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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The "Lucky One"

A friend emailed me this today... not sure where it came from or who wrote it (I'm sure Google would answer that question) but for me it summarizes my thoughts on waiting to bring home my little boy. Patience has never been my strong point... and this process will certainly test that before it is through. I came out of the gates ever the optimist thinking that surely a referral for an older boy would come quickly... all indications from yahoo groups and on line Russian adoption communities like FRUA were that referrals for boys up to 4 were happening sometimes immediately on submission of your documents to region but certainly within a few months. But those rules don't hold for here in my real world. Those are "other" agencies and "other" circumstances with agencies in countries I am not a citizen of. I have had a pretty big reality check just before Christmas in letting me know the wait could well take me into travelling when Russia will be much warmer. While not traveling in the dead cold of winter does have it's attraction, I keep hearing of the quick referrals for the healthy boy on FRUA and the sound of the pages of the calender flip by and those are both sounds I'd rather not hear. With that being said, I do trust the process and the people and life... it's not always fair but it's good... and because of that, I'll wait "patiently" for things to turn out like they should. In the mean time, I think this little poem is meaningful.
Do-brey No-chey (good night!)
The Lucky One
People often say how lucky my little boy is. See, he was an orphan in Russia until I adopted him. Imagine my little boy who didn't know how to play with the simplest toys, couldn't eat with silverware, wasn't able to color a picture, and had never even seen the moon or stars. Even though he grew up in the middle of Russia he had never touched snow. He wasn't even able to talk very much. My boy had never ridden in a car, seen a horse or a cow, eaten ice cream, or been to the park. Even worse, he did not have enough to eat or adequate clothes to wear. He had spent the majority of his years cold and hungry. Not because no one cared but because there were too many to care for. He had never been held or rocked to sleep. This little boy had no mommy to wipe his tears, or pick him up when he fell down. No one was there to read him bedtime stories or hold him when he was sick or afraid. There was never even any praise for a job well done. No one put his pictures on the refrigerator and gazed at them proudly everyday. Worst of all, he had never been loved. So when people tell me that my boy is lucky, I say no, I'm the lucky one. I am the one whose mom and dad held me when I cried, and kissed and hugged me everyday. They watched me blow out my birthday candles year after year. My parents fed me and made sure I had the clothes and education that I needed.Most of all, my mom and dad loved me every minute of every hour of every day. I am the lucky one not because I got out of the orphanage, when so many never do, but because: I was never there. Certainly, I am even luckier now because this little Russian boy, who was so unlucky in life, is now
my precious little boy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Six very small degrees...

They (whoever "they" are) say that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime (if you haven't read the poem google it... it's a good one) and I couldn't agree more. I think that I could identify many people in my life and categorize them into one of those three groups. When I meet someone new and they stick around for awhile, I begin to wonder if there is a reason for them coming along, and if they pass from my world just as quietly I recognize that they were here only for a season... there are those rare times when I meet someone new and right from the beginning I hope that they are a part of my world for a lifetime... Now I have this friend (I'll leave you un named for your own privacy but I want to capture this thought and this day for posterity down the road when we are old and reminiscing about today) who I met in professional circles a number of years ago (vague enough... too bad... you can't edit my blog) In fact, there were three of us who sort of became "the 3 amigos" as we learned new tricks of the trade and secrets to one anothers hearts. We talked of new loves, hopeful families, past lives, disappointments, heart break and hope. Years have passed since that day and I am still in touch with both of these wonderful women. Last spring, I sat across the table from one of them and she shared the news that her and her husband were in waiting to adopt twins from Ethiopia. I smiled and quietly listened to her excited story of waiting and wondering who would become their children. When she finished, I told her that I had news of my own and that I was in the early stages of preparing to adopt from Russia. We toasted and talked and laughed at the coincidence. Today, as I stood in the middle of an isle at Canadian Tire searching out Christmas deals on matching figure skates and helmets for my 6 year old nieces I got a text message that gave me goosebumps immediately followed by a huge smile. It said, "guess who just got off of the phone with an adoption agency :-)" It was the third member of the three amigos... If I could have I would have clicked my heels three times and hugged her myself but instead, I hit dial and we talked... as I hovered in the hockey section trying to look low key. There is so much story to unfold ahead of each of us but I feel so blessed to have such amazing, beautiful, strong and hopeful women in my world. I selfishly hope that this comes together for each of us this year and that we might celebrate the amazing gift that is born out of life's mis-steps, mistakes, and out of misgivings for the hand we are sometimes dealt together as new moms. To the latest passenger on this bus let me say this, You are an AMAZING woman who's eyes literally sparkle with life and laughter. You are that person that people NEED to know - the one with the infectious laugh and an angle on life reserved specifically for those who gracefully keep a stiff upper lip without limiting your ability to smile. I can't imagine a better mom out there. Your child will be a lucky little one without doubt. I know you will be an exceptional role model and a loving protector while instilling the value of humor, integrity and unconditional love into their little heart. Some people need words to tell the people in their lives what they mean to them... your eyes say it all... yours are truly the window to your soul. I hope that some day soon we are swapping stories of mom-dom and raising a glass together as we watch our children explore our brand new worlds. I couldn't ask for a better co-pilot on this journey... if you adopt a girl... I'll let my son date her because if she grows up to be half the woman that you are... he would be a lucky little man! You rock - you are one of the prettiest flowers I know! Wanna stick around for a lifetime?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's time to admit I am ever the optimist

OK so it's looking like the "build it and they will come" theory has limitations when it comes to international adoption. I've built (have the bedroom set, some clothes, some toys, and even new bedding to arrive before Christmas (not because I thought the gift with purchase might be a toddler Russian boy but because I found it on Ebay and didn't want to lose it )) but he's not coming. Perm region has been quiet for months... the Yahoo groups are full of advice, cheer leading and static... no one seems to be getting referrals. While I'm not particularly bothered by this YET, I am concerned that this may not pick up... as I wait patiently and continue to build this baby boy our field of dreams. I talk to my agency girls all the time and they continue to be wonderful but veiled in what they can or could say about the situation. Right now, there are 3 regions open: Vlad, NN and Perm... Vlad has had some referrals recently and some false starts as people prepare to travel only to have their little one adopted / fostered by birth family... NN is the new region and has not seen a referral and Perm... my agency hasn't had a referral since late summer. The Christmas news letter just came out and they are again looking at opening Novosibirsk and also St. Petersburg... I asked to be kept posted on advice regarding regions and if switching might become the best option - they said they would have news sometime in the new year. My SW also "did me a solid" and forwarded some information directly to the in country coordinator to have her look over and give advice on. While the answer wasn't what I had hoped for, it is encouraging to know that I can ask questions even if I think they might not be welcomed and have them answered.
So, for now, I prepare for Christmas by baking, shoveling (the snow can stop ANY time), and winding down from a busy work schedule. Every night I wonder where you are and if you had a good day. I imagine you being talked to and tickled by someone special to you and that you are laughing... I hope you are warm, safe, have enough food in your tummy, have someone to play with and for at least a moment no matter how fleeting each day, you feel special if not loved. I hope you dream of a home and a Mama and know that you deserve to be loved. I am starting a small collection of stuffed Lions for you. I can't stop thinking about how alone you are and how you must want someone to protect you and keep you safe... that will be me... and the herd of stuffed lions to remind you even in the dark that you will never be alone again. Good night (well actually it's 5:30am in your world) little man... I can't wait for next Christmas when our worlds will be so very different.

P.S. I got my skates sharpened today and saw little strap on bob skates perfect for a little skater... I can't wait to take you skating :-)