Artyom and Chrissie

May 5, 2010 DonnaT 2 Comments

For almost a whole month, I’ve been thinking about 7 year old Artyom who was sent back to Moscow on a one way, nonstop flight with a note pinned to his coat that explained that his adoptive mom no longer wished to parent him. I’m not going to go into how I feel about what she did because I’ve already hashed all of that out on my blog but it’s pretty obvious to most that this child had problems that his family were not equipped to deal with. If there’s a silver lining to his story, it’s that his next (and hopefully last) family will be MUCH more aware of his needs and better able to dedicate the patience, time, and resources to give him what he needs to thrive.

All children deserve to thrive.

Chrissie is trying very hard to thrive right now. She’s hooked up to a ventilator in a hospital in San Antonio with her mother near her side. Right where her mommy’s been since April 19th when Chrissie first arrived at the hospital to fix a heart defect that her new family knew was “incompatible with life.” They had all of the information they needed and they made the choice knowing full well that she’d need serious help to survive.

I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m not sure I could have made that choice. I know they didn’t do it to earn the admiration of people like me but they sure do have my admiration and respect anyway.

I’m thankful that there are people like Chrissie’s parents who will do this in spite of all of the emotional risks and I’m thankful that Chrissie orphanage in Serbia didn’t downplay or minimize (or completely withhold) the severity of her heart condition. If they had, an unsuspecting family might have easily fallen in love with her sweet smile and brought her home. But other than love, would they have been able to give her what she needed? Would they have been able to dedicate the physical, emotional, financial and medical resources necessary to give her the best hope of a full life? A life beyond her preschool years?

Could you do it? Could you adopt a child like Chrissie?

I couldn’t.

I know my limitations. If I’d been handed a child like Chrissie, I would have done my best and it would have been a fantastic effort and I’m pretty sure that nobody would find any fault with it but I’m almost certain that it wouldn’t have been as good as the mom and dad she has right now.


Because this family knew what was coming and they were prepared for it while most of us would only be able to respond to it.

Proactive vs reactive.

Two children.

Two countries.

Two adoptive families.

Two totally different outcomes.

Hopefully, they’ll both have happy endings.

2 responses to “Artyom and Chrissie”

  1. Kris says:

    to answer your question: yes. the first girl i inquired about had a major heart condition with an expected lifespan of possibly only 10. i was in it.
    and on my MCC (medical conditions checklist), under other, i had added: "cancer".

    i guess in some ways this comes down to callings. i don't know. i only know that i hope i'm given the opportunity to adopt again. and i'm certain i'll still be open to those things.

  2. Wife of the Pres. says:

    Good questions. And I can say Yes, me too.

    Yes, we knew (and still live with the fact) that our DD's heart condition is not curable and her expected lifespan is not normal.

    I think God leads us on our specific paths. Just how I call it b/c I can tell you my DH and I are as ordinary and as incapable as the next person, but we KNEW Li'l Miss was the one whom we'd been waiting and praying for … and she was very sick.

    That is about all we knew. Don't know much more with our waiting son. And yet we go forward in peace.

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