STILL Defending Torry Hansen

The spiky urchin has an opinion about opinions like the one held by Kim Strickland of Chicago Now. It’s Ms. Strickland’s opinion that if you haven’t committed or experienced a thing, you have to shut up about it. Such opinions get on my spines, hard:

In news story after news story and blog after blog, I watched parents (and probably some non-parents, too) practically getting-off on their vitriolic condemnation of Torry Hansen and her mother, Nancy.

So, I ask them: Did it make you feel better? Did it? Are you currently swaggering around, a cross between Mother Teresa, Erma Bombeck and Carol Brady, feeling oh so much more like perfect parents because you didn’t ship your kid off to Russia?

Well, if I may stay up on my high horse here, I refused to spew such vitriol. Most of these people chiming-in hadn’t adopted an older child, and while I haven’t walked in the Hansen family’s shoes, I’ve walked in a pair similar to theirs. My daughter arrived from Russia just over two-and-a-half-years ago.

Ah. So when I see something bad, I have to shut up about it while those who have either done or endured the bad thing themselves judge. I never thought about it before, but I suppose that’s why murder suspects get a jury of their true peers: six convicted murderers and six people who have been falsely accused of murder.

By that I mean, of course: Screw you, Ms. Strickland–you’re a self-righteous jerk of the sort you complain about. Shit, I probably wouldn’t be talking about poor Artyom right now if you hadn’t trotted out his tragedy. What’s worse is that you only did so because it makes such a perfect introduction for your story about how you’re–hey, let’s face it!–a much better mother than Ms. Hansen or Carol Brady, because you can and have dealt with the stuff that “put Torry Hansen over” the edge.

“POW! Supermum!”

….Even though you just said your daughter is nothing like as “bad” as Artyom. It’s a good thing you pretend you didn’t want any praise, because you’re not making your case very well here.

You don’t play fair with the Hansen case, either. You don’t mention that we have no corroborating evidence for his horrible sociopathic behavior. None. No visits to a psychologist. No school. You say you believe the Hansens “didn’t know they had other options,” but I see no evidence they bothered looking for any.

Nor did I witness the display of orgiastic finger-pointing you described. I saw some outrage–and I saw every ounce of it countered by an equal and opposite comment about how we all have to shut up if we haven’t walked in Torry Hansen’s shoes, that raising adopted kids is harrrrd, that if a lay woman decides a boy is a sociopath he is a by-gods sociopath, that we have no idea what she went through.

And it’s true: I have no idea what Torry Hansen or her mother went through. I know what they put that seven-year-old boy through. I know at least sixteen Russian kids have been killed by their American parents and nobody seems to give a rat’s ass as long as they keep exporting the product.

And I know what it’s like to grow up adopted hearing people whisper about Children Like That around you. To hear grown-ups make jokes about how they didn’t realize sending kids back was an option.

You’re not saying anything new here, Ms. Strickland. Your side, the P/AP side, of adoption (“the edge”) is and always has been the only side that matters.

And no, I don’t feel any better. I’ll feel better when the killing stops.




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5 responses to “STILL Defending Torry Hansen

  1. There are times when we don’t need to walk in the shoes of another to know something is wrong, cruel, unjust, evil or uncaring.Yes it was hard, she should never have been an adopter if she wasn’t aware of her options for help and whatever agency she used should be out of business.There are no excuses for what she did nor for those who murder, torture, starve, abuse and ill treat adoptees.Let it stop, let responsibility be taken and enforced.

  2. Annie

    I believe Tory Hansen and Artyom were both victims of the Russian adoption system; they more than likely lied to her about the child she was adopting, and they knew he had serious problems. Adoption agencies should NEVER lie to prospective parents about a child – even if it means that child might not get adopted. They should tell the full truth about the child’s psychological and health condition.

    Torry Hansen had other children in her home and had to consider their safety and well being. That point has been lost on everyone who heard about this case. Should she have waited for Artyom to harm one of her children?

    • Oh, my. I am so, so, so tired of this “poor Ms. Hansen” bullshit. Here are the facts:

      1) She sought no help from anyone, ever, in dealing with this child. NONE. She saw no professional and obtained no diagnosis. Therefore,

      2) there is zero evidence that there was ever anything wrong with Artyom. There might have been, and there might have been a way to help him, but Ms. Hansen didn’t bother to find out. She simply attached a note to him and discarded him like a sneezed-on Kleenex. We’re simply supposed to take her word for it…the word of a woman who would put a kid on a plane to nowhere in the care of a man she’s never met.

      3) This “dangerous boy” is currently doing quite well in a Russian group home with other children whom he has somehow failed to kill in their sleep.

      4) There is no proof she was lied to in any way. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, just that we have zero evidence.

      5) You and dozens (if not hundreds) of people like you are making up stories in your eagerness to blame the victim. Why? Why would you do that, when it was so prima facie wrong of her to put the kid on a plane back to Russia? Why do you want to absolve someone you’ve never met of doing such a horrible thing when we all know she did this horrible thing?

      6) Lots of people have dangerous children in their families. They deal with this by seeking professional help, which might or might not lead to putting the kid in a hospital or some other sort of residential facility. Doing that is surely difficult, but it is taking responsibility for the safety of one’s family AND for one’s child, even if one can’t live with that child. It is not outright abandonment. It is not kicking the child to the curb. Ms. Hansen is the only person we know of who ever decided that the way to deal with a (possibly) dangerous child was to absolve herself of all responsibility by discarding the child outright.

      Do you really believe that Hansen critics have never considered the possibility that the kid might have been problematic (even though we have no evidence for that at all)? Then fuck you, and thanks for insulting my/our intelligence. You’re not saying anything new, or considering both sides, or being exceptionally fair, open-minded, or even-handed, or whatever the hell it is you think you’re doing. You’re merely making excuses for a monster, as many have done before you and many will do after you, and you’re a bore.

  3. Pingback: No More Russians | Adopto-Snark

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