Our Adoption Journey (Part 2)

I awoke at 4:00 a.m. in our hotel in Moscow the morning of Sept. 2, 2004. I had only slept a couple of hours. Jet lag was partly to blame, but my insomnia was mostly due to utter excitement. I could hardly wait to get my hands on that sweet baby boy! Shannon awoke shortly after, and we decided to go ahead and get ready for the big day. After all, our driver would be arriving at the hotel to transport us to the orphanage at 6:30 a.m.

Our adoption agency had taken great care in making all of our arrangements regarding accommodations and transportation as well as setting our entire agenda. We never had to question what to do, where to go, or when we should be somewhere. The previous afternoon, we were greeted at the airport by a driver and interpreter, which came in quite handy since our Russian vocabulary was slightly limited. (We had learned how to say only the bare essentials, including “please, thank you, yes, no, excuse me and bathroom.”)

So, that morning, the same driver and interpreter, as well as a “paperwork liaison,” met us in the lobby of the hotel. We were blessed to have another couple who would be traveling with us to meet their babies…and, yes, I did say babies. They were adopting an infant girl and a two year-old boy. Little did we know at the time how much this sweet family would come to mean to us. We quickly developed a treasured friendship with Andy and Jeanne. It was such an added bonus to be able to share in this miraculous adventure alongside of them. It was especially helpful that they were “veteran adoptive parents.” Just two years before, they had traveled to Russia to adopt their first child.

I vividly remember the sights, sounds, and even the smells as we rode along in the back of an older model mini-van. Obviously, the Europeans don’t believe in the use of AC in a vehicle or the AC was not functioning properly. Whatever the reason, they chose to drive us almost 2 hours with open windows serving as our source of ventilation. I didn’t necessarily love this idea, since I’d fixed my hair and all, desiring to make a good first impression on my son. I’d heard these precious babes were often fearful when handed off to the adoptive couple on the first visit, and I didn’t need bad hair to add to the traumatic moment. But I decided a little windblown hair was better than being soaked in perspiration. It was a very warm day for September in that area of the world, with the temperature reaching the lower 80’s by midday.

I’ll never forget the moment I spotted a very recognizable sign on the side of the road. I’d seen it before on the Internet while researching various orphanages in the region where we’d been chosen to go. My heart was about to jump out of my chest. I whispered to Shannon and our new friends, “I think we’re here, ya’ll. This is it.” Our driver pulled over, allowing us to snap a few photos of the sign. And then we jumped back into the vehicle which took us down a little dirt road leading to the orphanage. Again, I thought I just might have a coronary. I guess I never realized how much that moment would impact me.

We were escorted into the building, where the director of the facility greeted us and showed each couple to a separate “waiting room.” Our room was the “music room,” which was very clean and modestly adorned with a large decorative rug and sheer curtains. A piano sat in one corner, and the walls were lined with precious little hand-painted chairs. Shannon and I were impressed with the facility as well as the staff. We were told to wait in the room, and Ben’s caregiver would bring him to us. We quickly began unpacking the gifts and donations we had brought for the children and the workers of the orphanage. In lieu of a baby shower, I had asked my Sunday School class at church to give either clothing or monetary donations for the orphanage. Because of their generosity, we were able to fill a very large suitcase full of items along with a substantial love offering to give to the director. We had also packed several toys, snacks, and juice to offer Ben during our visit together.

Probably 20 minutes went by, although it seemed an eternity, as we stood waiting with still camera and video camera in hand. Each time we heard footsteps walking down the hallway, we just knew it was him. Then the steps would fade away, and we’d remember once again to breathe. At long last, the door swung wide open and in walked a lady holding the most adorable little blond-headed, blue-eyed baby boy. We immediately recognized him from the photos and video we’d been sent. She handed him off to me, and, just as quickly as she entered the room, she turned and left. Ben looked me straight in the eyes, with brows furrowed, and stared for quite some time. Then he looked at Shannon, giving him the same focused stare. We both fully expected him to burst into tears, but to our joyous relief, he gradually began warming up to us. (We soon realized the snacks and juice we brought were a very big hit. Although he’d never had a sippee cup in his life, he took it as if it was second-nature.)

