While most parents punish kids by sending them to their room, Sofia Petrova’s mother went a little further than that – she exiled her misbehaving daughter to another country. The 18-year-old hasn’t been home in three years; her mother hasn’t permitted her to return in spite of repeated apologies and pleas.
So how does a parent actually convince a 15-year-old high school freshman to board a plane to Siberia? Well, it turns out that Sofia was tricked. Her mother and stepfather told her that they were sending her on a three-week vacation to visit her biological father for the first time. But when Sofia reached Novosibirsk city, she realised the chilling truth – there was no return ticket.
That’s when her mother and stepfather informed her that she was actually being ‘punished’ for her typical teenager behavior – flunking school, running away from home and stealing money. She was to remain in Siberia with her father until she learned to change her ways. Sofia was pretty much helpless; although she grew up in the US, she was born in Siberia and had a Russian passport. So she needed her mother’s consent to return.