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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Shattered Adoption Dreams

A long, long time ago, we had a dream of bringing home our first son’s friends.  One by one, they were shipped off to Islamic farming villages in other Russian republics.  Anything to keep them away from us.

We tracked them by various means and methods.  When they sneezed, we knew about it.  One of the boys had a sister named Vika (vee’kah).

Vika’s fate on a Moslem farm could be, in some ways, better than in a Russian city.  She would not end up a pregnant alcoholic, at least.  That’s about all we could say.

In those early days, months, and years of hopefulness, we bought a few items for them.   Silly, in retrospect. We were delayed by long stretches of time when region after region shut down to international adoption for first one reason and then another. After petitioning for four years, the kids were at last shipped away and doled out by the dozens as free pre-teen laborers (no, make that paid pre-teen laborers, only the kids were not paid, it was their new foster parents being paid a pretty penny for taking in the kids, the exact opposite of a foreign adoption),

In Russia, they would have no inheritance rights, and no legal name change.  Instead of families paying possibly the equivalent of an average citizen’s annual wage for the privilege of adopting, the foster families got paid a healthy monthly stipend, month after month, year after year, like icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, we were left with the tokens of hope, those odd items of what were once dreamt to be.  We had bought Vika some clothes, most of which were able to go to one or the other of our girls with the passage of time.  Yet, the blue ballet flats remained unused.

Of course, everyone’s foot size had somethng to do with it.  Mashenka, at age 11, came home three years ago with women’s size seven feet.  Sashenka, at almost age 9, came home with children’s size 12.  After years, she hovered finally between size four and five.  Vika’s old, blue ballet flats, fresh and new as the day we bought them, were a size six, along with a simpler black pair.

I pulled them out of storage.  It’s amazing how that blue, Delft-like pattern had stayed with me through the years, indelibly etched in my consciousness.  I had probably purchased them five years before.

Somehow, buying ballet flats and other items had helped to keep the dream alive.  They would be coming home, we vowed, spending thousands of dollars and years of our lives in pursuit of these children.  But alas, most of them never were allowed to leave the country and join our family.

We had to realize that we had our own, real, live dreams right here, and turn our attentions toward them.  Holding the shoes up to Sashenka’s current dress shoes, they seemed smaller than a size six.  Maybe she could wear them now.  Maybe it was time to turn them over and put them to good use.  Time to wipe away the cobwebs of a dream gone dead.

Happy feet, skipping down carefree lanes of life a world away, would now fill the blue slippers, once destined for another.

Have you had an adoption dream gone awry?



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8 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Linda says:

    We had no specific child in mind, but always wanted two or three…
    We have one, it’s good and great and the best thing ever, but sometimes I wonder about that little boy, who hid behind the tree and smiled at me when he peeked at me.
    I’ve sort of kept track of him, he’s still the the children’s home, but as we can’t adopt a specific child in mind, we’d never get him. He was sweet though. And I feel really sad that he hasn’t found a home yet (well not at least the last time I checked.) and as he’s the same age as our monkey, he’s 6 now, turning 7 early next year… Just getting older and older. We have sent some things to the children’s home, but have no idea if the boy ever got any use of any of the cloths we sent.

    • avatar admin says:

      If he’s really in your heart, Linda, you might want to try to petition for him. There are ways that your facilitator may request him (unofficially), or officially. It could be an uphill road, or in today’s climate (not many foreign adoptions), they might be more open to it. You just never know. Our second son was our first son’s friend.

  2. avatar Linda says:

    It’s just that they would never request a specific child.
    Our laws are really strict when it comes to international adoption, now even stricter as the new law came 1.7.2012, and from I’ve read about the thing the only chance for a adoption where you would “pick” a child would be if we’d move to Russia and live there for an x amount of time and do the adoption there, then move back to Finland and apply for the adoption to be legal here. And even in that case, if they think that the only reason you’ve moved to Russia is to adopt, they might not accept it. There’s been some cases of people bringing children home from somewhere and the children has just been taken away from them as over here the adoption is not considered to be legal. Then it’s question if the child is sent back or be fostered over here.

    And even if it would be possible I don’t think we’d ever go through with it.
    We’re happy with one child, he’s perfect, so why rock the boat so to say. We had thought about fostering long term (we have no adoption by fostering over here, the biological parents have so strong rights, only if they agree adoption is possible, how ever the new law does make it possible to open adoption), have even asked for papers about it, but decided with monkeys school and me starting to study, that we’ll just wait and see, maybe in a few years, when Monkey’s settled in to school and I’m finished with mine, we’ll re-think this but for now, we’re going to stay as a family with one child.

  3. avatar Sybil says:

    We had got a video of the precious Russian daughter that was to be ours; we had bought the clothing, the toys, and fixed her room. The adoption was pre-approved by the judge in the region. We finally got our invitation to go. We were in the midst of making our air arrangements. Days later the judge changed his mind and decided we were not acceptable and that was it. No reason. It was not going to happen. We had to just pray she was going to join a loving family at some time soon and we had to move on quickly or we would have given up because of broken hearts. But, we pursued and the next child did work out. But, it was hard and sad and I just have to have faith to know the child got a family and has a good life.

    • avatar admin says:

      Oh, that’s rough, Sybil. But you know how to mentally handle it, otherwise, it just tears you up. Easy for others to say not to buy anything until the child is home, but first of all, it’s not practical, and secondly, in the past, adoptions seemed more of a sure thing….

  4. avatar Sunny says:

    Wow….reading that post reminds me of a girl I waited for years ago. She will turn 10 before long and doesn’t know I think of her sometimes. On her first birthday I was still waiting, so I sought out a meaningful gift to comemorate the occassion. It was a child’s bible. As it turned out, I never did meet that little girl. The next year I met another child in another country who became my daughter. She has the bible. Sometimes when I see her holding it, I get a little flashback of the sad person I was seeking a gift to express love for a child I hadn’t met. I love those ballet shoes. take care.

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Sunny, it’s hard to let go, isn’t it? We can always keep those children in our prayers. Our sons have a girl who was their friend and she aged out this year. Haven’t heard from her in the last six months, so not sure exactly where she is, but I hope she’s still in a trade school or something.

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