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реюньон семьи (family reunion)

Friday, July 4, 2008

We met nine years ago in the JFK airport.
Shad was lugging our carry-ons and I was clutching our duplicate copy of our dossier.
Susan and her brother, Steve, were seasoned travelers on their way to adopt her first child.
It wasn't a chance meeting.
Our agency had told us a single woman and her brother would be making this journey with us to Russia.
I caught a glimpse of her in the Kansas City airport, but it wasn't until our layover at JFK that either one of had the nerve to approach the other.
The bond was immediate.
Here we were, two complete strangers headed to a foreign country to adopt our first children.
Even though the trip was only seven days, it was arduous...which made our bond that much stronger.
None of us knew what we were doing.
These were the days before blogs, list-serves and adoption websites.
We didn't know anything about FAS, RAD or sensory deprivation...
We were clueless about attachment disorder, food gorging or any of the other baggage these kids can bring home with them.
Ignorance was definitely bliss.
It was a giant leap of faith.
Thankfully, now nine years later both of these boys are doing great.
And we are getting to see it first-hand this weekend.
Alexei, his mom, Susan and sister, Kristina (adopted from Ukraine) are here for the 4th of July.
We took them to our hometown parade, barbecued in the backyard and watched the city's fireworks show tonight....all the while reminiscing about our trip and comparing parenting notes.
It's been like old times.
The boys took to each other right away, riding bikes, playing ball and bugging us to light our fireworks! :)
It was so fun watching them and marveling at how far they've come and how much they've both changed in the last nine years.
They've gone from being scrawny little babies to strong, athletic pre-tween guys.
Where did the time go?
Top: Alexei (left) and Alek (right) stand in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square with our facilitator Galina - July 1999. (Aren't they cuties?!). Above: Nine years later the boys (Alek, left and Alexei right) take a break from playing to let me take a picture of them.
BTW - It was Susan's courage of tackling the Ukranian adoption system that encouraged us that we too, could handle it. She adopted her daughter, Kristina about the same time we brought home Anya and Nick. When the Russian system shut down in 2006-07 we decided we should give Ukraine a try. We wouldn't have Maddie if it weren't for her.

4 salty messages:

Auntie G July 5, 2008 at 5:22 PM  

This post gave me chills. What an awesome thing for you to be able to get together again.

Tina in CT July 7, 2008 at 7:46 AM  

What a special July 4th for both families.

Where do they live - far from you?

Sounds like everyone had a great reunion.

Ashley July 8, 2008 at 12:21 PM  

WOW! How awesome! This is so special! :)

Lindy July 8, 2008 at 1:09 PM  

That was just the coolest thing - loved the photos!

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