Saturday, April 17, 2010

More Thoughts On Russia...

It is a struggle for me as I watch the saga unfold with Russian adoptions. Russia is an important part of our family and their makeup. My son, Max, was adopted in 2003 from Russia. He's seven, just like the little boy that was put on a plane alone.

I've voiced my ramblings and thoughts as I processed this news initially. They still are very indicative of how I feel.

I must first process this as a Christian. Loving my God is my very breath. He's taught us love and compassion. This one is confusing for me though.

If the reports that are coming out are true, this woman may not have been in her "right mind". If she lived in fear for her and her other child for six months I'm not sure she could be. Her actions were FAR from right...FAR. They may not have been the calculating evil that many are envisioning though. Her actions were unacceptable and criminal (just by the law alone). She legally abandoned her child in a foreign country...endangered him. If the reports are true (his setting fires and threatening lives) she could possibly have endangered others on the plane as well.

The little boy...sigh...he suffered enough. If he has FAS or RAD, it is NOT his fault. His parent placed this inheritance (meaning that if his bio mother drank and this caused his FAS) on him. I pray for his bio family as well. Yet, his anger would be expected. Threats to someone's life and beyond would be expected, yet more likely only with the above disorders. A child that does have FAS or RAD often does not have a conscience. They can be manipulative and lie with no thought. In this part of the world though, adoptive parents are usually prepared for that risk. I ache for this boy and the repercussions he's facing from both a bio family and from an adoptive family. He may just be angry or he may have a (usually undiagnosed in many orphanages) condition. Either way, he's the one that suffered the most. God's value on children is very VERY clear.

I then start thinking of this situation as an adoptive mother...

When you are led into adoption, you know that (just like with a bio child) you don't know what you will face. You don't know the difficulties that may become a part of your family or the health issues that may pop up in the future. My children are 100% my children though. They are my blood.

I would ask that those seeking to disrupt adoptions ask themselves, "What if this was your bio child?"

I have heard of situations so severe that the response would be the same whether the child was adopted or bio. A child who repeatedly sexually abuses their siblings and terrorizes them could not come back into your house. You can love them, but you cannot subject other children to their abuser day in and day out. I can't fathom the trauma that would create. This isn't an adopted vs. bio issue though.

My children have all my love. There IS NO DIFFERENCE in my love for my adopted vs. bio children. God placed them in our family and they are our children 100%. They are my blood, my heart.

Yet, I know that this "help" everyone says is so readily available here...well, isn't in every state. Yet, in this situation, the information has yet to come out that stated she was seeking help. From what I understand, she is a registered nurse and I would assume she knew where to seek as well.

Then I look at it from the Russian governments point of view....

A woman adopted one of their little ones (yes, seven is still little), places him on a plane unaccompanied, and hires a virtual stranger to abandon him by dropping him off.

The U.S. hears and watches this, but does not arrest the mother. This has NOTHING to do with convicting her, but does not arrest her for abandoning her child in a foreign country.

There are MANY MANY successful Russian adoptions, but as the Russian government I would be thinking, "Why would I think that no one would do this again? There are no repercussions and therefore no protection for the other adopted children."

I think there could have been another way (besides the halting of adoptions), but I'm at a loss how it should have been handled. What is the assurance that an American citizen could not do this again?

This is not saying I agree with the halt. I don't, but I do understand the thought process.

The thought that the Russian government has no right to force the U.S.'s hand, doesn't sound right to me. We do this all the time with sanctions against countries that are doing things that would endanger others or violate basic human rights.

The United States is a wonderful nation, but some of it's valuing of young life has corroded over the years.
*When a person that molests a child or multiple children gets less jail time then someone who steals millions of dollars, this devalues a child.
*A child is able to be aborted at 25 weeks. Also, a different family has a baby at 25 weeks. They fight for her life successfully, because it is a baby outside the womb. This devalues the life of a child, by just where it's placed (inside or outside the womb).
*When family reunification plans are repeated over and over and over again (with the child being removed and brought back MANY times), the value of the adult is placed beyond the value of the child who is being traumatized repeatedly. I DO value reunification, but not the repeated attempts that devalue the child. I do value the parent, but just not the devaluing of the child.
*When a child can be abandoned in a foreign country with no repercussions.

These are just a few that came to mind offhand. I'm not angry, but sad that children are valued less than they should be.

I don't have any answers and would love to hear your thoughts. I feel like I go in circles with this subject.

Please forgive me for my "thoughts" diary of today. I really am at a loss of a clear way to view this situation.

I KNOW the actions were wrong of the mother, yet have compassion for her terror (if it existed). What she did was horrible and unfathomable. There are times that I look at my seven year old and get SO mad at this mother.

I have the most compassion for the little boy, who is still developing, and is suffering for the actions of his bio and adopted parents.

I don't want adoptions to freeze in Russia, yet I understand the Russian governments thought process. I think there must be another way.

I think adoption agencies need to have an employee whose sole purpose is weekly checks on adoptive family (just by phone even) to ask, "How are things going?", so that red flags are seen quicker.

I think the U.S. authorities need to take a step and insure this situation does not happen again. How? I don't know.

See how confusing this is for me?

Again, forgive me as I vent about this.

You know what I've come up with?
It's very original...PRAY.

God sees the core of these human hearts. He sees the motivation and the intentions. He, and only He, can judge the "heart" of the matter. I may not and probably will not understand. I'm glad I don't have to.

My brain is melting now (right down into my heart, which is already soft with the thoughts of this little boy). I'm going to run and go watch Max sleep...seriously.


  1. You wrote just what I've been thinking and feeling.

    As the parent of a son adopted at age 9, I just can't imagine sending him back like clothing ordered that didn't fit. Yet, I understand that many older adopted children are so broken that their behaviors can be challenging and overwhelming. I'm hoping this situation encourages adoptive parents who are struggling to get help for their children, not give up on them.

    For every heartbreaking story, there are hundreds of inspiring ones. Max is living proof of the miracle that is adoption. (My Daniel is, too.)

    God Bless,

  2. Very insightful! I have a daughter adopted from Russia as well. It is such a difficult situation for everyone involved. I pray that our government and Russia can work this out. There are so many children left in Russia who need a home!


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