Wednesday, September 5, 2012

His Name is X

[ I wrote this post nearly a year ago, just before our first trip to Russia to meet our son. He's asleep in his room as I write this addendum and we couldn't be prouder or more pleased with how our story has turned out. ]

His name is "X", and we don't know very much about him at all. We don't even know what he currently looks like which is odd given that in a few weeks we're going to Russia to begin the process of making him our son. I can't speak for Melissa but I have the butterflies a hundred times worse than I've ever had them before in my life. And I've got questions running through my mind all day every day. Will he like us when we meet him ? Will he like his life here with us ? What does his life look like now ? Am I fit to be a parent ? What is Russia like ? What's being an orphan like ? Each day that goes by, the questions intensify. Those of you who are or were first time parents get the idea, I'm sure.

Right now, child X remains one of 750,000 unclaimed and abandoned Russian orphans. He's lucky compared to some because he hangs his hat and bib in a relatively well endowed Moscow baby home. In spite of his current circumstances I think it's fair to say that he'd have no chance if he wasn't adopted. Most children aren't adopted because most Russians view orphan kids as broken and unfixable. The system ensures this perception remains accurate because the kids are kicked out of the orphanage system when they are sixteen and statistics say that forty percent will die or be in prison within two years. How sad is that ? How bad must your own circumstances as a parent be that you would voluntarily give up your child to an institution to raise knowing the probable outcome and thinking that they would still do a better job than you will ?

For me, the worst part of this process is that although this is one of the biggest moments of my life I can't share it with anyone because it's not a sure thing yet. There is still some niggling chance that a Russian family could claim this child ahead of us. I know some of you reading this are saying to yourselves, well if not him then you're going to bring home another, so what's the fuss ? I guess that's right to a degree, but if it's possible to love someone you have never met then child X is already loved. And claimed. And wanted, too, very much so, as every child should be. We have thought about him and talked about him every day since we got our referral.

As much as we can make it so, this child's life here ought to be a good one. We've built our farm and our business around the idea of raising a family in a nurturing, safe and supportive environment with his mom and dad both available to him at a moment's notice and with at least one set of grandparents close by. We debated adoption for a long while. In the end, I wonder why we debated the concept for so long when every critter in our large menagerie is adopted. What could be better than sharing the wholesome farming life we've created with a needy, unwanted and unloved child ? At this point, I can't wait to find out.


RuckusButt said...

Great post. I'm glad you wrote it then, even if you couldn't share it until now.

Bif said...


So, how are the butterflies now? And again in about 13 years? Teenagers...