Just imagine that you decide you’d like to help a child, not just any child, but a child with no family and no hope for a decent future. You know this is a huge commitment and will change everyone in your family, your friends and ultimately will change your life forever. You are willing to take on this mission even though you are scared of the unknown and what you are about to undertake.
Imagine, somewhere in Russia, is a child rocking himself to sleep each night wondering what it would be like to have someone who could rock him, to comfort him when he was scared or hurt, someone to wipe his tears and tell him he was going to be ok. Imagine how it feels to be hungry so often you no longer understand what it means when your tummy growls. Imagine never leaving the orphanage to see the rest of the world. No car rides, no trips to the park, no McDonalds, and no birthday parties. Worst of all, imagine no hugs and kisses, no trips to Grandma, and no one to answer your cries. Imagine an orphanage with large silent hallways.
Orphanages filled with children, but no crying? They have learned that crying gets no response, and soon they no longer know how to cry. Imagine wanting to adopt one of these children, but you must fill out endless forms, sometimes repeatedly. You must have physicals, finger-printing, police checks, home studies and then fill out more paperwork. Then this paperwork must be notarized in triplicate, apostilled (proof of notary), and sent to various people on demand. Imagine doing these papers over several times to the point that Federal Tax forms look more appealing than adoption paperwork. Imagine getting the call that your paperwork has finally been seen by someone from Russia and you can finally travel to meet your child! (This happened to me while I was shopping in Wal-Mart and I burst into tears!) Imagine having one week to make airline arrangements, child care arrangements, etc. to travel across the world to meet your child.
You frantically make arrangements and before you know it you are traveling to Russia. Imagine traveling and traveling…trains, planes & automobiles of traveling. 30 hours of traveling to meet your child. Now imagine you are finally sent to a small green room in this old Russian orphanage where you wait for someone to bring in your child. You begin to wonder why you are there. Why are you doing all this, to the point of exhaustion? You have done a mountain of paperwork, paid more money than you had ever planned on and traveled to a part of the world that is full of poverty and despair. But suddenly, the door opens and a large Russian woman walks in with a small, thin little boy holding her hand. He is smaller than your birth son was at 3. He has the little face that has been hanging on your refrigerator for the past six months. She takes him to you and tells him, “This is your Mama.” You take him in your arms and hug him tight. You notice your husband has tears in his eyes as he picks up this very small 5 yr. old. At that moment you know this little guy is your son. You know you are changing his life forever. He now has hope for a good life, an education, better health and a forever family to love him and care for him.
All the frustrations you have experienced to this point have melted away as this little guy hugs his Papa’s neck and giggles. You play outside with him and his friends in the orphanage. They hug you and call you Mama and Papa. Most of them will never know what a real Mama and Papa are, though. You know you have to do all this traveling again in a few months, but this time to bring him home to your family and friends. You will discover that not only have you changed his life for the better you have taught an important lesson on caring to all your family and friends. If you experience all this then you will be able to imagine what it is like to adopt a child from Russia.
Deborah Mumm lives in Grayslake, IL with her husband and 5 children, two of which were adopted from Russia in 2004. She is an adoption coach with a local adoption support group as well as an online group. Claim a FREE report at http://www.adoptionhighway.com to see how you can help orphaned children.