They won't be home for the holidays, but by March two Russian orphans could be living full-time with the Arizona couple who adopted them, then allegedly abused them on a flight to the United States.
Queens Family Court Judge Richard Lauria ruled that Richard and Karen Thorne immediately can begin unsupervised weekend visits with the two 5-year-old girls, who were not related prior to their adoption. The couple will be able to spend five hours a day with the girls.
The Thornes adopted the children from a Russian orphanage in May. Days later, on a flight to New York, the couple was accused by fellow passengers and flight attendants of slapping and verbally abusing the crying children.
They were arrested upon arrival at Kennedy Airport and the children were placed in the custody of child welfare authorities.
At a court hearing Tuesday, Lauria laid out a schedule under which the Thornes will be allowed increased involvement with the girls if they undergo individual psychotherapy and family therapy with the children.