We've Been a Forever Family Since...
Type of Adoption and Age(s) of Child(ren)
International - Girl, age 18 months at the time of adoption
My Family's Adoption Story
By the time I was fifteen, I knew i wanted to stay single, and that I wanted to adopt internationally by the time I was thirty five. When I was 29, I had had a stable, high paying job for two years, and had just received a raise. I felt the time was ripe to start the process.
I decided I wanted to adopt from Russia, because at the time, singles were not being accepted as adoptive parents in Romania or the Ukraine. My boss, ironically, had adopted his daughter from China seven years earlier, and was extremely helpful in the process, and willing to give me the time off to travel to Russia when I needed to.
I filled out all my forms, had the home study completed, etc. Everything went much quicker than I had expected. I had thought it would take years to just get to Russia, but it took less than 12 months. By August of 2003, I was headed to Moscow, Russia, for the first of two trips necessary to the adoption process.
I had requested a girl under the age of two, and when I arrived at the Orphanage just outside of Moscow (Armed with my translator, Vadim, A Russian Phrase Book, and my Guide, Aleksandra) I was shown into a room where three babies were waiting. 15 month old Yuliya, 17 month old Nadia, and 18 month old Tatiana. I instantly connected with blonde haired, blue eyed Tatiana. She was perfectly happy to sit in my arms for the rest of my stay, and by the end of the day I knew we were meant for each other.
Returning home was hard; I missed Tatiana (who I decided to rename Makena), and I was anxious to get back to Russia to pick her up. Finally, I got a call saying that I should be back in Russia within two weeks. I hurriedly packed a suitcase for myself and Makena, and headed back to Russia for the second time.
This time, I had to deal with the courts determining if I should be allowed to take Makena home with me or not. I was anxious; I desperately wanted to get my little girl home. But I shouldn't have been worried; I was approved to take Makena home, and we headed to Makena's new forever home.
At about five and six, Makena dealt with some abandonment and anger issues, but with the help of a good therapist, we got that sorted out, and Makena is now a happy, healthy nine year old. We are considering adopting another girl from Russia; a little sister for my beautiful daughter. Makena is enjoying Rhythmic and Artistic Gymnastics and Cheerleading, and is quite the writer. She loves to write stories. We couldn't be a happier family.
- Be patient, and be open to compromise. It may not always be possible to get exactly the child you want; I was very lucky in my situation.
- Learn some Russian (Or whatever language you'll need) before you go to Russia; it helps that you can communicate with the Matron, and in stores, hotels, etc.
- Expect problems at some point. My daughter dealt with abandonment and anger issues, and since it was something I was expecting, I was able to find her a good therapist to help her, and she is now perfectly happy.
- Make sure your employer knows that you may have to leave at a weeks notice.
Carrie Craft, About.com Adoption / Foster Care, says:
Very good advice from an experienced single parent. It's important to realize that it is normal that issues arise that stem from adoption and the grief and loss experienced from being adopted. It is nothing that should be taken personally by the adoptive parent. This mom was very smart in being prepared for those issues.
It is clear from looking at the pictures that Makena feels loved and secure in her adoptive home. Good luck to them both as they prepare to add to their family again through adoption.