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Melantrys’ Page » Blog Archive » Look, I’m sure this came with a warranty.

Look, I’m sure this came with a warranty.


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In September 2009 a US American woman, Torry H., adopted a Russian child, Artyom S.

According to H. and her mother Artyom - or Justin, as he was now being called - had been showing antisocial and dangerous behaviour, ranging from hitting, kicking and spitting to uttering threats, compiling a “hit list” and even recently having started a fire in the house.

So this weekend the seven-year-old boy was put on a one-way flight to Moscow by Torry’s mother, apparently carrying nothing but a backpack containing sweets, cookies, crayons and a note from his adoptive mother with him.

The note said: “This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues … After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child.”

“A man” was paid $200 to pick the boy up at the airport and discard him drop him off at the Russian Education and Science Ministry.

(The adoptive grandmother) said it wasn’t child abandonment because a stewardess was watching Artyom on the flight and a reputable person picked him up in Russia.

According to Russian authorities, the boy accuses his adoptive mother of being “bad”, not loving him and having pulled his hair.

I am having several problems with this.

No matter which version is true, or whether both are, we are talking about a seven-year-old child here.

He was taken away from his natural mother by Russian authorities.
There is no information available on why that happened, but I’d say it is safe to assume the kid is carrying baggage from whatever must’ve taken place there before the authorities stepped in.

Then he spent about a year in an orphanage. Nothing six-year-old children really benefit from.

Then he is taken into a strange country.
A certainly frightening experience for such a young child.
He may have exhibited all those traits that the adoptive mother and grandmother describe.
Hell, if you adopt a child, you should be prepared for problems.
If they turn out to be severe surely no one will blame you if you seek help from a psychologist. That’s what they’re for after all.
Well, whatever happened in the US, after a good half year they just decide to discard him like some faulty kitchen appliance.
I don’t even want to try and imagine what that must do to the mind of a child.

Actually, none of us need much imagination here, just click the link in the second news quote, they have a photo there of the boy.
And then look at his face.

And Nancy H. has the gall to bandy words and reject the term “child abandonment”?
What does one call putting a child on a plane with the intent to deliver him onto the doorstep of the Russian Education and Science Ministry?
It doesn’t matter that a flight attendant and then a paid courier were with him at all times.
The child was abandoned at a fucking ministry in Moscow.

13 Responses to “Look, I’m sure this came with a warranty.”

  1. nastyKitten Says:

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    Words fail me…

  2. Melantrys Says:

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    Had the same problem, but had to force myself to find a few, as I felt the need to write a post on this…

  3. Pan Says:

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    Poor child, what kind of start in life has he had. Its sick :(

  4. Lynnette in Minnesota Says:

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    The boy should not have been sent back willy nilly like that. And I would have only looked at it from that point of view if this had not happened only a short time before. While the people who adopted the boy should not have acted as they did, I fear there may be more to this story then their poor behavior. If the boy behaved in any way like the boy in the article I linked to, then those parents were in for a great deal of trouble ahead. They should have had some help from somewhere.

  5. JG Says:

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    Very, very sad story. If this isn’t abandonment I don’t know what is.

  6. Lynnette in Minnesota Says:

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    Hello, JG, I see you have discovered Mel.

  7. Melantrys Says:

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    @ Pan: A very, very fucked up one.

    @ Lynnette: The boy in your article is a lot older though.
    I think at age 7 even a kid with serious issues has a chance if ppl really try to do all that is possible - which in this case would definitely have included to seek psychological help if adoptive mom and grandmom truthfully described the problems with the boy.
    But the thought of getting professional help apparently didn’t even cross their minds.

    I also kind of doubt that it is really possible for anyone to know that it is utterly impossible for them to go on living together with a child after having spent only 7 months with him. A lot of that time must have been taken up by trying to overcome the language barrier in any case…

    One thing’s for certain though; this damaged the poor kid even further and any future parents will have to deal with this added baggage as well.

    @ JG: I sincerely hope that US authorities find them guilty of something, be it abandonment or whatever would be fitting for this under US adoption laws or whatever.

