Category Archives: Second Adoption

URGENT request about Russian adoption

Today, Gus delighted in grapes, being out in the hot sunshine and some cuddling when he was feeling tired. The simple joys of being 2, right?

My kids are amazing people and I don’t generally dwell in their pasts and what might have been, but the reality is that, there’s a whole different life out there, one that they used to live and could still be living if laws in their birth countries were different.

Unfortunately, as we all know, in Russia, those laws have changed and those kids, kids who should be in someone’s backyard, eating grapes, cuddling and enjoying the beautiful weather, are waiting in orphanages. Here’s your chance to do something.

Senator Landrieu is currently circulating a letter for signature by members of Congress. The letter will go to President Obama and will urge him to prioritize the matter of the pipeline families trapped by the Russian adoption ban and find a solution when he meets with Putin at the G8 Summit in mid-June.

In short, what you need to do is call your Senators and Congressmen and say “I’m calling to ask Senator (insert name) to please sign the letter for President Obama about Russian adoption. I’m a constituent from (insert location) and Russian adoption matters to me because…”

There are many families who have met their child, and promised their child that they would be back, with no clue that Russian adoption would shut down entirely. Can you imagine meeting your child, saying goodbye thinking you’ll be back in a month or two, and 6 months later, your child still waits with no end in sight?

Here’s a suggestion on what you can say, as well, as the details and content of the letter from a friend of mine who is one of these waiting families…

Senator/Congressman ________,

My friend is currently in the process of adopting a child from Russia with Down syndrome and met their child before the adoption ban went into place. They fell in love with their child when they held them, played with them, laughed with them, and truly became a family while they were in Russia. They very much think of this child as their son/daughter. They cannot just forget about this child and “move on” because their child will grow up in a mental institution for the rest of their life if they are not adopted.

Senator Landrieu is currently leading a sign-on letter for both House and Senate members to sign in support of these families to encourage President Obama to prioritize this issue when he meets with President Putin in June at the G8 Summit. We are calling/emailing because we think it is very important as one of your constituents to support these families and this issue. This week these families are in Washington D.C. visiting you and are delivering you letters requesting your support in this matter. We want you to show your support by signing the letter that will be delivered to President Obama.

To sign on, please contact Whitney Reitz in Senator Landrieu’s office at 202-224-5824 or email her at The deadline for signing this letter is the end of business on Wednesday, May 15th.

The following members have already signed the letter:

Blunt, MO
Brown, OH
Cantwell, WA
Cardin, MD
Gillibrand, NY
Inhofe, OK
Johanns, NE
Kirk, IL
Landrieu, LA
Paul, KY
Portman, OH
Sessions, AL
Toomey, PA
Warner, VA
Wicker, MI
Franks, AZ
Israel, NY
King, IA
Loebsack, IA
Lummis, WY
Rangel, NY

We would like to see your name join along side theirs. The text of the letter is included below:

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to request your assistance with finding a solution for the small number of Russian orphans who have already met and bonded with their American families, yet were not able to have their adoptions completed due to the Russian adoption ban. We understand that you will be meeting with President Putin in June during the G8 Summit. We ask that you prioritize this issue and seek commitment from President Putin to finding a humanitarian solution.

Politics between the United States and Russia have become personal to several hundred Russian orphans and the families in the United States hoping to adopt them. These are children without parents, families, or homes. Many are in need of urgent medical care; all are in need of a future filled with promise. These children have no voice. These children have already been promised homes in America, and they have bonded with these American parents. The Government of Russia’s unwillingness to allow their cases to be completed adds yet another trauma to their young lives.

We have met many of these families and spoken with them frequently. They remain completely dedicated to these children, and they are trying everything in their power to help them. Approximately 230 of these families had traveled to Russia before the adoption ban to spend time with the children with whom they were matched. These devoted families already think of the children they were matched with as their sons and daughters.

Mr. President, we must find a humanitarian solution for these children and these families. We were cautiously optimistic when the Government of Russia sent a delegation to the United States a few weeks ago, but the outcome of that visit was disappointing.

We ask you to raise this issue with President Putin directly in the hopes that two world leaders can step back for a moment and find a way out of the political morass for a few hundred wounded children. Based on the briefings we have received from the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, we know that there are options for bringing these children home, despite the ban. The issue, then, becomes a question of convincing the Russians to put the children’s needs first. We thank you in advance for your efforts on behalf of this group of children and families.


