Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Silence is not always Golden

copied from myadoptiongeography.blogspot.com

Oh what another roller coaster April has brought to us. Emotional highs and emotional lows. So should I start at the top or the bottom? I guess I will start at the beginning. I was trying to keep a secret. But because of so many events of the past two weeks it is not much of a secret anymore. I was trying to not get hopes up, emotions caught in the middle of yet another roller coaster ride. But I am not such a good secret keeper for one, and for a second I have been thrown in the middle of yet another debacle. I yearn for the days when I can get on the carousel and ride a pony to the peacful music around in a peaceful circle. So what is my secret you may ask..... Since October Brian and I have been pursuing a concurrent adoption. Homestudies updated, paperwork re-gathered, dossier resubmitted, translated, shipped. Trip one BOOKED. From April 4th until April 10th I was in Russia. I met a little boy who I sure hope will soon be our son. I could not have been happier. I knew immediately this was meant to be. We spent two short visits together and then the long drive back to Moscow. (sorry there are still some things I am keeping a bit hushed about until we get a court date)April 7,2010 On the way back to Moscow my cell phone started blowing up with inbox messages that our dear Kyrgyzstan was in Chaos. The opposition forces and the public have started protesting in the streets. By nightfall Bishkek was literally a battleground. Public buildings burned to the ground, The white house raided, The Parliment building overtaken, Looting, A high end restraunt destroyed and the owners killed, hundreds of Kyrgyz people injured, and at latest report 84 people have lost their lives. I sent emails out as soon as I was able to get a good internet connection. I was worried about my friends in Bishkek and Tokmok, I was worried about Noodle and the baby houses. By the next day I had heard from just about everyone. They are safe but staying indoors. The President has been overthrown. A new leader has taken control. And a week later the President Kurmanbeck Bakyev has officially resigned. Leaving a new Leader in his place Rosa Otunbayeva. Our hope for Kyrgyzstan is that Rosa O. (my apologies for lack of respect. This just flows better) can lead her country to a new and better way of life. But our number one hope is that we can possibly persuade her to somehow issue a decree to release the 65 children who have been held as political hostages for the last two years.
But my story does not end there. My stay in Moscow is littered with bad publicity. On April 8th Torry Anne Hansen decided in a selfish and hideous act to put her adopted son on an airplane and return him to Russia. BY HIMSELF. I understand this little 7 year old boy was not the inocent child she was hoping to adopt. A child with severe RAD is not the angel child, the golden end to adoption dreams. And I am not in her shoes. BUT seriously. What was she thinking? Was she thinking? There is a system in place for a reason. Home studies and post placements are not just a hassle they are for the child's protection. And not only the child... If she was having issues why did this not reflect in a post placement report? Why did a home study agency not step in with resources and help. So many unanswered questions. WHY has there been not a single charge brought against her. At the very least child endangerment or reckless abandonment? SOMETHING... All that aside. I am now sitting in my Moscow hotel room in utter disbelief. I have just met this beautiful little boy. He needs to come home! I am scared that I am now thrown in the middle of not just one IA crisis but possibly two. Despite all I tried to enjoy my last day in Moscow. Red Square is amazing beyond words. Moscow is very much like NYC but cleaner, and not quite as busy.
My first week home from Moscow was crazy. Trying like crazy to figure out what this is all going to mean. So far no answers. A delegation from the department of State will be in Moscow to talk about IA with the Russian officials. We'll see what they come up with. The 65 families had a conference call with the DOS and others on April 12th. We came out of that meeting extremely frustrated. No answers. No time frames. No clear plan. And every question was answered with a skirt around the issue. When will Hilary actually contact Rosa O? A letter, a phone call. No clear plan. So we are on a warpath! A media path that this week started in full swing. More on that as it all unravels!!!!! Hope is not gone nor will it ever be. WE WILL FIND A WAY TO GET THESE KIDS HOME. We are determined we are passionate, and we love these 65 kids with all our hearts and all our souls. We will do what it takes. And one day they will have much to be proud of.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nikolai Ivanovich Ivanova

