Thursday, April 15, 2010

We Are The Truth

Last week, a 33 year old single mom from TN had her mother send her 8 year old adopted son back to Russia because of behavioral problems. This sounded like a made up story when I first heard it and I couldn't believe this actually happened. There are many better options here in the US that this mother could have taken that would have been better for the child and the many families that are in process of adopting from Russia. Now, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Child's Rights Ombudsmen have called for a suspension on adoptions from Russia to U.S. citizens. I can't imagine having this happen during our process with Vera. Even harder to imagine is how the families who have taken their first trip and met their child feel. The wait between the 2 trips is hard enough, I can't even imagine.

Today is Adoption Blogger Day - part of the Joint Council on International Children's Services Call to Action - We Are The Truth. We want the world to know that the thousands of successful adoptions in the U.S. far exceed the few horror stories that you hear about in the news. Here is our story...


I didn't grow up always knowing that I would adopt a child. But, when my husband and I had troubles getting pregnant with child #2, I started looking into adoption. That is all it took. After that, we knew we were called to adopt a child. So, the goal was no longer to get pregnant, but to dive into the adoption paperwork.

Our plan was to adopt a child from Uzbekistan, but God's plan for us was to adopt a little strawberry blonde girl from Moscow, Russia. We started our adoption process in January 2007, Vera was not even born yet. The process was not easy in any way, but God taught me a lot along the way.

Ryan and I traveled to Moscow in November 2008 to meet our daughter. We were expecting to meet a child that had darker features since this is the type of child we had expected from Uzbekistan. Thinking this type of child might be harder to place and this is the type of child we intended to adopt, that is what we expected. We were shocked when the 4 women at the MOE office showed us a little black and white picture of a girl and said she had red hair! After going to her orphanage and learning all about her, we finally got to meet her later in the day at a Russian hospital. I will never forget that experience of seeing this tiny 13 month old strawberry blonde girl for the first time.

On December 12, 2008, a Russian judge declared Ryan and I the parents of Vera Marie Wolland. Ryan, Kiara, and I spent 10 days waiting for Vera to join us when the decree would be final. Traveling by foot and Metro to and from the orphanage to visit with her are times our family will never forget. Vera became a US citizen when our plane touched down in Chicago on December 30, 2008.

So much has changed for Vera since joining our family. She was described by the doctor at her orphanage as a watcher and a quiet child. She is basically 180 degrees from that now! She is loud, loves to be part of the action, and is a comedian. She has learned to walk, talk, and be a part of a family. She has a sister that loves her more that anything.

It isn't all easy. She is a very strong willed child, that tests her parents every day! But, we love her more than we could ever imagine. God also provided me with extra proof that Vera was always meant to be a part of our family. Strangers will comment on how much she looks just like me!