Saturday 10 April 2010

Artyom Savelyev deserves a loving mother

It cannot be true
I could not be consumed with greater indignation when I read this story which was pointed out to me by a friend.
The news article headline read – Unwanted adopted boy sent back to Russia [1] – it was the kind of story that drew you into the detail, you just wanted to know why.
Something about our way of life and comforts in the West can sometimes lure us into a sense of entitlement and the drive to acquire any faddish thing that twinkles or sparkles to satisfy a whim.
In the case of Torry-Ann Hansen a 27-year-old unmarried “nurse” from Tennessee in the United States, it took her 6 months to realise that what she wanted was not a child but a Tamagotchi [2], however we now find ourselves in the midst of what by all means is cruelty beyond expression meted out to an innocent child by a selfish, inconsiderate and irresponsible adult.
An excursion to Moscow
This 7-year old child, Artyom Savelyev who apparently has a living birth-mother who in 2008 was relieved of her motherhood rights was adopted from an orphanage in the autumn of 2009, he has now been returned as a unaccompanied child on a 10-hour flight back to Russia with sweets, biscuits and colouring pens in his rucksack and welcomed by a stranger who was paid $200 by Ms Hansen to make him part of her history – a closed chapter.
Ms Hansen is unfortunate to have a name that sounds like that of the boy in the Hansel & Gretel [3] fairy tale but has cast herself most ominously as the evil child-eating witch in the story.
A 7 year old reality of life
There is no 7 year old child that comes with a zero-memory life whose behaviour defaults to a foetus template ready to be moulded like plasticine into some fancy toy perfect kid – even puppies at times need behavioural classes.
Whilst there might have been no clear information as to how and why the child ended up in the orphanage by reason of his mother losing the privilege of parenting, it is possible that it would have had some impact on the child. [Video in news story says the mother was drunken.]
The appearance of Ms Hansen as an adoptive mother might have been like a God-send for the child but the mothering skills of Ms Hansen are now more than questionable, her mental state must be suspect and as a nurse, her professional capability probably leaves patients in danger of serious harm.
Reprehensible indeed
Regardless of the supposed behavioural problems of Artyom, this impatient malcontent of a woman cannot have in 6 months decided that work of parenting was so impossible to dispatch that the motherly instinct that sent her on a journey to the far East of Russia in the Primorye Krai [4] region (Siberia to you and me) had been exhausted.
What this exemplifies is a fundamental flaw in our society which oozes of privilege, opportunity and inordinate acquisition; a shopping-mall complex that feeds the addictive yearning of a shopaholic who grabs at every luxury item without any thought of how it would eventually be paid for until the bills finally come in.
In this case, what was shopped for was a child, once the novelty had worn off the warranty allowed for the return of goods with a valid receipt.
In the bizarre case of life imitating the absurd is the heartlessness of this contemptible woman who subjected this child to a sense of indifferent detachment that would rarely be found in lower forms of life by telling the boy he was going on an excursion, then arranging for a complete stranger to pick him on arrival in Moscow and that was still about another 7 time zones from his native land.
The return slip? “I no longer wish to parent this child”, he lived with her for six months and he is still this child? [Cool me down with a pail of freezing water, please]
A hateful, spiteful woman
She passed the responsibility of return on to others when the least she could have done was to hand him back to the orphanage where she first acquired this bundle of love without consideration of the cost – the cheapest flight by Aeroflot to that region would have cost another $500 but it was convenient to entrust the care of the child to an Internet stranger for $200.
It must have been such good fortune on the child to not have fallen into the hands of traffickers or abusers, though the greatest abuse had already been meted out to the child by twice having motherly care withdrawn from him.
What the poor child could have done to have such great evil befall him from such an unstable person who no doubt is in need of supervised and regimented care escapes me but the saga must not end there.
It is an outrage that this woman would ever think she could walk away from this issue completely exculpated and vindicated; already this selfish action of hers has lead to the Russian authorities suspending the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.
This is right and just because there might really be the need for some re-education about what adoption entails and the attendant responsibilities of parenting which Ms Hansen appears to have lacked.
Justice for Artyom
Much as one would want to rain abuse on the woman, there has to be a criminal dimension to this woman’s actions if she is considered to be mentally stable and in control of all her faculties.
Society, no matter how liberal, tolerant and amenable should not countenance this without the utmost disgust, umbrage, scorn and retribution – NO CHILD – deserves to be treated in such a way and in almost unquenchable ire with exhausting exasperation, I say – Lock this woman up and throw away the key.
And honestly, that does not begin to bring a sense of justice to the plight of Artyom Savelyev.

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