Recent Russian adoptions?

Pamela - posted on 01/10/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Anybody adopt from Russia recently? My husband and I are about to submit our paperwork and are getting cold feet. I would love to hear some success stories and experiences.

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Amber - posted on 12/29/2009

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Hello, The 20/20 piece that you talked about in my perspective is what made my husband and I adopt our 2 sons through domestic newborn adoption. I helped a very dear friend of mine through a horrible experience of adopting a russian child. Please know that not all russian adoptions end up like my friends did. I went through the process with her and her husband. I was there when they met the little boy through the agency. They brought a group of russian children from an orphanage here to the US and the prospective adopted parents were able to spend time with the children. To make a very long story short, they adopted him and over 3 years he displayed MAJOR mental issues and she did everything to help him. Nothing was successful. She was able to return him to the agency and they found him a new adoptive family. As of 2 years ago he had went through 2 other families that could not handle him. I have heard of great success stories of russian adoptions. Just be careful and get alot of help. I hope this helps you. I also hope it doesn't scare you :) even with US adoptions you never know. Mental illness and other issues are a possibility in all adoptions. Good luck and please keep us updated.

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Vickie - posted on 11/29/2009

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Pamela, don't let everything you hear about Russian adoptions frighten you. Not all medical records are "beefed up". I was told that Russian medical records are scarier than one thinks. The family that also adopted their daughter when I adopted my son, (we were staying at the same "spa" in Russia & traveleld together daily to visit our babies before we could take them home) were never told that their baby girl had other medical problems. They started to discover that she had language delay & later on done the trail discovered that other issues. They had the same dr as I did, recommended from our agencies, interpret our children's medical records. All I will say is that this dr is known as "The Orphan Dr." & has gone on to become quite famous. Whether or not she had deliberately withheld medical facts on children adopted from Russia & other countries is something no one can ever be certain of.

FAS is not always as scary as it seems. You'll be surprised at the inner strength you will find should your adopted child be anything less than perfect. Ask yourself this: "If I had given birth to a child that had any medical issues at all, wouldn't I still love & be devoted to my child?" I think your answer will be yes.

Josephine - posted on 11/21/2009

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I saw this question now. I wonder if you went through with the adoption. I adopted two children in 2006 from Russia.

Vickie - posted on 11/11/2009

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I adopted my child from Russia in 1998. Travelling to Russia now seems like i dreamed it all. You can't believe everything you hear. It was not an easy journey but one that I will never forget. Adopting my son was the best thing that ever happened to me. If you want to know more about Russian adoptions, Google Dr. Jane Ellen Aronson, also know as the Orphan Dr. I not only went to a seminar that she spoke at before going to Russia but she also examined my son when we returned to the U.S.

Jen - posted on 02/09/2009

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Hi Pamela,



Just wanted to check in and let you know that we got our travel dates for our first trip!  We are going to Moscow on March 9, traveling blind.  I'll let you know how it goes!



 



Jen

Carol - posted on 02/02/2009

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We also adopted from Russia almost 3 years ago.  I have two wonderful children.  We used a great agency and 2 IA doctors - we were so scared going into adopting from Russia with all the medical questions,etc.  We also experienced going to court about 2 weeks after an adopted child died here in the US, so we were questioned a lot about how we would dicipline our children.  I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.  All the best to you! 

Pamela - posted on 01/31/2009

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Thanks Katrina. I will check out adoption.com. I was thinking that everything seems so doom and gloom on FRUA. We are just not equipped here to handle FAS. Dyslexia and other small issues we can definitely handle. You are amazing for dealing with your situation so gracefully! I'm sure all of your kids are adorable! I think we have found a good IA doctor in Boston that we will use. And it sounds like Russia is sending videos and medical info. before travel now so that will help us a bit too. Thanks so much for sharing your story and everyone else who has posted here. You are all inspiring and giving us hope!

Katrina - posted on 01/31/2009

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We've adopted 2x from Russia-once in 2002 and once in 2005 (we also have a Korean-born daughter).



FRUA isn't necessarily a great adoption resource. adoption.com Russia adoption is pretty good. FRUA is a bunch of alarmists



You can get a good IA doc to look at videos, etc. My oldest son's medical report was very scary, and he's fine now at 8. He entered spec. ed last year for dyslexia and ot issues, but he'll be out soon. We didn't have any major health problems with him, and he attached beautifully.



Our youngest was adopted in 05. Our agency, after we had our referral, had told us something was up and tried to get us to switch. Fast forward to age 5-he has FAS. However, our agency knew something was up, An IA doc would have caught it, too.



Didn't matter to us-we were in love, and he is one of the best things that have ever happened to us.

Nicola - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi Pamela,

We adopted from Russia in August08, a little girl who is now 2. She is absolutely beautiful and amazing. It is a long and tedious process but worth it.It took my hubby and I abt a year and a half to get a referral but after the referral it took 3 weeks to have her in our arms.



You have to have an open mind and you have to keep yourself bizzy reading reading reading because the time is going to seem like an eternity and also dont believe everything you red or hear that is negative.



If you have specific questions I will be glad to help wherever I can.



Good Luck

Nikki

Kristan - posted on 01/27/2009

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Yes, that's where an IA doc can help you out greatly because many of their diagnosis sound really scary but really mean nothing. Definitely use and IA doc, we used Dr. Chambers at the University of Alabama at B'ham.She consulted with us before leaving (this was when we were still in the Russia program) talked to us via e-mail and phone while there. She was the biggest support to me while there. Unfortunately we did come home without finding our child, but we were in the middle of a big scandal that was about to break in the region we were in, so in hindsight it was a blessing, so don't let that scare you.

Anyway, she worked again with us in Kaz. Actually we didn't call her at first, we just accepted our daughter, and about a week in to it, I sent her all the information and called her just as reassurance (we were adopting her no matter what) and the Dr. Chambers words were, Enjoy you daughter, she's healthy!!



Some people don't believe in using an IA. Some rely to much on what they say. One IA doc would have told us to pass on our daughter because she wasn't in the 5th percentile or higher (she was the 3rd or less), but our doctor looked at everything, not just the measurements.



What a great story Caroline, your son sounds amazing!

Pamela - posted on 01/27/2009

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Wow! That's a great story. You are much braver than I would be. I may have shied away from him if he was that ill when I met him. From what everyone is saying - it sounds like you "know" when you meet the right child and you just do what you have to to bring him home. So we are plugging forward and looking forward to getting a referral. Thanks so much for sharing!

Caroline - posted on 01/27/2009

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I wanted to say one more thing. Russia "says" they don't adopt out healthy children, which is why they medical reports are "beefed up". Our son was extremely ill and I was very scared at the time. When we went to visit him, he wasn't even at the orphanage. They pulled him out of the hospital for a 1 hour visit with us. He was 11 months old and only weighed 13 pounds. He was two months premature. Now he's 8, the best student in his class and destined for greatness. His first mark on the growth chart wasn't even on the chart. He's now 9 inches taller than anyone on his soccer team or in his class. He never catches a cold in our house. He's a miracle and he never would have joined our family if it wasn't for our pediatrician. He told us to go get him and we just followed his instinct. God bless our doctor!

Caroline - posted on 01/27/2009

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I adopted from Russia in 2001, so although not recent, a huge success story in my mind. I travelled twice, once to "meet" my son, and again to bring him home. Some people choose to stay the entire time, but we had duties calling....



We had angels with us for the entire experience. We lived in a very small community in Northern Canada and were blessed with a pediatrician who was the Russian Immigration Doctor for 4 years and can actually decipher the medical reports. Amazing odds!! The medical reports seem scary but he explained why each item was on there. I travelled two weeks before 9/11 and again two weeks after. That is amazing in itself as we could have been stranded if my timeline was shifted ever so slightly either way. Angels all around!



The security in Russia took some getting used to. Don't put your passport and visa away, ever. Have it handy because you need to show it 10 times between handing in your airline ticket to getting on the plane. Wow!



Our son was declined twice by other parents before we received the referral and it was sure their loss! He's so smart, he's a scientist by nature, even discovering a dinosaur footprint at the age of 7. He's in grade two and entering the science fair by choice. I've read 10000 facts about sharks when he was 4 for story times (yes I lived thru it). We've read medical books. "We're going to learn about the central nervous system today". There's no Bob the Builder for this kid. He begged me for weeks to by him a CD Rom on the human body. He's a boy with purpose and I know I've been put on this earth to help him get there.



Cold feet? Let your angels guide you girl! You'll know when it's right.



- Caroline

Pamela - posted on 01/24/2009

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Thanks for all of your replies. We are feeling a little better about things after your stories and speaking directly to a few more who have done this successfully. We will go into this with our eyes wide open and with good doctors, etc. Will keep you posted!

Donna - posted on 01/21/2009

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My Husband and I adopted from Russia in 2003.  It was a wonderful experience.  The agency we used took such good care of us and they were so very helpful through the whole thing.  We went in February, so it was freezing there, but what an experience to last a lifetime.  We now have our beautiful daughter, she is 6 now and the joy of our life!

Donna - posted on 01/21/2009

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My Husband and I adopted from Russia in 2003.  It was a wonderful experience.  The agency we used took such good care of us and they were so very helpful through the whole thing.  We went in February, so it was freezing there, but what an experience to last a lifetime.  We now have our beautiful daughter, she is 6 now and the joy of our life!

Betsy - posted on 01/18/2009

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My husband and I just returned with our beautiful almost two year old on December 17, 2008.  It is a time consuming process, but if you have a good agency working with you the process is manageable.  Our son has had some health issues, but none that are not fixable or have not already been fixed.  I understand the cold feet, and every story is different and unique.  I looked at the situation as that if I were to have this child I would have no say in the health issues.  Good Luck with where ever your personal journey takes you.

Pamela - posted on 01/14/2009

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Thanks so much for sharing that with me, Jen. We will certainly get ourselves some good doctors to review medical info and videos. I appreciate your perspective. Best of luck to you. It may be more nerve wracking for you the 2nd time around because you already have a child so this is not just about you anymore, but everything you do affects him. That's I think 1/2 my problem too.

Jen - posted on 01/14/2009

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We adopted our son 1.5 years ago, and are in the process of adopting our second child now.   Also we have friends that are picking up their (perfectly healthy and adorable) son right now.  I would echo what Kristan said above abot a good IA doctor, and keeping yourself informed.  There are healthy  children-- a good thing to keep in mind is that what we (western medicine) would consider to be managable, and minor, might seem like a bigger deal to a Russian.  



This is a nerve wracking process, (even a little more so the second time around I'm finding), and I think its pretty normal to be nervous. 

Pamela - posted on 01/11/2009

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Kristan,
Thanks for your message! I would love to speak with you further. We think we have chosen a good agency. They are not in danger of losing their accreditation. I'm just concerned because I've heard some real horror stories. I'd love to hear about the website (is it FRUA)? I'm glad everything worked out for you. We considered Kaz too.
- Pam

Kristan - posted on 01/11/2009

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I did not adopt from russia, however we were in the russia program for 18 months then our agency lost accreditation. we would have eventually made it back, but we were going to be stalled for at least a year. we switched to kazakhstan.



I know a lot of people who have adopted healthy children from russia. you need to chose your agency wisely!! this is the biggest and most important factor. do your homework and use an international doctor. there are healthy kids being adopted. I would be happy to talk to you more on the subject if you are interested. I can also give you a great website where you can get lots of information. I still follow Russia to some degree because although my daughter is from Kaz she is russian and i made lots of good cyberfriends who adopted from russia while we were in the process that i still stay in touch with.

Pamela - posted on 01/10/2009

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Thanks for your support. I think that I'm nervous because of the publicity that Russian adoptions are getting (i.e. piece on NPR that says Russia is not letting healthy kids be adopted by US parents and 20/20 piece about kids adopted from Russia that parents cannot handle because of severe developmental/mental issues. So I would love to hear if anyone's adopted recently to see if there are in fact healthy kids. Our agency says it's all propaganda and there are healthy kids, but I don't know who to believe!

Winnie - posted on 01/10/2009

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I have not adopted from Russia, but I wanted to stop in and say that I hope everything works out for you. What do you think is causing your cold feet?

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