Moving Your Child to a Safe Place


We have made our decisions…and as a parent I can say that sometimes decisions for your child’s safety and well-being are not always easy ones.

Our teenage daughter, who was adopted at age 11 from Russia, with a history of severe child abuse and neglect, began to make bad choices this past year. She began to hang out with troubled kids and was making some bad choices. We worried late at night when she didn’t come home. She decided to know longer listen to us or follow our rules.
We are not rich people by any means. As a matter of fact, since our double adoption six years ago we struggle to get ourselves out of the debt these adoptions cost us. Mind you, we love these two kids tremendously and don’t regret adopting them. They are valuable members of our family. It was appalling to find that help for our troubled teen would have to come with a huge price tag. We are working to find ways to help us pay for all the treatments we are using for her, and have a lot of hope that we will get some help. Sometimes it takes a determined parent to make the system work for their child.

Our daughter is finishing her 8th week at Open Sky Wilderness in CO this week. She has lived without any simple luxuries like running water, bathrooms, a bed, a warm house and more. She has lived in a tent for 2 months…and completed a 24 hour solo on the mountains! We have been told that if there were awards at the graduation she would be getting Most Improved. That is amazing for us to hear.

However, is she ready to come home? No. She has learned to cope in the wild, but still lacks coping skills with the pressures of friends, school and day to day living at home. So, in other words, she is essentially safer in the wild than at home.

This weekend we will travel to CO for Parent Therapy sessions and then to meet our daughter…who we haven’t spoken to, other than weekly letters, in 8 weeks. We will have some intense sessions with her for 2 days, live on the mountain with her, and then experience her graduation ceremony. After that we will take her back to a hotel where she can have a much needed shower. We hope to go out for a nice hot meal and then spend the evening together as a family. The next day my husband and I will be taking her to a therapeutic boarding school…7 hours from our home.

At this small cozy home-like setting she will take classes, learn to cope in a home and will start family therapy with us. Our daughter cannot go to the big institutions for troubled kids. Those places are very dorm-like with large lunch halls. This would be like sending her to another orphanage….like so many times before in Russia. So, the small, nurturing environment is where she will thrive.

This does not come without a huge price tag. We will continue to work out ways to pay for all this so we can get our daughter back…so she can learn to accept her past and learn how to move ahead. She is an extremely bright and creative girl with tons of potential. We know it and know we are doing the right thing to help her to find that girl and those talents.
I thank all my readers for their positive comments and support as we go through this tough time.

As I briefly watched Marie Osmond this morning on the Oprah Show….confiding her thoughts about her 18 yr. old son’s suicide this year, I couldn’t help but think that this possibly could have been me going through this someday. Our daughter was depressed and confused…not knowing who her real friends were. We knew we had to take immediate action with her before she made really bad choices that would ruin her life. Having a trouble teen has no boundaries. Well know people like the Osmonds have lived with it…and ordinary people like us have too.

To see more about the Open Sky program—which I HIGHLY recommend—- Open Sky


Deborah Mumm
Everything for Adoption


3 responses to this post.

  1. God has certainly blessed this child with you and your husband for parents. I’m so sorry about the financial toll this has taken on your savings. I’m convinced somehow God will provide because he can see how much you are trying your best to help Tatiana. Your in my thoughts and prayers. Best of luck in Colorado, I’m sure your daughter will be happy to see you. We wish her well in her new school and in her future. God bless, Alice


  2. Deb..I have tears in my eyes. What painful decisions you have had to make and live with. I know it sounds trite but so often the things we think are the worst and we can’t stand up under the pressure of them become the very best things that ever happen…I pray that years from now when all is as stable as it can be, you will be able to look back and be grateful for this time of tumult. There is a God and He is good. Thanksgiving is a powerful time for me, time to reflect, time to write out all that I am grateful for and each year the list gets longer and less filled with material things. You are doing the best you can and you will be rewarded for those actions. You have blessed her with a family and she has blessed you with a new perspective and God will bless you all…maybe you will write a book and share your stories and struggles with the world. It was such an unselfish act you made when you went over there to get them and the acts continue to be unselfish, doing what a good parent would do, what ever it takes to make things right. May God bless you all on your new journey….Joelle


    • Thanks, Joelle. It is support from friends like you that have kept us strong through all this. We are truly blessed to have 5 wonderful kids. These issues with Tatiana were probably sent to us for a reason. I am considering writing a book on Adoption and it’s aftermath. I keep hearing I should. We head to CO to see Tatiana after 8 long weeks…then to take her to a boarding school. Pray it all goes smoothly…
      Thanks for the kind words!



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