Everywhere you turn people are talking about it. The Tennessee woman who put her 7 yr old adopted son on a plane back to Russia with a note basically saying she didn't want him anymore. Read the story here if you've been living under a rock.
I just don't understand what this woman was thinking. This little boy is not a pair of shoes you can just return to the store if they don't fit. He's a child. How could she possibly think this was a logical answer? To just put him on a plane with a note?? I don't get that. In fact, I'm quite disgusted by it all.
Disruption is the unpleasant truth in the world of adoption. We all know they happen. We just don't like to talk about it. While I personally could never even entertain the thought of relinquishing the child I've fought so hard to get, I can empathize with the desperation a family must feel to make that choice. I may not agree with it. But I can't pass judgement when I haven't walked in their shoes.
But this was NOT the way to disrupt your adoption. And quite frankly, I don't feel like she worked hard enough to get to the point where that was the only option left.
First of all, she only had him for 6 months. That's not enough time for either mom or the child to have properly adjusted to the changes in their lives or for this boy to have formed a healthy attachment to mom. Most importantly, everything I've read says she sought the advice of a psychologist but didn't have her son seen by one. With the behaviors she says he exhibited? Why would you not seek treatment for him?
The failings of her social worker and her agency are a whole other issue. But I blame her to a certain degree for not fully understanding what she was taking on. There's always a risk of behavior issues, attachment disorders, etc when adopting any child who has suffered neglect, abuse, trauma, early separation from a caregiver and/or institutionalized care. I'm concerned about these things even with the adoption of my infant daughter from China. But this absolutely should have been cause for concern in an older child from a Russian orphanage.
Certainly this woman should have educated herself. "Should have" are the key words in that sentence. I mean hell... just click above on the word "disruption" and you get Wikipedia's definition. Even if she'd have read that she would have been better prepared for the possibilities she faced regardless of how anyone else sugarcoated it.
I especially hate that the narrow minded people of the world are already throwing her single status out there as a reason for her failings. That because she's unmarried she didn't properly parent this child. Puh-leeze!
It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out in the end. But right now Russia is so angry they're threatening to suspend all adoptions to Americans. As a fellow waiting parent, my heart goes out to the families whose adoptions are in jeopardy because of this woman's actions. There's a letter here asking both the US and Russian presidents to ensure that intercountry adoption continues uninterrupted and to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of children. Please consider signing it.
** Updated to add: She was apparently trying to adopt a second child soon after returning home. That story is here. This just makes me ill. The family is also trying to say their actions to send the boy back was on the advice of an attorney which according to this blog is not true at all. And this contact was made over a month ago. This just gets more and more ridiculous.