Monday, April 19, 2010

Just When I Thought it Couldn't Get Worse...

No, it wasn't all the media coverage with sympathy for the adoptive parents whose adoptions from Russia are now on hold.

Not to worry. A delegation of high-level State Department officials will visit Moscow for consultations after Russia threatened to freeze adoptions for U.S. families, the U.S. Embassy said Monday. U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle said in a statement Monday that that the delegation will discuss a possible agreement or bilateral understanding to ensure the well-being of Russian children adopted by families in the United States. yeah,right! Like they can assure that!

And it wasn't people like Kathy Cox, mother with two biological and four adopted children aged 5 to 19. Two of her children came from an orphanage in Sierra Leone saying things like: "I don't blame this woman [Tory Hansen]."

Not this gem of truth from a couple who adopted a sibling group from Russia: ""It's awfully hard to take strangers and try to make them into people who love you" or the "most Russian adoptions are successful" refrain, which is like comforting someone whose loved one has died of cancer by saying that many types of cancer are treatable today. I hardly think Artyem is at all relieved to know that other Russian adoptions are succesful.

Nor was it the "When an Adopted Child Hates You" - as if the reason one adopts is to have someone love them. Nor was it the same article extending sympathy for adoptive parents that experience the "excruciating" pain of giving up on their child.

No - the one that tops PunditMom for the worsts commentary on the Hansen adoption debacle is not just a blog post or story trying for local compassion.

It's an editorial in the Decatur, Albama Daily.

These folks saw beyond the simplicity about a child who was abandoned. they saw the deeper policial ramifications of Russia - a Communist regime bent on destroying us:

A Tennessee woman's decision to send her adopted son back to Russia was inexcusable, but has no national security ramifications.

Russia's reaction to the event, however, should give us pause.

According to reports, a single American nurse sent her adopted Russian child back to his homeland. The child, who turned 8 Friday, had no escort on his one-way flight to Moscow.

Russian spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said during a briefing Thursday that, because of the incident, new adoptions by Americans are on hold.

Russia's response is all too typical, and is a reminder that we need to deal with the nation warily. A rational government does not react with such overkill unless it is more interested in shaming the United States than in helping its orphans. [?!]

This is the same Russia that cut off oil pipelines to Poland and Germany in 2007 in response to a trade dispute. It is the same Russia that spent billions to punish Belarus, building pipelines that bypassed the former Soviet bloc nation.

It is the same Russia that, until recently, took great pleasure in tweaking the United States by supplying nuclear technology to Iran.

When Russia has a strategic advantage, it generally uses it.

President Obama's decision to extend U.S. support for the International Space Station, despite obsolescence of the U.S. space shuttles, gives Russia leverage. So does the Atlas V's reliance upon a Russian engine. A modified Atlas V, built by United Launch Alliance, is a likely replacement for NASA's launch vehicles.

Keeping diplomatic ties open with Russia is essential. Relying upon it as a trusted ally, however, is a mistake. As the country demonstrated yet again in the adoption fiasco, Russia always is looking for leverage against the United States.

The ignorance expressed in this editorial is topped only by a comment I receoved from a neighbor i told i was going to do an interview for Russian American television. She asked if I was afraid. Totally taken aback, I asked: "Afraid of what" thinking she was perhaps referring to my going into NYC alone.

She clarified and said: "Afraid of the Russians."

I said no and left it at that, scratching my head wondering if she thought it was still the 1950s when we hid under our desks in school in fear of an attack from Russia. But when I shared with a friend in utter bewilderment, the friend suggested that my neighbor might have been referring to the stereotype of the Russian mafia. Gee, I thought, I ought to then be more careful about all my Italian-Americana friends!

Now, this bizarre concern came from a neighbor who may or may not have graduated high school judging by her mis-use of the English language (and she was born here!)

A newspaper editorial however? Really?

In all of the insanity surrounding this case it has occurred to me that even the best commentaries have really missed the boat.

Adoptive parents - especially those who chose to take institutionalized children from nations such as Russia where medical background is scant at best, and like most of adoption, usually false - are taking a huge risk. Why shouldn't they then be able to take these kids on a trial basis until they can actually see how they fit in and behave?

Say, for, instance, like foster-to-adopt programs.

Oh, wait...that already exists as an option -- and a far less expensive option!

If people such s Hansen are willing to take on the risk of adopting a seven year old - not an infant, or even toddler - then why not take a child from foster care where they could go for a test drive and see how the kid adapts?

Oh, yeah...because then they are at risk of being the one who is hurt instead of the kid! Silly me.

1 comment:

Von said...

Hmm! Think perhaps the rest of the world needs to be more worried about America than Russia given it's history of 'interventions'.
However this story tuns and runs and hopefully something positive will come out of it in the end.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget