From Russia with love?

After having come to terms with the depression, I continued on as normal.  I wasn’t having any flare ups and my mood was much better.  The consciousness of MS had left me again.  I had no lack of energy. On a regular basis, I would work 20 to 40 hours of overtime per week on top of my full 40 hour shift.  And let me tell you, my job was one of the most stressful you can imagine.  I was a paramedic working on the streets in what most people would term the ghetto.  No relaxing for me,  though I do think I managed a cruise and trip to England in there somehow.

Sometime around March of 2001, I ran a double fatal car accident.  The couple who died where headed to church.  Though their death was a traumatic one it appeared as if they died in complete peace.  His arm was around her shoulder, her head was resting on his chest, and there was a bible at their feet.  As I stood there looking at them, something just told me that I had to go to church for them.  They hadn’t made it to church, so I would go in their place.

I did not attend church at that point in my life, so I went with a friend of mine one Sunday.  At first I was very uncomfortable being there, but something kept me coming back.  It was a pull stronger in spirit than I was.  I went every Sunday that I wasn’t working.

About two months after I had started attending, there was a request for host families for some children who were coming over from Russia for a month’s home stay.  The hope was at the end of the month the families who had hosted the children would decide to adopt them.  I had always planned to adopt at some point, but I knew I was not in a place to do this right now, being 28, single, and living in a one bedroom apartment.  I was careful to ask all the right questions, and was given all the right answers:  the children did not know they were coming over here in the hopes of being adopted, it was just a special vacation, etc.   I decided to participate.  I could get the entire month off work and had the resources to give a child a vacation they wouldn’t forget.

Can I just say I had been fed a snow job?  The children knew exactly why they were there, and a week and a half in mine was asking to be adopted.  By the time the month was up, I had made the decision that there was nothing I couldn’t change about my life that would make the adoption impossible.

The process was begun to make K. an official  member of my family.  The process was slow for many reasons.  The fact that I was single and only 16 years older than her appeared to be the two big ones.  However, it appeared that I had forgotten just one little piece of information:  I had MS.  After almost ten months of filling out forms and refilling out forms, and sending addition forms, I was told that the adoption probably would not be allowed because of my MS.

When I heard this, I immediately decided to go to Russia and fight for K. on my own.  I really had no clue what I was going to do when I got there, but I just kept thinking that if I could talk to them, if I could show them that I had no disabilities, then I could change their decision.  My adoption agency convinced me that it would be a foolhardy stunt and would only jeopardize the adoption even further.   I cried a lot, and the next two weeks were some of the most nail biting weeks of my life.  Eventually I got a call saying that I had a court date.  It turns out that only certain subtypes of MS were forbidden to adopt from Russia, and being that I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting, they had no legal grounds to deny the adoption.  I was in a Russian court about two weeks later and brought K. home to the U.S. about 4 days after that.  Life with K. hasn’t always been peaches and cream, but none of the problems were due to MS.  K. is 20 years old now and is a beautiful, intelligent young woman.  I couldn’t picture my life without her.

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1 Comment

  1. morton lake said,

    February 15, 2010 at 10:10 am

    heart warming story.you certainly do put your mind to it when you have to.i am full of admiration for you.i will add you to private blog.only got the one entry at mo,i am still painting the ceiling in there,lol.yvw,tc mort


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