Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
I would like to be dan lekaf zechut – give the benefit of the doubt – to the Tennessee woman who, wishing to “return” her seven-year-old adopted son to the country of his birth, put the boy on a plane by himself and sent him back to Russia.
But the horrifying nature of her action and its potential repercussions – Russia is threatening to halt all adoptions by American parents – make it difficult if not impossible to view her with even the slightest sympathy.
I speak from personal experience. My husband and I adopted our youngest son from Russia nine and a half years ago. We had started the process years before we finally were able to bring a baby home. The amount of paperwork needed is beyond comprehension; the time it takes to complete that paperwork is staggering. But we wanted our son and would have jumped through fiery hoops to have him home with us – though at that point in the process we didn’t even know who our son was. He was a dream that had yet to become a reality.
Since my husband was working long hours and I am by nature more organized, the adoption-related paperwork became my second job. We had signed up with an agency that proved to be of immense help, walking us through all the paperwork and explaining to us the way things work in Russia.
We learned that adoption is a very private and emotional process, not just for prospective adoptive parents but also, in the case of international adoptions, for the countries involved – in this case the United States and Russia. Every step taken is done in partnership. Respect for the Russian people and their system is of utmost importance.
My husband and I were waiting for our date to fly to Russia to meet our baby for the first time when Vladimir Putin came to power and shut down adoptions – without so much as suggesting when they might resume.
We, along with many other adoptive parents, were put on hold for nine excruciating months. During that time, we were told the baby we had hoped to adopt was no longer a possibility. Fortunately, another one became available and it was only a few weeks after the resumption of adoptions that we arrived in Russia to pick up our beautiful and healthy six-month-old son.
The people we dealt with in Russia were kind and patient. They answered all the questions we had. When we came for our baby, the women who were his caregivers at the orphanage cried tears of sadness and joy. Sadness because this was one of the infants they had become particularly attached to; joy because he would now have a life that otherwise would not have been available to him.
Back to that Tennessee woman. There is a huge psychological component to adoption, whether international or domestic. There are questions you may never have answered. If you adopt an older child – over age three – you have to be prepared for the very real possibility that he or she will come with unresolved issues. Some adjust faster and better than others, but you must know you are embarking on a tough and blind journey that, thankfully, usually ends with a well-adjusted and loving new member of the family.
Should an issue arise once the child is brought to the U.S., the first step should be contacting your agency. Just as those competent and caring folks guided you through the original process, they will guide you through this as well.
The Tennessee mother handled her situation in a manner that created an international incident that could well affect the approximately 3,000 American families in the process of adopting children from Russia.
That one person can yield so much power proves just how sensitive an issue adoption is, and why kid gloves are needed when dealing with it.
The woman is justifying her actions with the claim that her agency lied to her. It is crucial to do research and choose an agency wisely, through Internet surfing or, better yet, through personal references. Perhaps the agency this woman used really did fail to do right by her. But putting her child on a plane and then shrugging her shoulders about it is unacceptable behavior.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?
Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.
Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.
Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.
Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.
Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status
David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?
sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience
Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.
Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]
Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/from-russia-with-unconditional-love/2010/05/05/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: