We came home with Makai from St. Petersburg 4 years ago September 4. It ended up being much more expensive than we thought it would be, around $46,000! It ended up being much more challenging than we thought it would be- 3 back and forth trips to Russia, 16 vials of blood drawn from us in a whole day of physical exam in a Russian hospital- but overall our life would not be the same without Makai.
We finished our 3 years of required reporting just as Russia terminated Americans from adopting any more Russian children. We weren't too surprised this happened because it was very obvious when we were there in 2009 that the Russians were making it as difficult as possible for Americans to adopt. But even with all of the hassles we are so glad we adopted Makai.
It was the gracious hand of God that led us to him. We were scheduled to go to Bryansk, Russia when they discovered our blog and told us we could not come because we dared to discuss details of our adoption publicly. When this door closed for us we discovered our agency had just received the file on a boy in St. Petersburg who was to be adopted by an American family who had backed out at the last minute and did not go pick him up after they had been approved for the adoption. This family cited their fears that he was deaf as to why they did not pick him up. It turns out he is only 'deaf' toward anyone he does not want to listen to and the orphanage workers in St. Petersburg told us the ex-adoptive mother from the States was high strung and weird which would probably explain why Makai did not listen to her!
Makai is pure energy. When we first visited him it was as if all of the other children were in black and white and he was in color. He did not fit there and was restraining himself the best he could until the day he could escape the confined life the orphanage offered him. When we first met him we had the chance to play alone on the playground and he took us to a crack between the panels in the large concrete wall surrounding the orphanage and pointed outside to the street showing us where he wanted to go. A few days later we lifted him up so he could see over the wall and for the first time he quieted down and stared with disbelief at the big world outside those walls.
It was cruel as we had to leave him at the orphanage day after day with him crying to go with us until it was finally time that he could leave with us. On the day we picked him up he cried and screamed bloody murder because he had apparently been taught never, ever to leave in a car with anyone. We were drawing lots of attention so we scooped him up into the van and headed out. He screamed until he saw the gate open leading out of the orphanage at which time he got quiet and just stared.
Since that day it has been non stop with Makai. He adapted great, learned English fast, and is growing like a weed.
We have uploaded all of the video's we made from the orphanage and Russia...
Meeting Makai for the first time
Makai meeting his future family
Playing With Makai
Makai showing cracks in wall
Coloring at orphanage
Playing Ball and Makai dance
Leaving the orphanage
Leaving the orphanage part 2
Apartment in St. Petersburg
Playing at the Hilton hotel in Moscow
More Play at Hilton in Moscow
Telling us the Names of His Group
On Plane Leaving For America
First Time to Fly
Meeting His Brothers and Sisters
Friday, July 17, 2009
We ran into a significant difficulty in March 2009 with posting blogs due to a Russian law that prohibits sharing confidential information about a Russian adoption. Therefore we are no longer posting blogs about the adoption other than to give very general information...