach. In the beginning, Denise’s office hours had included some evening
hours. Then they switched to strictly 9-5, preferably from 9-3 on Thursday and
Friday before Emily came home from school.
Denise sent this memo to BBAS families in August 2001, about her involvement in
Building Blocks and who was now in charge of what:
As summer comes to an end and a new season is about to begin, many changes are occurring within the walls of BBAS. Some of you are already feeling those changes and some will be informed through this message. Over the last 8 months we have been quietly doing changes within BBAS that we feel, as a family, will benefit all of us involved, as well as you the adoptive family.
Starting immediately, I will no longer be a direct part of your adoption journey. I have begun a new transition, solely in the administrative end of things within BBAS. I have been and will continue to be researching new programs within the orphanages overseas, developing new programs for children's education overseas and concentrating on caring for those children left behind. With this, Debbie and Wendy have been trained and ready to take over all programs and families currently in the process. I will still be available for questions and assistance with each adoption if needed.
For the last four years I have worked one on one with many families bringing children to their forever homes. Now I must hand over this very tough responsibility to the girls who have worked so hard to bring many more children home. It saddens me, but this is a new and exciting journey I will be taking, which will also allow me to bring my family back together as one.
Debbie will be in charge of the Guatemalan, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Cambodian programs with assistance from a newcomer, Carla Everstijn LSW.
Wendy will continue working with families from Russia and Kazakhstan.
Currently we are building many new programs and forming non-profit
organizations to assist the children left behind. We are very excited about the changes occurring.
As always email, phone, fax and personal meetings will continue with you one on one.
Please note the following:
Wendy Stamper International Director Russia Program Director Kazakhstan Program Director
Wendy can be reached by calling her office at
Debbie Bollinger International Coordinator Guatemala Program Director
Cambodia, Bulgaria, Romania program consultant
Debbie can be reached at her office at
Carla Everstijn Social Services Homestudy assessor, postplacement services, counselor and assistant
Carla can be reached at
Sandi Harding Administrative assistant Documentation, billing
Denise Hubbard Executive Director Administrative
Chrissy Varley LSW Social Worker Homestudy assessments, postplacement services
As always, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to contact myself or any of the BBAS staff at anytime.
Building Blocks Adoption Service, Inc.
An Ohio non-profit licensed international adoption agency
Denise no longer returned Constance’s telephone calls, especially after Constance told Denise that they were going to be seeking other agencies to adopt from.
She still demanded that Ivan and Lisa’s video tapes be returned. Denise
in one conversation warned the Badys not to make copies of them (they did
anyway). She demanded again that
the videos and medicals be returned on one the morning so that she could Fed Ex
it out that afternoon for “the waiting family.” Constance dropped it off at
seven that very night at the Giant
Succotash house in Medina.
Denise didn’t like finding out from Constance that they had begun looking into other agencies. Denise informed her that they could not do that — if they did, then Denise would terminate their contract and not send them any more referrals (Oh boy, big loss that would be).
This was Denise’s prerogative after all: it is clearly stipulated in Paragraph 11 of the contract that the Badys signed with BBAS:
THE ADOPTIVE PARENT(S) agree not to pursue other possible child placement through other sources or agencies while this contract is in force. If THE ADOPTIVE PARENT(S) receive a child assignment through any source other than BUILDING BLOCKS, THE ADOPTIVE PARENT(S)’ case will be closed and all fees and expenses due to BUILDING BLOCKS and the foreign source will promptly be paid.
Alan and Constance received a certified letter on June 21 to the effect of the above, signed by Denise on BBAS letterhead. It stated that she would love to have the Badys come back to BBAS, however, they were not allowed to go to another agency; but since that was their choice, their contract would be terminated with no refund.
So, it must have been that the Bady’s initial $4,775 investment with BBAS
to be used to help pay the mortgage on the Giant Succotash house on the postage-stamp sized lot in the City of Medina. Weren’t
they only doing “Adoptions Because We Care?”
The Badys, though, would rather have eaten the $4,750 than risk receiving any more unhealthy referrals. To raise a child with severe special needs would have cost them more emotionally and financially in the long run.
they still needed their homestudy and any and all documents that BBAS had tied
up. They were to make their first
trip to visit their referral in Moscow, but most importantly, they needed it for
their INS clearance to go through.
The fun really began in July after Constance had contacted us and we relayed what information we had on Denise and her business. It was time to get her dossier back.
Constance demanded that Denise give them their homestudy and dossier documents back on July 2, 2001. She was told that Denise was
(conveniently) on vacation and that she would
have to wait a week or so.
was able to finally reach Denise at her home on July 18. In order to get Denise on the telephone, she had to be extremely firm and
assertive with Debbie Bollinger (you would think that Debbie would be used to this
assertive behavior by clients) to put Denise on the line. Denise
came on and Constance let Denise have it.
