Mark, Thanks so much for posting this. I think the show may get some good viewership on Sunday night. The family whose message in the Sunday bulletin inspired Paula Lahutsky to adopt John, has adopted two children, Anna and Andrej. They are from two differnt places inside Russia. Both are good students, and on the road to a productive life, as is John Lahutsky. They also had support from the OCA during the adoption process.
It is so nice to see a positive .Story unfold in this website. I had the oppertunity to meet Paula in the early 1990's at the All American Council held in Miami, Fl. I still have the cassette of St Nicholas Orthodox Church that she gave me. I thought she was very inspirational when I met her then and I know it is true now. Lets keep the good flow going going into the last week of great lent and into holy week.
Glory be to God that He delivered John from the living hell of the asylum and into the loving care of Paula. The story also brings to light the extreme intolerance of the Russians towards the handicapped. To think that John was drugged and labeled as an "imbecile" is simply unconscionable, yet such stories are still commonplace today. This is something one would not have expected in the post-Soviet era.
Only recently did the Russian government introduce legislation to increase the number of handicapped children allow in schools, which at present is only a scant 2%. Even so, the hardness of the Russian heart became evident a few months ago when a journalist suggested that parents be allowed to euthanize their handicapped children because they are a burden upon society. Unfortunately. this is not an isolated opinion, it's the general attitude in Russia towards the handicapped.
Thank God that the OCA stepped in and helped in this situation. One might wonder - what did the Russian Orthodox Church do, or rather, what are they doing, while their countrymen are allowing the mistreatment of the handicapped and advocating Nazi-like genocide?
Ok Andrew, after 70 years or so under a brutal government, anti-Christian government what else could be expected. The attitudes you mention are not all that uncommon here in the exalted and so sensitive US (Ever heard of Peter Singer?).
What to you think, Soviet's gone POOF all better now?
What I expect is that the Russian Church would speak up against such atrocities. Playing the "70 years of Communism card" is a bit old and tired, and in no way justifies their silence. In two decades of freedom the Church has become little more than a vehicle for Russian nationalism.
I disagree that such an perverse attitude is common in America, in fact I would would say that most Americans are appalled at the idea of mistreating the handicapped, let alone killing them. As for the Australian Peter Singer, he's nothing but the academic equivalent of a shock jock. When his own mother was dying of Alzheimer's, he cared for her as any other son would have done. So much for Singer and his philosophy.
I have to say that Russia is not hell, and I think this article(like most western media) is Russophobic and don't miss any chance to demonize Russia. Even after decades of peace with Russia, Hollywood still loves make Russians the bad guys in new and interesting ways. Its completely idiotic. The only other people who are blackened more are Arabs.
For anyone reading this article and doesn't know anything about Russia, it seems like the worst place in the world and completely backwards. Like someone mentioned 70 years of militant atheism has bad consequences and the CHurch doesn't have any army to storm these institutions.
But this situation is a result of miltant atheism pushed upon Russia by foreign agents and through violent revolution but what happened in American history was during peace time and in Christian nation. America was the center of Eugenics in the early 20th century, where states forcefully sterilized people they thought were "imbecile", or had a history of laziness, were homeless, handicapped, and deemed inferior. This was common practice in western europe and the US. The nazis took the research conducted in the US and ran with it during their reign. People like Margaret Sanger were huge in Eugenics and she even received an award from the Nazi party for her work.
But you might be saying: "it was only a small percent of people who were behind eugenics, you can't blame all the people". Well the same thing applies to this article about Russia, you can't blame everyone, it's just illogical. And yes Eugenics is still alive, just called planned Parenthood.
(Editor's note: While Communism was certainly victorious through the civil war, I think it unhistorical to suggest it was foisted on the Russian people by "foreign agents". The history of Russian communism was long and powerful before the Revolution; and its leaders were all citizens of the Russian empire, if not all ethnic Russians. Moreover, Planned Parenthood does not support eugenics. There are many reasons upon which reasonable people may criticize them, so lets not invent misconceptions.)
Nice to hear a story about the power and mercy of God and His synergy with those of faithful hearts instead of all the miasmic excrement that results when we attempt to impose our own will on things individually or collectively.
I don't see a separate thread for Fr. Robert Arida's wonderful homily on the cross. So I placed it here for now. Fr. Robert discusses:
"Metropolitan Anthony continues, “As soon as the Church begins to exercise power, it loses its most profound characteristic which is divine love [i.e.] the understanding of those it is called to save and not to smash…”
"The Church is given for the life of the world and its salvation.... And, I would say that, these words of Metropolitan Anthony brilliantly capture and articulate what the “word” of the cross is. The “word” exhorts us personally and corporately, as the Church, to be a presence in the world, not a powerful presence, but to be the humble presence which is able to reveal the beauty, light and glory of God. In its humility, the Church is truly free and therefore able to dialog with anyone whose mind and heart is open to knowing the Truth."
