Friday, November 7, 2008

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - TWO


Courtney challenged adoptive parents to share their referral photos. This is not that - we met Ilya through a strange set of circumstances when we went to Ivanovo to adopt Anastasia. I've told that story in detail on our website: http://kitchingfamily.org/Ilya.aspx

This website is a little out of date (I got a new computer and lost the ability to add photos for a while, but I'll update it soon, I hope. Ilya's story is complete, though.)

But I'll explain this photo. This is a "miracle photo". We'd met Ilya briefly in Shuya, and when he found out his sister was being adopted he turned away, so I couldn't see him cry... Something in me caused me to rush after him, give him a hug and tell him in Russian - "Everything will be all right." Then, we were hurried away. Of course that little face was imprinted on my heart and mind. But I had little idea how I'd ever get in contact with him again....

One idle day I did an internet search for "orphanages Ivanovo" and to my surprise within moments I was looking at this photograph. This is Ilya front, center. Amazement doesn't begin to describe my feelings at finding this photo which had been taken by a missionary group. All I could think was that my own biological children, involved in sports and dance, and right here in the USA didn't have their photographs on the internet....but here was a mysterious little orphan in an obscure part of Russia - his photo was there, right there for me to see. That convinced me that we were meant to try and adopt Ilya, and though it took a couple of years, we did it! Obviously, during the waiting time, this photo was precious to me. (BTW, that is Ilya's and Anastasia's older brother Sasha on the right.)

Later, my wonderful Moscow friend, Alla went to Ivanovo to visit Ilya and his older brothers, and she sent precious photos, too:















Then another wonderful adoptive mom, Elisabeth, kindly delivered gifts for the boys:

















This is not Sergei's referral photo either, but also - as close as I got.
We met Sergei in a summer program when he was not selected by his host family for adoption - the best thing that ever happened to us!!!

This is the photo taken by a family who went to Russia many months before we did to adopt their daughter. I do not think anything was ever so welcome as these photos of Sergei and the other "waiting children". Isn't he adorable? Oh! the hours I spent looking at that little face...those pink cheeks, that dear smile.
And little did I know that Irina (in the hat) would come to be for me like the handmaiden of the Lord. I owe her my happiness. God bless her!

I've posted before the "first photos" of Nastya and Zhenya.... The photos that we have before we have our children...those photos that are all we have of children we already love, and long to know....what on earth can be as precious?

10 comments:

Wife to the Rockstar said...

WOW Annie. Ilya's story is amazing. And these photos are wonderful. The children have changed so much. They have happiness in their eyes now.

What a GREAT flashback.

Narcissa said...

Do you know where their brother Sasha is now? Are they still in contact with him?

Thanks for sharing the lovely stories!
Renia

Narcissa said...

Sorry, I saw the answer to my question on your other blog!

Kim said...

Such amazing stories. And oh yes, those photos of our children before they are home are amazingly precious.

MMrussianadoption said...

isnt it amazing that no matter how ugly, out of focus, or old the referral photo is of your child, you just immediately fall in love. You connect with those sad faces. I get teary just thinking of Kevin's. I never got one for Olivia. She was a blind referral. come by my blog to vote.

Heather said...

Ok, now I want to adopt from Russia! Maybe when we max out with how many children we can have and the State won't let us foster parent anymore. I am so in love with these flashbacks with referral photos!

Annie said...

mmrussianadoption - how do I go to your blog?

Ginny said...

I am going to have to go read Ilya's story now!

MyGirlElena said...

I was full of goosebumps reading Ilya's story. There is no doubt he was born to be your son. Of all the kids that could have been posted on the missionary's picture site, it was him. Furthermore, you actually found him. I don't believe it was by chance.

MoscowMom said...

What heartwarming stories... And your boys are so beautiful...