Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Troubles with Adopted Children - Is there hope?

On the heels of the TN womanTorry Hansen, who sent her 7 year old adopted son back to Russia causing international upset between our two countries one has to wonder is the problem with the parent or the child. The woman sent the boy unattended on a jet with a backpack of cookies and energy drinks. In my opinion it's a bit of both. The boy, however, had suffered a history of abuse in his native country. The woman was aware of his background, but she claims she was unaware of the severity of his problems. She also, according to reports, did not enroll the child for public or home school. The true victim here is the child.

Of course Hansen is not the first adoptive parent that has raised the eyebrows of the adoption of foreign children in the US. In 2008 an adoptive father left his 21 month old baby in the backseat of his car at work; Peggy Sue Hilt beat her 2 year old adopted Russian daughter to death in 2006; Denis Merryman dies at age 8 after being adopted and starved to death. The list goes on with more than a dozen horrifying deaths of adoptive children solely from Russia. 

I know from experience that adopted children can be quite challenging. I was an adopted child myself. When you feel as if no one wants you it can cause some psychological harm. A child cannot comprehend why no one would want them. The fact that someone cares enough to adopt you just doesn't calculate easily. When you add children that suffer from other problems such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome an entire new problem surfaces on top of what is already present.

The Deep Spring Ranch for Kids  in Eureka, Montana is one place that has been established to help families that have difficulties with adopted children, mainly from Russia, to cope better and to receive the mental and moral help they need to survive in a familial environment. CNN's Gary Tuchman does a wonderful and touching job bringing a story of a families struggle with a troubled young man they adopted as a toddler. This family chose to help the child and unite their family instead of giving up and sending the child back. They are simply amazing and inspiring.

Sometimes it's the tough choices that cause us the most difficulties that are the right choices. Parenting is not a part-time job.

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