Chapter Seven...Our Adoption Story

Chapter Seven
Legacy of an adopted child

Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for Love, the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you the seed for talent, the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first smile, the other dried your tears.
One gave you up, it was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child and was led straight to you.
And now you ask me through your tears
the age old question through the years,
"Heredity or environment, which am I the product of?"
Neither my darling, neither,
Just two different kinds of Love.

Jun 24, 2004…IT’S OFFICIAL…WE ARE THE PROUD PARENTS OF MAXIM!!!  We had court today.  It was another adventure.  The paperwork we needed from Moscow didn’t arrive, but the judge agreed to go ahead and have court anyway because the social worker and orphanage director had traveled from Votkinsk (2 hours away).  The court started at about 1:30 and lasted until 5:00.  They asked us all kinds of questions about our finances, house, parenting experience, etc.  Then we went one by one through all the documents.  In the middle of court, the judge was interrupted and decided to adjourn the court until Friday.  Well, the social worker couldn’t make it Friday, so it looked like we weren’t going to finish until Monday or Tuesday (UUGH!).  Then after about an hour everyone came back in and the paper arrived from Moscow, so we were able to finish.  The final motion was us asking the judge to waive the 10-day wait period.  (Thanks Debbie for getting us the doctor’s signature, that helped).  We were approved as his parents and the 10-day wait was waived.  So, tomorrow we go pick up Max at noon.  We were going to try and take a 5 pm flight to Moscow, but the flights are full, so we might not get out until late Saturday.  Once in Moscow, we will be there for 3 or 4 days before heading home.  So if all goes well, we will be home by the end of next week.  We’ll keep you posted.  Now the hard part begins…traveling in a foreign country with a baby that’s never had real formula…should be another adventure!

Jun 25, 2004 … Today was a great day!  We picked up Max from the orphanage!  We spent the morning running around to about 10 different government offices getting adoption decree, birth certificate, Russian Passport, etc…  After that, we headed to the orphanage in Votkinsk.  Max had just woke, so I got to feed him his last meal of meat and potatoes.  I passed the test with flying colors.  Not even a drop spilled.

(saying goodbye to the orphanage directors)

(leaving the orphanage)

Max was great in the car ride from Votkinsk to Izhevsk.  He never cried once. We couldn’t get a plane out today, so we won’t leave until tomorrow at 5 pm.  That’s good though, it gives us a day with Max for him to get used to us, new bottles and new food.  The Hotel put a crib in our room for him and he is trying to sleep now.  We are not sure how long we will be in Moscow.  My best guess is that we will be there Sun-Tues.  Hopefully, we can be home by Wednesday.

(our first night with Max in Iz)

(the hotel crib in IZ, our 1st night w/ Max)

Jun 27, 2004 …Our first night with Max was probably like any parent’s first night.  We didn’t sleep much.  Every time he coughed or whimpered, we would both jump to check on him.  He actually slept for about 6 hours straight, but we could never fall asleep without worrying about him.  Max is a little sick.  He has a bad head and chest cold.  The orphanage reported the Max had bronchitis in early June, so we are not sure if it is a relapse or a different virus.  A lot of the kids at the orphanage had colds (Christy and I caught them too…).  He has a runny nose, cough, and his breathing sounds raspy.  He is eating very well and plenty of messy diapers, so we are not too worried.  We are required to see a U.S. doctor tomorrow before leaving the country, so we will see what he thinks. 

(our support staff in Iz, we are outside the airport on our way to Moscow)

The flight from Izhevsk was an adventure.  I think we saw all sides of Max.  He screamed, pooped, ate, slept, and laughed… And that was only a 2 hour flight.  The flight home is going to be crazy-all 20+ hours!

