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  • Writer's pictureClinton White

What is wrong with people?

Yesterday we briefly visited some children we know in one of the regional orphanages. Specifically, we went to visit some children we've known in the toddler orphanage who recently "aged-up" to this other orphanage.

We are invested in these children. We love them. We've known some of them for 3-4 years already.

There's one little boy. He is the victim of a disrupted adoption. A disrupted adoption is when a family adopts a child but then gives that child up. It's rare, but it happens. It's traumatic for everyone involved, but it's not necessarily a terrible thing. It sometimes happens that the first adoptive family simply isn't aware of or equipped to deal with a child's trauma. Oftentimes, with the help of good social service professionals, the child's trauma can be diagnosed and a much better second placement ensues. However, in this case, the child was simply given back to the orphanage. Can you imagine the trauma?

Yesterday, he was being a little bit disruptive, (actually, in my opinion, he was just being a six year old boy starving for attention). One of the shift-workers attempted to correct his behavior by making him sit in a chair next to her and by telling him (in front of the other kids and us) that his "bad" behavior was why his adoptive parents returned him to the orphanage.

I have to admit here that I was unaware of this exchange as it was happening due to my lack of Ukrainian language skills. Lena informed me as we were leaving. She was livid, and rightfully so. I am still angry. I think, if I had been aware of what the worker was saying, I would have demanded that she accompany us right then to see the Director. I think, if I were the Director, I would have fired the worker on the spot.

I am convinced this is not an isolated occurrence. This is a day in the life of an institutionalized child.

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