Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cautious Optimism

After a year and a half of increasing and continual muscle spasms, we may have found a medication that can help, and some answers along with it. As the title says, I am cautious about this optimism, because there are so many "if's" that go along with it.

One type of dystonia is Dopamine Responsive Dystonia (, and it is usually initially discovered with a trial of levodopa. I have had three doses of this medication so far and each time I took it the spasms stopped within only a few minutes. It was totally amazing! It is like a pain medication, though, in that it wears off in about four hours and you need another dosage.

My doctor is starting me out slowly, which is a smart thing. The dose I take right now is at bedtime, to give my body a chance to get used to it. Next week I will start a morning dose, and will need to clear my morning schedule, since it does seem to make me pretty "crazy" (woozy-like). I am hoping it is one of those side effects that wears off once your body becomes acclimated to the medication, since I will eventually be taking it four times a day.

I did have a point at which I wondered if I was allergic to the medication, too. I had all of the signs of an allergic reaction, except it did not get so bad that I couldn't breath, thankfully. I have liquid antihistamine handy now, in case it happens again.

The spasms return promptly once the medication wears off (usually a bit less than four hours) and today they are pretty bad. I think that is due to a lot of running around, though, and I hope to rest the remaining part of the day.

On another good note, Ollie had cataract surgery today and we were amazed at how easily it went! She is so eager to have good vision again and what a wonderful age it is we live in, when God has equipped doctors to be able to return a person's sight at the age of 81!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Yet, His creation is ever changing. Just last night I stood outside, looking at some awesome clouds. There were many layers - some moving slowing, some quickly, some so low they almost touched the trees and some so high the jet stream flattened the tops. As the sun began to set, the colors on the clouds were incredible. I could not bear to take my eyes away, as they changed before my eyes. The deep pinks were my favorite, even as they were tinged in blue around the edges.

As the colors dulled, I resumed my job of pulling up Cosmos stalks whose season had ended. I would shake the dirt from their roots and then lay them all in a pile, thinking how their time of beauty was over. They served us well, growing tall and blooming in my desired hues of pinks and purples, but their time was up. Now they would become dirt, which is no less a wonderful part of God's plan.

God teaches me best when I am surrounded by His creation. As He showed me the changes that take place every second, minute, hour, day, week, and year in His handiwork, I began to think back on the teenage challenges I had faced this week. I was discouraged and sad, due to some deception I had uncovered. Changes are coming, but that is God's way.

He is our Rock - unmoving and steady. It is His way to make creatures who are continually changing, though. Perhaps change is one of His ways of teaching us. I like to be comfortable, but I have to admit that I don't learn as well in my recliner as I do in my yard, looking at clouds and pulling Cosmos stalks. To God be the glory!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Five Short Years Later...

Five year anniversary stories will be abounding this month, but nonetheless I would like to share ours. It is a testimony to God's grace in our own lives and the lives of three orphans, formerly from Russia.

About a year and a half after our first Russian adoptions we were asked to pray for another sibling group who desperately needed a loving family to adopt them. They were in Blagoveschensk, the same city we had adopted Vanya and Irina from in 1999, and their chances of being adopted were extremely slim due to their ages and the fact that there were three of them. We joined others in praying for these three and were soon excited to hear that a young couple in our own home town had decided to adopt them.

There were questions regarding this adoption from the beginning, however. The couple was quite young and would need to raise the money for the adoption as they went along. Since we lived close to them, we got to know them and we helped them learn about the Russian culture and how to prepare adoption paperwork.

Part of the way through the adoption it was discovered that the wife was pregnant. Her delivery date was likely to be close to the time they would need to travel for the adoption, so they decided to stop the adoption process. Once again, these three children were left without any prospects for a family.

They were 12, 13 and 14 years old and without parents. They were also halfway around the world from us. Our hearts were torn as we looked at the few photos we had, day after day. They were so small for their ages, so thin, so sad looking.

Gently, slowly, God began to nudge our hearts. Oh no! Not US! Certainly God did not mean that WE were to adopt these children. We already had five children at home and felt that our plates were full. But the burden remained, growing heavier day by day. Finally, we agreed to take our vacation time to talk and pray about the possibility of adopting these children. Our family of seven was taking a long road trip from Tulsa, OK to Washington DC, so we would have plenty of time for that.