She told Denise they needed their documents back to pursue another adoption and began to question Denise about where her dossier and homestudy were and when she could pick them up. Constance had her niece along that week and she thought it would be a nice outing to pick the homestudy up and then deliver it to the INS office in Cleveland in person to save some time on obtaining the 171-H.
protested “It’s not ready yet! I’ll
have it by the end of the week!”
was not amused. “Denise, today is Thursday. Today
is the end of the week!”
Denise stalled. “Well, the
homestudy isn’t ready. Why
don’t I send it to the INS for you?” In
actuality, the homestudy had been completed in April.
was having none of that. “Denise,
why can’t I come and just pick it up? Your
house is on my way to work. I can
then just drop it off at the INS office downtown …or don’t you want me to
Denise may have been reluctant to let Constance visit due to the fact that Constance, in her professional capacity as a real estate broker, was well aware of Medina’s zoning laws. And Denise was aware of this as well.
Due to her growing discontent with Denise, she had recently complained
to the City of Medina’s zoning inspector about Denise having an employee
(Debbie Bollinger) at her home office in an area that was clearly zoned
residential (Under Medina’s zoning, it is permissible to run a business out of
a home office but only if there are no employees).
refused and told her “No. You
can’t come over.”
asked why not. Denise shot back
with, to us, one of her most memorable and typical lines: “Because of all the negativity you bring to this
didn’t back down. “Well, my
niece and I will be there to pick up our homestudy in 10 minutes.” And show up they did.
Denise was waiting for them at her door. Constance’s niece noted that Denise wouldn’t look Constance in the eye.
She maintained that she did not have the homestudy, and this may or
may not be correct even though Christine Varley was the social worker.
Fed up, Constance let Denise have it between the eyes! She told Denise that she was unprofessional and had lousy business and people practices. She mentioned that she knew of Daniel and Elizabeth Case, Linda Wright and Mary Hutchison and some of our complaints.
At the mention of our names, Denise’s face went rigid. Constance had gotten to her.
It was time to hide behind
the esteemed attorney Richard J. Marco Jr. — “I’m not at liberty to
discuss other cases! Talk to my
attorney from now on!”
ended their conversation.
took Denise’s advice and contacted Rick Marco to obtain her documents.
Constance took Denise’s advice and contacted Rick Marco to obtain her documents.
She ended up having to travel to his law office in the City of Medina and pick up her homestudy and the rest of her dossier documents at the end of July.
Conveniently, Richard J. Marco was not in to see her. Instead, his secretary had the documents all set and handed them to her.
was then that she decided to file a small claims court case against BBAS to see
if she could get
some of her money back. The first trial date was scheduled for Oct. 11, 2001 but
Denise had to ask for a continuance.
At the end of November, the Badys made their first trip to Moscow to see their son. He was beautiful. Their trip was fast and also fortunate.
judge agreed to have their adoption hearing on the first visit instead of the
second. The boy was theirs and it
was decided that Alan would travel to Moscow at the end of December to pick the
Medina, another date was scheduled
on Dec. 13, 2001, in Medina’s municipal
court, days before Alan was to
leave for Moscow to pick their child up.
Constance handled the case pro se. She did not feel confident that she would win, and at least this way she would have not paid several hundred dollars for the privilege of losing.
All were in attendance — Richard J. Marco, the judge and Denise L. Hubbard. Wendy Stamper would make an appearance later to help spin the judge about the $3,000 matter of the updated medical and videotape.
It would so far be the only time Denise would have to answer questions about how she processed adoptions under oath.
The trial lasted slightly over two hours. Before the proceedings, Denise was oh-so-suave to Constance. She shook Constance’s hand and congratulated Constance on the adoption of her son.
Constance, not missing
a beat said, “Yes, thank you. Our
son is fine and alive!”
Information that we had provided the Badys about Cyril’s medical condition was
ruled inadmissible. However, Constance did get one in at Rick Marco when he asked
her about medical stuff — “Didn’t you have a client whose baby died in
Rick Marco, irritated by
this, asked that the remark be stricken, and it
He went into his nasty divorce-attorney mode when discussion of the contract came about. He badgered Constance by asking her, “Can you read, Mrs. Bady?”
“Yes, I can Mr.
Marco,” she responded.
What Richard J. Marco Jr. wanted to know was if the Badys had signed up with East West Adoptions before Denise had terminated the contract. “I am going to ask you again — did you sign with the other agency while you were working with BBAS before Denise terminated your contract?”
Constance said, “We did not work
with the other agency. Denise
terminated the contract before we signed with the other agency.”
