Our Birth & Adoption Story : Part 2 ~ Russia
This is the continuation of “Our Birth & Adoption Story” <—- read Part 1 Here. Our Russian adoption story continues here.
So once J turned a year old we started looking at our options.
We discussed Guatemala (but found out quickly that this was not an ethical choice for us, and it ultimately ended up closing because of those ethics issues), and for a time we thought we might go to the Philippines. While our agency worked with several countries we were too young, our daughter was too young, or we didn’t meet certain income requirements so we didn’t have many to choose from. While a Russian adoption was open to us, we knew it was one of the most expensive options due to travel so we honestly didn’t consider it….. until we got a call.
“There are two little boys in Russia, both healthy, both just became available for adoption. Your homestudy is closest to completion, would you like to expedite it for one of these boys?”
WHAT?! What happened to the “6 months AFTER your homestudy is done is when you could expect a referral” business we had been told before?! We were thinking we would have kiddos that were a couple years apart!
Well that was in late July, when J was only 15 months old – and we were on a plane the next month to meet 10 month old Vanya, the first and only referral we ever saw. His was the first file that was translated. We didn’t even want to see the pictures of the other little boy.
We have been told stories of orphans – that they are skinny, they are distant, they will cry and pull away. I know it is true, I have seen our friend’s pictures and videos. Something about this Vanya was different – for one, he was super chubby. He was also personable and loved to play with us. Sometimes that connection is not there at the start, it takes time for love to grow….but we were blessed with an immediate connection.
We filled out a bunch of paperwork and headed back to the US where we would wait for a court date to formally adopt Vanya. Because this is the short version – let’s just say our agency did some things improperly and there were a few months there where we weren’t even sure if we would be allowed to adopt Vanya. We ended up adopting independently meaning we went without agency representation….which is exactly as difficult as it sounds. We went to Russia together for a court date in November and Harry returned again alone in December, praying we would be able to take him home. Just a few days before Christmas my husband and OUR little boy landed at LAX officially making him an American citizen.
We had a 20 month old and a 14 month old. I am here to tell you there is a reason you cannot do that biologically. Whoa.
But it sure is sweet…………….. (read Part 3 : Jonah & the big fish <—- Here)