Adoption freeze urged after boy returned to Russia - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This can go here, right?

  

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#2 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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#3 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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How sad, for all involved! Obviously it awful for the child who could very well have received all the psychological services needed here in the states, as well as sad for a family who feels they were (and likely were) deceived by people attempting to adopt them a child. This is not in any way the first I've heard about caregivers and agencies lying about the mental and emotional state of a child in order to place him in a home. It happens in US foster care, and it happens in foreign orphanages. I'm surprised the article does not mention which agency she used and whether or not they required training or offered post placement services. Obviously there's a lot more to this story than just this article.

Even so... it strikes me that this is a very short time in which to choose a disruption. Yes some people choose to disrupt almost immediately, and others try to make it work for a year or two. I haven't heard of a disruption happening around the 6 month mark though... I wonder how many services his adoptive mother tried to access, whether she was turned away, whether she was offered support or even knew about local support, etc. Again, that would really come back to the agency as most agencies at least attempt post placement support, or ask you to find local post placement support before you're placed with a child. Also... why did they think that this was the right way to disrupt an adoption? Wouldn't it have been better for him to enter the US foster care network, where he'd have access to other families accustomed to children with various needs as well as psychological services? And wouldn't he already be a US citizen anyway?

I do feel for all involved and I'm very worried that what happened here is a woman who was completely unprepared for adoption was handed a child who needed a considerable amount of services with little preparation and no knowledge of how to handle the situation. Yes, it's a crap thing she did to this kid, and to those hoping to adopt from Russia should this lead to a closure, but I can objectively see what might lead to this scenario.

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#4 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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This makes me angry. I understand that children with attachment disorders can be very difficult to parent, but in my opinion, what the adoptive mother chose to do was unconscionable. It is very, very sad.

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#5 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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Wow. ...to actually send a child back alone like that? Do they not understand how disruptions work? What a sad thing to do to your child...to put them on a plane out of your life.

I do wonder about the future of Russian adoption. I've just heard so many horror stories of records being falsified, or hidden by Russian authorities. It's criminal, and it's not in the best interest of children. I don't know the situation very well, but from what I do know it seems like shutting down the program might be a good idea. Obviously something is very, very wrong with the way adoptions are carried out by some people in the system.

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#6 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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So very, very sad.

I feel that the adoptive family must not have done their homework well enough, but also the agency might have deceived them? Still, this makes me sick to my stomach.

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#7 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I could see deception and damn-near-criminal keeping the adoptive mother ignorant on the part of the agency...

But it takes a special person to not go with an agency locally, but to buy plane tickets originating from another city, send the child as an unaccompanied minor to be dumped off at some Russian agency building with a note. I would almost think that she was trying to avoid embarassment in her profession (if she is indeed a nurse) for relinquishing/disrupting an adoption in the states OR perhaps this was an illegal/fraudulent adoption. OTOH, I don't see how in the world she could have expected not to be found out or people not to react in horror across the globe. I'm going to guess that the mother was not in a rational state of mind.

All that aside, if indeed the US does not have a treaty with Russia, that should be remedied. Maybe it should be required that all adoptive families be given education about the steps to follow if they decide to disrupt the adoption.

In any case, what happened to that child is sick and wrong. Doubtless there's plenty of fault to be spread around, but the mother should face consequences for what she did, IMO. Though I guess it's better than killing her son.
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#8 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 07:32 PM
 
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"Also... why did they think that this was the right way to disrupt an adoption? Wouldn't it have been better for him to enter the US foster care network, where he'd have access to other families accustomed to children with various needs as well as psychological services? And wouldn't he already be a US citizen anyway?"

It is almost literally impossible to have legal responsibility for a child transferred to the state if you are the legal parent and you are not abusing the child. Maybe, after years of institutionalization and wiping out every single personal asset she possessed, if enough of the right people believed he would never get well and she was permanently destitute and could never pay his medical bills, this woman could have had her adopted child made a ward of the state.

It's an ugly mess, and it goes way beyond the adoption angle (a whole 'nother horror show). Children with RAD and other difficult-to-cure, difficult-to-endure psychological disorders are born right here in the USA every day, and their parents (birth or adoptive) often find that they basically have three choices: 1) keep living in daily misery and fear with a sociopath 2) kill or hurt my child 3) kill or hurt myself. NONE of those three choices are acceptable, although the government sure prefers it when people choose #1, or even some version of #3 that doesn't necessitate the involvement of social services.
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#9 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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"In any case, what happened to that child is sick and wrong."

Yes, absolutely. I would bet money that the investigation will reveal that he was in no way ready/able to be placed in a home setting, and was set up to fail by the people who were supposed to be protecting him and giving him the help he needed.

What this woman did is insane, irresponsible, cruel. But if she had a sane and responsible way to disrupt this adoption, I am not aware of it. The Russian agency was most certainly not going to take him back if she flew over there and asked nicely! Maybe what will come out of this is some sort of stateside resource center for families who find themselves in the same straits in the future.
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#10 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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What this woman did is insane, irresponsible, cruel. But if she had a sane and responsible way to disrupt this adoption, I am not aware of it. The Russian agency was most certainly not going to take him back if she flew over there and asked nicely!
I have actually read about families who have disrupted adoptions, and that there is a way to do it. I don't remember the details, but I remember looking through the website of an agency that places children whose adoptions have been disrupted. It listed some information about each child - and all of the kids were from other countries, all had been adopted as older kids and almost all of them were from Russia.

Sadly, I seem to have read about a number of adoptions that have been disrupted and none of them just put a little kid all alone on a plane and sent them back to another country. I am not saying it is easy, but there are other options.
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#11 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I'm sorry, Smithie, I don't know where you are getting your information from, and it may be true where you are--but in most states there IS a process and a precedent. Adoption disruption is not as rare as people seem to think it is.
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#12 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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omg i just can't find the words other than poor boy.

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#13 of 47 Old 04-09-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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I'm sorry, Smithie, I don't know where you are getting your information from, and it may be true where you are--but in most states there IS a process and a precedent. Adoption disruption is not as rare as people seem to think it is.
This is the information I have, too. And unfortunately, I have "seen" (online and through adoption groups) several adoption disruptions happen....usually having to do with RAD or special needs. If that many are happening publicly, I would imagine many, many more happen privately. In our adoption classes (required by our state), disruption was discussed, and the numbers were shocking. I wish I remembered what they were, but in a way I'm glad I've forgotten.

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#14 of 47 Old 04-10-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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The agency they used, WACAP, does require post-placement reports as does Russia. The typical way Russian adoptions work is that the adoptive parent travels to Russia and is matched with a child there. Sometimes RAD doesn't really manifest until the child is "threatened" by attachment in a family.

I can understand disrupting an adoption if you have a child that is a danger to other members of the family. There are ways to disrupt, but what this family did was beyond awful.
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#15 of 47 Old 04-10-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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I've read multiple articles on this situation, so am not sure which stories had what details now. Apparently, the child was able to maintain his Russian passport although he was finalized in Russia and became a US citizen (duel citizen). Duel citizenship gives country of current location jurisdiction. The US agency is WACP, which has a good reputation from what I understand. The postplacement reports are all glowing, so I think that needs to be looked into carefully. I read in one article from the UK that the birthmother was an alcoholic and the child was removed from the home at 6y. So in addition to all the international adoption/orphanage issues, it sounds like there are homelife issues (neglect, abuse, etc) typical of foster care situations.

There are 2 main issues that I see here, and one is clouding the interpretation of the other. 1.) the disruption, and 2.) the manner of disruption. As far as disruptions go, I would like to say I could never do it. That I would do whatever it takes to fight through it all. But having never been in such a situation, I don't think I can make such a blanket statement. I wonder where her education and support was, where the extra visits were with the SW (the last one, with glowing report, was in Jan). What was her access to outside professional help? What was her SW position on seeking outside help? Putting on a plane solo is callous and awful, but it is curious to me that it was the grandmother, not the mom. Was the GM the driving force in give him back? Was the mom otherwise still wanting to try to seek help? Was the mom incapable of actually putting him on the plane, even though she may have fantasized about it and even written the letter? And if they were going to drop him off, why not at the US agency's doorstep? Or could they have then been prosecuted? Or have CPS involvement that risked her other child? Because of the duel citizenship/location issue, did she feel that she was legally safer this way? To me, putting him on a plane, while awful, may have been the only way to to do this in her (obviously overstressed and irrational) mind. Having been to the point of overstressed and irrational, I can see how desperation would have made that make sense.

I really want to read the follow-ups to this. Right now my judgement is reserved until more details. What I can say is that how awful it must have been for all of them that this was perceived as the best solution. How awful it is that so many other adoptions are on hold in limbo--I can not imagine! And finally, while Russia is landing this squarely on the US and Mom's lap, which is politically expedient to do, how much responsibility do they bear? How much of his scary behavior was known prior to removal from the house, and how poor conditions in the orphanage to help create this? And if this was truly ignorec or not disclosed to the Mom, that certainly removes some responsibility. My heart is broken all the way around.
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#16 of 47 Old 04-12-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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An update of sorts

Quote:
A statement released by Adoption Assistance, Inc. said the child appeared to be adjusting and the mother was enthusiastic during a visit by a social worker in January. But by late March, the agency has been unable to get in touch with her.

