The shame falls first on the antagonist in this story, which bothered me to the depths of my very being: a 7-year-old boy, adopted from Russia by a 27-year-old girl* from Tennessee, has his life completely altered for the worse after he thought it was forever changed for the better. After six months, the boy (Artem) is duped by his adoptive ‘parent’ (Torry-Ann) into thinking he was going on an exciting trip to Moscow, but instead was returned to the orphanage. The gist of Torry-Ann’s explanation: ‘I don’t want the child; the orphanage misled me about his behavioural problems’, which really translates into: ‘this child is an inconvenience for me and I would like to return him’–much like an unwanted pair of shoes.
Two things: 1) the orphanage misled Torry-Ann about Artem’s behavioural problems no more than she misled them about her parenting skills (of which she apparently has none); and 2) if you’re not willing to embrace a child for everything that child is–in spite of any problems that child might have–and if you are not willing to love and care for that child, no matter the difficulty, the hardships and the cost; then I would seriously begin to wonder if you know what it means to be a parent. I’m not a parent, but I do hope to be (sometime soon), yet I understand what it means to be unconditionally loved by a parent and to be fully accepted in spite of flaws. Children are human beings and they deserve to be loved by those to whom they belong, no matter what. Children are not accessories, commodities, or even trophies possessed by those who think it’s a cool idea to have one or because it’s fashionable. The moment they are seen as such, they are easily discarded when the convenience or novelty wears off.
The shame falls second on the writer of the story, who strangely remains unnamed. Here’s why I say ‘shame on the writer’:
The regional court had sanctioned his adoption in autumn 2009, a year after he was separated from his birth mother. Coincidentally, the story of his abandonment came on a day American-Russian relations were strengthened in Prague. US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev put their signatures on a historic nuclear arms reduction treaty.
The second and third sentences are completely unnecessary for the the larger story. Not only that, but the second is a terrible segue for the third. That’s just poor journalism.
* Yes, I use ‘girl’ on purpose because she is obviously not mature enough (or responsible enough) to be considered a woman.