The more we prayed, the more God convicted. The burden was finally rolled away when we joyfully made the decision to go forward with the adoption. Many thought we were crazy, many just shook their heads in disbelief. God’s people stood beside us, though, as we began this long and arduous journey, to bring three more children home.

International adoptions are known for the tons of required paperwork, delays, and uncertainty and this one was no exception. We hoped to travel in springtime, but summer came with no court date.

Then, we hit more of a snag than either government could throw at us. Bob was informed that the company he worked for was closing their Tulsa office. A pink slip, a lost job with none others in sight. An economy spiraling downward, with no apparent hope of recovery. Depression set in as newspapers were searched, phone calls were made, internet resumes were posted. Why would God bring us this far, this close to these children, and then pull us apart? Our agency director was informed of the situation and asked to not remind our Russian facilitator that we were waiting on a court date.

One Friday morning in early September she called, though. Somehow, despite all odds and obstacles, a court date had been assigned to us in a Russian court. Within the week we were to be on Russian soil, meeting our new children! What joy! What pain! No Russian judge in his right mind would award us custody of three teenage children, with no visible means of supporting them.

A phone call to our church to report this situation was greeted by the booming and cheerful voice of a good friend. “Oh, I can’t WAIT to see how God is going to work THIS one out!” he gushed. Had this not been a phone call, it is regretful to think what sinful actions might have transpired.

Faith faltered for a moment, but the hope of our Lord never dimmed. Humanly impossible tasks are where He shines and this was no exception to that rule. A phone call made to a friend and previous work connection in Alabama provided a new job within an hour of receiving the phone call with the news of a court date! No interview required, no trips necessary to work out details – just a job offer with an open start date. Oh yes, and a generous salary adjustment to go along with the new job. Only thing was, the job was in a different state. Well, one thing at a time…

We joyfully and frantically began to prepare for a trip around the world, leaving in less than a week. Plans were made to leave our current children with family and friends. Travel arrangements were made. We were to leave Tulsa early on a Thursday morning that September.

Grandma came to help with the kids, so that preparations would go smoother. Dad was able to be home to help, too, since there was no job to report to each morning. So, on that Tuesday morning, the entire family was at home when another phone call came. This one was not at all joyful, however. It was filled with pain and foreboding.

A friend knew that we did not watch television in our home, so he called us with the news. The date was September 11, 2001. We were to leave for Russia in two days, but the world was falling apart instead. Our eyes were suddenly transfixed to the television that we seldom watched. Children looked from face to face, trying to understand. There were no answers, though, only questions.

As we sat numb and frozen, a Federal Express truck drove up to our house. The delivery man was quick to tell us how “lucky” we were to receive these packages, as he was on the way back to the office and no more deliveries were to be made that day. Inside these envelopes were the last of our travel papers (visas, employment letter, etc), everything we needed for our adoption process. God was still in control.

Since airports all over the world were being closed for the first time in history, I became one of the millions of passengers who clogged the phone lines trying to reschedule our flights. I never could figure out how anyone got through, but the lines were continually busy over the next few days.

In the midst of mourning along with the rest of the country, I began to feel guilty as I wondered how this horrendous act of terrorism was going to affect our own lives. After seeing God miraculously provide a job for Bob only an hour after getting our court date, we could not doubt His ability to provide a way for us to get to Russia, though.

The airports began to schedule reopenings and I was finally able to get through to our airline. They booked us on one of the very first planes out of Tulsa on the Friday after 9-11. Family members were incredulous when they discovered we were indeed going to board a plane and fly to Russia so close on the heels of the terrorist acts. It must have appeared a terribly unwise step for us to take, but we knew we had to get our children home and that God would prepare the way for us.

Our flight took us to Chicago, where we were to board an Aeroflot flight to Moscow. However, we soon learned that no international flights were leaving Chicago at all. In fact, Aeroflot had diverted their plane to Canada when they heard about the attacks and then they flew it back to Moscow empty. That is absolutely unheard of in the airline industry (flying a plane overseas with no passengers). No one could tell us when we could expect to board a plane for Moscow so I once again became one of the callers who hounded the airline company phones.

