Tuesday, October 27, 2009

She Wasn't Who I Wanted..

I knew there was a child available. I knew this child was in Novosibirsk. I knew that she was very healthy and off the data bank. I knew she was 15 months old. My agency had never worked in this region prior to my adoption and I was asked to travel to meet the child with only the information about her health. I jumped at the chance. At the time, I secretly thought if it wasn't a match, I would request another referral. In my mind, it was 'win-win.'

When I agreed to be the guinea pig for my agency, I went straight to the federal data bank and started to look for the little girls that were around 15 months old. I found 3 or 4 but was able to eliminate a couple, because they were either Eurasian, had siblings, or looked as though they were ill. So I made my travel arrangements and the trip was set. Just prior to leaving to meet this little girl, I got an email titled, "Here She Is." I opened the email and my heart sank. These are the two photos that were attached.

The first thing I saw were her ears. Oh those ears. Then as I looked further, I fell farther out of love. She was odd looking and she had blue eyes. Because Anna has very dark brown eyes, I felt like that was what this child should have.
I called the BFF, Martha and asked if my agency was punishing me? Why would they think I could bring home this sad looking little child? How could this be? But in my endless googling I had found a website specifically highlighting the available orphans in Novosibirsk. I went back to the couple of girls that I thought my referral could be, and realized that SHE was one of them. I can remember when I saw the other site, I said, "Aw, Look, I bet that little girl has big ears, so they put a headband on her! Going back and forth, I began to see that my referral wasn't so photogenic and I needed to get over myself. Here is the photo that made me take the trip.

Upon meeting my gal, I was blown away by her beauty. She was long and lean with the most stunning blue eyes. She was 16 months old, and looked like she was 3 years old. Her fine motor and gross motor skills were way ahead of my big girl's skills at that age. Here we are in the moments that we met. She was tentative, yet warmed up nicely.

We got back to Novosibirsk quickly and had AugustRose in our arms on Thanksgiving Day of 2007. She was 18 months old. Everything I had for her to wear was a wee bit short. She looks small here, but she was a giant!
(1st Meeting with Grandma)
Can you figure out why I posted these two photo together? Do you see the common link? It's the bracelet. Both girls loved it and held onto it every time we were together. For some reason they both liked to try and put it on their feet, and both girls loved to snap it open and closed.

Once in Moscow, Anna took some funny photos of us. My sister flew to Moscow to meet us. Thank goodness, since just before leaving for my court trip is the precise time that I injured my back. (so if you are adding it up yes, it has now been two years of aggravation.)

I bought tons of this chocolate because AugustRose resembles this little gal!

Anna took this...I think she was telling me to bend down! At least I hope this pose wasn't what I thought made me look thin!

I took this at Gum. I am not sure what Anna is doing, but if you look closely, my AugustRose was just about to reach her arms out for me. She was still only wanting her mama.

I can't believe it's been two years together. AugustRose is so much more complex than her sister. She can be as silly as a circus clown, and can fight like a cornered tiger if she needs to. Adopting her changed the dynamics of our family in more ways than I can explain. It has been much tougher than I imagined, but it has also been more precious than I realized it would be. AugustRose is extremely bright and can read several words already. She colors in the lines and can nail a nail into a 2X4. She has perfect pitch when she sings, and makes up songs almost everyday. She doesn't like pet names, and even today when I called her "sugar-baby" she said, "I am not a baby." She has an independence about her, sort of an aloof attitude towards many things, but always wants to hold my hand or ride in the stroller when we go out in public places. She adores her Dadushka and I am pretty sure she thinks he is superman...
Everyone in my family says that she is the "spitting image" of me when I was little. Funny, every time she stomps her foot and replies "Never" when asked to do a chore, I hear how much like me she is...
With AugustRose, I have found that I am much more laid back. Her spirit is strong and I dig that about her. Looking back, I am sad that my first reaction to my girl wasn't a great one, since I was so wrong..Maybe that first image made me think she wasn't who I wanted, But God Knows how much I love her now. So tomorrow at our 2 year post placement appointment I look forward to sharing my baby's special gifts. But shhhh, don't tell anyone I called her a baby!


Tina in CT said...

She is so cute (and I think her first referal photos were cute) and she definitely has stolen your heart. What wonderful two years you've had.

I recognized the Kremlin behind you and figured the other photo was inside GUM. I'll be there in less than 2 months.

Tina in CT said...

Forgot to ask - Does your sister have children? Does she live in your area?

Don't you just love those adorable chocolates? They've come to my house many times with my daughter and I have seen them in the grocery stores when shopping with my daughter in Moscow.

Olga said...

I just found your blog and I admire you for adopting 2 beautiful girls from russia.
I'm only 20 now, but I know I'll adopt when I reach the age I feel I'm mature enough.
I'll follow this blog for sure.

kate said...

She's stunning--as always. This little girl has such an amazing spirit.

Hope you're all WELL for the two-year mark!

Annie said...

I'm with Tina - I think the first photos are pretty adorable, too....of course the "sad" little look is enough to bring out the mother in me...but she is so pretty! Four kids, and I never got a "referral" in the ordinary way.... That must be so exciting!

And how speedy that was! Each of my kids took 9 months.

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

My sister doesn't have any kiddos. She is single, but loves being an aunt. She met us in Moscow for both adoptions. She saved the day both times, since I had jetlag for Anna, and with AugustRose, my bag was killing me and my little one was terrified of a stroller.
My sis is also a teacher and lives just outside of DC, she's a city girl! I am so thrilled that you will be in Moscow soon...

Tina in CT said...

Your sister is not too far from you, your mom and the girls which is great.

Has your father moved back North?

Anonymous said...

She is such a cutie. Funny how things work out and you have to think that this is how it was meant to be. So far the only tough adoption question my kids have come up with is Nicky asking what would have happened if had been adopted by another family. Shudder to think of it, but it could have happened so easily. We weren't even supposed to go to Russia and I certainly didn't want to go to Khab.


Hevel said...

Funny thing is that I have been munching on Алёнка konfetti while reading your post, and I have to agree with you that August Rose does look like the girl on the chocolate wrapper! The konfetti is one of my favorite candy that is sold both in Israel and in Hungary and we buy it all the time. Now I won't be able to eat it without thinking of your blog!

Have you seen http://www.alenka.ru/?

Annie said...

Hevel - thanks! What a fun site!

Ilana said...

I'm a hot mess - been reading your blog for the last 45 minutes and have cried at least 4 times (one place was where you describe Anna's relationship with your dad - reminded me of my Grandpa and how special I thought he was). What a beautiful family you have, and your candidness and honesty about the pleasure and challenges of raising your girls keeps me captivated....you DO need to write a book, Julianne!!