Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Open Response to "Stacee Smith"

A couple of weeks ago, when the latest round of RUMORS that Russia was going to close to US Adoptions came out - I commented about this situation in a blog post.  I received the following response in my comment section:  
Russia shutting diwn adoptions looks legit -- Duma hasn't done it yet, but at least one region in Russia has unilaterally imposed an indefinite ban in adoptions by US parents. This is a GOOD thing -- Russia taking steps to protect it's littlest and most vulnerable citizens!!

PAPs undergo spool much scrutiny -- a homestudy, refer reference letters, multiple background checks, etc -- and these marvelously screened folks stioll somehow manage to kill and abuse their kids adopted from Russia. Then the UAs govt charmingly 1) fails to report these incidents to the government of Russia, as promised and 2) said APs somehow get off with no or minimal jail time, eg mr harrisson who accidentally forgot he left beautiful 18 mos old chase harrison in his car ALL DAY in the summer and tge kid died a HORRIBLE agonizing death got off with NO JAIL TIME!!
This comment was left by "Stacee Smith" who has been commenting on various adoption blogs under a variety of different names:  Kaylee, Stacee etc.  Her fake names are not connected to any blog like a majority of the people who read my blog, nor do they provide an email address to respond to, so I have chosen to respond here.  I suspect that *I* became one of "Stacee's" targets because of a comment I left after her on another friend's blog where she was particularly vicious.  The comment he/she left on my blog is not nearly as rude and accusatory as the majority of her comments I have read.  "Her" IP address appears to be Canadian in origin, but I also think he or she is a former Russian citizen, perhaps with some remaining ill feelings for the United States.  I question why all the "fake" names -- my mother always taught me that if you are ashamed to put your name on it, then it probably shouldn't be said.  

Believe it or not, I actually agree that Russia taking steps to protect it's littlest and most vulnerable citizens is a good thing.  Of course it is!  Children are a beautiful treasure and steps should be taken to make sure they are safe.  But I don't see specific steps being suggested other than requiring a Russian person to visit each adoptive family as part of post placement check ups.  My door is open!  

And yes, adoptive families DO undergo scrutiny.  A LOT of it.  I've been fingerprinted by my local police department, the county sheriff, the state AND the federal government.  This is probably more than the average lifelong criminal.  I had a doctors examination here in the states to clear me for adoption and then had to endure 3 hours of doctors appointments, blood work and xrays in Russia to prove that I am fit.  INCLUDING being seen by a Russian psychiatrist.  And finally, YES -- even with all these tests and hoops, there have been a handful of cases of abuse.  I wish I could say every system is perfect, but with everything, there are exceptions.   

However, the VAST majority of us are good, even GREAT parents.  Most of us love our children more than life itself and can't imagine ANYTHING ever happening to them (as communicated in my very honest post about the 5 minutes where I thought I had lost my daughter).   The adoption of my daughter was slightly after the Chase Harrison case went to court.  I followed it as closely as I could and was heart broken with the details.  When asked in court about abuse and if I would ever hurt my child, I could barely get out my response to the judge between tears.  I don't know the Harrison's and so I'll reserve my judgement on what happened.  I cannot imagine forgetting my child in the car.  Adopted or not, these cases happen every year around the world.  

The Hanson case is a whole separate topic.  My second adoption WAS affected by this case.  I would have liked to return to Vladivostok for adoption #2, but after Torry Hanson, this wasn't an option since I am a single parent.  This case HORRIFIES me.  Outrages me.  Me and ALL the other adoptive parents that I know.  I wish I could say that every system of checks and balances was perfect - but let's face it, it's not.  And that's not OK for Artem/Justin.  But to judge an entire country of people and adoptive parents on a few small cases is not fair, nor is it right.  

Reports vary on statistics, but most quote that 62% of Russian children are adopted by foreigners, and 38% by Russian citizens.  The largest majority of these foreign adoptions are done by US families.  In 2011, the number of US adoptions from Russia was 962 - down as compared to previous years.  Similarly, statistics on the # of orphans in Russia vary as well.  The average shows over 630,000 children in the system, 250,000 of which are living in Russian orphanages.   Another report shows that each year 15,000 children are released from orphanages.  Of that #, 10 percent commit suicide, 30 percent commit crimes and 40 percent are unemployed and homeless.  This leaves only about 20 percent who are able to make it on their own.  I am NOT saying that an abusive US family is better than ending up homeless in Russia.   Again, these cases are the exception, NOT the norm.  

At the end of the day, this is about the children.  Abuse at the hands of ANY parent, Russian or American, should not be tolerated.   But I challenge you, "Stacee" or whatever your name really is, read any of the blogs along the side of my page.  What you'll find are children who are loved, cherished and cared for.  Aim  your hatred somewhere else.  


Randy, Denise, Camden Denson said...

Nicely said. I couldn't of said it any better!

Anonymous said...
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Tonny said...

Well said indeed!

Stacy, Pat and Aidan said...

Well said!! Amen!!!

Jill said...

I do hope that Russia can get its foster care system up and running. These kids need a family. :)

Gloria said...

I could not have said it any better. Like your mother said....if you are not going to sign your correct name then you must be hiding something. I totally agree with that statement and anyone that can not see thru walls and see how children are treated ...they should not make a comment. My children, all three of them, are my life and I would love to see someone try and say I don't deserve to be there mom. Come and try....I dare you!

Lisa said...

Well said. I remember the Chase Harrison case too, we were asked about it in court as well, we were able to say that no Canadians have hurt a Russian adoptive child, but I think Americans adopt Russian kids at about 10:1 to Canadians.

Let's leave 1000s of children suffering in institutions because 1 tragedy happens. It is a tragedy, but no system is perfect.

Joy said...

I could not agree with you more.

optimistikchick said...

Couldn't have said it better. Well done Amy.

Anne & James said...

We two recieved a nasty comment for a person names Roxy out of Canada and they check our blog every day. I have made our blog private for now but will put it back up soon. This Stacee person has been hitting a lot of Reeces Rainbow families. Sad that they really feel the need to make such comments.