Forgive me for interrupting my adoption story again, dear readers, but several people have asked me what my thoughts were about the current adoption situation going on in Russia, and I thought it was time to give my two cents on this issue.
For those of you who don't know the story, last week, a
Every time I hear about this situation, my blood starts boiling. Not only can I not fathom how this woman could do what she did to her child, I cannot fathom how she was able to adopt a child in the first place. It's not like adoptive parents just decide to hop on a plane and visit the nearest orphanage we can find. We go through a rigorous screening process that involves parenting classes, social worker visits, medical and psychological evaluations, background checks, etc. We are told what to expect when adopting children internationally, and whether the child comes from a baby house, orphanage or a foster parent, I have never, EVER seen it written anywhere that the child you will receive will not have any delays or problems whatsoever.
In fact, older child adoptions come with even more warnings, and anyone with half a brain can imagine that the more years a child spends in an institution, the more issues he or she may have to deal with. Not to mention all that could have happened to him before he arrived in the orphanage, as not all children are babies when they are placed in these institutions.
Not every adoption has a happy ending. Sometimes, the children are so affected by their pasts they cannot assimilate into their new family lives. Sometimes the parents realize they are unable to provide all the help a child needs in order to thrive. There are ways to get help, including contacting the placement agency, receiving treatment (either for the child or as a family), contacting a social worker, or in extreme cases, taking steps to dissolve the adoption. It doesn't appear that this woman did any of the above and instead took the "easy" way out after having this child at home for a very short time and without much consideration as to what kind of added psychological damage she will be inflicting on this child through her actions.
Because of her unconscionable act, hundreds of families' dreams of having a child will now be shattered. Already there are rumors in the adoptive community that this situation will also affect adoptions in other countries. International adoption avenues are becoming more and more difficult for hopeful parents, for many of whom adopting domestically may not be an option (more of this on a later post, but now is not the time to enter into an international vs. domestic adoption dispute).
Although our situation with our Colombia adoption was completely different, as someone who has dreamt and hoped and fallen in love with her future child AND his/her culture of origin, only to be told that this dream will not come true, I can understand the heartache these people are going through. It is what we adoptive parents most fear, that our child will be taken away from us.
As an adoptive mother, I know the fear this woman's actions have struck in many people's hearts. As an adoptive mother, my heart bleeds for all the families out there waiting for a child to love. As an adoptive mother, I cannot help but wonder at the implications this event will have for all future international adoptions. As a mother, my heart breaks for that poor boy sent back to his country of origin like an unwanted package. As a mother, my heart cries at the thought of all the children who will now be deprived of the loving families they deserve. As I mother, I can't help but hug my son a little closer to me and give a prayer of thanks that he is no longer at the baby house but at home with us where he belongs...