Yes, I know I have written 3 posts back to back. But hey....Nikolai is asleep. S and B are supposed to be in the other room watching a movie. But, with all due respect to my husband...it sounds like our bulldog is in there. She snores so loud that the foundation to our home rumbles. That is the sound coming out of the family room in the Host families apartment. So, now you can see why I am catching up on my blogging time. All is quiet in the house....well, for the exception of the snoring in the other room ;)
This week is what I affectionately like to call the last 6 miles of the 26 mile marathon. We have our sweet son with us, but, he has no passport, no visa, no medical clearance. So, no going home until we have all of that. If I stay here much longer, I can figure out how to ride the train to Siberia and back. (Actually, it isn't that hard ;)
So, today was his Medical Clearance for the United States. He needs to be cleared before we go to the US Embassy to get his Visa to enter the US to state that he is not carrying some crazy disease and that he checks out ok.
The doctor is Russian and we understood her just fine. She had a very thick accent. She began to read off his medical charts. All of which we knew prior to this. We knew that he was considered "special needs". He has a malformation of his right hand. It is called Amniotic Band Syndrome. His birth mother's sac broke before he was born and the fluid caused this banding syndrome to malform his hands. In some children, their whole hands or arms are amputated. To give you and idea of what I am talking about...we don't mind sharing Nikolai's picture. It might help someone if they ever saw this diagnosis...
Basically, 2 of his fingers are functional and he uses the 3 that are banded together as one limb. In Russian orphanages, you are really "marked" if you are considered "special needs" We were told by our tour guide here that although things are getting better...it is still hard for Russian men to want to adopt Russian orphan boys. They do not want to raise another man's baby. And she said, he is unheard pretty much for a Russian to adopt a special needs boy. So, I don't know what would have happened to Nikolai. But, I am not going to go there.
The doctor kept on talking about his medicals. She said he had hip dysplasia, a heart murmur, the list went on. She said he will have to have a lot of tests and ultrasounds done. I felt a little sad for him knowing that he was going to have to have surgeries for his hand and pokes and prods for all of the other tests. He was a premature baby like our second child. So, he is prone to a lot of bronchial issues.
We knew what we were getting into when we accepted Sasha (Nikolai) as our referral. There can never be enough words to describe how "led" we felt to adopt him. I think I have talked about this before. We didn't want to adopt him because we felt sorry for him or because we could save him or anything like that. There was something about him.....something deep down that kept nagging at us, pulling at us...letting us know that he was meant to be our son.
When we are with him now... we know why we were led. He is our son. I totally believe that God has a plan for each of us. There are no mistakes. We might have been able to have 2 children on our own. Some think that is enough...why more? Now, we can't have more. I had to have a hysterectomy because of cysts which turned into a tumor (fortunately benign). Even before that, we decided to adopt because I had gotten so sick with our second. We didn't think we would ever have a third. But, life has a way of changing your mind sometimes. I also believe the word "never" should be deleted out of everyone's vocabulary. As soon as you say "never"...it will happen. :)
Had those events not happened....I would not have been standing on Red Square holding our sons hand looking over at the Kremlin or looking at Saint Basil's Cathedral.
What is special needs? Does that make Nikolai different because of his hand? People sure do look at it on the Metro. They smile at us as if to say "oh, what nice people to be taking care of this boy" Nikolai is like everyone of us on this planet. We are all special needs. We all need special attention. We are all longing to have someone to love us. We all want someone to just say "I will take care of you, I will be there for you".
We might be changing Nikolai's life forever, but, trust me when I say this...he is changing ours forever too. Love doesn't look at deformities. Love looks at the heart. When he smiles at me, my heart melts. When I look at him, his eyes brighten. Just like our two daughters. He may not be from my flesh...but, he is surely from my heart.