I'm sure many of you have been following the recent story of the woman who sent her 7 year old son, adopted from Russia, back to Russia because she alleges she was afraid for the safety of her family and herself. This story makes me really, really angry. Having adopted two children from Russia, I know how it can be done "right." My children are the biggest joy in my life, and I feel blessed every single day. But Adam and I were prepared for them - and although we are fortunate that neither of our children have behavioral or emotional issues, we were prepared that it could happen.
So, I'm angry with Ms. Hansen, for having unrealistic expectations about what adopting an older child who had been institutionalized for a good part of his life would be like. Every - EVERY - source we consulted before we decided to adopt internationally explained the potential issues with institutionalized children - developmental delays, attachments disorders, behavioral problems, even PTSD. I'm angry that Ms. Hansen apparently didn't obtain the counseling and medical help her family needed. I'm angry she didn't reach back out to her adoption agency for help.
I'm also angry with the agency, for not being aware of the problems in this family. Russia REQUIRES post-placement visits by a social worker, with a full report delivered back to Russia, immediately after placement, at 6 months and 1, 2 and 3 years. This woman and her child are either fantastic actors, or the agency didn't do enough to find out what was really going on in the household. I also have to wonder how this woman ever made it through the screening process, which for many Russian regions requires a battery of psychological tests. Was her screening rubber stamped the same way her post placement visits were?
We'll probably never know what really happened in this case. But in addition to being angry, I'm really sad for all the families - prepared families - who are likely to experience delays in getting their precious children home. Been there, done that - and it sucks.