I read through the Facebook statement by Ruzan Badalyan.
There was something that I noticed that deeply affected me, although I doubt it’s what the author intended.
At no point during the lengthy explanation provided by Ruzan did she say, “I love my son.”
The only reference to love made in a generalized and rather generous explanation of Armenian society.
“In Armenia every child is loved and respected and family is a high value, but in this country children with special needs do require special attention, huge financial resources and dedication.”
She goes on and on about how hard this was for her, but it’s not a decision that she made alone. She said herself that it was made together with her family — and without her husband.
“My first question was about the whereabouts of my child. I remember the sad faces of my relatives and the doctors and the diagnosis that sounded like a verdict: ‘Your child was born with a Down Syndrome. [sic]’ One can never imagine my feelings at that moment․
Hardly had I recovered from the first shock, when the doctor approached me and told me to voice my decision whether I was going to keep Leo or not.”
Both Ruzan Badalyan and her estranged husband, Samuel Forrest, describe the condition of little Leo as “a shock.” But aside from that, their feelings were remarkably different.
“They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful, he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him.”
Ruzan Badalyan decided that she wanted to send her child to an orphanage, a decision that eventually led to her family going viral.
It also led to all sorts of funds pouring in, which would alleviate all the concerns she previously expressed about the cost of caring for Leo in Armenia until her husband found work.
“I saw the evasive looks of the doctors, my relatives’ tear-stained faces, received calls of condolences and realized that only a move to a country with such standards as New Zealand would entitle my son to a decent life. This fact was not disputed by my spouse either, who occasionally claims in his articles that the baby can’t afford the life he deserves in Armenia.
[E]veryone in our family realized that the baby’s interests should be placed first and only his move to another country could remedy the situation.
As a mother who has faced this severe situation, being in the hospital under stress and depression, experiencing enormous pressure from every side, [I] faced two options: to take care of the child on my own in Armenia, or to abandon my maternal instincts and extend the baby an opportunity to enjoy a decent life with his father in New Zealand. I went for the second option.”
The problem with the version of events offered by Ruzan Badalyan is that her explanation makes no sense.
The doctor didn’t ask her about New Zealand; he asked her about orphanages in Armenia.
Also, why would her husband flee the hospital with the child, determined to raise him in New Zealand if this were the conclusion you had already reached without him?
Why would Ruzan be so upset at having no say in the child’s future if she, by her own admission, kept Forrest out of the decision-making process in the first place?
Finally, how is the decision of Forrest’s to take the child to New Zealand, where he will be cared for, supposed to be more upsetting to the objective listener than sticking said child in an orphanage in Armenia? The country is apparently notorious for being unable to offer even adequate care to abandoned children.
It seems that Ruzan Badalyan is so concerned with trying not to look like “the bad guy” that she is having difficulty keeping her story straight.
— The Daily Record (@Daily_Record) February 7, 2015
Make no mistake. The purpose, the sole purpose, of Ruzan coming forward was to try and garner sympathy for herself and evade the public backlash of her heartless decision.
Badalyan took the time to garner sympathy for Armenia, the country largely to blame for her predicament, but she couldn’t work in a single “I love you” to her infant son?
Does patriotism really outweigh one’s maternal instinct that much?
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 7, 2015
The inconsistencies in the explanation put forth by Ruzan Badalyan were enough for me to decide I wasn’t remotely sympathetic to her plight.
Ruzan may have convinced some onlookers that she totally didn’t tell Solomon she’d prefer to split the baby. But I’m not buying her revisionism and selective memory.
She remembered to share the date and time her child was born, but made no mention of seeing or touching him.
I could believe that she would refuse any effort to bond with a child she was going to send away, but given the drastic change of circumstance, where is that “maternal instinct” that she was fighting so hard now?
Not a single thank you could be found in that statement for the people around the world who showed all of that concern and adoration for her child? Not a single heartfelt thank you that her husband doesn’t have to struggle to care for Leo, regardless of whether or not the child is in her life?
And on that note, I’d like to point out that she has not mentioned, in her hurry to play on sympathies, any intention of ever being involved in her son’s life. Ever.
It isn’t just what Ruzan Badalyan said that makes this statement heart-breaking—It’s all the things she didn’t say.
Her heart is not with her child, even if she wants everyone to believe this to be the case. Not a single word she wrote, upon careful examination, reveals the heart of a woman in agony over losing her son.
Instead, she’s in agony that people think badly of her because of her decision to walk away from her child and husband due to that child having Down Syndrome.
Seriously, Ruzan Badalyan… you couldn’t work in a single “I love you”?
Perhaps it’s for the best. Any more self-centered insincerity in that Facebook message by Ruzan Badalyan and I might have vomited.
[Image Credit: Samuel Forrest]