As we wandered around the Chicago airport we found ourselves looking warily around us. Who among the others might be the next terrorist? It was difficult to not fall into unnecessary suspicions of those around us. One man of apparent Middle Eastern descent caused me to be uncomfortable, as he was traveling through the airport alone and with no luggage. The tram ride we took with him was very stressful for me, and I had to confess my sinful thoughts to the Lord who had carried us safely around the world only two short years before.

It became apparent that we were not to leave that day, so we began to consider what we should do as we waited for our flight out of Chicago. Finances were tight due to the adoption costs and the loss of a job, so we prepared to stay at the airport along with many of the other passengers. We stayed in continual contact with our church family and at that point someone stepped forward and asked if they could pay for our lodging while we were in Chicago. Our thankfulness was heartfelt as we accepted this offer and proceeded to find a hotel with a room available. A nearby mall provided meals and distractions for us as time ticked by ever so slowly and my ear stayed glued to the phone in our room.

Finally I was able once more to contact the airline company and our flight to Moscow was rescheduled. Doubts and fears were rampant, but we quickly gathered our belongings and returned to the airport. The lines were excruciatingly long and tedious and we were forced to rearrange much of our luggage due to new regulations.

In the back of our minds, we wondered how the Russian judge would react to us arriving in Russia much later than originally planned. He had insisted that we arrive ten days before our court date so that we could get to know the kids before we committed to being their parents. Five of those days had just been spent in a Chicago hotel, though, and we left the US not knowing if the judge would have mercy on us or not.

Our flight to Moscow was fully booked, with not one seat empty. Many of the passengers had spent the last five days in the airport and their faces told the stories of discomfort, frustration and fear. Once we left the United States, however, things seemed to go much more smoothly. We arrived safely in Moscow, spent the night in a hotel and left the next day for Blagoveschensk – a city in the far southeastern corner of Siberian Russia.

Upon our 3:00 am arrival in Blago, we were informed that the judge had indeed waived the ten day rule for us. We slept for a few hours and were then taken to the orphanage, to meet our children. Many of the orphanage staff had gathered to witness the meeting, along with the director of the Ministry of Education. In our state of extreme fatigue, we were asked question after question regarding our living conditions and parenting principles. They then asked us if we wanted to take the children to stay with us in the flat until our court date arrived. It was an unexpected question, but one we dared not say “no” to. How would it look for us to refuse to allow the kids to stay with us at that point in the adoption?! So, we agreed to take them with us and began the process of packing up their few belongings (most of which were previous gifts from us).

To our delight, we discovered that the children were extremely cooperative, kind, helpful and quiet. They cleaned up after themselves and whispered when they talked among themselves. We welcomed these traits, knowing in our hearts that they would be gone soon enough.

Our time was spent shopping and getting to know our soon-to-be children. Their generosity struck at my heart. Out of the first spending money we gave them, they bought gifts for us and continually shared everything they purchased with each other and us. They laughed when I discovered the camera I was using had no film in it and then again when I ran into the low hanging light fixture in the kitchen where we were staying over and over again. This memory brings a smile to their faces, even today.

Everywhere we went, the Russian people were compassionate towards us. In the open air market, vendors gave us discounts we did not ask for, simply because we were Americans and they felt badly for what had just happened in our country. The adoption process could not have gone any smoother than it did, much to our relief, and the children were soon declared to be ours according to a Russian court.

After what seemed like years, we left Siberia and began the return trip to the US. Our stay in Moscow was delightful, as we were able to show our new children parts of their country they had only dreamed of seeing. We continued to be fascinated by the compassion pouring out of the hearts of the Russian people. While we were riding on the subway with our translator, a Russian woman began talking to her and asking questions about us. When she reached her stop she gave a package she had been carrying to our translator and hurried on to her destination. Tatia would not talk about what the package held until we subsequently reached our own stop. At that point she told us that the woman had been so touched by the story of our adoption that she had given us a loaf of bread that she had been given for her own birthday. Anyone who knows even a little about the Russian culture knows how much they love their breads! And this one was an exceptional example of their fancy, sweet breads. It was made all the more sweet as we thanked God for this generous woman and prayed that He would bless her in return for the gift she shared with us.

We arrived in Tulsa safely, but physically and emotionally exhausted. Bob left three days later for Alabama, where he was to start his new job and look for housing for his newly expanded family. I was left at home with 7 children (one went to AL with him), three of whom did not speak English. We soon began the process of packing and trying to sell our house and I was delighted to discover what hard workers our new children were. (A number of years later, Zhenya told us that he had not known what was going on as we prepared to move. He did not realize we were moving to a different place until all of our household goods were loaded into a truck and we all got into our van and began the long drive to Alabama.)

