For Artyom

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

Every child deserves a loving home and a caring family surrounding him or her. Period.

: 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.

4 Responses to “For Artyom”


  • I can understand the emotions that led the mother to her actions, but I can’t understand the actions. And I can’t quite get my head around that the mother and her mother did this, and there wasn’t anyone to intervene, and that she got so far in her execution of it. And I’m hoping she’s getting some help, because she needs it.

  • No one walks into adoption blindly, I don’t care what the circumstances are! Adoption is a tough, wonderful road to building a family and you never give up on it! What would she have done if her son was bio? Give up on him? I don’t think so. This woman is unfit to be considered a human being in my opinion!

  • Laurie…I agree with you completely. Since the “mother” is kind of local, other weird stories are emerging, indicating possibly a not very stable person. I feel sad for the folks whose adoptions are pending and now interrupted, or (I hope not) forbidden. Love, Judith

  • Well, the thing is, many parents choose not to parent their bio kids either. They leave them with grandparents or the courts, or just give them a house key and hope it all works out ok, and it doesn’t create an international incident. I have no doubt, too, that she’s unstable. But how did the social workers miss it? Why did the airline accept the child on the flight? How did he get through security with an expired passport? The system failed him miserably – as it does so many children in the U.S., adopted or otherwise. Sometimes those who need help the most are unable or unwilling to seek it out. Maybe all new parents need regular visits from a social worker.

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