My Momversation last week was a really hard one – “Are Kids Returnable?” When I saw the topic, I sighed heavily. I’d paid close attention to the story of the Tennessee woman who sent her adopted son on a one-way flight back to Moscow with merely a note saying that she no longer wished to parent him. It’s a sensational and appalling story.
It’s also a story that isn’t as black and white as you might think. Sure, we can all agree that the way the woman handled it was completely inappropriate. Removing that from the equation, though, there were so many other options for her. I can’t imagine having a child so volatile in my home, so I can’t say that I know what I would do in that situation. I can only say what I hope I would do. I would exhaust all the services available to me as a parent to a child with mental health issues. I’d be banging down the doors of behavioral therapists, child psychologists, you name it. I would consider hospitalization, if necessary.
What would I do if none of that worked? I don’t know. I would hope that…well, I would hope that if none of that worked, I could find a solution. If that meant the child would be better off in another home that might be better suited for his or her unique quirks, then I’d hope I’d have the strength to offer that to my child. I would never send a child BACK to an orphanage and hope everything turned out OK. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself not knowing for certain the child wasn’t in a better situation.
It’s a rough, rough thing. I would love to hear about this from adoptive and foster parents (I hate those labels – aren’t we all just parents, period?). It was hard for me to find the right words for such an intense topic.