Hurry up and wait

"Hurry up and wait" Continued...

Issue: "Flame-outs," May 8, 2010

The end of our journey was in sight, but the real adventure is just beginning.

Adoption trauma

Thousands of Russian adoptees on hold

By Jamie Dean

For thousands of Americans waiting to adopt children from Russia, the beginning of spring brought a deep freeze: Russian authorities announced they were temporarily suspending all adoptions to U.S. families.

The adoption hold came after a Tennessee woman sent back to Moscow the 7-year-old boy she adopted from Russia last year. The boy arrived on a plane in Moscow alone on April 8, bearing a note from his mother: Torry Ann Hansen said her adopted son has severe psychological problems, and she wanted to return him. In response, Russian authorities are demanding a new bilateral agreement on adoption and have suspended U.S. adoptions until the agreement is signed, which could take months.

For Russell Moore, the crisis is "heartbreaking across the board." Moore, dean and vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and author of Adopted for Life, adopted two sons from Russia seven years ago. Since April, Moore has heard from couples all over the United States, agonizing over adoptions put on hold by Russia.

Moore points out that most adoption scenarios go well, but he acknowledges that some families do face problems, especially if children are older: "So that means God is calling up many families who are able and willing to take on the additional risk that comes along with loving those children."

Loving those children through difficulties isn't a private endeavor, he says: "The whole church is to work together in bearing one another's burdens, including in parenting." He points out that many Christian parents privatize their parenting instead of asking for help.

Moore says watching his boys' healthy physical and spiritual development reminds him of their pitiful condition when he first met them in Russia, and of other orphans "languishing in cribs all over Russia. It's really traumatic to even contemplate what the future holds for them."


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