Sent Back: Or, WTF??

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Adoption / In the Media

I could not believe this when I read it the other day. An adoptive mother sent her child back to Russia (or the grandmother, who seems to have gotten custody, did. It’s not too clear). She didn’t tell the child, she didn’t tell the adoption agency, she didn’t tell either government. Seriously?

There are, as expected, two different stories. The mother’s/grandmother’s is that the child was violent and psychotic, with a hit list of people he wanted to kill. The last straw was catching him trying to light some papers on fire in his room. They were afraid he’d burn the whole house down.

The child’s story is that of yelling and hair-pulling on the part of his adoptive family.

Ok, I know adoption is not easy, adoption of an older child is even harder, adoption of an older foreign child from an institution with an apparent history of abandonment and abuse who doesn’t speak the same language as his new family, ridiculously difficult.

But seriously? Sending the kid back? He’s not a purchase with a 30-day money back warranty. He’s a child! A human being! Who’s already been so traumatized he probably can’t get his head straight!  Generally when you agree to adopt, you agree that you will treat that child as if he is yours biologically, with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with that. What if this had been her biological child? Would she have sent him back to the hospital where he was born? What does this say to all the adoptive/pre-adoptive kids who we try to soothe by saying that adoption is forever?

There are just so many things wrong with this picture. How did the adoption agency she worked with no prepare her for the reality of life with a child trying to make that many adjustments? Did she not have professional support to engage when things were looking dicey? Did the orphanage doctor really lie to her, or is the child as healthy as one could expect given the circumstances? She describes the child as psychotic–um, hello, did you think to ask a psychologist about this? Even a school counselor could give some guidance.

And what makes the matter even worse? The Russian government is so spooked that they may suspend all adoptions to the U.S. I honestly don’t blame them, but I can only imagine how all the families who are waiting to be matched, or have been matched and are waiting to bring their children home are feeling as they see the possibility that their dreams may be shut down.

All because one woman returned her adopted child. Shame on you.

The Author

I'm a pastor. I believe in radical love and ridiculous grace. I love to sing and sew, and have a shop on Etsy. I'm trying to make my ecological footprint smaller. I have chickens who provide endless entertainment. Oh, and I'm a formerly single mom by choice, son E (born 6/00, placed 11/23/11, adoption finalized 11/21/14) and now making a life with The Dude and his two kids, Girl-E (12/02) and C (9/04). Baby Bumpy due to arrive around 5/25/15! This blog chronicles my thoughts on faith, family, and the wild adventure we call Life!

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