Our visit lasted 4 hours, and those hours were moments I’ll forever remember and treasure. We laughed together, played together and hugged and kissed on him like there was no tomorrow. God re-affirmed to us in those moments that His hand was completely covering this event. We felt privileged to be a part of this plan, and as we kissed our son good-bye that afternoon, we did so with a complete sense of peace. We were especially thrilled to find out that we would be able to return for a second trip to complete the adoption and go to court in just 2 weeks. (This was an answer to prayer, knowing that many couples in the past had waited as long as 6-8 weeks for their return trip.)

Our return home was bittersweet. After spending that wonderful time with him, it was very difficult to leave him behind. Yet, we trusted God to protect and keep him well until we could return. The sweetest part of going home was knowing we would be reunited with Anna Katherine. We had left her with Nana & Pop, and we were very anxious to see her again and show her all the pictures and video of her new little brother. This was definitely a family affair, and even though we were unable to have her travel along with us overseas, we certainly included her in as much of the journey as possible. She had prayed for this little guy for many months and was thrilled that, in just a few short weeks, her little brother would finally be joining our family.

**Note: I realize I did not post a photo of Ben with Shannon. My only digital photos from the trip were ones that HE took, because, as I’ve mentioned before, I used to despise digital cameras. Therefore, all of the pictures taken of him were with my 35 mm. For some reason, those are not stored on a CD that I can locate. When I can figure out how to use a scanner, I’ll plan to scan some of the “hard copies” of photos with Ben and Shannon. Just a little FYI!


  1. Posted 12/13/2010 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I’d be inclined to acquiesce with you one this subject. Which is not something I usually do! I really like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  2. Posted 12/15/2010 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    I have to admit that this is one nice insight. It surely gives an organization the opportunity to get in on the ground flooring and actually take part in creating one thing particular and tailored to their needs.

  3. Posted 12/15/2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Interesting information provided, have send your url to a few others

  4. Posted 12/15/2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I definitely liked reading all that is written on your site.Keep the tips coming. I enjoyed it!

  5. Posted 12/15/2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I want to thank you for the efforts you have contributed in composing this article. I am hoping the same best post from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skill has inspired me to start my own blog now. Truly the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  6. Posted 12/15/2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Quality post. I learn something mroe challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to share content from other writers and be shown a little something from their store. I’d choose to apply certain from this content on my blog have to you don’t mind. Natually I’ll present you with a link in to the sites. Nice one for sharing.

  7. Posted 12/16/2010 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Hi! Your article rocks and is really a very good understand!…

  8. Posted 12/16/2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. ;)…

  9. Posted 12/16/2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article A wedding is one of the most important events you’ll experience in your lifetime, which is why you want to get it right.

  10. Posted 12/16/2010 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Thnx so much for this! I havent been this moved by a post for a long period of time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, Youre definitely somebody that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the wonderful job. Keep on inspiring the people!

  11. Posted 12/16/2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Keep functioning ,impressive job!

  12. Posted 12/16/2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  13. Posted 12/17/2010 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Fantastic article! I’ll subscribe correct now wth my feedreader software package!…

  14. Posted 12/17/2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I by no means remark on blogs, but this a single is amazing! Thanks.

  15. Posted 12/17/2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Hi! Your article rocks and is really a very good understand!…

  16. Posted 12/17/2010 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)……

  17. Posted 12/17/2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…

  18. Posted 12/17/2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    This is really a extremely beneficial read for me, Have to admit you might be 1 in the most effective bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  19. Posted 12/17/2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I keep listening to the reports talk about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

  20. Posted 12/17/2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I have been examinating out some of your posts and it’s clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog.

  21. Posted 12/18/2010 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for a fantastic along with insightful posting We genuinely value all the labor which went in to the writing.