"Our agency worked diligently to locate the mother, including e-mails and calls to the client's mother, with no success," the statement said.
This just gets weirder and weirder.
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#17 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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I keep reading into it, too. There was a long story on one of the middday NPR programs about this...it sounds like even families that only had their Russian court date left, families that were IN RUSSIA hoping to bring home their children, are now being told their adoptions are on hold indefinitely. I'm so sad for those families. I do believe the adoption process needs to be reformed, and Russia needs to be more open with records, but for the families in process this must be heartbreaking.

And really, the more I hear about this particular situation with the 7 year old boy, the more I hope the mother faces some sort of consequences. She should have reached out for help to anyone (!!) in the agency, or in her local county services, and it doesn't sound like she did.

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#18 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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ROM, I agree. She was a nurse, she had to know of inpatient/outpatient psych options in her area, or at least where to get info. I really want to give Mom the benefit of the doubt (that things were so awful that she was just irrational and acting so), but the more I read, the less I am able to do so. What 33yo woman lets her Mom run interference for something so big in life, and then continues to let her speak for her? There is something bad wrong lurking somewhere. The things that stick out to me and raise more questions are: actively avoiding contact with agency (not just not contacting them, but not returning calls to Mom or G-ma, and emails), that the G-ma has been so hands on involved in this process--why?, that they sought advice from an internet lawyer, and that they consulted a psychologist, but never took the boy to see one?

Another strange twist this page is from the taxi driver/escort person they hired in Russia. With copies of the emails and such. The G-ma set this part up, too. And although the G-ma doesn't lie, she doesn't let the driver know practically until the boy is in the air that it is services for an unaacompanied minor, but lets it be assumed service is for her. Blows my theory of both of them (Mom and G-ma) being so distraught that she is also acting irrationally. The emails are absolutely rational and calculated.

I just don't know what to think, but I find my mind wandering to this child and this situation pretty frequently. How in the world did it get to where this was the best perceived option?!?
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#19 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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Now there's a new update today that while the mom still had the one boy, she was calling the same agency in Russia saying things were going well and asking to adopt a 2nd child! Then when that agency said that wasn't advised and she should focus on developing her relationship with the 1st boy for now, she started calling around until she found another agency that deals with Russian adoptions to try to adopt a 2nd.

The more details that come out, the more this sounds like while there may have been deception/key information on theboy's mental state withheld from mom in the beginning, Mom has taken several egregious, unconscionable steps in her reaction no matter how you slice it.

I can't help but keep coming back to the basic fact that she put that little boy on a plane alone. I don't care how limited she saw her options - that was simply an unjustifiable thing to do. While I certainly can't say I'd never disrupt an adoption, I think I can say pretty certainly I'd never put a child that young with that history on a plane alone to be sent back to his country with a note and delivered to an agency that isn't even the original adoption agency.
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#20 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I still don't know what to think. There's quite a few people on my foster/adoptive parent message board who are strongly in the adoptive mother's camp. There are people who've fostered and/or adopted children with RAD and who've been terrorized by the children in their homes.

This statement from an interview on Good Morning America is concerning. "No, no this is not true," Pavel Astokhov, Russia's children's rights commissioner, told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview. "How can you imagine this, [that] a 7-year-old boy can be dangerous?"

Of course they can. If he really doesn't believe that, then he is truly out of touch with what's happening in his own country's orphanages.

I hope at some point, we get to hear from the adoptive mother. I don't agree with what she did as far as putting the child on a plane, but I'd like to hear her view of her experiences.
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#21 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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I still don't know what to think. There's quite a few people on my foster/adoptive parent message board who are strongly in the adoptive mother's camp. There are people who've fostered and/or adopted children with RAD and who've been terrorized by the children in their homes.

I hope at some point, we get to hear from the adoptive mother. I don't agree with what she did as far as putting the child on a plane, but I'd like to hear her view of her experiences.
I agree but I am not hopeful. I think to the general public, this is a love to hate that parent situation. I actually first heard about this when my friends were trashing the mom on facebook. A mom in my state committed suicide after a case like this. No one wants to address how complicated this is, so they lay all of their anger on the adoptive parents. I am so sensitive to this form of adoptive parent bashing, since I have biological children who I treat very differently from my adopted daughter. I know I treat my children the way they need to be treated, but I am still sensitive
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#22 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I try to reserve judgement on disruptions, and even placing children in in-patient psychiatric wards. I'm actually one that believes disruptions are a good thing. If you're really at THAT point where disruption is wanted, then the child will do better with someone else.

But to actually put a child on a plane and send them out of your life? To think it's that simple, that a child can be disposed of that way? It's terrible. I too wondered if she was in a panic or traumatized, but it doesn't sound that way.

An adult should know better. I could see a teenager making this kind of bad judgement, but not an adult.

