Sad, sad news over the last week. There has been great outrage, anger, blame and finger pointing over the disrupted adoption of a 7-year-old Russian child and his abrupt return to Russia over this last week. Today it has been announced that Russia will suspend adoptions to the USA. During this time, I have wondered, "where is the outrage for the thousands of children who are housed in hopeless institutions with minimal care and daily abuse from the other children?"
The exact conditions that may have traumatized this young child and greatly contributed to this situation. are barely mentioned. No one absolves the mother. She had options and chose to do something outrageous and selfish. But her actions are only one part of this. The unspoken rule is that those of us who work to find homes for these children must never, never criticize the governments that allow these wretched institutions to continue. Adoptive parents must be grateful...and silent, to insure that international adoption continues, and a few lucky children find peace in a family of their own. Volunteers must quietly work to make changes in the orphanages, for fear of offending those in power. Yes, this story makes me very upset, and sad for all of the children who will now continue to suffer. And for the families who have waited, longingly, to give their love to these children.
And now we wait, with our only hope once again in the hands of government policy makers. I suggest that the meeting scheduled for the 20th take place in the largest, most rural orphanage that can be found in Russia. Let our governments meet, and come to their decision, surrounded by the children's lives and futures that hang in the balance. --Martha Osborne