Tania and Denis’ First Time at Chuck E. Cheese
The past couple of weeks have been extremely emotional. One minute, national news sources are reporting that all adoptions from Russia will continue throughout 2013. The next minute, they backpedal and announce that no adoptions will continue, not even the 46 children that have passed court and already taken on a new last name.
The situation is so stressful. I find comfort in having access to the latest breaking news at all times, and checking in with the other Russian adoptive families on Facebook at all hours. After I publish this post, I vow to limit my internet check-ins to once daily. Initially, staying connected was keeping me sane, but at this point it’s just taking away from being productive in other aspects of my life. So that’s the update on our adoption……. Life will carry on as we wait for news. Life that recently, involved a trip to Chuck E Cheese.
Last weekend, Justin and I had the privilege of spending the day with a young man, a bit younger than our Jack, who is available for adoption. You may recall a post I wrote about him back in August.
This is Denis. He is 10 years old, and lives in a country in Eastern Europe that is much easier to adopt from and much cheaper, than Russia. He has lived in an orphanage his entire life, and hopes for a family of his own. Denis was enrolled in an awesome program that hosts orphans from other countries for a few weeks every year, here in the US. Most of the children that are hosted, end up being adopted by their host family. Denis’ situation was a bit too last-minute for that to be an option. An extremely kind, generous, stylish, entrepreneurial (basically, I want to try to be more like her) woman, read my original blog post about Denis and offered up the fees for someone to host him. It was very last-minute, and it would have been too difficult to find a potential adoptive, host family. Not wanting Denis to miss out on the amazing opportunity, the director of the program stepped up to host him.
We met Denis and his host family at Chuck E Cheese. Whoever came up with that concept is pure genius. Overpriced pizza, cheap plastic prizes – but you have to keep going back because the kids LOVE it. And Denis was no exception. I kept searching for the ‘classic orphanage behaviors’ that we learned about in our 80 hours of adoptive parent training, but they weren’t there. He was supposed to shut down due to the insane sensory overload. He wasn’t supposed to respect other’s personal space. I was going down my mental checklist, but this kid just didn’t fit the bill. He seemed like any other 10-year-old boy who was homegrown in a family.
Excuse my screechy voice (I had a cold) and my rotating video. Oops.
Justin works in the same office as a pediatrician that spent a substantial amount of time with Denis during his stay (a relative of the host family). He is very familiar with internationally adopted children, and had nothing but excellent things to say about Denis. He was quite impressed with his Lego creations, and his paddle ball skills.
All in all, our visit further solidified our confidence in adopting an older child. Denis is a great kid that has been waiting 10 years for parents. I’d say it’s his turn already.
If anyone is considering adoption, or has specific questions, feel free to email me. No topic is off limits- I had some pretty embarrassing questions that I needed answers to before we could commit to Jack’s adoption. I didn’t want to make this blog post sound too much like a personal ad for poor little Denis, but I can give more observations on his personality privately, for those who are seriously interested in him.