Blogland and Facebook are buzzing with posts and discussions about the seven-year-old little boy's return to Russia by his adoptive mother. I'm sure the forums are, too, but you know how much trouble I get into there, so I'll trust you all to share what you hear.
There were several comments in one Facebook discussion that demonstrated empathy for the boy's adoptive mother. They pointed out - rightfully so - how incredibly difficult it is for adoptive parents (I would say any parents) to raise a child with serious emotional and attachment issues. Several shared personal experiences or those of friends who have struggled for years raising children whose illness sometimes are never resolved.
That kind of pain is something I haven't shared, but can only imagine. And what I imagine is a parenting experience largely devoid of the joys that I have taken for granted watching my kids grow to adulthood. I doubt I would have had the strength to face the pain that many parents have faced as they have tried, often unsucessfully, to help their children find balance in life.
It's therefore not for me to judge the decision of any adoptive parent to terminate the adoption of a child with serious emotional illness. To be honest, it bothers me that this avenue exists for adoptive parents, and more so that there are people out there who seem to see this as perfectly acceptable in adoption. Case in point are the comments on this post, which I stumbled on in a google search for posts about this case. You'll know the ones I mean, which I'm not entirely sure don't belong to a troll. But presuming they're not - well, when people look at kids as chattel, no wonder adoption practices can be as screwed up as they sometimes are. Maybe this is the mindset that makes Sheriff Boyce skeptical about whether or not a crime was committed when that little boy was put on that plane.
But back on topic: I am unqualified to speak about the challenges of raising children with serious emotional and attachment issues. I know, though, that some of you who read here have faced or are facing them right now. I have several real life friends who have also done so. I've watched them struggle with the pain and exhaustion of it all, and with the sorrow for their children's loss of childhood and secure relationships. Even though I haven't experienced it myself, I know from what I've observed that it's very hard. But none of you or them have turned to the solution we witnessed this week.
As this story unfolds, we'll undoubtedly learn some things that may share some of the blame around with other individuals and agencies involved in this adoption. But no matter what mitigating facts may come to light in this incredibly sad story, we have to be careful not to dismiss this action because of them.
Some things are just plain wrong. Sometimes there are no shades of gray.