Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Russia Adoption Story...Bringing Nicholas Home.

This family is currently in Russia to bring their beautiful son Nicholas home. You can follow their journey on their blog 'Bringing Nicholas Home'.

Nicholas has made my first two days as a mother really easy. He is remarkable and is blowing both of our minds with his flexible disposition.I’m going to try and recap the past three days as best I can before my memory fails me.We left for Nizhny Tagil at 8a on Wednesday morning knowing that we had to be back in Ekat by 3p to pick up Nicholas’ passport. On the drive out there, we were told that there was a military presentation happening in NT, which apparently is an annual event, and Wednesday (hello, Morgan luck) was the unofficial start of the 3-day celebration – when all of the government officials come. President Medvedev himself was expected to make an appearance. Big day in Nizhny Tagil = big traffic on Putin’s highway. Vadim is a master on the road, no doubt – but, there is nothing that can be done about parking lot traffic. We were all four getting a tad concerned about pulling off our 3p return.Eventually traffic broke up and we arrived at the orphanage a little before 11a. Dr. Ludmilla sat with us and acquired the final signatures required from me. She put her hand on mine while we were sitting across from each other at her desk and told me that Matt and I are ‘heroes’ for staying with Nicholas in the hospital last trip. From moment one, it has been evident to us that she truly loves these children. I know that’s not a job requirement and I must say that it was the single most comforting thing for us to recall when we were missing him terribly. In fact, during the long wait between trips, I was concerned that she would start believing that we didn’t want him and/or we were dragging our feet. Natasha translated that Dr. Ludmilla understands that the judge slows the process. She also thanked us for the gifts that we left for the orphanage – particularly the blankets and hats! Natasha told her that my mom made them and she smiled and told my mom that she has ‘golden hands’!When we finished the paperwork requirements, she left the room briefly and came back with Nicholas. He was so excited to see me! No doubt in my mind that he remembered our quarantine adventures. It was adorable – he kicked his little legs, screeched, smiled and trembled all over. We changed his clothes and went outside with Dr. Ludmilla to take pictures of V&P, LH’s little cuties whom share more history with our Nicholas than we do.We waited at the orphanage while Vadim ran somewhere to pick up some document that we needed from Nicholas’ birth city. While we were there, we played outside with Natasha and Dr. Ludmilla bade Nicholas her final goodbyes – made me very tearful. She wished him good health and a happy, prosperous life in which he will reach his best potential. She told him to grow up strong and she wished him good luck as he started his new life in America.She told me that she was his first real mother – she has had legal custody of him since his birth. She told me what foods he has been exposed to and she gave me some suggestions for easing his transition. She told me that the first couple of months would be the toughest and to be patient with him and with myself. She told me that 6 more children were delivered to the orphanage from the baby hospital that very morning and then she asked me to come back – for a girl so Nicholas will have a sister.All of this touched me to the core and though Matt and I have been entirely clear that we would NEVER put ourselves through the Ekat experience again, I must admit – in that moment it felt important to tell myself that I will be back, I will see her again, I will have another opportunity to convey the depth of gratitude that I will likely end my days feeling for her. I love her for loving him. It’s as simple and as profound as anything I have ever felt for another human being.48 hours later – I have learned so many amazing things about my son, which communicate clearly that his life at orphanage #8 under the custody of Dr. Ludmilla was entirely okay. Without a shadow of doubt I know that he has never been abused. He is a trusting little man whom has not experienced a deep violation of his sweet nature. I believe fully that he was protected there – as best is humanly possible in an environment that is quite simply not ideal for children to grow up. I also believed that he was deeply loved by someone – someone whom was not capable of coming down and telling him goodbye on Wednesday. I have mixed emotions about that – it breaks my heart for her and for him; but it also protects it from a potential display of emotion that would have haunted my nights.Though my mom captured each step on video camera, I have no recollection of walking away from his baby house with him in my arms. It was too surreal to remember – so many emotions indelibly printed on my psyche – it was just not necessary for my brain to be present. The drive back to Ekat was uneventful aside from my mom feeling very sick from being overheated (Susie fans – she has some stories to tell you about this lllooonnnggg drive!). Nicholas was great in the car, he was content looking out the window, wiggling minimally, and munching on cheerios. It was determined that it would be best not to feed him before we left ~12p because they didn’t know if he would get car sick and Vadim was worried about traffic on our way back.We arrived at the passport office ~2p and Vadim dropped Natasha and me off so he could take my mom and Nicholas back to the hotel – mom still didn’t feel well and Nicholas needed a nap. All went well with his passport and I was back at the hotel ~4p. When I got there, Nicholas was just waking up, so he and I ate some dinner in the room, packed for our big trip to Moscow, showered / bathed and hit the sack!We were picked up at 5:30a for our 7:10a flight and were so happy to see P&B in the lobby waiting to meet Nicholas! They reunited with their boys on Thursday – as did B&K – and, M&G picked up G on Thursday as well – all of them have very much been on our minds and in our prayers.Parting ways with Natasha at the airport was a tearful event. I will miss her terribly and I feel so grateful to her for taking such good care of us – talk about a trauma bond! We are so blessed to have earned her friendship and I have no doubt that we will stay connected and we will see each other again (when we adopt Nicholas’ sister, right?!).Nicholas was a major trooper throughout our travel day. He ate breakfast on the plane and snuggled with me while I sang to him – he was so sleepy. And, get this – he fell asleep in my arms!! It blew me away. He fought it so hard and he only slept about 5 minutes before I moved and woke him up after which point he could not relax back into me, but he did it – less than 24 hours after being with me!! I know not all of you readers will understand how profound this feat is – but, many of you will understand it implicitly. In truth, I expected it to be months before he would fall asleep in my arms. He is a trusting little guy. And, since we’ve been here in Moscow, he has become such a snuggler. No doubt he has bonded to me. In fact, I believe he bonded with both Matt and I on 6/19. He has not seemed traumatized by his experiences so far. He is intrigued to be sure – but, he’s not acting fearful.Jane picked us up at the airport and we immediately schlepped to the photographer for his visa photo and to the bank for currency exchange and to the clinic for his visa medical – then to the hotel ~12p (he was awake minus 5 minutes for 9 hours by this time and was barely even fussy). When we got here, we fed him, put him to bed, had a carpet picnic from room service and promptly went to sleep until ~5p! We were all exhausted.

1 comment:

Мatt & Carla Morgan said...

Wow! I'm honored to have a feature story :) Thank you, cm