The post everyone is waiting for...A few photos and the story.. How different this process is from Kyrgyzstan. We got to the orphanage at about 1pm. We all sit around a table. The coordinater, Natasha, translater Tatianna, A representative from the Borovuchi Department of education, a social worker from the orphange, and the doctor from the orphanage. The DOE representative speaks first telling the social history. How Kolya ended up here at the orphanage. And details about his mother. Oh how absolutely insanely sad but such a gesture of love. Kolya was given up by his mother. becasue she is single and homeless at the time of Kolya's birth.
The doctor speaks next.. she tells a detailed medical history of Kolya from his birth to the present. From his prematurity and no need for respiratory support.. to ultrasounds and evaluations by speech and developmental therapists. Their only concern the shape of his eyes. And yes one eye is droopy... We will wait and see if he actually has Blepharophimosis or if he just has a slight droop to his eyes. Both are a bit droopy but the right more so. But I certainly don't care at this point. I am encouraged to ask questions. And they can't believe I don't have more. I ask about his developmental progress and his vision. The rest... well no big deal. So after about 30 minutes they ask... "Do you want to meet the boy?" Ok I just traveled halfway around the world on a plane and 10 hours in a car... Was I going to say NO??? seriously. YES!!!!!

The social worker brings in our beautiful Golden haired little boy and it is instant 100% acknowledgement of this is where i am supposed to be and this IS our son!! A very brief moment of uncertainty before I take him, but no tears, no crying. We immediately hit it off. Interacting, playing. And I cry thinking of this moment and I think I always abd forever will cry thinking of this very moment in time. Adoption may not be biological but the bond is just as strong. The moment your child is first placed in your arms by birth or by adoption is never forgotten. we have about an hour hour and a half. Of which I bring out my bag full of toys. He LOVES the stacking cups best of all. We played with the interactive book.. and looked at photos.. But he liked the blocks best! Stacking, putting them inside each other. Using them to make noise..
When the social worker leaves with him I am asked " so do you want to move forward" Another immediate YES and more tears as I never been more sure of one thing ever. YES YES YES. And the paperwork is signed!!! We will come back tomorrow for one more visit before heading back to Moscow. (not fun and not looking forward to that)

answers to WHY

My facebook status says.... " Have you ever had the feeling that the long road was hard but you are right exactly where you are intended to be! I have.." Hard to question the reason behind waiting for Noodle when today I have been handed yet another answer of why. Why are we waiting to complete our adoptions from Kyrgyzstan. God has His own ideas. And they just take us all some time to get the answers. WHY... Why is it that 65 kids are stuck in an adoption process. Let me just give a few answers. 2 years of WHy have led to several answers culminating in todays BIG answer. First, my journies to Kyrgyzstan would never hae happened if we were NOt waiting. I would not have met John, Anya, Sergei, Jengish, Kolya, Asel, Talant, Aigula and all the kids associated with them. I would never have laid eyes on Viktor or held him and hugged him. I would not now be sponsering his education. I would not have spent a night dancing with the men at the invalid home in one of the Villages. I would not have developed a lasting relationship with those associated with John.. Nicole, Hilary, Lori, the list does not end. And I would not have developed a wonderful friendship with my blog buddy Kimberly! All these things just would not have happened. I would be home raising my daughter. No time for all this world traveling adventures. No time to stop and help the one in front of us. No time..... But I was given the gift of time. The gift of wait... Patience... Although I must admit my patience wears thin many times over.. And then today. I hit wanted to hit my knees as the biggest answer to WHY was handed to me. I follow... YOU lead... And although this road is far from over I have been given answers to WHY!!!

And as an aside note... Those 65 families... many of them have now followed this same road in one form or another... A path unchosen but a wonderful path to follow indeed! And so many families who are double blessed because we Followed.

