No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Two Cents, for What it's Worth...(and that ain't much)

tap...tap...tap...Is this thing on?

Wow, I may have forgotten how to do this. Let's see how this goes, and forgive me, my blogging has been insufficient to keep me in practice these days, so I apologize ahead of time, but I just can't keep my mouth shut a moment longer about something.

I'm sure you've heard about this woman from Shelbyville, Tennessee who adopted the little boy from Russia and then decided she couldn't care for him anymore and sent him packing...on a flight to Moscow... alone, with a letter surrendering him and explaining that in her opinion at least, he suffers from severe psychological challenges. The letter actually says:

"This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues," the letter said. "I was lied to and misled by the Russian Orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues.""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."

All of that may very well be true, but that doesn't give you the right to ship this kid, unaccompanied, on a flight to another country to meet some man at an airport! Her excuse is that she is a single parent, and does not have the time or resources to care for a special needs child. Then she went further to say that he had become physically violent and threatened violence against her and her family. Still, I say to her, You chose to adopt. You took on the responsibility of raising this child as though he were your own. That means you are supposed to treat him as though you yourself gave birth to him, and not ANY differently. If this were a child you gave birth to, and then a year or two or three down the line you began to notice that your child wasn't developing normally, and eventually that child began to show signs of severe psychological or developmental disabilities, as a single parent what would you do then? There's no where to ship that child back to. But there ARE agencies, physicians, psychologists and counselors in place specifically for foreign adoptees and the adopted children who may be psychologically damaged. These cases can very often have very, very rewarding and effective outcomes, when handled properly.
What really bothers me about this is that this woman is a nurse! She is a graduate of Vanderbilt's Nursing program, one of the top nursing programs in the country, which tells me that this woman is well educated, intelligent, and presumably well informed or at least fully capable of informing herself properly. As a former nurse, it stirs something inside me to hear of someone in the nursing profession showing so little compassion and empathy. I tried to think of it from her side and think about what if she really did get one of "those kids" that we read about...Still, though. I go back to the fact that she did not utilize the resources at hand to help this child, to protect her family and to ensure that she was doing all she could do as a mother to provide the very best option for a child desperately in need. Further, it infuriates me that her single, despicable and heinous act could adversely affect the outcome of so many potentially wonderful parents who are currently in the process of adopting children from Russia. I wouldn't blame them one bit either, what with the investigating sheriff referring to the child as "it" repeatedly in interviews.
Hey, Sheriff Boyce, that 'it' is a little boy, and his name is Justin!

2 cookies cracked:

Jay said...

And there was a story yesterday that she is trying to adopt another kid from Georgia. (The country, not the state.) So I guess she thought adopted kids are exchangeable as if she had bought them at Walmart.

Camlin said...

People often jump into adoption - I think especially international adoption - without realizing the kind of trauma that most older adoptive children have already experienced, let alone the trauma of adoption itself. Loss of their parents, institutional care, sometimes suffering from malnutrition and other physical ailments...and then they're suddenly in a new country with people they barely know. New language, totally new way of life. It often puts children into shock, and they need to be treated as though they have been severely traumatized. They will have behaviour problems. They will have adjustment issues. They will have serious problems with attachment to their new family because some of them had no primary caregiver to bond with as infants. Even children who are adopted domestically are at risk for behaviour and emotional problems - imagine how much worse it will be to transplant a child into a new culture and expect them to acclimatize.I think that people need to consider the long-term possibilities when they consider adoption, and they need to prepare themselves as much as they can. They should - be informed, be open to ideas, be prepared for a child who is beautiful and unique, but who needs lots of love, nurturing, guidance and care.