    @ Lynnette: Or maybe he’s just still so fascinated by my frozen roses. ;)

  8. JG Says:

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    Hey Lynnette, haven’t seen you over at Zeyad’s Chatroom for a while! :)

    Mel, the frozen roses certainly did grab my attention! When I was in Berlin in Jan and Feb it was all dirty, icey snow everywhere, and no frozen roses at all. Guess I’ll have to wait until next year!

  9. Lynnette in Minnesota Says:

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    Mel,

    Yes, the boy in my article is probably around 13, given that it was a middle school he brought the gun to. He was adopted at the age of 3 from Russia. And it appears that that couple did try everything, including psychological help. One would hope that removing a child that young from an abusive environment would help with his problems. But whatever was tried apparently didn’t work, and it remains to be seen what the future holds for this boy and anyone who may come in contact with him.

    I would like to add that I certainly don’t want to imply that all children adopted from Russia are at risk for violent psychological problems. I know there are many wonderful outcomes for families and the children they adopt from that country. And I also have heard of problems with adoptive children from the US. I think that it is the responsibility of the adoptive parents to look into the backgrounds of any children they may be seeking to adopt. Just as in the adoption of special needs children with physical limitations they need to know what they are getting into and decide if they have the capability of dealing with the special problems these children may have. Although, even then, that might not have helped the couple in my article. Obviously, they were overwhelmed.

    The couple from Tennessee who sent the boy back to Russia unattended certainly might be open to a charge of child abandonment. But I don’t know all the details, nor the legal requirements to make that charge stick. Hmmm..I just went up and read the full article. It sounds like the authorities aren’t sure either. And it does appear that the parents tried to arrange for the boy to be met in Russia and escorted to his destination.

    As for the language barrier, if he could tell people he wanted to burn the house down, and be understood, then he must have known some English. But perhaps the question is, was that desire motivated by psychologiical problems that pre-date his arrival in the US, or from something that occurred after he arrived? They interviewed one of the family’s neighbors on TV and she said that the family pretty much kept to themselves, but that she was aware of some problems they were having with the boy. I just hate to judge from what I read in the press.

    Btw, if you speak to Anarki, would you tell him that I think I have solved my computer problem? The one where I kept getting that horrible “Internet Explorer can’t display the webpage” message? He tried to help me with that, and I just thought he might like to add the solution to his professional reference library. ;) It was a problem with my anti-virus software, Norton. After I did an uninstall, I was able to view the pages I couldn’t before. I did end up removing it entirely from my computer using the Norton removal tool. I went with something else, as Norton also seemed to slow down my computer.

    JG,

    I’ve stopped by the last couple of days to catch up on the comments I missed while I was busy. There really hasn’t been much I’ve felt like commenting on. They seem to have fallen into the usual pattern of name calling, rather than real debate. And Bruno finally seemed to give up on our debate, so I haven’t had to come up with a rebuttal. 8) Gives me a chance to try to catch up on the other blogs I’ve neglected. I’m still way behind on “My Marrakesh” for instance. *sigh*

  10. JG Says:

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    Haha.. yeah. All the blogging manners go out the window over there. It is about 80% insult, which can be funny at times, but is more often tiresome.

    So Bruno blinked first! ;)

  11. David Says:

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    I heard a lot about this child on the news. Its a sad case. However, I believe the child was indeed badly disturbed. I have read about and seen on TV some horror stories about kids in former Soviet countries being born with severe physical and or mental disabilities that have been caused by toxic waste dumps that seep into the food and water supplies of people living nearby. This kid may be a victim of such a dump. If so, its not the kids fault, but he could be messed up for life. Even the best of parents may not be able to help this child. Still, what the woman did, sending him back like that, was wrong.

  12. Lynnette in Minnesota Says:

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    Recently there was a piece in the April 26 issue of Newsweek in the My Turn column regarding this. It was written by a woman who had adopted 3 children from Russia. Here is her view:

    When Adoption Isn’t Easy

  13. nastyKitten Says:

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    Hi, Mel.
    In case the www ate my e-mail today: Is it ok if I arrive at 4 pm tomorrow?

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