How does a point of view become policy and when does that happen? When a woman puts her adoptive son on a plane to Moscow C.O.D.? Or when a family finds, nurtures and raises a beautiful boy to early adulthood? Over ten years ago, while making the festival rounds with my short film, "Central Park", an acquaintance Joanne Ashe, asked me to film a trip she was taking to Russia with an American adoption agency. Six weeks later we were in Moscow, and a few months later we were at the Sundance Film Festival with this heartfelt portrait.
Soon after, NBC Dateline was running a story about a woman who had fatally beaten her adoptive son. Her defense was his uncontrollable behavior, which he developed during his early years in The Russian Orphanage. When I realized that I had footage of the very same orphanage and the staff there, I went up to NBC to show them, hoping for a balanced point of view. They weren't very interested. They had a story to sell. All these years later, Joanne called and asked me to try to get "The Waiting Children" out there again. Things have changed, The Ashe family, including Tolya, are my close friends, as close as my own family. That's personal. I'm not sure the media and the governments have evolved in the intervening years as well. Thanks to The Huffington Post for allowing me to share this film once again.