At this, in a dramatic TV-lawyer flourish, Richard J. Marco Jr. tossed his papers down and said, “I think you’re lying, Mrs. Bady.”
Constance looked at the
judge and said — “I know Mr. Marco is lying.”
The magistrate, after this, said to him “Mr. Marco, I need for you to get on with the facts.”
Denise, on the stand, predictably twisted Constance around as some sort of hard-to-please racist client who would not have accepted a child with red hair.
She had learned from her experience with us that it was no longer possible to just ignore someone who dared try to hold you accountable for your misdeeds ... you had to get out there and smear them hard.
“Even my children were shocked by this!” Denise said.
Constance, keeping her cool, asked her whether this statement was made in her office. Denise said that it was.
it was made in your professional office — what were your children doing there
during our interview? Is that
children had not been there, to Denise’s recollection.
else would one would expect from a highly reputable agency owner like Denise?
Denise did attempt to tell the court about the “humanitarian” work
that BBAS did through its fellow business ICCF — International Concerns for
Children Fund. How much BBAS cared
for the babies and the children across the world. The good work that they did uniting families and bringing love and joy to
Eventually the little slip of a thing Wendy Stamper showed up to testify. The
questioning turned to the matter of the $1,500 per child per update of videos
Wendy attempted to explain to the judge that the $1,500 fee wasn’t for
Lisa and Ivan’s update, but rather for BBAS “Child Identification Fee.” Fifteen
hundred for each child.
Wendy proceeded to tell the judge that there were no extra charges requested for
medical information. Wendy appeared to be acting under the assumption that the $1,500
was for the acceptance of the children — or that was the story she was
Constance asked her “But Wendy, did you not ask us to commit to these kids
before we received this medical info?”
answered “Yes, we did.”
you’re telling me that in order to commit we had to pay a total of $3,000?”
stuck to her story. “No, no — it
was for commitment fees.”
And that was that regarding that $3,000 for the updates. BBAS maintained it was in their fee schedule, while the Badys maintain it was to update the medicals and videos.
Denise and Wendy supported this by claiming that they had sent an email to Constance describing the referral process in further detail, stating, according to the final decision in the case, “that any commitment fee paid for a specific child can be later transferred to a new referral if the prospective parents ultimately decline the original child for which the ... fee was paid.”
Although there was no proof that the email had been sent, or even existed, the magistrate took them at their word, and regardless of their credibility that may have been enough to win the case. BBAS sent information to the Badys, holding up its end of the bargain; it was their duty to read it.
But ... remember that Constance and her husband are not regular users of email, due to lack of familiarity with the medium and the time to use it. Denise knew this, so it’s yet another instance of her disingenuousness.
Constance also was upset, even after the trial, that both Denise and Wendy testified that she and her husband had refused to return the videos of Lisa and Ivan. They had always intended to return them; they just delayed doing so slightly. After all, the originals were no longer in their possession.
For Denise and Wendy to say this isn’t quite perjury, as it’s a matter of interpretation in this case, but it comes close and shows just how far Denise is willing to go to hold onto her clients’ money.
We hope Wendy learned many useful things such as how to dissemble on the witness stand for her employer. Surely this will help her out in whatever new position she found herself in when she left BBAS in October 2005.
Finally, as the trial ended and the judge asked “Are you complete?
Would you like to make any more remarks?”
Constance did. She wanted to set the record straight, for she had been insulted when Denise hinted that Constance was a racist with her comments about the red-haired children as referrals.
She said to Denise: “Denise, I just have to let you know that when you are
accusing me of some racist remarks, the son that we love very much is of an
The magistrate, Linda A. Leggett, issued her decision on May 28, 2002. The Badys received their copy in the mail several weeks later.
The final sentence says it all: “Judgement is rendered in favor of the defendant” [Building Blocks Adoption Service, Inc] “on plaintiffs’ claim. The case is dismissed with prejudice at plaintiffs’ costs.”
She let the contract that the Badys signed with BBAS stand. Denise had won that battle.
That contract was and is a nasty piece of work on Richard J. Marco Jr. and
Denise L. Hubbard’s part.
Today, the Badys are home with their son. He
is fine, healthy and keeping them on their toes. Although Diana Adams of East West
Adoptions pulled their adoption off, the last few years have seen some
unsavory developments with her and her associated agencies. We do not
recommend other people use Diana Adams for their placements.
We do not recommend other people use Diana Adams for their placements.
Constance would like it to be known that around Medina she has readily shared their experience with BBAS and Denise Hubbard.
In doing so, she has found out on from associates and acquaintances of the Hubbards that Denise is not a very well-liked person in her community. And many there wonder how the Hubbards are living so well in that Giant Succotash on the salary that Mr. Hubbard makes from his public-sector job.