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#23 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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I want to understand from this and learn from this, but it just seems to get worse and worse. There has been no parent bashing in my circle of friends, more of bewilderment than anything else. I fully accept some type of RAD or similar issues to be at work, and can see things being good for a few months honeymoon and then deteriorating, so it is possible that the reports were accurate that things were good up to a certain point. But why didn't she contact the homestudy or placement agency when things starting going wrong, and why was she proceeding with a new adoption while things were falling apart at home? The sheriff also alluded to the fact that he didn't know how long they had lived in the county, and the couldn't find anyone that knew this family to talk to. That, combined with the agency's inability to contact them, makes it sound like they were on the run or at least had moved in the postplacement period. I know how crazy the first year with Isaac was, with awful grieving and transition issues (the worse end of the spectrum that would be considered "normal"), and it sounds like their issues were 10x worse. There is no way that I would have even considered starting another adoption during that time; in fact, dh was adamant about never adopting again because it was so traumatic to us all (he has since softened that, and finances are the primary deterrent again, well and we age out of the Korea program in 2 years). The comment from the Russian official in a PP is concerning, as well. If the adoptions that go bad are followed so closely, why are the RAD situations so unfamiliar to him?

I think, due to the international uproar and damage this has caused, that the mother needs to at least issue a statement regarding why this was their best option. Thinking about some of the terms in our contract with our agency, we could have been sued for breach of contract had we behaved as she had. I wonder if the agency will pursue anything of that sort to get at the truth? At the least, I hope it brings about reform within the Russian program that sounds like is needed. And I hope this family and child get the help they need.
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#24 of 47 Old 04-13-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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After thinking about it some more this afternoon (and reading Barbara Kingsolver's new novel, which seems to lecture quite a bit on the fallibility of the press), I'm hoping that at least some of this is being blown out of proportion. The suspicions, at least. In the absence of real facts and whys from the mother, it's so hard to know what really happened. The agency has their own motivations to put the blame on the mother, too, and I'm trying to remember that even though the agencies we worked with would have jumped on any talk of disruption or problems, not all agencies are so vigilant.

The thing I can't get past is putting the child on the plane. THAT was done, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I can't see the world from that woman's shoes, but I have a hard time imagining any possible situation that would warrant shipping your own child away.

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#25 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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We worked with this agency for our two adoptions from China. If this woman had been honest about having problems with the child, I cannot believe they wouldn't have gotten her in touch with local resources to help. I know for a fact that they have worked with other families to rehome children when the original placements have broken down.
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#26 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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That's good to know.

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#27 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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We worked with this agency for our two adoptions from China. If this woman had been honest about having problems with the child, I cannot believe they wouldn't have gotten her in touch with local resources to help. I know for a fact that they have worked with other families to rehome children when the original placements have broken down.
I don't get why the home study agency isn't being held accountable. To me, they have more blame since they're the ones who actually met with her and talked to her. The placing agency has a lot less contact with the ap than the home study agency.
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#28 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Do you think it might be lack of awareness/understanding of adoption procedures? A lot of people don't seem to understand the idea of having two agencies (homestudy/placement). I bet to a lot of people in the country, and the media, that the placement agency seems more culpable...just because people DO understand the role/idea of "placement" of a child.

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#29 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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In ALL honesty I too don't want to judge motives or the state she was in. But the last few days I've been mulling over this... her actions don't add up to what is being said... It is completely conceivable that we aren't hearing the truth... These are my thoughts... I'll admit it could be wrong... but I am thinking out loud...

Stressed out parents tell people...
Depressed parents can't hide it... it effects other areas of their life
Scared parents seek help...

As far as we know she did none of these things, despite them being offered and available. In stead we are told she avoided people that could have helped her... odd, if it is true. If the child was really as horrible don't you think some one would have known about it???

Her actions look sneaky (or what we are being told about her actions).

IF it is true that she was wanting to pursue further adoptions I really wonder how difficult it was for her...

People I personally know that have had a child with RAD or very difficult adjustments either don't adopt at all again or wisely give it many more years... She gave it a grand total of 6 months??? Really?

It is almost as if this child wasn't what she wanted and so she thought she could return him like a pair of jeans for one that fit better... harsh... I know.
But, that is what it looks like if all we are told is true.

All of it seems so odd... did she really think Russia would just take him back in with out a word???

Either she isn't mentally well or she really thought she could get away with some thing.


Marci

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Married to my best friend, homeschooling, gardening,

running a camp for at-risk kiddos and walking a narrow path.

 

Mom to an amazingly fun crew of 5!

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#30 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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And sometimes terrorized people just retreat. Maybe the mother was so scared tbat sbe let her mother take over and make the decisions. Maybe not.
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