Safe and Sound

"I remember tears streaming down your face When I said, I'll never let you go When all those shadows almost killed your light. I remember you said, Don't leave me here alone. But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight. Just close your eyes The sun is going down You'll be alright No one can hurt you now Come morning light You and I'll be safe and sound"
-Taylor Swift

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marking A Year

One week from today, May 22, marks one year since the plane took off from Logan International Airport headed eastward to London. From London, the plane went farther east to Moscow. We landed in Moscow on May 23, 2011 and stayed for 3 days. May 26 we left the capitol for Kemerovo. We landed in Kemerovo at 5 am on May 27.
     I still remember the drive to the gasteenitsa vividly.  The long road leading out of the airport, twisting through the worn out streets of south-central Siberia. The streets were devoid of life, besides us, as it was only 5 in the morning. Halfway through it, I fell asleep, and woke up to the soft murmur of voices coming from around me. The front steps I had originally tried to go up were pink, and they were the wrong set of stairs. The next set were grey with a trash barrel next to them. You had to ring a doorbell to be let into the building. The grumpy key lady had to come open the door for you, amd stay there until we were done unloading the van of our 7 duffel bags, five backpacks and two suitcases. Our room was the last room on the left, and there were things sticking out of the walls with flower pots on top of them, some form of Russian art, I guess. I passed out on the one bed about 30 seconds after we arrived. I woke up at 2. I could have slept longer, but Anya had made an appearance with her friend Ira (EE-rah). We finally got to do some exploring of the city later that night. the amusment park down the street, the "mall", my favorite restaurant in the entire world, Chocoladnitsa, the River Tomb (Tom), and all the other wonders.
     Since I've returned home from the dismal place seldom on a map, the sadness has been overwhelming, knowing that there are people living in this place of coal dust and desperation. Knowing that it's been almost a year since I've seen my sister, and Anya and all of the others.
    A year since I've seen my sister. Has she grown? Has the mop of hair on her head become longer? These are all things that I do not know. Imagine your sister, brother, cousin living over 6000 miles away, and you not seeing them for the first 8 years of their life, and seeing them twice a whole year ago. Then multiply it by 10 and then you STILL wont get what it feels like. I can post countless picturees of me, my friends, my family, from the past year, having fun, being sad, happy and everything in between. But what about her? Her friends, family? I can almost guarantee none of that has been documented.
     There's also the sense of guilt that comes with things, such as drinking water. Most Americans don't think about it when they turn the tap on and get a glass of water. I do. I took a sip of water from the orphanage, and then realized my mistake when I got home. Giardia. Parasites. Most of the kids at the DD have them, because there is NO clean drinking water. I'm still careful with water here, scared to drink it, almost. I can't drink it if it tastes a little off, for fear of a repeat. There's guilt in everything, opening a textbook at school, putting my glasses on my face, getting changed for gym, playing my clarinet, walking the hill-less route from school to my house, in the nice weather. Things that a normal kid wouldn't think twice about, I cherish. Most kids in 8th grade hate getting changed for gym, its a pain and pointless. While I hate it, I love it at the same time. I HAVE something to change into. Some kids don't.
     On another note: Since it's been a whole year since Russia, I'm going to get back into learning the language. I speak it well enough to get by, and not order 5 coffees (love you mum!) accidentally. But I'm nowhere near fluent. My sentences are somewhere along the lines of "I be listen music. Me like horse." instead of "I am listening to music. I like horses"
     And finally, I will leave you with a question: Who are the waiting ones? Us, the family she will belong to eventually, or her, a lost orphan girl?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Safe and Sound

 This song is one I recommend to anyone with a child waiting. No matter if it's your sibling, son, daughter, grandchild, niece or nephew. The lyrics mean so much. It's one of the only country songs I like, because of the words, and the haunting melody.
     It's like it is talking to the child that is being left alone. "Come morning light, you and I will be safe and sound"
     Now is the time of dark. Night, if you will. The awaiting what is to come. You cannot see in the dark. It's covering all of your vision. What is to come next? Certainly not predictable. Even if you know the course you are walking, if you have adopted before, how do you know exactly which way you are turned in?