  22. Posted 12/18/2010 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Cheers for this posting, guys, retain up the fantastic operate…

  23. Posted 12/18/2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    This is really a extremely beneficial read for me, Have to admit you might be 1 in the most effective bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  24. Posted 12/18/2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey, just located your site through Google, and found so that it is really informative. I’m gonna record this amazing tool. Cheers!

  25. Posted 12/19/2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I had my examined by an expert although we all know that respecting that instrument.

  26. Posted 12/19/2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    There will appear a time that this entry proper here, will be valued as a top entry in the world wide web. It’s that excellent.

  27. Posted 12/19/2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Awsome info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂

  28. Posted 12/19/2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh man. This blog is sick. How did you make it look like this !

  29. Posted 12/21/2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  30. Posted 12/21/2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    This is really a extremely beneficial read for me, Have to admit you might be 1 in the most effective bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  31. Posted 12/22/2010 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    I am impressed, I have to say. Really seldom do I come across a blog that is both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your thoughts is outstanding; the issue is something that not a lot of people are speaking intelligently about. I’m really happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  32. Posted 12/22/2010 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Interesting new post. Even better than your previous ones IMHO 😉

  33. Posted 12/22/2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I like this internet site because so much useful stuff on here : D.

  34. Posted 12/22/2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)……

  35. Posted 12/23/2010 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Nice information, lots of inspiration
    thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

  36. Posted 12/23/2010 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Easily, the post is actually the best on this deserving topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your upcoming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the extraordinary lucidity in your writing.

  37. Posted 12/23/2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    It is unusual for me to discover something on the cyberspace that is as entertaining and fascinating as what you’ve got here. Your page is sweet, your graphics are outstanding, and what’s more, you use reference that are relevant to what you’re saying. You’re certainly one in a million, good job!

  38. Posted 12/24/2010 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    It’s unusual for me to discover something on the net that is as entertaining and fascinating as what you have got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are great, and what’s more, you use reference that are relevant to what you’re talking about. You are definitely one in a million, great job!

  39. Posted 12/24/2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this! I havent been this thrilled by a blog post for quite some time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, Youre definitely someone that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the good job. Keep on inspiring the people!

  40. Posted 12/25/2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to achieve my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  41. Posted 12/25/2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    An impressive blog post, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me breakfast because I discovered it for him. smile. So let me reword that: Thanks for the treat! But yeah Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I feel strongly about it and enjoy reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. Big thumb up for this article!

  42. Posted 12/25/2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey it is a actual cool web site

  43. Posted 12/26/2010 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the aarticles coming. I loved it!

  44. Posted 12/26/2010 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    My sis instructed me about your site and the way great it is. She’s right, I’m actually impressed with the writing and slick design. It seems to me you’re just scratching the surface when it comes to what you possibly can accomplish, however you’re off to an ideal start!

  45. Posted 12/26/2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I am always browsing online for posts that can help me. Thank you!

  46. Posted 12/27/2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    After read a couple of the posts on your web site these few days, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and will be checking back soon. Pls visit my internet site too and let me know your thought.

  47. Posted 12/27/2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this! I havent been this moved by a blog for quite some time! You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the great job. Keep on inspiring the people!

  48. Posted 12/28/2010 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    After study a few of the blog posts on your blog today, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites internet site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my internet site too and let me know your opinion.

  49. Posted 12/28/2010 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    I have been reading out some of your stories and i can state nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your website.

  50. Posted 12/28/2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Howdy, i read your blog often and i own an analogous one and i used to be simply wondering if you get a lot of spam comments? If thus how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you’ll be able to advise? I get thus much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very abundant appreciated. Their debut album in 1991, “Ten” was an instant smash hit around the world.

  51. Posted 09/24/2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought you’ll want to to check them along with the 3D ones. Furthermore,
    most of these artists has even more great images but I decided to include
    only the best ones due to the lenght and the size of this post.