Friday, June 12, 2009

Memories... Like the Corner of My Mind

Taken in the Artem Baby Home

Today T and I went BACK to the Social Security office closest to our house (translation: 30 minutes away - I live in the sticks!) to see what was up with her Social Security #. We went about 6 weeks ago after her passport came back from being registered at the Russian Consulate. When we first applied, I provided copies of her birth certificate AND the adoption certificate PLUS their translations into english. Apparently that wasn't good enough - they told me they needed to have them translated on their own and it would take "up to 4 weeks". Ok, no biggie -- that's just a month, right?

Fast forward 6 weeks and we hadn't heard ANYTHING. In the meantime, over the last 6 weeks I had received her US Citizenship paperwork, so my thought was -- even though they could have accessed the system and found her, I had a hard copy proof that she was a US citizen and now they'd HAVE to give her a SS#. An hour later, they had it all figured out, but it was quite a challenge to them! So hopefully this time it will really show up within the next week.

While we were waiting, the office manager and I were looking at Tatiana's picture on her citizenship paperwork. For those of you still in the process - one of the "passport" type pictures you'll have taken of your child in Russia will be used on his/her citizenship paper. T's picture is ok - but it looks like she is scared to death and just got done crying. And she had!

Looking at that picture made me think back to our days in Russia before coming home and HOW DRASTICALLY different things are. T was ok at the hotel, but she was much more moody than she is here. She cried a lot. A LOT. She had to cry to fall asleep. She cried when we'd take her out of the hotel - specifically in the car and she cried EVERYTIME she saw my coordinator Sergei (she never cried when she saw him at the baby home but she came to associate him with the car as he was the driver too). She cried at the passport office, she cried at the doctors office, she cried at the American Consulate. And yes, she cried at the photographers while getting her picture taken.

Now at home she's one of the happiest children I know. My Uncle Terry calls her "the little Russian girl who hit the jackpot". She rarely cries - and typically if she does they are total alligator tears. She's NIGHT AND DAY compared to the little girl back at the hotel. My hypothesis now is that she must have been scared out of her mind. You can imagine what it's like to leave the only place you can ever remember living (and rarely left if ever!) but I don't know if you can truly grasp how scary it must be unless you experience it yourself.

It's only been a little more than 2 months -- I can't wait to see how she continues to thrive and develop!! Thanks for taking this ride with us!


Clarese said...

Thank you! This is a wonderful post! said...

Yay, T!!! She is so cute and doing so well! In Cassi's passport photo, they PhotoShopped out the tears because she was crying big time.

findingourdaughter said...

Yea, she definitely does not look sad and scared like that anymore! Bless her heart!
I hope y'all get to go swimming this weekend!!

Lindsay said...

Lovely post - so glad that you can see T. making such wonderful progress and becoming a confident, happy little girl.

And glad you are getting your paperwork sanfus sorted out!

Roger and Joanne said...

Thanks for sharing your insights and the differences again that a loving home can make to an adopted child. The constant reminders are needed for those waiting for Trip 2.
She's such a cutie, and so great to know how happy she is now.

jeanette wunderly said...

Great post! So positive and filled with hope for us waiting :)