March 20th, 2007
I sit at a desk crammed with three computes madly typing away as if engaged in some manic symphony. I prepare, with hope, for that day we have been marching towards since the beginning. Our tickets are in hand and we are to fly tomorrow. Even at this late date, there are no certainties. But I can not let fear dictate my life, so Tanya and I prepare and go to sleep tonight with the thought: Trip 2 finally is upon us.
And so, the travelog begins once more. I start by sharing that which my eyes always see. Though you may talk to me and think I look upon you, the truth is, I have only seen you through the glaze of a memory fixed upon my mind. For the past four months my mind has been dominated but by one thing…
The day we met them
The day began at 2am when Tanya and I dropped the facade of sleep. The stillness of the streets outside stood in too obvious juxtaposition to the turmoil of emotion we felt inside. With a sigh of resignation, I turned on the light. We passed the night watching season 2 of The Office. In many ways, that day was not just the culmination of our ef-forts of the past year; it was as if our lives all along had been pointed with determined direction to that time and that place.
Though we had travelled to Yekaterinburg blind, with the only information on our referrals being the month and year of birth, our hearts pointed us in the direction of one en-chanting little girl. We first saw her photo among the thousands on the databank when we began the process. We knew not her region nor status; only that something, some-thing in her called out to us. But we fought that calling of our heart; there is no way to know who will be referred. If we attached too strongly to one, it would not be fair to the child referred to us.
We were told the month and year of a girl available for adoption a month before we travelled. We agreed to see this child. A few days later we realized that the child might be in the databank. Entering the month and year yielded six possible girls; one of the girls was the one we had seen a year earlier.
What prevented sleep that day was the conflict we forced upon our heart. For our heart pointed strongly at this one girl, but our minds knew that our referral could be one of the five other girls. We fought the attachment to the one, for the sake of others.
As night faded to morning, Yekaterinburg began to wake. Sounds of cars, trucks, and people drifted up and into our window, the dawn light softly illuminating the curtains. Finally, it was time.
We knew the moment we sat down at the MOE and saw the picture on the table. It was her. We released walls the that fought our hearts and the feeling was that of being touched by the Grace of God. The day’s magic had only just begun.
They told us about our little girl. The difficult beginnings. They told us of her brother who at three weeks had severe head trauma thrust upon him. It was those injuries that led them to the difficult decision of separating the girl from the brother. For no family was willing to adopt both.
After the joyous meeting with our girl, we discovered that her brother was also at that same baby house. We asked to see him. From the moment our eyes touch his. From the moment we looked into those eyes of blue gray, we knew and we understood. The love that we fought against (and yet still grew) throughout the year was not just for the girl. It was for both. That love transcended whatever fears we may have had. We looked in our hearts and saw truth. All had happened as it did not for one, but two: Dascha our gift, and Nikolai our lion heart.
We know not where this road will end. We wait still to see them again; to be told, yes, you are their parents. But whatever the future delivers we will always have that day, that glorious day, that day we first met them.
This article first appeared in the March Adoption Options newsletter.