I spent most of yesterday "taking it easy" [not going outside where it was freezing and windy] and sitting at the computer. Michael had a tennis match after school and I worried about him playing in the cold. He won his match, though, and he was in a good mood when he got home.
Every so often I see something on Facebook that makes me want to scream, and this ABC News story about a Russian teenager [17-year-old Alexander Abnosov] who is back in Russia living with his grandmother infuriates me, for a number of reasons.It's clear to me that this brief story only tells a few of the facts, and it should have been much longer.
The main reason it ticks me off is that the Russian media will use it as an example of yet another parenting fail by American parents who have adopted a Russian child. Clearly the boy and his adoptive parents were having a hard time. Why didn't the parents get counseling for him? Why did they just stick him on a plane back to Russia?
Perhaps the parents DID try counseling and it didn't work.
The story says the parents didn't want the boy to live with them, which makes them sound cruel and unreasonable. What if the boy was using drugs? What if he was hanging around with criminals? What if they had younger children in the home, or a fragile older person? What if he had used drugs in their home? What if he had nearly set the house on fire?
Those are all the reasons why my daughter was kicked out of my house in 2011. It broke my heart, but she was endangering all of us, and I couldn't get her to stop lying or using drugs, or reason with her.
So I am very sympathetic with those parents, in a way. Perhaps they felt going back to Russia for a while would help Alexander to mature and make better choices. Perhaps they said he could come home when he was ready.
It also ticks me off, though, because if what the grandmother says is true, the boy shouldn't have been adopted in the first place. The boy's father died and he was adopted over the protests of his grandmother. I am a bit suspicious, however, because I have heard a number of stories over the years of grandparents visiting the orphanage and protesting that their grandchildren shouldn't be adopted, and the children weren't adopted, as a result. Nobody came forward to contest my daughter's adoption, and there was a notice posted in the paper about it. Alesia's grandmother could've protested the adoption and gotten it delayed, or possibly blocked altogether.
OTOH, I know when people are hospitalized in Russia the stays are often much longer than they are here, and it's possible the grandmother simply didn't hear about the adoption until it was too late.
The simplistic way the story is presented is just disturbing.
As any parent of a teenager will tell you, it's never an easy path. The boy said his mother "was yelling at me for every small thing." Well no kidding. Maybe those "small things" were the same type things I sometimes yell at Michael about - clean up your room so I can walk in there. Get your homework done. Hurry up or you will be late. NEWSFLASH KID: That's life.
I am certain of one thing. Life for Alexander in Russia will not be easy. If he follows the path of most Russian kids who get out of orphanages, he won't be successful. Because the conditions in most Russian orphanages are so horrific [check out this article by Dr. Jane Aronson], Alexander likely doesn't have very good coping skills. Most kids who age out of Russian orphanages [at 16 or so] turn to drugs and/or crime. The suicide rate is high. The rate of having babies that then get put into orphanages is very high.
Alesia was in the orphanage with a very smart, attractive girl who I sensed would somehow beat the odds. She is now out and has a baby. I don't think she is working. She is friends with Alesia on Facebook and her profile breaks my heart.
Despite all of the issues I've had with my daughter, I know one thing for sure: she is better off here than she would be in Russia. I pray that Alexander gets back here one day, and gets his life together.
I wish the news media wouldn't present these sketchy, sensationalistic stories. This story needs a lot better investigation and analysis.