Five years later….

The year now is 2006. It has been five years since we adopted those three teenagers in the shadow of the greatest terrorist acts our country has ever seen. They are now 17, 18 and 19 years old. Jennifer, the oldest, has come to know the Lord as her personal Savior and she is engaged to be married to a wonderful Christian young man. Sergei is an accomplished photographer, hoping to someday make a career out of this line of work. Zhenya is planning on attending college and becoming an architect. Both of them are working part time at a restaurant and searching for a used car to buy with the money they have earned.

Testimonies to God’s goodness and grace have risen from the terrorist ashes of September 11, 2001. Although many lost their lives that day, God blessed three young children from Russia by giving them new lives in a far away country and loving Christian home. The blessings have been many as we have watched these three grow over the last five years. Their time with us will be short, by design, but we would not have changed a moment of it.


Below you will find stories written by the three teens we adopted that September of 2001. A story is best understood when looked at from differing perspectives. What stands out to me when I read the kids' stories is that they were basically unaware of the tragedy preceeding their adoptions.

I have made grammar and English corrections, but otherwise the stories are their own, told from their unique perspectives.

Jennifer's Five Year Anniversary Story

I was fourteen years of age when I was adopted. Two years before my mom and dad came to adopt us, we had some American people come to our orphanage to help us learn how to make jewelry. I had a friend who was a Christian in Russia and her name was Tanya. There were two American women who came. Tanya and I were standing together and Tanya was talking to them. At that time I really wanted to be adopted and I asked those two women if they could adopt me and my brothers. They couldn’t, because one of them wasn’t married and the other didn’t have a husband any more so they couldn’t adopt us. After the Americans left, I would call Tanya every day and ask if she had someone that could adopt us. Then after a year passed, someone came to our orphanage to take pictures of us and I knew that maybe someone would adopt us, but I still called Tanya about every day.
It was the year two thousand one when we heard that someone would adopt us. That year we also got a big box of candy, note pads, and other things. I thought it was from the people who came to our orphanage once, but later I found out that our new parents and some other people put it together for us.
It was summer that year and we were at the summer camp for a month, when one of the workers at the orphanage came to me and said that our new parents would come in the summer, soon. After the camp, I was supposed to go on the boat for eighteen days, but a worker told me that I could not go, because what if they would come and they would have to chase after me. So I didn’t go. I was waiting till they came to us, but later I heard they would come in September. That time I really wanted to go on the boat, but I didn’t, because my brothers and I had to go to the hospital for a check up. They told me that I would not stay there for a long time and they would not give me any shots or do other things to me. But I stayed there for a while with my brothers and they did give us shots and pills.
Sergei, Zhenya and I had a really good friend, which I met in the hospital, but at a different one. She really liked us and took care of us. She would come to the hospital to see us and visit with us.
One day, I asked the doctor when I would leave the hospital, and she told me that I could leave any time, but first I had to call the orphanage to take me back. They told me that they didn’t have any transportation to bring me back. One day they took me back to the orphanage, but not my brothers. I asked them when they would come, but they didn’t know, either.
When my brothers came back, our secretary called us and told us to write a paper, saying that we all agreed to be adopted, but Zhenya didn’t want to be adopted and the secretary and I talked to him and told him that the life there would be better than he had then. I think he understood that and he agreed to write the paper. We also heard from some people that our new mom and dad would adopt us and to be slaves there or work on the farm, because they had so many kids.
We started back to school in September, and it was not that long till our new parents came to Russia to visit us. I think they came to Russia on September 25th, I think, and it was Friday. That day I wanted to go to someone’s house but I didn’t, because my parents came. I was outside, talking to my friend and I saw them come inside the orphanage, so I told my friend good bye and that I would see her Saturday at school. I went inside into my group and waited till they called us. First they were talking to our director, but later they called us, so we could meet our new parents. Our parents asked our director if they could take us with them and stay there for a while, so they could know us better. But the director told them that they need to write a paper to her, about letting us go with them and they did.
