Friday, September 22, 2006


Happy Rosh HaShanah from the BEING HAD Blog...

Oy Maria…

Maria, or Vika as she has been identified by the Belarusian side, is the child who has been either saved or abducted by her temporary Italian foster parents. This issue started about two weeks ago when the mother and father decided not to allow the child to return to Belarus at the end of her scheduled holiday on the Italian Riviera. You can read about it HERE

Probably this would have turned out to be no more than a simple case of part-time foster parents falling in love with their guest had it not been for the accusations of abuse suffered by the girl under Belarusian state care. Allegedly the girl claimed to have been raped several times and threatened to throw herself into the sea if she would have to go back. The parents now have the girl in hiding and Belarus has cut off the supply of children available for Italian part-time hosts untill she is found.

To my mind this situation is only in the headlines right now because it is, and has been a very popular theme to downplay anything at all that ever comes out of Belarus. I live with an 11 year old, he is an ok kid, he plays a mean game of chess, but if you blink, he'll run out on his homework to go and play with friends and would do so naked in the middle of winter. He has belly aches when math becomes difficult, loves to point out that the next guy in class has worse grades than he and won't eat his soup unless there is a gun to his head. Or in other words, he is 11.

I guess I should also point out the lovely and talented spokesman for the Tomas Zaremba side of the BEING HAD trial, who gleefully repeated her father's whimsical ideas of the situation regardless of any affiliation at all to the truth. This is not an empty accusation by the way because she TOLD the court that her father told her what to say. In this case, it's obviously a family (cultural?) trait.

This is not to say that what Maria/Vica has claimed is not true. In fact, I am sure there is a great possibility that there is always abuse in orphan situations. But there is also abuse in home situations and both of these facts are true world wide. And if one should think about it, though this ideal beach front village might at first seem to be a veritable wonderland for the girl, and certainly a step up in real estate values, is anyone really going to sit here and say that Italy has set the highest moral standards for the world to follow?
Cicciolina and Rocco, potential foster parents for Belarusian children
OK, you argue Rome and the pontiff, I argue Cicciolina, the porn star cum MP, a culture of ass pinching and the great Rocco Siffredi as examples to the contrary. Not to mention that Russian crooks are called the Mafia; wonder where they got that tag?

But obviously what I am speaking of is throwing stones from glass houses. There is no need for any of this argument and there never should have been. By my reading, none of the early reports indicated that the couple simply wanted to keep her and adopt her legally. I may be wrong, but I seem to only read that they wish to do this now, late in the going and that their early statements seemed only to incite scandal and aim negligence claims at Belarus. So ok, I get it, Belarus is an easy target and everybody will love you for jumping on the anti-Lukashenka bandwagon. But its child exploitation folks. And what is more, it seems to me to be illustrating the trait of hysteria on the part of the parents. I am not going to say that hysteria is or isn't a trait of a country who has had 60 governments since the war, but a "real" mother and father would understand that words are cheap, deeds are real and an orphan looking for a warm plate of spaghetti on the beach is likely to say whatever might work. Looks to me like foster mom and dad are about the same.

I hope things work out for Maria or Vika or Sveta or Luda or whatever the girl's name is. But I think that if she ends up coming back, life really won't be all that bad. I live in Belarus and I have seen the school system here for 11-year-olds first hand and I know that Belarusian kids, though prone to laziness, have a much harder curriculum that I did when I was that age in America. She'll have enough to do and enough friends and she speaks the language. Also Belarusians are asked to be rather strict with themselves culturally, so I am sure there will be at least as high moral standards as she would have in Italy.

But hell, if it doesn't work out with the girl, adopt me. I'll take a house on the beach and three ' Prima Vera al Pestos' a day. Nah, not really. I was just telling you what you wanted to hear.

More soon…