Borovichi (WHAT??) Боровичи

I learn this morning that our travels are not over. Kolya is in Borovichi. WHere??? Back the other direction. Borovichi is 2 hours (on a very rustic road. Again think Tevia ). Borovichi is 2 hours east of V. Novgorod. At least closer to Moscow for the return trip. So off we head. Awake this time I watch as we get more and more rustic. And finally there are no houses. No signs of people AT ALL. There are some occasional trucks we pass on the very worn road. Penn Dot looks good compared to this! More imagination here. I can almost see and feel the presence of WWII soldiers in these woods. I am going to have to do some research on that and fight out how much if any of WWII was fought on these grounds. Borovichi is a booming metropolis. Well relatively speaking. Metal and brick industry keeps this town alive. The fire brick industry employs 90% of the population of Borovichi. And in the center.... A Hotel called Olymp. Inside the hotel... An indoor water park that would put most swimming pools at home to shame. I hope I can grab a photo of the pool before I leave. More on Borovichi history later!!! And photos.. I think I may just do a post of travel photos with labels rather then try to insert them in these posts. Will be easier.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Russia Day one.. more travel..

Ay.... I knew this was a long road but yeesh. Today was a travel day. Not much to report at all. Other then I slept almost the whole 7 hour drive from Moscow to Veliky Novgorod. (ok insert geography lesson here) In Russia there are two Novgorods. I knew this and I had a 50/50 chance on a map. I was wrong. So instead of 7 hours south east of Moscow, I am headed 7 hours North West of Moscow. Veliky Novgorod translates to New Novgorod. And is the I suppose capital of Novgorod Oblast. More history on this later.... And will eventually get to why! Details to come! On the way to Novgorod I slept as I mentioned before..... but would occasionally peak my eyes to see the sites. Well we could have been driving in circles. Everything, every highway, every um town? looked the same very Anotovka looking houses. I kept expecting to see Tevia on top of a roof with a fiddle. MAHIA!!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just wait....

24 hour hours of travel!! This was not supposed to be that hard. I had a direct flight from JFK to Moscow. But delay after delay had me sitting on a runway or in an airport terminal plotting where and when I would catch my next plane. So yes, I started off sitting on a small puddle jumper airplane on a Philadelphia runway. (Beautiful weather) being told there was fog in JFK and there is a "ground stop" in effect and we would be delayed by an hour and a half. WHAT!!!! My plane for JFK leaves in AN HOUR AND A HALF. The wonderful attendant Jackie got me connected with Delta. Delta "told me" that due to ground conditions the outbound JFK plane would also be delayed. Ok no worries. Except that he lied. My plane for Moscow was leaving as we were taxiing the runway to JFK. So I was very nicely automatically rerouted through Paris on Air France. And a nice HUGE plane at that. An Airbus a380. According to my neighbor on the plane this is the biggest passenger plane flying in the world and their are only 12 in operation. We even had a first hand view of take off and landing from a camera mounted on the tail! Awesome! I will post the pictures! But however nice the plane was, it did not make it through the JFK fog delay. Stuck again on the runway in JFK for an hour and ten minutes. And you guessed it as we were landing in Paris my plane from Paris to Moscow was leaving me behind yet again. At least I got a complimentery sandwhich and drink for the wait. Good thing as I have No Euros. So I finally catch my plane to Moscow. arrive 8 hours later then expected..... Only to find some kind of snag at Passport control in Moscow. Who nows what the delay was. But I finally after almost 2 hours decided to try my luch at the line that "says" Russian Citizens only. Hmmm they put me right through. If I just would have gotten frustrated earlier. Just goes to show I guess how high myience level has become. Next snag... No Luggage. Drag nab it this put me over the edge. I have no idea if my driver is still waiting.. or how long he will wait before giving up. I start processing the luggage through lost and found. Bow my head and say a little St. Anthony prayer. Believe it or not... not 30 seconds later a man walks by dragging my luggage to the lost and found area. SERIOUSLY!!! So I am finally through all that.. Good thing is my driver was super nice. Spoke broken English and told me "don't worry!" Finally at the hotel and a nice one at that.. we (Molly and I) are exhausted. I took a few short moments to tell the family I am finally in Moscow and it was lights out.