Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mr. Astakhov

I am mad.  It's as plain as that.  And sometimes I go from mad to desperately sad when thinking about those children I left behind in Russia.  Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of them.  Six months ago, I could at least have the hope that some of them were going home to families who would love and cherish them, but now, because of this man and those who would say they are patriots, these children have all but lost hope of ever finding a family of their own.  Mr. Astakhov is the Children's Rights Ombusman of Russia.  And what experience did he bring to this appointed position?  None.  That's right.  Zero experience working with children or advocating for children.  Zero experience in child development and disabilities.  Do you know what he does have experience in?  Being a talk-show host.  That's right.  The man responsible for keeping thousands of children shut away in orphanages is a former talk-show host and attorney.  This man is responsible for children's rights in Russia???????  The same man who took his wife to France to birth their children, while staying in a fancy mansion, and sending a son to the U.S. to go to school, is the one claiming foreigners are killing and molesting Russia's orphans.

Do you know what I see, Mr. Astakhov?  I see families who have adopted "your" orphans who have gone to hell and back to help them work through the many, many emotional problems they have from institutionalized living.  I read about how they give, and give, and give love to a child who shows absolutely no love or any emotion in return for months, or even years.  I have a friend whose family has been dealing with an infestation of scabies that their child brought with them from the orphanage for months.  I read experiences of babies, babies, who don't even have words to express their feelings, arch their backs, repulsed by any attempt to snuggle or be held close by their adoptive parents.  In each of these cases, and there are so many I haven't even mentioned, these parents chose to hold on, to keep trying, to use every available resource to bring their child out of a place of hurt, abandonment, and emotional void to  place of love, affection, trust, belonging.  If you could see the love these parents have, to willingly adopt these children knowing these were all possibilities, knowing they could be in for the hardest thing they've ever done in their lives, but still saying "yes", you would be ashamed.  Absolutely ashamed of yourself for even hinting to the idea that they had ulterior motives for adoption.

Adoption is born out of the worst kind of tragedy.  It can become the most beautiful thing a person can witness, but make no mistake, adoption is born out of unimaginable grief, sacrifice, and pain.  No one wants to become pregnant with a child they can't keep.  No one wants there to be mothers who can't mother.  Not one of these adoptive parents is under the impression that once they pick up that child their life is going to be a bed of roses.  In fact, in the back of our minds, we are probably expecting the worst so we won't be disappointed if things aren't as we'd hoped they'd be.

Mr. Astakhov, if you would take one moment from your world of money and politics to really see the nearly sixty thousand families who have taken these children and made them their own, I would hope you would humbly bow your head and admit that you are wrong.  What you have chosen to do to these defenseless children is horrific.  In the name of country you are sentencing these children to early deaths.  And the worst part is, you probably already know that.

Russia is full of people who love their children, but it is run by politicians who would use them as political fodder for their own twisted purposes.  And tonight in America, there are hundreds of families going to bed with tears on their pillows, having met the children they have spent months hoping to adopt, knowing they will probably never see them again.  Their promises to their children broken through no fault of their own.

So tonight, I am mad.

Article here in The Moscow Times that tells just what kind of a man Mr. Astakhov is.  I hope that one day the Russian people will rise up against their government for the sake of their children.  Freedom is a right for every man, woman and child.
Photo printed in The Moscow Times. 


  1. Well said Becky. I wish I had his personal email so I could send this to him.

  2. It's too bad he can't read this for himself. Some hard truth would be good for him to hear.