By now you’ve probably read or heard the news regarding Russian adoption in America.
“Future adoptions of Russian children by citizens of the United States, which are now suspended, are possible only if an agreement is reached,” said Andrei Nesterenko, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
On a good day, international adoption is a complicated and high risk affair, not to mention an emotionally exhaustive endeavor for all parties involved. In recent years you’d need a scorecard to keep track of what countries have opened or closed or changed their adoption programs.
At issue is a single incident, though one that some suggest bespeaks a larger problem. The story sounds nearly implausible; a tale from a tabloid or a controversial afternoon television talk show where chairs are as likely to be thrown as they are sat on.
According to reports, Tennessee mom Torry Ann Hansen packed off her recently adopted 7-year-old son on a plane back to Russia. All alone. A seven-year-old child! She stuck a note in his pocket and said the boy was “violent” with “severe psychopathic issues.” She later told authorities that she was misinformed about his condition prior to agreeing to adopt him. Russian officials disagree.
Where to even begin?
My heart aches and breaks for the boy, who was old enough to be scared and confused, but not old enough to understand the whys and wherefores of the situation. I’m not in the position or habit of chastising parents, but it’s safe to say that Torry Ann Hansen could have sought resolution to her problem by alternate measures.
I’m also sick to think of the nearly 3,000 American families who have been patiently waiting to adopt from Russia—most of them for years. According to official reports, 250 of these 3,000 families have “closed” paperwork, which means they have been matched and are simply waiting to go pick up their son or daughter.
History suggests that diplomatic efforts will bring an acceptable and fair resolution to this problem. For now, the nerves of hundreds of parents are frayed and their hearts have been broken in the process.
If you are in one of these families or know someone who is, I hope you’ll let us know how you, or they, are holding up. Please join me in praying for these mothers and fathers that have been impacted. And, let’s us also pray for those children now caught up in the middle halfway across the world.