I don’t know the real story behind what happened in Tennessee and I honestly don’t expect to. I listened to an adoptive mother on the radio today who said that she could understand the emotions that led to the woman putting her son on that plane to Russia and I was conflicted. I have described the experience of adopting/becoming a mother as “setting your family on fire”, so yeah, it’s hard. I get it too. But what she did with her emotions, and the choices she made from that point are unfathomable to me, and unforgivable.
Approximately 1% of all adoptions are disrupted. That is to say, ended, annulled, undone. For whatever reason, the parent(s) decided they could not continue to parent the child.
Let me be clear. Children do not disrupt adoptions. Their behavior, disability, habits, previous trauma – or anything else they say or do – does not make them unparentable or unlovable. The parents could not continue to parent. Whatever the circumstance, it is an avoidable tragedy. A child, who through no fault of their own and who has already lost ties to one family, is again set adrift.
And let me be clear on this.As the adult in the parent/child relationship, it is our duty to provide this. It’s what we sign up for, in whatever way we become parents.
That being said, nobody can fully prepare for what happens when you bring a child into your world, whether by birth or adoption. Every mom I know did her best to prepare. From “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” to “Toddler Adoption
: A Weaver’s Craft”, from Lamaze to pre-adoption counseling, we sought out information to help us transition.
The reality of parenting is that you are, in the simplest relationship scenario, an adult and a child coming together with two temperaments, personalities, preferences and experiences. This is as true with a newborn as it is for a child of any age. This is why second children/second adoptions seem only incrementally easier. Nothing is different but our expectations.
Human relationships are complex and fluid, and all relationships take work and take time. That is the message we need to be sure that all first time parents get. That and the reminder that the parent is the adult in the relationship and the burden of making the relationship work is on you.
That is what I would like to say to the woman who pretended to be Artyom’s mother. That, and SHAME ON YOU. YOU WERE THE ONE WHO HAD OPTIONS, INFORMATION AND CHOICES.