When we originally spoke with Amy at Adopt A Child, she explained the adoption process, what it entailed, and how we would go about adopting a little girl (Kelly was open to either, I wanted a little girl). Amy then put us in touch with other families who utilized AAC. Each was graciously willing to trade emails and/or talk with us. We had heard enough about AAC to utilize them.
Our actual dealing with AAC was as good as anything we were told about. We started our process at the end of June/beginning of July 2009. We had completed all of our paperwork by the end of October and were anticipating a wait of at least 4-6 months for a referral. But, to our surprise, our little girl was referred to us only a couple of weeks later. Sonya knew of a 10-month-old Eurasian girl who was available in Moscow. We knew as soon as we saw the video that this little girl was perfect for us. Previously, we had spoken to Amy and Lindsay about our willingness to consider a Eurasian child, as we had considered adoption of Asian countries as well.
From there, AAC kept us up to date on documents needed and what to expect during our travel. We were lucky and were able to travel on our first trip to see Katerina prior to the Russian Christmas Holiday season, which sped the process along. Our second trip/court appointment was scheduled during a week we could not leave the U.S. due to our work schedules. We were worried that it would significantly delay bringing Katerina home but AAC took care of that very quickly. Our court appointment was rescheduled.
On March 20, approximately nine months after we started the process, Katerina landed at JFK airport in New York. It could not have happened without the assistance of AAC. I see the situations with friends who are adopting from Russia with other agencies and the issues that they have had to deal with and we are so thankful that we chose AAC. Lindsay, Amy, Julie, Natasha, et al were always available to answer our questions thoroughly and compassionately as well as prepare us on what to expect next.
The Russian side of AAC, Anna, Olga, and our drivers Victor and Alexander were great. They made sure that we got where we needed to be on time with the necessary documents and even drove us to grocery stores and tourist sites around Moscow. I do not think we could have asked for better and more helpful people both here in the United States and in Moscow.
I will not say Katerina is perfect, but I will say she is perfect for us. She is healthy and growing and learning quickly now that we have her home. She seems to learn something new every day. I never thought I would say this but in the four months that Katerina has been home, our life has changed so much for the better. I can’t imagine her not being here or life without her. I can look at her when she is sleeping in the car and it brings a smile to my face. We can look at her and watch her make a silly face or some funny sound and just know the three of us are one family because of AAC.
Put aside simply how great it was to work with Adopt-A-Child, more important is that they made this possible. There are no words to describe how thankful we are to AAC. All we can say do is offer thanks to all involved who made this possible. I would list names but would be afraid to miss someone who deserves thanks so we just say thank you to AAC in the USA and AAC in Moscow. All of who helped us immensely.
Craig, Kelly & Katerina