THE EICHHORN FAMILY
My journey began in the fall of 2004. I always knew I wanted a family, so at 38 and still waiting for my Prince to come, I decided the time was now. Adoption seemed like the right choice. I met a friend of the family and learned that their daughter, also single in her late 30s, was in the process of adopting from Russia. We quickly became friends and she referred me to Adopt-A-Child. I looked into a few other agencies as well but Laura, Sonia and Ellen were so responsive. Some other agencies had just referred me to their website or told me to download the information myself. I thought it would be beneficial to work with an agency that dealt only with Russia. I also felt this life changing adventure deserved a more personal touch and that is what I got from Adopt-A-Child. Just nine months after beginning the process I became the proud Mom of a 16 month old boy named Andrei!
I was very impressed at how streamlined the document process was. There were samples on how to fill them out so there was no mystery. The video I took of Andrei showed him doing a lot of activities and at just shy of his 1st birthday he was walking. I could see immediately he was a very active little boy! The medical report was very detailed. With these two thorough pieces of information Dr. Mason, the International Adoption Specialist, was able to provide me with positive feedback. My trips to Moscow also went very smoothly. Laura went over all the details of the trips day by day down to how to maneuver through the airports upon arrival! Again, no surprises! My contact in Moscow, Olga, was just as professional and available as everyone else within the agency. Someone would always be available 24 hours a day, whether in Moscow or the US. It is amazing how all the planning comes together. I felt very relaxed and confident that Olga and my driver had everything taken care of, and I was right!
I was also impressed with the orphanage, Baby House #8. It is for children up to age 4 and although old, seemed spotless. There always seemed to be someone cleaning and I wondered if it was all for me! When I first saw Andrei they brought me to a play room. All I wanted to do was hold him. When we went outside to get to know each other Andrei let me hold him and he seemed so content. After he warmed up to me a bit he immediately started investigating all the toys. I could tell right away he had a good spirit and was even a little mischievous! The women who cared for him seemed to pay him a lot of attention and he seemed attached to them. Because of that we were able to bond quickly and Andrei soon proved to be a very loving little boy.
Andrei was named in the hospital where he was born and where his mother left him in hopes of a better life. I loved the name so much I knew I had to keep it. As soon as I picked Andrei up from the orphanage he started to blossom. By the end of the first day he was laughing at himself in the mirror in our hotel room and playing peek-a-boo with his Granny and Grandpa who traveled with me! His free spirit emerged! His first English words were "choo-choo" and "quack-quack". A year later he still loves trains and ducks, as well as cars, swimming, and forever trying to befriend our family cat! His best friends are the twins next door who were born just one day after Andrei. One might think it was fate. I have to stop and remember that this little boy just came into my life a year ago and has not been with me for his entire 2 1/2 years. After all, he is my son. I have to hold back the tears when I think about that night we landed in Washington, D.C. and Andrei became our newest citizen. I wonder if Andrei will ever understand how his life changed that night, or how he changed my life and all the people who love him.