Why Thanksgiving Is So Special To Me: My Adoption Story

This is National Adoption Day and November is National Adoption Month.  For me its also a special week, Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to reflect on what we’re thankful for, but to me it means a whole lot more.  Here is my story:

 The above pictures were from the baby home when we first met Dima at 11 months.  The pictures on the right are from the court house in Kemerovo on the court date where they declated that Dima was now Chase.

Adopting one child will not change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

11 years ago my mom and I made the trip to Kemerovo, Russia to bring home my son. Attached is a story that I wrote back then for my adoption agency. This week always reminds me of that journey and ALL I have to be Thankful for. I can’t believe it was that long ago!

The Journey for Chase :

My journey to adopt a child unofficially began in 2003. I made the trip to Bulgaria with my sister-in-law to bring home her two children. From then on I had the idea that I wanted to adopt a child from an Eastern European country. Finally in 2004 when I was preparing my year-end financials, I decided I would finally be able to afford the process and had a consistent enough income to support a child on my own.
I am single. So in January of 2005 I began the process with a local agency here in Atlanta thinking they could help me through the process. By April, I had all of my paperwork done and was “paper ready”, that agency sent my dossier to one Russian Region, where it sat… Week after week I heard different reasons why nothing was happening in that region and that it would pick up any day, but by the middle of July I was getting tired of the excuses and decided to network around and inquire online to find out about what agencies had people traveling and to what regions etc. A friend recommended me to Adoption ARK (now out of business due to Russia being closed to adoptions), she put me in touch with several people who were traveling within very short times from becoming “paper ready”. I contacted Elina and she was in Russia at the time and a week later she emailed me and told me they weren’t currently working in Krasnodar (that was the region I had done the paperwork for with the other agency) since nothing had been moving there in such a long time. She also told me that she expected to have some more children available next week and to contact her that Wednesday. Well by Monday evening, I had an email with a picture of this darling little boy – Dima. I asked what I had to do, she sent me a list and I was off on recreating my dossier, and getting everything ready for his different region.
I traveled within 2 weeks to meet him, a darling little boy whose name was Dima and went back for court within 7 weeks. From beginning to end the process was under 3 months! My little guy – (now called Chase) is healthy, happy and so loved by the entire extended family. We’ve been home 3 months now and he acts like he’s been here his whole life. He gained 5 pounds in 2 months and grew 2 inches. He has already outgrown the clothes I brought him home in and understands English and Spanish (his nanny is Spanish). He speaks a few words and kisses good-bye. He is the light of my life and he has the ability to cheer anyone up. Everyone keeps saying how happy he is and he really is…

The picture of Chase in his reindeer was the first night in our hotel in Kemerovo.  We had given him as much formula as he wanted and he proceeded to throw up on me!  The picture in the tub was at home.  The other pictures were a few weeks later when he made the trip to Charleston to meet all the family.

I still remember that week and what happened daily.  My Mom and I flew out on a Saturday evening arriving in Kemerovo on a Monday morning.  They immediately whisked us off to my court date which took most of the morning.  Later that day there was more paperwork to do and the next morning (Tuesday) we made the journey with several other families via a van to Novokuznetsk.  We had issues with the Van with fuel line freeze up and we sat on the side of the road in Siberia while they sent another van to us.  By the time we got to the baby home it was afternoon.  No time for a tour, but I do remember seeing this beautiful baby in a light blue knit outfit and my mother and I commented on pretty he was.  It had only been a month since we had seen “Dima” but that was him.  No time for a tour, we got our babies and they loaded us back into our van to head back to Kemerovo for more processing.  By Thursday on Thanksgiving we were in Moscow to meet with the embassy doctor and more processing.  There was no turkey to be found at any of the hotels or restaurants we had contacted.  So we just ate a regular meal in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Moscow.  All went well and Friday we were headed home!  That’s a very abbreviated version of what happened, but as you can see it makes every Thanksgiving that much more special with the memories.  Hope you have a very special Thanksgiving this year as well full of your special memories!

, , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: