Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can we talk about this Russian situation for a minute?

*Not Artyem

I know I owe you all a lot of updates about my own little one situation, but I have to post about t his topic. This is so heartbreaking and so awful. Every time I hear about adoptive parents rejecting their children I lose a little more faith in people. This story really takes the cake, though.

Torry Hansen, a Tennessee woman, adopted 7-year-old Artyem Saveliev. Then, unhappy with her child, decided to return him. She put him on a plane back to Russia and found a strange man on the internet and paid him $200 to escort the child to the Russian Ministry of Education. Here is the letter that she sent with Artyem, word for word:

"To Whom It May Concern,

"This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian Orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability. ... After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child. As he is a Russian National, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption disannulled."

I'm so sad, and completely stunned. How... why??? How was this woman ever approved to adopt any child? How did she come to be matched with this particular child? Why did she take him in if she truly didn't believe in her heart that she would love him and parent him for the rest of his life? How could she ever - EVER - put a tiny little boy on a long flight 'back where he came from' all by himself, back to a world of orphanages and uncertainty? How could anyone take a child into their home and not love the hell out of them? Why did she do this, and why must so many other parents suffer now that she's permanently damaged the Russian international adoption program?


Through our training we met a lot of couples who were in the process of adopting from Russia. Today I am very sad for them, because while this immediate sanction only affects the U.S., in practice it will likely affect the full program much more widely.

And all those children... those sweet children who've done nothing to deserve this, who spend their lives in institutions just praying for a real home. What will happen to these kids now?

I pray that this will be resolved soon, and without major damage to waiting families and children, but my hopes are low. These things have happened before, and countries will shut down their entire programs over one lousy parent.

Torry Hansen: There is a very special place in hell reserved just for you.

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