We are at the Renaissance Hotel in Moscow now.  It is a nicer place than the Radisson.  They also had a small crib for us to use.  Since Max basically does nothing but sleep and eat, we haven’t gotten out too much.  We did go for a short walk today around the Hotel.  We stopped in at a McDonald’s and then walked around an open Market.  Max did really well, but tires easily because of his cold.  We didn’t want to keep him out long, so we have just been hanging out in the room and eating room service.  After the doctor tomorrow morning, then we go to the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.  Then we are headed home!!!!!!  I am not sure what the flight times are yet, I am waiting to hear back from the travel agent.  But we should be home sometime in the evening on Wednesday.  Almost over…

(Marriott Hotel in Moscow)



(walking around Moscow)

Jun 29, 2004…Well, we thought we were headed back home!  All the flights out of Moscow are booked solid until Friday (July 2nd) and the flight we have managed to get on is from HELL!  We leave Moscow at 7am, have 2-3 hour layovers in Germany, Washington DC and Atlanta, and we don’t arrive into FWB until 10:30 at night.  My stomach gets upset just thinking about this.  How are we supposed to do this with a sick infant?  Do you realize how much formula, diapers, wipes, change of clothes, toys, medicine, and bottles I am going to need?  Can you imagine what Byron & I are going to look like after this experience?  I am not sure I want my friends and family to see us get off the plane after all this…it could be a very scary sight!

 Today we go to the US embassy to get Max’s Visa.  Hopefully, we can go by the grocery store on our way back to the room (we need to restock Max’s supplies) and pick up some snacks etc.  We are currently at about a $300+ daily burn rate with lodging & food.  So, we really need to get home ASAP!

 We miss everyone and are so thankful for the outpouring of support.  We’ll keep you posted on our exact arrival time into FWB.

Jun 30, 2004...WE ARE HOME!!!  We showed up at the Moscow Airport about 30 hours ago and were able to change our flights to make it an easier trip.  We only had to go from Moscow to Germany to Altanta to Ft. Walton Beach.  We got to Atlanta earlier than previously planned, so we changed our tickets and came home Today (June 30th). 

The trip has been very tough on little Max.  He is exhausted.  We haven't slept in about 35 hours, so if you need us email is the best.  We are going to try to get some much needed rest.  Thank you for all the great support and prayers.  What an amazing family Max has come home to . . .

(just getting off the plane in Ft. Walton Beach)

(one of my best friends giving me a much needed hug)

(our cheering squad at the airport, what an amazing group of friends)



(I will try to post each chapter of our adoption story every friday during the Hooked on Fridays blog party, celebrating things that make us happy. Because ultimately this story makes me happy and has helped define who I am today.)

To read from the here.


black eyed susans kitchen said...

There is nothing better to be hooked on. Congratulations and the very best of everything for you and your new baby!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Great story with a happy ending!!! :) Visiting from Julia's party. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Christy
I just happened upon your blog and read your adoption story. My son & daughter-in-law adopted 2 children from Russia ten yrs. ago this month. Tara will be 14 soon and Ty will be 11 in Jan. They also went through Commonwealth. Having seen them go through all the hopes and fears involved, I can truly appreciate your journey. We have been so blessed by these children and can't imagine our lives without them. Thanks for sharing your heart-warming story.

Jessica said...

I look forward to reading your adoption story every week! I'm glad you got him, although the return trip does sound a little harrowing. Congratulations (five years later)!

Katherine Marie! said...

What an amazing amazing journey. Aren't you so thankful you kept such a detailed and honest journal? It is a life treasure, for sure.

I only had a chance to read this quick-- I want to go back and read if fully {without interruption} so I can soak up your miracle.

Thanks for sharing... as always I think you are an incredible mother.

And last thought--- your hubby with max on that hotel bed is about the cutest shot ever. THOSE SWEET CHEEKS!

Ashley said...

You are so brave! I can't even imagine anticipating the flight home with a new baby! It is times like that when we need "beam me up" machines. I can't even imagine how emotional, happy, hectic, exhausting, exciting the entire adoption was! Max was just waiting for you ;) XOXO