Monday, August 23, 2010

Eyes Wide Open

It is said that adoption is a leap of faith. But then, that is how it is with all things in life, isn't it? Still, it would be foolish to undertake such an important responsibility as parenthood without doing all we could to ensure we are as prepared as possible for our daughter. To that end, we have secured the services of Dr. Laurie Miller, of Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, to assist us with the evaluation of the child referred to us for adoption. Dr. Miller specializes in international adoptive medicine and has published an invaluable handbook by the same name. She was also highly recommended to us by our adoption agency (Florence Crittenton League) as well as fellow adoptive parents (our life line during this process!). While we certainly are not seeking "perfection" - indeed no person is perfect - like any expecting parents, we hope and pray that our child will be healthy. Fortunately, we will have Dr. Miller and her staff to assist us with making that determination (thanks, Mom & Dad!).

And the wait continues . . .

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why Adoption? Why Russia?

Why adoption?
As many of you are aware, we tried unsuccessfully for several years to start our family. When it didn't "just happen naturally" we enlisted the help of specialists. They examined both of us, administered various tests, prescribed pills, shots, blood tests and various invasive procedures, all to no avail. Amid the blurrying number of doctor visits in any given month, it became easy to lose sight of what it really was that our hearts desired. We spent our time plotting our lives around the monthly calendar cycle. It became too much. And then we had an epiphany: it really wasn't about becoming pregnant. Rather, it was about being parents. About having the opportunity and responsibility of molding an innocent, precious child into a fulfilled adult. About showing a child the beauty and possibility that exists in this amazing world and helping her realize and reach her full potential in life. That is what it is about. And in realizing that, the choice to pursue adoption was simple. It was the right choice for us.

Why Russia?
Once we knew we wanted to adopt, the next question was from where? We decided early on that we wanted to adopt internationally. After much research and discussion,and factoring in our Eastern European heritage, we concluded that the child we are meant to parent awaits us in Russia. More to the point, we felt compelled to adopt from Russia. Initially, that our daughter was from Russia was a huge thing (and it still somewhat is). As we move further along in this process however, we can honestly say that it is less about where she is from (her birth country) and all about her. She was born to be our daughter, she just happened to be born in Russia.

That being said, adopting from Russia is no simple task. We spent the better part of five months collecting the myriad of documents required: A home study report providing an overview of who we are and how we live our lives, documents confirming where we reside and where we work, tests to prove that we are free from cancer, substance abuse, mental illness, tb, and other blood diseases and a letter confirming same. Documents proving we are who we say we are, we are married to each other, we are not criminals, we pay our taxes, our house is as we say it is and our daughter will be able to enter the country as a U.S. citizen. All of these documents were notarized and apostilled (see picture above) and shipped off to Russia in April 2010.

Now we are waiting. Waiting to be notified that we have finally been matched to a child. Waiting to be invited to Russia to meet her. So far, the waiting is the hardest part . . .