Names of senate members will follow

We truly appreciate your support in this matter. We know that you are compassionate and understand these parents’ love for the children that they see as their sons and daughters.

Thank you,


I think the area code for these numbers is 202

True Love

I want to talk to you about love. Surprise, surprise, it IS Valentine’s Day after all.

Last year, on Valentine’s Day, I met my baby boy for the first time. I fell head over heels for that kid and I’m still an obnoxious adoring mom, soaking up his kisses and tugs on my legs.


I love that kid. And I’ve seen how our family’s love for him has transformed him. And I’ve seen how the love of families has transformed the lives of so many once-orphans.

Love can do incredible things.


“Мама любит Андрюша.” “да!” I say this to him often. “Mama loves Andrusha!” “Yes!,” he happily exclaims.

Love can be material. Roses that will die. Chocolates that will add to your waist line. Lingerie that will end up in the dust under your bed.

Or, love can be more. The love a mother has for her son. The love a God has for his children.

Along with my friend Jill, I’m committing to spend this lent season praying for the orphans who do not know love. That families might find them, and barriers will be shattered, political, financial, all kinds. That they will someday be LOVED.



(And disclaimer: I know I blog about Gus way more than Reed and Lena! I need to do some posts on them soon, but I had to use Gus an example since today is our Metcha-versary.)

A Bittersweet 6 months

Tuesday marked 6 months home for my littlest man. I love this kid. Love, love, love him. And he loves us. Seriously, he soaks up having a mama and a papa and a big brother and sister. One of his latest words is “kickle”, asking me to tickle him. He loves to cuddle and kiss us.


Photo on 2013-01-18 at 18.18 #3

(He ran in to a cabinet.)

He loves us. He needs us. He reminds me every day… babies need mamas. This is truly a bittersweet realization every time it hits me, in light of the Russian adoption ban. When I think about all of the babies who don’t have anyone to snuggle them or “kickle” them or tuck them in and tell them “Мама любит Андрюша. Спокойной ночи. (Mama loves Andrusha. Goodnight.)”, that breaks my heart. When my baby snuggles on my lap, he is 100% my baby. But, I can’t help but think of where he once was.  When I think about how there are only months separating him from being my baby and being stuck in a Russian orphanage, that breaks my heart.

But, my baby’s here. Celebrating 6 months this week. We’re loving life together.

2013-01-15 14.52.492013-01-15 14.55.17

But, I’m also asking you to join us in prayer for the thousands of Russian orphans who will be left behind if this ban stands. I’m asking you to pray that the hearts of politicians in power soften and the truth is known– that for thousands of children, there is no hope for them in Russia and they deserve the love of a family.

Why Russian Adoption Matters

…in my humble words.

I’ve been silent on the Russian-U.S. adoption ban. Any words I come up with seem inadequate. It’s too familiar. There was a time when I was filled with the fear that my baby would never come home. We were told his region was CLOSED. Uncertain when it would open again. At this point, we had already lost Alyona. And then, Gus’s region screeched to a sudden halt. No, it’s not the same. I can’t imagine the real-life nightmare that these children and families are living through. But, I still remember my despair, fearing that my baby would never come home.

Why does it matter? Why is it so important to reinstate Russian adoptions, when there are millions of orphans in the world and hundreds in our own country? 

In short, a child is a child. No matter where this child lives. And, the conditions that many Russian orphans live in are horrid. Unimaginable. This collection of photos is not how all Russian orphans live, but it is the tragic reality for many. If you’d like a more detailed explanation of why a family choses to adopt from Russia instead the US, I really like Bethany’s. There are so many different options for adoption and it is absolutely not a one-size-fits-all sort of journey. Hundreds of thousands of orphans wait in Russia, and for many American families, Russia is the best fit for their family.

And as for the children? Is it really best for them to leave their culture and all that they’ve ever known? No. I don’t believe being adopted internationally is the best option, if there is any other option. I cannot speak for every single Russian orphan, but for so many, being adopted internationally is their only chance. Particularly for children with special needs, like Anton, there is NO ONE else coming for them. Dasha waited years for her family to show up. Charlotte was turned down by 500 families under her mama and papa said “yes”.

Adoption is far from perfect. We cannot deny the tragedies of 19 Russian children adopted by Americans. But, for so many Russian orphans, international adoption remains their only hope of a life beyond the orphanage walls, beyond the bars of their crib.

Please pray that Russian/American adoptions resume soon. Please pray for the orphans and the families who want to bring their babies home.