"Kathy´s Complete Story" on Adoption
Ever since we adopted our son Alex from Russia 2 years ago, we wanted to go back and get him a little sister. We have been getting ready for her for about 11 months.
On January 13 we landed in the snowy city of Moscow. Our translator met us at the airport and we joined a couple and a wife that we met on our first trip. After spending the night at the Slavaskaya Hotel in Moscow, we all made a 3-hour van ride past miles of cement apartment complexes, and then through the snowy Russian countryside with birch tree forests and little carved wooden cottages (Dachas). When we arrived in the small city of Vladimir, with it’s gold domed orthodox churches and it’s old cement shops arrayed with new plastic signage, we settled into a carved wooden chalet. The next day after doing more paperwork at the social worker’s office, we all headed to court in our dress clothes. Our Vladimir interpreter helped us answer the questions with the correct decorum. When we were done, 7 month old Sarah was officially ours!
Later that evening we went to the Infant Home with new baby clothes to dress Sarah in. Our hearts were full of excitement as we sat in the Music Room of the Infant’s Home and put a lavender baby outfit on our giggling little bundle of joy with dark gray-blue eyes and light brown hair. We got a few photos of Sarah with the woman who was her dedicated caretaker, who wanted to remove her white smock for the photo. On our first trip, we left a small photo album with photos of our house and extended family so the Infant Home could see Sarah was going to a good home. Her caretaker, who had seen the photos, was exuberant to see her little sweetheart held by her new parents. We knew she knew she would miss Sarah after caring for her for 7 months.
It was almost surreal, walking in the dark, down the snowy boardwalk to the chalet carrying her, bundled in her pink snowsuit and fluffy pink hat. The snow fell lightly on our faces as we passed pine trees dressed in sparkly Christmas lights and I thought, "What a beautiful setting to bring our new little girl home to this first night."
In the morning we all rode back to Moscow in the van and spent the next days going to the US Embassy in Moscow and doing other paperwork. It had been a long 11 days in Russia, which is always dark in the winter, staying in hotel rooms, on jet lag, and visiting with other adopting parents. Seven of those days Sarah was with us and we cared for her with supplies from our suitcase and with food and clean water hauled from the neighborhood grocery store. We enjoyed the special time to bond with her before we got back to busy schedules.
Finally, as proud parents, we embarked on our trip home. We were on Delta flight 31, a 10-hour flight direct from Moscow to JFK, in New York, with 6 other families who just adopted. It is dubbed "the baby flight." When we got to JFK, we entered the Immigration room with Sarah and when we left that room, she was officially a US citizen! It was 3:30 in the morning Moscow time by the time we arrived in Columbus with our precious baby girl to be greeted by our excited family.
Sarah has adjusted very well to being home. She is very alert and inquisitive. She loves meeting new people, although we’ve tried to stay home a lot these first few weeks since she is not used to being exposed to new places. She is doing very well improving her motor skills. She sits up well in her high chair and exersaucer and is almost able to sit alone on the floor. She loves holding objects in her hands and turning them over, examining them. Kathy thinks she’ll love Scrapbooking, cooking and sewing, and other fun projects! She especially loves her older brother Alex who likes to make her laugh!
Kathy (Warden) Davis