     Most people think of the child who is being adopted, the waiting, anxiety of what is to come. It is true. Don't get me wrong. I didn't even think of the family who is bringing the child home, the parents, siblings, until recently. The family who is waiting, in the dark. We wait and wonder what is happening to our poor little baby. I live every moment scared of what might happen to her. Is she okay? Does she have enough to eat, to not be hungry? Is there anyone looking out for her if she gets hurt? I want the daylight to come, the sun to rise, to be able to leave this dark room, move on to one filled with sunlight and joy. To have the worry lifted, to have her safe and sound, in our arms.
     Though when she comes home, I know it will not all be light. There will still be dark. I've learned about these things. I am in no way fully prepared, or even part way prepared for the rages, the trauma, the incredible amount of attention she will need. I get it. It will be hard. I need to prepare, and I might not ever get to that point. I promise to love her unconditionally, as I already do. There will still be shadows of her past lurking, making it dark at times. It will make it dark at many, many, MANY times. In no way, shape or form am I going to be 100% braced for this. It's a bumpy ride.
Another perspective, from a new view, from an adoptive parent (my mother dearest):

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Cracks in Our Foundation

     Kate Nash song, Foundations. I recommend it to anyone who likes either:
          a. British Accents
          b. Indie pop (I have no idea what genre she sings, but this is what both and google told me)
          c. Sassy love songs

     Anyway! About Z. There's HUGE, monumental even, cracks in her foundation. Our [educated] guess is that she has been at the orphanage since she was 6 years old. Z is 8 now. At the orphanage for 2 years. How old is her brother Vanya? Two years old. She was put there soon after her brother was born. Imagine that, you're 6 years old, love your parents, and are looking forward to your new brother coming. When he is born, you are over joyed. But then, your parents put you in an orphanage. When asked about your brother, you STILL say that you love him. This might not be the whole story, but is what we got out of her. If your brother was one of the causes for you to be put in an orphanage, would you still love him? I know I would dislike my brother even more than I do now. When asked "Do you love him", Z responded: "Yes, very much"
     She's such a strong girl. So much hurt packed inside her little body and mind. I simply cannot express how much she needs a home. We have not even STARTED the adoption process. We have completely committed to her, but money locks us up, and is screaming in our face "I'M GONNA STOP YOU IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE!" As the Fab Four said, "Money can't buy me love" It's true. You cannot "buy" love. We've fallen in love, and that part was free. Getting the love home costs twenty thousand dollars. Fair? No. Real?  Yes. Please help us bring her home...I love her, our entire family loves her, and wants nothing more than to have her here. The moment when I can say, "Welcome home, baby girl" I'll know this has all paid off. I hate asking for money. I really do. I'm not good at it either. So far, we've raised approximately $1,900. That's about 1/10 of what we need in total. Please help!
Here are the APPROXIMATE costs of each part of the adoption, as far as I know right now.

  • $2,000 to secure the attorney
  • $2,000 for the home study
  • $1,000 for the post-placement reports (must be paid WITH the home study)
  • $11,000 in 3 payments over the course of the process ($3,670 x 3) to attorney for various tasks
  • $3,000 First visit airfare & vital expense for one parent
  • $6,000 Second visit/courtdate "Gotcha Day" for both parents
  • $1,200 One way airfare for a special girl to come HOME

     We are trying to take this one step at a time.  Right now we are working on raising enough for the first 3 items ($5,000)
     A large thank you goes out to all people who have given donations. From $3.16 to $350, all are appreciated.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This Thursday at the orphanage where so many live,
Good fortune took hold, with so much to give.
Bringing turkey and cakes and pies to fill
Hungry tummies of orphans, all at a will.
"Yummy Yum Yum!"
"No more chum!"
"Real food today! Hooray! Hooray!"

It's true! On Thursday (2 am our time), at Detsky Dom number 5, they celebrated Russian Christmas (Jan. 7) with a feast provided by caring people world-wide. Such a treat for them! As I said on my last post, their food is, well, a LOT less than getting a celebration that huge, I can't even describe how grateful they must be!

     On another note, I recently saw a video of my sister. I can't imagine all the sad bottled up inside her little 8 year old body. We were "interviewing" her. How old are you Z? What is your favorite color? You know, stuff like that. At one point, we asked if she had any siblings. Affirmative. "Brother or sister?" "Brother." The look on her face then could kill a horse, just so sad and confused. "What is his name?" "Vanya"... "How old is he?" "Dva" (two). "Oh, does he live here too?" "No"...Could he be at the baby home? "Where does he live, Z?" "Home"....I almost died right then. She leaned over onto my lap and closed her eyes. Then a whole slew of girls came in, they found us...Z sat up and looked as happy as ever, and there was no mention of it again.