Learning from Artyom's plight
The first thing I thought of when I learned the news about little Artyom was, “How rejected the poor kid must feel.” As an adopted person myself, I carry with me an undying, lifelong sense of rejection that I trace back to my relinquishment as a baby. The very next thing I thought of was how scared of further rejection other adopted children of all backgrounds must be feeling. Whether from Russia, China, Korea, and other nations abroad or whether adopted from foster care or through private measures with no agency involvement, young adopted children must be wondering, even if they don’t verbalize it, “Will my parent send me away like Artyom? Will they get tired of parenting me, too?” The third thing I wondered was, “What is the other child in the Tennessee family’s home feeling and thinking? Who is checking in with him about his emotional state?”O.K. parents, ENOUGH ALREADY
I tried really hard in my previous post to warn people of the coming troubles confronting adopted kids, thanks to the media hype over Artyom the Russian reject. But guess what? I’m extremely ANGRY that more adoptive parents–of which I am one, don’t forget–are not outwardly condemning the Tennessee woman who washed her hands of her maternal responsibilities by sticking her adopted son, Artyom, on a 10-hour flight across the ocean BY HIMSELF. With that infamous, horrific letter: “I no longer wish to parent this child.”Sticking with a wounded child
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Give me a freaking break. Are no other parents outraged? Are no other parents shouting down the growing chorus of “let’s not judge her until we’ve walked in her shoes” bull crap being thrown out there in the online adoption community?
With my recent posts, I have expressed my utter disappointment at the flawed state of international adoption. I have ranted about my disgust with wavering and uncommitted adoptive parents who bail on the kids they willingly set out to adopt. Now that I found a slightly calmer mood of reflection, I will do something I don’t normally do. I will disclose personal family information about my boys, the older children I adopted from foster care when they were 6 and 13 respectively.
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So I do not tell parents to “hang in there” lightly. Seeing your out-of-control child sinking deeper into the court system and moving closer and closer to the prison system is nothing short of terrifying. The feeling of being treated like a criminal myself whenever I go to visit my incarcerated child is something I would not wish on even my worst enemy. But I always try to remember this: there are plenty of sons in jail who were born into their families, and others locked up who went through foster care and/or were adopted. Sons (and daughters) who break the law, who terrify the neighbors, and who wreak havoc and cause irreparable harm exist in all kinds of families. I would guess that it is hard for most parents of imprisoned kids to
admit that their children have become victimizers and criminals. Yet even so, as
parents, we continue to love them, pray for them, and hold onto hope for their
recovery and a brighter future.