Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Situation with Russia

For some reason, once you adopt, everyone feels the need to bring up the bad adoption news to you. I don't know how many times I've heard over the last few days, "Gosh, did you hear about that family who sent their kid back?"

Yes, I heard and it breaks my heart. No child deserves to be abandoned. Not even the hardest to handle, most difficult, most violent child deserves this. And that what is so very sad. What is also sad is the reflection this act perpetuated by one family casts on all adoptive families. Russia is now threatening to stop all adoptions, because of the act of this one family. This extends one family's tragedy into a nightmare for hundreds innocent people who will be great parents if they're allowed the chance and adoption may be their only chance.

Like it or not, adoptive parents are more scrutinized and held to higher standards than biological ones before, during and after the adoption. Before adopting we undergo background checks, financial analysis and medical exams. In China, I'd rather face the scrutiny of the government officials than those grandmas who are brutal in their comments about the care we give the kids. Once we get home, social workers visit and follow up. On my more cynical days, I wonder how many people would be allowed to reproduce if they went through the scrutiny we did. And yet, crazy people still manage to adopt. But many, many, many more great people adopt than crazy ones.

I don't know what the answer is to stop crazy people from adopting, but if there is one, I'm all for finding it. Because the many, many positive adoptions stories rarely make the top story on the news, but boy, the bad ones are never missed.

Tonight we discussed this story over dinner with our kids. Why? Because if people bring it up to me, the girls may hear about it at school and I want them to hear about it from me first. I want them to have a response in their back pocket if someone asks about it. La Nina said she would tell people she knew nothing about it, the Magster said she would tell them it's very sad. Both answers work just fine. I really wish we didn't have to have these conversations, but it's the reality of adoption in the ultra connected world.

So, if you see me in the next few days, yeah, yeah, I heard. But you know what, why don't we talk about some of the inspirational adoption stories I know? Because you know, the vast majority of adoptions are great stories with very happy endings. And at this point, the Russian government needs to hear those stories.


  • At 11:17 PM , Blogger Marci said...

    It's a sad story, but I'd also argue that there are plenty of bad birth parents in the U.S. who have also abandoned their children (or worse). It doesn't mean that all birth parents are bad, just like, obviously, one adoption gone wrong shouldn't reflect on all the amazing adoption stories out there.

    We were told that it would take 6 months to feel settled here and we had a whole support network (via the school, office, etc.) and family with us. Thinking that an older child from Russia would acclimate faster is ridiculous.

  • At 5:45 PM , Blogger One Lucky Mom said...

    Yeah, it took Maggie 8 months to transition and she was only 1. I think sometimes people want the Christmas card perfect life and when things don't go that away with a new child, they freak.

    The ugly truth is that one bad adoption may close down Russia to adoptions. It's a very sad situation.


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