We were with them in the apartment. We stayed there over night and the next day we went shopping for clothes and we had fun together. We went to the Chinese market to buy some clothes. After that we went to a book store to look around, and our mom bought us ice cream and I asked her if she wanted some and I asked dad too. But they didn’t wanted, but it was all right with me that they didn’t want, because they wanted us to have fun.
On September 27th we went to the court, but before that a worker at the orphanage told me to cry in the court, because if we did then they would let us be adopted. We were at court and didn’t cry because I thought it wasn’t necessary to cry. The judge asked us why we wanted to be adopted and what got us interested in those people. I told them that they loved kids and they liked to take care of them. After they asked questions they asked us to go out of the court room for a while, till they decided if they wanted us to go to America. We were waiting and finally the door opened and one of the judges told us to go in and hug our new parents, so we did. That day I also gave my mom a necklace, which was a gift from my friend, but I didn’t care who it came from. I just wanted to give it to my new mom. The next day, we went to the orphanage to say good bye to our friends and workers who took care of us, then we went back to the apartment and packed our things to get ready to leave the next day.
The next day we were at the airport and ready to leave, but Tanya came and she gave us a big bag of Russian candies and she also made a game for us, which is called Pop It in America, but she made it with her own hands. We said good bye to Tanya and we started to go on the airplane. We flew to one city in Russia and waited for the airplane to come so we could travel to Moscow. We arrived in Moscow and we stayed there for a few days. We had a good time going to places and seeing things in Moscow. In my life I really wanted to visit Moscow but now my dream came true.
It was time for us to go. We were at the airport and in an airplane flying to America. Mom and I sat together and the boys sat with Dad. Mom would write me something on the paper in English and I would write in Russian. We also played games and did other things. We arrived in Chicago, Illinois. We went to sit down to wait for the airplane, and I saw other people lying or sitting on the floor at the airport and I thought it was really weird for them to do that. So I think somehow I asked mom what they were doing, and she told me it was their home, so they could do that.
The airplane came and we started to travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I asked my mom a lot of times if we were in Oklahoma yet and she told me not yet. I was impatient to come to our new home. We finally arrived. When we walked out from the airplane, we saw a lot of people there who came to meet us and see Mom and Dad come home with their new children. When we came home, were really shy at first. I was standing in the dining room, when I saw a big dog running toward me. I panicked, and I wanted them to take this dog away from me because I thought she will bite me because in Russia big dogs aren’t friendly. But later I found out that she would not bite and she was friendly, so I started to like dogs after I met Sandy, our dog.
I lived in Oklahoma for a month and a half and then we moved to Alabama. I still live in Alabama but in a different house. We moved into a bigger one, because we have more kids than before.
After four years or little bit more, my mom asked me questions about what kind of husband would I like and later she told me about Micah, who is right now my fiancĂ©e and we will marry some day. This September on the twenty seventh, my brothers and I will be adopted five years ago and on October second we arrived in America. I thank my Mom and Dad for giving me a good life and letting me know God and His son. Thank you so much, Mom and Dad for raising me in a good way and my brothers, too. If you didn’t adopt us maybe two of my brothers would be in jail by now if we were in Russia, but may be not Zhenya. And now I am getting married. I thought this day would not come, but when I came to America the years went faster for me than they did in Russia.

Sergei's Five Year Anniversary Story

(Editor's Note - Sergei chose to write a series of smaller stories, some of which tell about life in the orphanages.)

When I was in Russia my dad died and we buried him. Once when I was in school the police came to school and took us, and we ended up in some kind of police kids place and when I was there they were mean people. They would make people read books even if they didn’t know how to read. When we went to eat, we had to go line up and go eat and that’s when we could go to the bathroom and outside. When someone behaved badly, they would lock them up in one of the rooms with concrete walls and a bucket in a corner to go to the bathroom. When we went to bed we all went into one room and they would lock up us and we couldn’t do anything.
After I had been there three months they transferred us to a different orphanage which was better than some kind of police orphanage. After we had been in the new orphanage for about a year my Russian mom came and got us again. Then a few months later the police came and brought us to the police orphanage and from that orphanage we were transferred to a different one. Then we were transferred to the Belagorsk orphanage and my older sister visited us.

