Thursday, August 03, 2006
The Conception....
And so it began, our journey into pregnancy. While the OB did not probe my physical self, our social worker probed everywhere else. Our childhoods, our parents, our finances, criminal history, medical stats, our friends and our house. Did we have an indoor bathroom, really therew as a space for that.
What was our discipline style?
Didn,t know then, not sure now. Depends on the day of the week and time of the month.
Plans for educating our children?
Your supposed to have a plan even before you have a child. Ummm O.K. The school down the street.. I am hoping for a plan now ,say by the time they are in High School.
How will you teach them about their heritage?
Umm , how will I teach myself about their heritage.
Anyway, she thought we would be fine parents (she did have a degree in this ya know) and all the other paperwork got done pretty quickly. Helped to have a friend who was a Notary and pretty much notarized everything , no questions asked. We started assembling our dossier in March, sent it off to Russia in May. We did have to answer some questions about what type of child we wanted. A question many seem to struggle with, but were quite simplistic about it. Didn't care what gender, not too strict about health, wanted as young as possible but open to any age really. Did not plan on using an adoption specialist to evaluate our referral. Made the only decision about ethnicity we would make in choosing Russia. Pretty open to anything. We were ready to be parents, knew a child out there was ready for a family. Just connect the dots.
Our families and friends had no inkling of what was brewing in our life. It felt like a delicious little secret, besides other than the paperwork we had done, not much to tell yet. But when we were getting close to getting a referral, we thought we better let the proverbial cat out of the bag. So at my sister's one night, when the family was gathered, my husband nonchalantly stood up and announced were adopting a child from Russia.Pandemoniumium did not ensue. Why weren't they shocked that we, married 17 years, 38 and 42 years young who were quite verbal and happy about our choice to not have children and not having endured years of infertility, had just decided out of the blue to go to Russia to adopt. I still can't figure out why they took it so calmly. They were excited, they were supportive , they waited anxiously for any and all details. They threw me showers and treated me just like any other expectant Mom, they just weren't surprised, so it seemed. Maybe one of them will post here why it seemed to them a natural thing for us to do. Never once then or since have they really questioned us why then or why adoption? Why expensive adoption and not much cheaper Bio? They just accepted it and our children as if they had always known this was what we would do. It was at the same time wonderful and yet perplexing in their reaction. My husband's parents and family also took the news excitedly and my father in law could not keep from telling everyone, and I mean everyone, that he was getting a grandchild from Russia. And as a footnote, let me add that my husband was the only male in all of his side of the family to carry on the family name. Now in some circles this may have caused some genetically based stirring, but they were genuinely thrilled that our yet to be met son would be carrying on the family name. Put that in your Bio pipe and smoke it, I say.
So now we wait...June, July, August. August first , THE CALL.
They were sending us a video of a 15 month old little boy who they thought had a palate cleft. Meaning it did not involve the lip, or teeth, just the roof of his mouth. Sure we said, we could fix that, send it on. The next day, I sat on my sidewalk waiting for the Fed Ex man, A company I would form a close and personal relationship with during the coming months.
5p.m. video delivered. I wouldn't dare open it until my husband got home. A true test of patience and virtue.27 minutes later he arrived. We read the medical first about a little boy named Roman. Then we anxiously watched a 5 minute video of a little boy with a head full of curly brown hair, crawl, pull himself up and eat some soup from the largest spoon I have ever seen. No evidence of a cleft anything. We immediately called our agency and accepted his referral, then called everyone else. We made copies of his pictures, posted them everywhere at our house and everyone else's. And he had a very large circle of family and friends who loved him from thousands of miles away.
We begin the wait for our court date.
Then on August 20, as we were getting ready to leave the house to attend my brother's birthday party, the phone rang.
THE CALL, just not the one we had expected.
Seems our son, that is what he had become to us in the three weeks since we had first seen him, was no longer eligible for adoption. The world stopped turning, birds went silent and my pulse was deafening in my ears. Seems he had been not so much been abandoned as much as left behind when his mother was arrested for something and did not tell anyone about her son. She had been released from jail and showed up to claim her son 8 months later.
Devastated, does not begin to describe what I should have felt.
Had every right to feel. Shock, Anger, Heartbreak.
Our agency felt as bad and as shocked as I was. But I also felt something shielding me from much of the pain, God maybe. Looking back, God definitely. Because the next words she spoke were the ones that really changed our life. She told me that she knew we would need some time, but along with the news about Roman they had received another referral for an 7 month old boy. She gave me some sketchy stats on him and told us to think about it and let them know if we wanted to consider him. He was very underweight but otherwise healthy. And as if someone else was speaking for me , I said , yes, go ahead and send us his info and video. And that is really where our story begins.


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