Adoption StoryHome
It would be impossible for us to tell all of the details of our adoption journey, because more than just facts it is full of emotions that range from great expectation and excitement to utter discouragement. So in order to not have to write an actual book, I have included some of the main facts and created a type of mini-adoption story for you which is based on my children's adoption story book: Siberian Treasures.

Read our FAST FORWARD VERSIONS by clicking the calendars.

The Waiting

The Fulfillment

The Trip! Finally!

January 1998, we were curiously interested and blissfully ignorant (Hmm, adopt a child? Sure! Why not!)

February 1998, we were dumbfounded and peeved (WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ARE WE FIT?! Homestudy time!)

March 1998, with our homestudy behind us, we were excited and growing in knowledge and experience (Yeah for the Internet! Here, here!)

But then, the BIG decision, should we request
a little boy or little girl? A baby or a toddler?

We had a suspicion we would most likely get a boy because most of the time girls are requested over boys. But as it happened, we just couldn't decide and that is when absolute lunacy hit us and the following mental gymnastics took place: "Well, we're usually in bed by 9:00, right? We eat our vegetables! We don't live the party life!" (Though we did take a Swing and Tango class at the park district! Yahoo!) "C'mon we need a little adventure in these routine lives of ours!"

That's when we did it! We signed the dotted line and asked for BOTH/AND! (Two at once? Are you crazy?? But my husband insisted! REALLY he did! I love that man!)

And wouldn't you know, in the month of March, our little Aleksander (Yevgeniy Tretyak) was born! (whistle, whistle, cymbal, cymbal...yes, these are sound effects, Folks.) He was the youngest referral assigned to parents of all the children adopted out in the past two years. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!!! Let's not forget our little girl!

HOMEPAGE   Adoption Stories

April 1998, anticipation was growing and the adoptive mother to be, Gina, waxed poetic at 4 am one morning, and what did she write about? Pregnancy! Well, more like "International Adoption" pregnancy. (Believe it or not there is quite a similarity, folks.) Even more amazing, it actually got published in Roots and Wings adoption magazine three months later! (Great memorabilia for the little ones and a little pride for the mama!)

May 1998, we handed in all our paperwork for the Russian government and tried to sit still as our I-171H papers and fingerprints were being approved by our nation's finest
"Men In Black" - the FBI!

June 1998, we waited. Then we received a call asking us if we would be willing to take a little girl 2 and a half and a baby boy. Being the patient, pensive, and calm people that we are, we nonchalantly (ya right!) said: YES!!!!!

HOMEPAGE   Adoption Stories

July 1998,our buddies threw us a surprise adoption party that was MARVELOUSLY SNEAKY! We came looking sloppy and messy (you know, we were only intending on "getting some practice" for an evening with the Fabrie children) and when we walked in we were SOOO surprised! We felt a little embarrassed at our appearance, but hey so what! overall we were VERY blessed and grateful! It will be a memory we will cherish for many years to come (THANKS AGAIN FOR MAKING IT SO SPECIAL FOR US!)

August 1998, we pined away. Russia went on holiday break, as so many Europeans do, A WHOLE MONTH! (Ya gotta love a system like that, eh?) We also got news over the Internet that Russia was revamping its adoption laws and things were looking a little grim, i.e. moratorium.

September 1998,we were dismayed. We hadn't even received a video, yet. "What is going on! We were supposed to have had the children by now!"

Then, "the call" came to pick up our photos. We raced furiously to the agency! We opened the pictures and there they were. Two thoughts rang in our minds: "WOW! These are our children!" and "Uh Oh! These are OUR children?" (LORD, Have Mercy!)

Then, one Saturday morning, a most special envoy from the local Fed Ex came knocking and there, in his hand, was our video from Russia. We watched with excitement and yes, we confess - a little fear! The first child, WOW, it's the little girl. "Isn't she cute!" Wait, what did they say? "...17 months old?" No, that can't be right! Our little girl is 2 and a half! What's that? "...born in April?" No, that can't be right! Our little girl was born in February. "What in the world is going on???" We look at the tape again. Right name, but wrong child?

This is when the fear part starts really kicking in, folks! We continue watching and then another little girl is brought in from behind a door. We were intent on watching only OUR CHILDREN! But due to human frailty, we decide to see the forbidden (BTW, I don't think we were ever supposed to get a video filled with children, only the two chosen for us. You know, agency policy and all.)

The next segment rolls and to our awe and amazement there is the most gorgeous little girl with a bow on her head. (Erik secretly falls head over heels for this child, but refuses to let his wife in on the feelings. Gina, feeling very guilty about the fact that she too is quite taken with the child, can't resist and empties all her pent-up emotion on her husband, who then himself, succumbs to the moment, and divulges ALL, Ha!....Men!) (O.K....and Women, too!) FEAR grips us as we both realize we have fallen for another child who was not in the photo. YIQUES! Now what! We continue watching.

What? "She was born in February." Hey, that's interesting. "She's two and a half." Hey, that sounds awfully coincidental! Hmm, I wonder. Could it be?

The long and the short of it is that Zhenya (the 2 year old) was the child originally chosen for us, but by accident we were given the photo of another child with all of Zhenya's bio information on it.

But WAIT! The video keeps rolling and there he is! Our little boy, Aleksander! Our first thoughts? HE'S HUGE! What's all this stuff about being a preemie. Forget that! (Gina, signed up for Women's Workout World that very week!)

HOMEPAGE   Adoption Stories

October 1998, we wait for more news about the moratorium and hope that we can travel soon.

Zhenya's birthmother needs to sign the release form for our daughter's adoption. Our agency tries to track her down. November 1998, we wait, and wait, but no news...

Still no news about Zhenya's birthmother. December 1998, we finally get the bad news. Ours is the only region in all of Russia that has decided to put a hold on adoption. The regional judge is confused about how American law works and at what point the children become legal citizens and "OURS" never to be returned again to an orphanage. Our joy ebbs low and our new family motto is: "let our little people go!"

Zhenya's mother still hasn't been found, but we know that she has moved to another city. So we wait and hope things will change. We don't even know if we will end up getting the children that were promised to us. We are trying to hold everything loosely. In the meantime, we must learn to fix our hope and joy in Christ: Learning to be content in our waiting, which is very difficult to do. Despite our wait, we want to thank Him in advance! Without Him, we wouldn't enjoy half of the blessings we live with, and so easily take for granted.

HOMEPAGE   Adoption Stories