3 July 2007
Sasha is ours! We had our court date today, and we realize now that we may not have communicated well how chancy this bid for adoption was. Since Sasha has five siblings spread all over Russia and Kazakhstan, and the government of Kazakhstan has a strong preference against letting one sibling be adopted without the others, the odds were stacked against us.
Despite the policy against adoptions of fewer than all siblings in a family, we went ahead with our argument that no one had adopted the entire family while they were waiting during the past two and a half years and that an adoption of all of the children together was less and less likely as time went on and the kids grew older, so that Sasha would remain in institutions his whole life if the siblings were to be “kept together”. His sisters in Kazakhstan are ages 17, 14 and 13 (in two separate orphanages that are different than Sasha’s), and he has two other siblings that were “adopted” by their father after he got his life more together, and they live in Russia.
You may have read the blog from June 20 about his oldest sister Valya who talked with her sisters Lena and Natasha about letting him be adopted. They all agreed that it was in his best interests, so Valya came to meet him and us, and wrote a letter saying she thought he should be adopted.
Svetlana (our lawyer), Molli, Rezina (the representative of child custody), Dr. Rimma and Masha
Court went more smoothly than anticipated—it lasted about an hour. Steve was clear and focused, I was a bit more emotional, but as always, we balanced each other out. The hard part was waiting for the judge’s decision. It was a long, hot and sweaty hour, but in the end she called us in and said the court approved of the adoption, that Sasha’s name would be Alexander Maier Kozachok and his birth city would be Petropavlovsk, and that Steve and I would be listed as his parents on his birth certificate.
Steve with the Ladies
So, we have a son. He is everything a person could want in a child. He is smart, kind, funny, curious and . . . Sasha. This is the way this journey was supposed to culminate, and for all of you who have been on this journey with us, thank you for your love and support.
This has been a trying year in many ways, but to be here, today, and to know that we have this gift of a child . . . the other problems fade . . . they are nothing compared to what happened today. Annika and Katia have a brother; many of you are aunts and uncles again today. And we should warn all the grandparents that Sasha is going to give all of us a run for our money.
We saw him for a brief moment today after court and the obligatory champagne toast with the director and those who helped make this happen. As always he was a sunbeam on chubby legs. We are so lucky . . . our lives have changed forever.
There will be a party with our friends tonight and a party with his group tomorrow morning, then a good-bye that is already breaking my heart. For now, the tears are out of joy, and sheer wonder that this child of God is joining our family. We can worry about tomorrow’s tears tomorrow.