When I was in a Belagorsk orphanage, we went to camps and did karate until they sent us to the Blagoveschensk orphanage. The reason we were sent to the Blagoveschensk orphanage was because our mom died of cancer. When I was in the Blagoveschensk orphanage we would go on eighteen day boat trips every year and go to camps in the summer.
When I was eleven I ended up with the wrong kind of friends. I started to use drugs and alcohol. Once me and my friend went picking marijuana and one of the men followed us but we didn’t know that he was a police officer. When we were done picking marijuana that man caught us and sent us to the police station. They questioned us about why we picked but we lied and said we were picking for someone else. Later, I heard they were talking about if we should go to jail but they said we were too young to go to jail, so they let us go but they kept the records of us that we had been involved with drugs.

When I was in the orphanage we usually did fun things in the summer, like go to a little place where there were good trees and start playing tree tag. What we would do is try to get away from one person while we were all on the tree and you couldn’t touch the ground. When we were stuck and it looked like we didn’t have anywhere to go, we usually would jump on different branches to run away from the person who was “it”.
Once when we were playing tree tag, one of my friends jumped on a different branch and he slipped and landed on his head from a fifteen feet height and he didn’t even break his neck but he did go unconscious for a while. When we picked him up and carried him back to the orphanage some people thought he was high on drugs. Then the doctor came and asked us what happened and we told the doctor, “When we were playing tree tag he fell on his head.” After a few days he felt good and he started playing tree tag again.

When I was in an orphanage, every year we had summer breaks and in the summer we would go on eighteen day boat trips. When we took eighteen day boat trips we would stop in different places to refuel and do some fish trading. While they did that, most of the people went around the city and bought things and we stopped in several cities like that. We also would stop on some kind of land where there were trees and a lot of sand and there were no people. When we stopped there we spent about two days on the sandy part. We would swim and do some contests like who could build the prettiest sand sculptures. Then we would do some competitions but since there was a lot of people we would usually separate all of the people into four groups.
We also fished there and once when we were fishing we caught a huge fish and the fish had eggs, so what we did with the eggs was turned them in to caviar.

When I heard me, Zhenya and Jennifer were going to be adopted I was excited. Then the director told me if we went to America they might use us as slaves and my friend told me they were going to break us like robots but I did not believe that.
Then we waited at least for a year, before Mom and Dad came. They put us in a hospital for no reason and when they did that we could not go outside so me and the guy I met there would go out from the hospital without asking because we knew that they would say no to us. The few days we were in the hospital I was thinking of going back to the orphanage but I decided to stay. Then Jennifer’s friend came to the hospital to visit her and she visited me and Zhenya. When she was visiting she smelled that we had smoked cigarettes and she had been saying to us for a while not to smoke cigarettes because they are bad for you.

Zhenya's Five Year Anniversary Story

About five years ago I was in a children’s home. I was sitting in a room watching tv when my room teacher came and said that I needed to put my good clothing on and go to the director’s office. I didn’t know what that was all about, so I put my clothing on and went to the director’s office. The place where I stayed, if a director asks you to come to his office usually it’s when people did something bad. When I came in there with Veronika (aka, Jennifer) and Sergei, she told us to sit down. As we sat, she told us the reason we were there was that a person was going to come and take a picture of us for the people who were going to adopt us. After they took our pictures the director told us that we could go. Then a couple of months later the people sent us a present.
Winter passed and I forgot that someone was trying to adopt us. In the beginning of the summer, the director told us that we needed to go to her office again. She told us that we were going to be adopted in September and then she said that we needed to sign papers first to be adopted and she said to think about that before we signed the papers. When we told the other boys and teachers, they told us that Americans treat adopted kids really bad and they make them work on farms. One of the teachers said that the people that were adopting us were paying for us so that made me think that we were being sold and that made me not want to sign the papers.
Then a couple of weeks later we went to camp. When I came back I did sign those papers. In September, Mom and Dad came to the children’s home. First, we sat in the assistant director’s office and they talked with her. Then Mom and Dad took us to the store shopping. After shopping, we went to the apartment they were staying in. I think we spent the night there. Then we went back to the orphanage. Some date we went to the court and were approved for our adoptions. A couple of days later we went to the airport and traveled to some city. Then we traveled to Moscow where we stayed a couple of days. Then we came to America.
Now that I’m in the USA I see that I made the right choice on signing those papers and the stories that I’ve heard about Americans treating adopted kids bad is a lie. So, I’m really thankful that God brought me to this country.