Friday, April 9, 2010

The Actions of One...Actions of Many- Russian Child Abandoned

I don't know if you've heard this story. If you haven't, please watch this video that my friend Kristy shared with me. This is just a diary of my thoughts as I process this. Forgive my rambling....

When I watched this video my heart ached. I cannot fathom what this child went through.

Picture being in a abused or neglectful situation, given over to an orphanage without any transition, then asked to leave those in the orphanage that you have come to know (and your culture, language, food, friends) to go to a foreign land and told someone is your mom or dad. I cannot fathom. This is a difficult situation for any child, even if it's in their best interests.

We've found that a healthy transition for our young children (adopted at 13 and 15 months) has taken at least six months. I have heard for a older child it can take much longer (depending on the specific child). Yet at six months from becoming a family, this woman put this child on a plane alone.

I look at my Max, from Russia, and notice he's the same age as this boy. I admit, then I get angry.

I do want to make a comment on the statement that by his charts he was completely healthy. Many adoptive parents will tell you that very rarely (unless obviously severe) will a child be accurately diagnosed. Most often it is something minor and something that just is thought to be a normal condition of an orphanage (ringworm, Giardia, lice, etc.), but rarely it's more severe such as RAD, FAS, or another disorders or diseases. Yes, this is rare, but it does happen. The anchors in these stories do not seem to get that a "healthy chart" can mean very little. More information may come out on this, but most likely not.

I also want to state that many (though not all) even well known adoption agencies have little or no follow up when it comes to transition after coming into the states. They may have home study follow up visits by a social worker (required by law), but this is often just sent to the agency and by an outside source. I think often parents are afraid to voice concerns they may have in their post adoption checks. I do believe there needs to be more emphasis on the transition that takes place once arriving home. Not just training before hand (which is necessary), but not just a phone call a couple of days from arriving either. We would hope that there would be (at the least) experienced support calling once a week, asking specifically about transition issues for a little while (ideal). This does not usually happen though.


I don't understand when people do things like this. My heart is hurting for this little boy and the other orphans around the world. This was so wrong and awful, yet a friend Christina pointed out to me some of the true and "worst case scenarios" of RAD and FAS and reminded me we don't know all the facts. If they WERE taking place it still doesn't make it okay. IF the worst case scenario was taking place we (even more so) need to be very careful not to stand in judgement of her when we haven't been there OR to believe what the media is telling us 100%.

It's still is nightmarish and makes me ill and want to shake her and yell, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???!!!". This one woman's actions could affect thousands (no exaggeration if U.S. adoptions are frozen in Russia) of children, let alone one little boy she called her son.

I know I don't know all the facts, what the media reports is often wrong or leaves out pertinent information. I do have to keep myself in check. We all need to remember that we cannot read hearts, only God can.

So what can we do as a Christian community? As an adoptive community? We can first and foremost, pray. We can petition God for these little ones and pray for the preparing of the families they are entering.

Next, we can use the abilities that God gave us to support those in the transition process.

If you haven't adopted, you can...
*Offer support
*Bring food
*Offer to clean
*Give respite when needed during transition
*You can even use what contacts you have to help a family receive the help and support they need.
*Call to check up on them, supporting both them and the child.

If you are an adoptive family and have been through transition, you can...
*Help them feel not so alone.
*Help newly formed families understand that attachment isn't always immediate.
*Offer to give them a few hours alone
*Cook meals
*Put them in touch with the right people.
*Steer them to support groups.
*Call to check up on them, supporting both them and the child.

People often think of a child being home as the end of the opportunity for service, but often the need is even greater as a child transitions into their new family.

We can do something to help stop situations like this little boy went through. We can't stop them all or fix them all, but we can make a difference.

Finally, as my random thoughts conclude (forgive me for bouncing from here to there). Let's remember this little boy (and everyone involved) in prayer. Let's remember that in our anger we can often be less effective in noticing those around us. Let's be observant and supportive and try to be a preventative.

I hope I never see a story like this again....

God, please be with this little boy and everyone involved.


  1. Dear Kat,
    People like you are part of my support network! I'm so thankful for all of my blogger buddies helping me to know that I'm not alone in this challenging task of parenting a child who had been abandoned.

  2. Just totally unthinkable. Grrrr.
    And now they've stirred things up with all Russian adoptions. Good adoptive families will be scrutinized by their actions.
    We have adopted 11,and 4 by birth. Several of our older children came with painful baggage. One,the oldest is 34 and still has not been able to form a "normal" relationship with anyone from 7 years of previous abuse. Return them? Never. God gives us the strength, holds us in the heartache and loves us unconditionally so we can love them unconditionally. I am out-raged by what this woman did!
    Thanks for letting me vent! ;o)

  3. I love my blogger friends. They ROCK! I think there is a whole support group :) just through my blogging buddies.

    My whole post ran the gamut of emotions and I more than love people to share/vent with us!!! My post itself was just me processing the emotions! :)


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