Girls adopted by Edelwina and Steven Leschinsky

Three girls, adopted from Stavropol Russia by Edelwina and Steven Leschinsky in 2005, received unusual and cruel punishment for years at the hands of their adoptive parents.
Date: 2010-01-12
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: no



Organizations: Not an accredited agency

Post placement


Johnstown, Colorado
United States
See map: Google Maps
Documentsort iconDate
Colorado couple in court in Russian adoption abuse case2010-09-09
Documents: 3 sisters forced to do pushups, run for miles2010-08-26
Larimer County couple charged with abuse of adopted Russian daughters2010-08-26
Parents Accused Of Torturing 3 Adopted Russian Sisters2010-08-26
US couple charged with abuse of adopted Russian girls2011-07-02
US couple suspected of abusing adopted Russian children pleads not guilty2010-10-09

Colorado couple adopt Russian girls

The backstory here is far different than how it reads.

I would caution anyone from ever considering adopting a child from Russia. They come with partial stories, half truths, and a whole lot of baggage. Why invite trouble? The allegations lodged against these parents were outrageous and too impossible to be true. Many mistakes were made by school officials, police officers, attorneys and even hostile, estranged family members. These good parents didn't stand a chance to survive the stories. ONe thing our child welfare system excels at is validating rebellion and delinquent behavior of juveniles.

In this case the three girls were not abused by their adoptive parents. Clear and simple. These are decent people whose lives were ruined by false allegations and a system hell-bent on finding them guilty without a trial. This is not the first case in our community involving Russian adoptee girls who received lots of attention when crying wolf. It sickens me to know the truth doesn't matter
and our family court system is so messed up. Under threats of lengthy prison sentences the couple took a plea that required they relinquish rights. They never had their day in court, but felt no other choice than to cut their losses. The girls tried to recant their stories. They wanted to go back home. The same system so eager to protect the girls wanted no part of setting the record straight.

The invitation

The following statement, about adopted children from Russia, reads like a very telling reflection, perhaps from one who may not know all that much about the history of international adoption, in the first-place: "They come with partial stories, half truths, and a whole lot of baggage. Why invite trouble?"

Of course these children have problems and troubles! I can't imagine any owner/director of an adoption agency who doesn't know the children "touched by adoption" - from any country or region - come with partial stories, half-truths, and a whole lot of baggage. The troubles affecting adopted children are wide-known in many circles, and it's the very stuff that makes many of us "orphaned adoptees" so angry, confused, upset, and in-need of services that may be required for decades, not just weeks or months.

Those who decide to adopt must not rely only on the words from their adoption agencies/lawyers, and so-called adoption "educators" supported and endorsed by the industry that supports them. Before adopting , each and every PAP needs to do a lot of self-education which includes very deep, thoughtful consideration to the many factors that affect and have an effect on each child "touched" by "orphan-care" and adoption.

Adoption is much more than an invitation to broaden one's family circle. The decision to care for another person's child is very complicated and complex, and should never be based on a photo, or stories that sugar-coat the very real issues and truths that follow that adoptee, for many many years after the formal adoption. The work of a good loving adoptive parent is heavy and constant; it's expensive, too. (For instance, let's consider the cost of therapy: how does one dare to "undo" the damage caused by sexual abuse? Is the adopted child, often with a long list of troubles and traumas, "something" that can be "fixed"?)

Sadly, I believe far too many adoption advocates advertise the job and duty of an adoptive parent as being a job that requires only love and an open-heart to poverty. Over and over, I hear how people are called and invited to adopted -- and over again, I see just how few of those accepting these invitations are receiving the education they need to go with each and every adopted child they receive.

Accepting responsibility for a child with a lot of horrific baggage is indeed a tremendous task. I wholly believe, for many unprepared, overly idealistic PAPs, taking care of the many (countless, un-ending) needs of an adopted child IS too much work and IS much more trouble and tribulation than party and happy invitations.

So rather than dwell on one specific case, out of many, within PPL's archives, I urge those who are looking into adoption to look deeply into the dark-side of adoption, and recognize what happens to a child during the "orphan-making"/adoption process each adoptee must take to become part of a foreigner's family. I urge each excited and desperate PAP to ask, "Do I have what it takes to help a child who has been through soooooo much trouble, already?". (I urge the extended family members and closest of friends, of these PAPs, to do and ask the same.)

(After doing such difficult adoption-related homework, for my own self, I asked, "What child "invites" such strife and social barriers into his or her young life?" My answer to that was simple: not a single one.)

I believe we still live in an age where too many unfit people are allowed to adopt. I believe in spite of the horror stories we read, adoption agencies are still not doing enough to weed-out and prepare those people most willing and able to do the job of adoptive parenting.

It is the exceptionally patient, daring, accepting, loving individual who says "yes" to the child from ruin, and it's the hero who accepts, with sadness, the damage done to some children, and still decides not to run, and shirk adoptive parenting responsibility, like so many dis-satisfied customers often do, when the damaged baggage, (the unwanted troubled orphaned adoptee), gets shipped through a chosen, inviting adoption agency.


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