I enjoyed Fr. Robert's sermon very much. To me he brought up many wonderful insights about the Cross and the Church. The Cross grounds us totally. Not the state, nation, or world. The Cross informs all other areas of how we are to live.
To me, this is why it has been wise to wait to have all OCA administrative meetings postponed until after Christ's Resurrection. For the work of the Cross will be found in Christ's glorious Resurrection. The work of the Church in these administrative meetings after Pascha will hopefully and prayerfully be informed by Christ's saving passion and Resurrection. We can fervently pray towards this end.
A word of caution! Many of these children from Russian orphanages have fetal alcohol syndrome or are from mothers who were drug addicts. The Russians hide this in adoptions. The result: people arrive home with children who have severe tantrums; have severe learning disabilities; are socially inept and in general, become a nightmare for parents. Many times these children must be institutionalized. A word to the wise!
I have heard of some cases similar to what you describe, but I know dozens of adopted Russian children who are as healthy and well-adjusted as the average child born to its family. In John's case, he is a young man of 21, now, and looking forward to going to community college next fall. Thank the Lord for small miracles, of which there are many involvong these adopted children.
We are the adoptive parents of a boy from Kazakhstan. I didn't get to see this show, not sure I could have watched it. I would highly suggest that anyone contemplating doing a special needs or any other adoption be prepared for lots of baggage. Do NOT go into it thinking you are "saving this child." We found that it was mostly for OUR salvation. Not all disabilities in these kids are visible, as with the child in the story. Beautiful, seemingly whole children can have reactive attachment disorder, PTSD, oppositional defiant disorder, multiple learning disabilities, language disabilities, or fetal alcohol syndrome. Many are victims of various, horrendous kinds of abuse. Our road has been rocky, as it has been with many families we have been in contact with. Lots of families have divorced, separated, given up their rights to the child, or passed them along to hospital care. I cannot stress enough that families must be strong and prepared to go through the adoption process, and even then, the child may not work out in your family.
We have parented our son for 10 years, we are in the thick of his teen years. We love him with our whole hearts, he is truly a gift. We got to this point through tears, tantrums, rages, therapy, tears, prayer, family help, patience, change, did I say tears yet?
If you know someone who has recently adopted, or is going through the process, extend a hand, fix a meal, babysit, give a ride, lend an ear, pray--a lot, don't say stupid stuff--"he's so lucky to be with you!" Adoptive families go through rapid and radical changes, they could use your help.
My wife and I adopted our son from Russia at the same time as Paula. She is a remarkable woman who adopted a remarkable boy, John. I only wish the story told a little more on what an amazing job she did with him. We have many memories from our time there with Paula. It was not easy but well worth it!
Adoption always carries risks of the unknown (not much different then biological children) and there have been some difficult stories. Our son was premature (he was 19 months old when we adopted him) and had some minor health issues but is growing to be a fine, talented, young man and has added great joy to our life. We always be thankful for the gift of his life and the assistance from the OCA in bringing him home to us. Please, consider adopting these wonderful children and give them a loving home.
My brother adopted his daughter from Russia. What a beautiful and intelligent kid so full of life and joy. So many kids there with so much promise are left without any chance of reaching the potential God has given them. We only hear of the lucky ones.
Dear Anonymous, too bad I don't know who you are, or where you live, or I would put you in contact with your local Welfare Office, so you can go the process, but with an American child. THere are plenty out there.
P.S. THis is a highly offensive thing to say to an adoptive parent, I suggest you keep it to yourself in the future.
"""""One might wonder - what did the Russian Orthodox Church do, or rather, what are they doing, while their countrymen are allowing the mistreatment of the handicapped and advocating Nazi-like genocide?
#1.2 Andrew on 2011-04-10 12:32 (Reply)
Thanks, now, could we insert _____ Orthodox Church in America (insert your favorite ethnic church name, I'm not picking solely on OCA)and repeat this? Marching on Washington is a great photo op, but what is YOUR church doing to actively promote life?
American doctors routinely abort babies because of handicaps. I refused to have an amniocentesis---a test used mainly for diagnosing handicaps in preborn babies, why? Because I didn't want to hear my healthcare professional provide me with "options for my pregnancy."
Genocide is practiced in this country everyday, Elective abortions are performed for numerous reasons. Planned Parenthood explains away their need for public funding by saying that abortions are "only 3% of their work." Seriously? How many babies is that is YOUR town?
By the way, I have been and continue to be a volunteer counselor in a crisis pregnancy center. I am also an adoptive mom.