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The Perfect Family

the perfect family, andrei's russian adoption storyRussian Adoption Story:
The Perfect Family

 

It took us nearly a year to realize that Andrei was supposed to be our son.

My husband and I decided to adopt a little boy during the summer of 2004. We had adopted our daughter Inga three years earlier, and having a boy seemed the natural next step toward building the family of our dreams.

When we first looked into adopting our son, we were uncertain as to how far apart in age our kids should be. There are so many choices you can make when you adopt, such as gender, or age. My husband and I struggled to make the perfect decision, since we had these options before us. We interviewed friends and relatives as to what they thought was the optimum age distance between kids, and I even recall asking a stranger in an airport her opinion when I noticed she had two children about three years apart who got along well with each other. After much careful research we came to the conclusion that this was indeed what we wanted…kids who were three years apart. The perfect family, we thought. But we forgot to put that on our paperwork, or perhaps it wasn’t noticed, and the referral information we received was for a boy only a year younger than our daughter. Our hearts sank. This was not what we had wanted! We asked for a different referral, and there was our new son, two years old and exactly three years apart from our daughter. Perfect! We eagerly started the paperwork and began the process of bringing this new child into our family.

I remember that it was a busy time, we were so excited about having a second child and my thoughts were nearly completely taken up with the adoption. However, somewhere in the back of my mind, the boy from our first referral was still there. In the midst of preparing the room for the new child I found myself wondering what the first boy was doing right then, if he was sleeping well at night, if he felt loved by the orphanage staff. I remembered that his name had been Andrei. I forced myself to push these thoughts out of my mind because this was not the son we were adopting. With nowhere else to go, this child went straight into my heart.

adoption story: the perfect familySeveral months later, we brought two year old Alex home, and our world was wrapped up in this new little life in ours. He responded so well to our family, and was overjoyed to have a Mommy and Daddy and a big sister. He played on the floor with toddler toys and spoke his first English words to our laughing approval. He is so cute, we all thought, so little, so perfect. But occasionally I caught myself looking around, for someone else. It took a while before I understood who I was looking for, because I had done quite a good job of blocking him from my conscious mind. However, now that our precious Alex was home it cleared my thoughts for the drastic realization that we had another child, an unplanned child, who was still out there. My husband and I wrestled with these thoughts and prayed over them, and decided. Andrei was our son, too.

There were a lot of complications with this “delivery.” There were questions from Russia’s end as to why we wanted to adopt so soon, questions from our social worker who wondered if we were doing the right thing to adopt an older child, even questions from our family asking if we really understood what we were doing. But we knew it was right for us, and so a full year after we had learned about Andrei we started the process to bring him home.

Today Andrei is a bright, inquisitive, incredible 5 year old boy who gets along well with his siblings and is the delight of his parents. All of our careful planning for the “perfect” family makeup was cast aside in favor of a child who grew in our hearts. And I discovered that I like having my kids only a year apart! ~

Thank you to Jen and Dan for providing Kids To Adopt with this beautiful story!!

Adoption Story Written by Jen and Dan, edited by Kids To Adopt