My Russian Adoption Journey

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Posts Tagged ‘Adoption

My Journey So Far

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The journey so far has been long and hard.  I started thinking about having children about a year and a half ago right before I met my current boyfriend Vadim.  I was a single woman who had decided that she did not want to get married but always saw herself as a mother.  I began researching adoption with the notion that I WOULD NEVER be able to afford it.  I always had my mind set on adopting from Russia.  When I was a senior in high school a friend of mine had started a club that did charity work and fundraising for Russian Orphanages that were not getting the proper aid they needed, whether it be healthcare, financing food etc.  Our mission was to make sure that these specific orphanages received the aid they needed to care for their orphans in a humane way.  Let’s face it, the idea that a child has been abandoned or thrown away by their parents is a less than disgusting idea.  Having to be a baby, young child or a teenager in an orphanage with no one on one care and affection from a human being has to be the worst form of living for someone so young, but not all orphanages are below humane standards.  Some Russian orphanages are ran like boarding schools, where children get education, clean clothes, room and board etc. but unfortunately these orphanages are restricted to the main cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg.  The orphanages in the small towns however, do not see even half of what the bigger orphanages see and for any one of these orphans they do not have a choice of where they are placed.  And, to add insult to injury the children are evaluated and examined and if they have even the slightest bit of delayed reaction to anything, they are considered dumb, retarded, mentally challenged etc. and are sent to mental institution rather than orphanages.  These institutions have darkrooms where children are subjected to them for long hours in a pitch black room left with no water or food.  No place to use the bathroom and with minimal garments to keep them warm.  There are reported cases where the neglect was so bad that some children had died.  Some of these children are wrapped in white cloths and tied to furniture with a bowl of water placed in front of them like they are a chained puppy.  The institutions state that they do this for the child’s safety and cruelty has nothing to do with it.  I’m sorry but I saw a picture of a 16 year old boy tied with his hands behind his back to a lawn bench, tell me how that is for his safety?

 

Needless to say, our little high school club raised $2000 and had selected a Russian orphanage in the town of Dubovka.  Some people there believe they are entitled to “gifts” (which some Americans call bribery) for doing ANYTHING outside of living their daily lives.  Unfortunately, our club nor our club advisor knew of this and the orphanage Directors took their “gifts” from the money we donated.  In the end $80 of our $2000 actually went to the orphanage $1,920 of it went to “gifts” for the workers of the orphanage.  What they did with the $80……threw a party in our name in honor of the orphans, which the orphans were NOT invited to.  

Well, that was it for me.  Change needed to happen in these orphanages and change needed to happen NOW.  I didn’t know at 17 how I was going to make a difference but I knew when I was ready to have children, in addition to having my own children, I was going to adopt from Russia.  These children need a voice and its so sad that there aren’t enough people speaking for them.

I decided what my specific terms for children and goals for financing would be, before I actually started the research.  The financing part is another issue J but my specific terms were quickly put on paper.  My preference was that I would adopt two non-related male children every five years and their ages would be between 4 and 5.    My reasons for these preferences were simple.  Russia does accept two children being adopted at one time but prefer that these children be siblings, if you decided to adopt non related children your cost would be significantly higher.  Russia believes in keeping siblings together.  My reasoning for adopting two non-related children was because even though all orphans are alone siblings at least have each other.  The single children are literally ALONE.  They have no one in their corner at all, so it helped me to narrow down the pool I had to choose from.  I decided to adopt older, because most families adopt younger that way its easier to mold the child into their cultural setting.  They don’t have to worry about language barriers, or culture shocks.  But, those concerns were the least of my worries and actually the complete opposite of what I wanted for my children.  I’d prefer they keep their culture in tact, I’d prefer the remember and be fluent in their native language.  I prefer that they remain true to their culture while still embracing their new environment.  I want my children to be exactly what they are intended to be, I just want them to do it at home with their mother (me) and not in an orphanage.  Am I to feel that because the children are able to speak their native language and have started to develop their memories that makes them less appealing?  No, they should be nurtured more so because they are at the age where they are realizing that they were abandoned.  These are the children who have a serious need; these are the children who are at the age where they are starting to build character and personality.  My choice to adopt boys was simply because of the boy/girl ratio.  There is a 30 family waiting list in the Russian sector of my agency for an infant girl.  The waiting list can delay your adoption anywhere between 9-24 months and it will still take you the proposed 6 months after that to finalize everything and bring your child home.  With an infant boy there is no waiting list and the whole process can be over in 4 months depending on visa’s, immigration etc.  The ratio for male and female orphans is for every 1 girl there are 15 boys.

 

So, I continue my journey.  It has been long and hard with many obstacles.  More personal obstacles have started to form.  Not only does Russia look down upon Americans adopting their children.  They have never been warm to people of color.  So the journey of being a woman of color adopting two Caucasian boys from Russia is going to be a journey in itself.

Stay Tuned!

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Written by therussianjourney

December 18, 2007 at 6:09 pm

Hello & Welcome

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Hello and welcome to my wordpress blog. 

My name is Tiana and I am in the beginning stages of adopting from Russia.  I hope you will keep checking back for updated entries in my journey to complete my family.

Written by therussianjourney

December 18, 2007 at 3:52 pm

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