On Sunday my three year old visited his Aunt Debbie and his cousin Katie and played with their dogs. If he still lived in the orphanage he would have played with mismatched or broken toys, if he played at all.
On Monday my three year old went with his Grandparents to a party at his cousin's home, where he played with his little baby cousin and ate hot dogs. If he still lived in the orphanage he would have eaten thin potato puree that was too hot to swallow but that he would have gulped down anyways, to fill his always empty stomach.
On Tuesday my three year old visited his Aunt Becky's home where he played with his cousins and watched deer in their snowy backyard. If he still lived in the orphanage he wouldn't have been able to see the world outside from the small high windows that were smudged with mud and snow.
On Tuesday night my three year old rode home in the backseat of his family's car while watching a movie about Curious George, his favorite show, with his older brother. If he still lived in the orphanage he wouldn't have seen any educational shows on television, or had a brother to share them with.
On Wednesday my three year old played in the snow, all bundled up in his snow suit. If he still lived in the orphanage he might never be warm enough, and wouldn't have been able to play in the snow, as there was no yard, only a small concrete parking lot surrounded by gray buildings.
|all smiles as he plays in the snow with his older brother|
Tomorrow my three year old will go back to preschool, where he will learn his letters and colors. If he still lived in the orphanage tomorrow would be the same as every other day. No education. No love dedicated just to him. No choice in meals or toys. No clothes of his own, no family of his own, no mama of his own.
Tell me, which is better?
So many people tell my husband and I that our children are "lucky". "They are soooo lucky that you adopted them." "They are lucky lucky lucky!" And we have always said that we are the lucky ones, not them. I am lucky when I hear my boys laughing with each other. I am lucky when my three year old says "I wanna kiss you mama" and kisses my leg. I am lucky when one of my boys catches my eye and smiles at me. I am lucky lucky lucky. But now, with Russia on the verge of possibly banning adoption to Americans, I feel as though my little three year old is lucky too. Less than 1,000 children came home to their forever families from Russia in 2011, but he was one of them. He was one of the lucky ones.
There are an estimated 700,000 children living in Russian orphanages. A number of those children have already been placed with waiting American families, and those adoptions are threatened to be disrupted, or, worse yet, not occur at all, if the ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans goes through. These American women and men are not "parents to be". They are already parents. They have visited their Russian child. They have held him, fed her, played. They have bonded. They have promised to return. And now their lives, and the lives of these innocent children, may never be the same. Contact President Obama. Sign a petition, like this one.
I have done all of the above. And I will do one more thing. I will be ever joyful that my little boy made it out of a country that didn't want him, but who didn't want anyone else to have him either.