Monday, April 19, 2010

return to sender

When I was considering adopting a dog I was amazed at how many people suggested that I could always give the animal back to the shelter if the situation did not work out . Really? What kind of a half-hearted commitment is that? What is your measure of success or failure?

It makes you wonder what an American woman, who adopted a seven year old boy from Russia, was thinking (or not thinking) when she put him on a flight back to Russia alone with a note pinned to his sweater. He had been in her home for a total of four days. We will never know what her "that's it, he's going back" moment was and it doesn't matter. The damage to the soul of this child has been done.

The media kept referring to this woman as a 'mother.' Would she have been able to return a baby she had given birth to because she found the situation to be just too overwhelming? There isn't a more selfless job than being a mother. Mothers are exhausted with newborn babies because of a lack of sleep as well as taking care of a helpless baby who is completely dependant on her for every physical need. As the child gets older a mother is there to guide you through the journey of learning to walk and talk and read and provide the kisses and hugs that allow a child to gain independence and a feeling of confidence.

In this instance the woman said that the Russian adoption agency had failed to disclose the emotional problems that the boy arrived with. She knew that this boy had been taken away from his biological mother because of her struggles with alcohol and was being adopted at the tender age of seven. How much more information do you need to determine that this was going to be a challenge at the very least? What is worse? The fact that she broke the agreement after a mere four days or that she sent him back on a plane all alone? She did what was best for her and not the well being of a child. The only good thing she did was to show that she was not 'mother material' as soon as she did. It is an insult to mothers everywhere that the media kept referring to her as the 'mother' who returned her adopted son to the orphanage that he came from. A mother put the needs of her child in front of everything else.

What kind of work do you put into a commitment if you have an escape clause of any kind? The motto of NASA is one of relentless determination. The words of inspiration between mission control to Apollo 13 are words of advice that everyone should heed when entering into what seems like a daunting task. "Failure is not an option."