Today, we are celebrating our Family Day. It has been three years since the adoption of our son was finalized in Astrakhan, Russia. Astrakhan is deep Russia. We went to Cancun on our honeymoon, so I thought I was prepared to travel to a foreign country. When our plane landed in Astrakhan, I immediately decided that Cancun doesn't count as a foreign country.
We traveled to Russia on a blind referral, meaning we did not know how old our child would be or if our child was a girl or boy. Thank goodness Prilosect was released over-the-counter that summer! Here is a picture of our first meeting.
We met our son shortly before his first birthday. Per Russian law at that time, we had to leave him in the orphanage in Russia and come back six weeks later to finalize the adoption. Most women say they forget the pains of childbirth soon after seeing their new baby, and the same is true about our adoption journey. It was a stress-filled, nerve racking, roller coaster ride, but now only the fond memories seem to linger. Our day in court was challenging, but my husband did great! He had to make a speech about why we wanted to adopt this child and how we planned to care for him. His speech was so thorough that the judge did not ask him any questions, and our case worker was so proud of him! Later that night we went out to celebrate with the other American couple adopting through our agency. They quickly became our new best friends, and are now like members of our family. The next day was like a fairy tale. We took flowers and beautiful cakes to the orphanage workers as we picked up our son. I love this photo (my son and husband are on the left). We are leaving the orphanage and never looking back!
Even though our adoption only took about 14 months, our journey to our son was seven years filled with bitterness, disappointment and anguish. I wanted a child so badly, yet was never able to conceive. Our son too had a long journey to get to us. He is a survivor and a fighter. In Russia, when a child is placed for adoption, they spend the first several weeks of their lives in a hospital in quarantine to be sure they are healthy. Our son then spent the next several months living in the orphanage sharing a crib with at least one other baby. Because of this, Family Day at our house is a giant celebration. Three wounded hearts were united as one to mend together into a loving family.