So, you might be asking, Why are they starting a blog now? As most of you know, I have kept you informed on a monthly basis of the progress of our adoption process. I have kept it private, in part because I didn't know it was so easy to start a blog and in part because I wasn't sure how much information about this I wanted out there. But, I had always thought I would go ahead and do this blog once we were in Russia in order to keep everyone informed on a daily basis of what is going on and how we are doing while there.
All of that changed yesterday. I have been reading a couple of blogs over the last few months of other folks adopting from Russia. Admittedly, theier experiences are slightly different as they began earlier than we did and thus had to endure the entire time of the shut down without anything to do. We, on the other hand, finished our Home Study and paper work right about the same time things reopened, so we were busy during the shut down.
Yesterday, I decided to read some of the archives of one blog I have been following. This couple has been in the process for one full year longer than Pat and I. That in itself would make anyone crazy. However, I read a comment yesterday that brought me up short. The comment was, in a sense, admonishing anyone thinking of adopting from Russia to think long and hard about it and to possibly reconsider that decision. Honestly! Immediately my mind went to the 184 children ages 4 and under ho reside in Aidan's orphanage. I also thought about how there are a total of 5 such Baby Houses in Krasnoyarsk Krai alone! That doesn't count all of the orphanages for the older children. If even one person read that comment and decided to not go there, that is at least one child who might possibly not have a new home! How terrible! It makes me cry just thinking about it.
Recently, I also read an article in which the director of Aidan's orphanage is quoted as saying that orphanage is full and that there is actually a waiting list for children who need a place to come to. Apparantly, the mothers leave the babies at the hospital! I understand that the are where Krasnoyarsk is has a very high alcoholism rate, and I am sure that other regions within Russia are similar. Further, these orphanages are funded for salaries only. Food, clothing, furniture and toys are all donated, mostly by the families adopting. This is astonishing to say the least. This situation has prompted Pat and I to decide to send all of the clothes and toys Aidan outgrows to his orphanage after we bring him home.
So, I decided it was time to figure out how to do a blog so I can share our experience with others. This is not a bad process. It has actually be smooth and realtively easy. The wait isn't fun, but who ever likes to wait???? Our Social Worker at Bethany is amazing. I just lover her. She is a sweet thing who is always very sensitive to us and our process. In any case, I would recommend this to anyone. It is such a wonderful thing to do and the idea of creating a family from such a need is so from God!
Okay, I'll come down off of the soap box.
So, here are a few other funny things I have noticed about the Russian adoption process:
Apparantly, everyone has the same driver and translators in Krasnoyarsk. Marina and Ylena are the translators and Serge is the driver. They are awesome and a lot of fun. Serge makes you appreciate the skills of a good driver in that there are no discernible rules or lanes or speed limits anywhere in Krasnoyarsk or Sosnovoborsk! I became very grateful for my seatbelt. . .Also, there is a restaurant called California Pizza where everyone goes on the first day for lunch. I didn't much care for it, not really being an afficianado of Pizza, but Pat loved it and wanted to go back. . .especially after the beef tongue incident on Thanksgiving. . . : )
In Moscow, the driver is Vladimir and everyone stays at the Marriott Tverskaya. It is very nice, but very expensive. It's about $400 per night and the breakfast buffet is $40. per person. Yes, that would be $80. US per couple just for breakfast! But, it is beautiful and the staff speaks English and they have a public computer. Also, this is the picture seen in every blog:
Well, that ended up at the top, somehow. But, anyway, the point is, the picture is the same. Just change the faces! pretty funny.
Until next time!