This is part one in a 10-part series about an adoption journey that took Tracy 30,000 miles, cost her $35,000 and ultimately landed her in her own backyard.
Tracy documented her experience in both words and video. The journey begins 12 days before Tracy and her husband John, traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine to adopt their first child.
Holy crap. Twelve days, but who's counting? My husband, John, and I are standing in front of the bathroom mirror alternating swigs of NyQuil. We're not sick, we're just out of our freaking minds. "BUDMO!" We think it's a Ukrainian toast. We think it means "good luck." We don't realize how much we'll need it.
So, here we are, 22 years into a marriage and we're about to adopt a kid. Our first. No infertility issues. We just feel like there are too many kids in the world who need homes. We decided on a Ukrainian adoption because a dear friend, and Godfather in waiting, is Ukrainian and has major connections in the country. It's all legal, but we've been told we'll need all the help we can get to make it through the system and actually come home with a child But c'mon, how hard can this be? There are tens of thousands of kids who need a home, we've done all of the requisite paperwork, we've been fingerprinted, background checked, and tested for Syphilis three times. (Don't ask why on the Syphilis.) We've made it clear that we want a girl and we're standing firm on this. We have tons of boys in the family and it's time for a girl. Her room is ready; it's bathed in yellows and lavender and features a delicate crystal chandelier. We're set. We're fearless, STD-free and ready to bring her home.
We're lying in bed talking and waiting for our nightcap to take effect. "I think this is really going to happen," I say, still not believing we're actually going to leave L.A. in less than 12 days and come home with a child in about five weeks. It's taken us more than 2 years to get this "appointment" with the Ukrainian government. John's never had doubts about us getting there, but I have. Now I'm in a panic. I'm not prepared. I have way too many things to do. It's going to be about 8 degrees in Kyiv. I need to buy quick-drying socks, my long underwear itch, and my ZAPPOS.COM boxes are stacked (literally) 4' high at the front door because I've been looking for the warmest, most comfortable boots and nothing fit until box #7. (I'm so embarrassed that I have to go to the UPS store with so many boxes. Does Zappos have a blacklist?)
My eyelids are heavy. I'm slipping into the NyQuil zone realizing that nothing, absolutely nothing is baby-proofed in the house. Jesus, I'm already a terrible mother.
Hit the drugstore today and had to figure out whether to buy children's Tylenol or Motrin, generic or the real thing. Do I skimp on my orphan who deserves the very best or do I save the buck and a half? (I skimped.) I did, however, buy a fancy $9.99 thermometer that says it can go in any orifice. Perfect and name brand. I'm feeling like a good mom.
Got a message from our Ukrainian facilitator, Alyona, and nearly had a stroke. Thank God she declared immediately that there weren't any problems, she just wanted to give us information. What information? Does she know something of our child? Our appointment is one week away. Holy shit. I'm scared to death and already exhausted.
Two days to go and I'm already wiped out emotionally and physically. John seems organized and calm while I'm a wreck. I am visualizing my heart out, though - seeing it all come together smoothly in my mind. I'm trying so hard to think positively. It'll all be OK. In a few days I'll lay eyes on our child.
See what happens as Tracy and her husband, John, take off for the journey that will forever alter the course of their lives.Interested in connecting with others about adoption? Check out our momlogic community.
|Tracy Mazuer is a TV producer/writer and creator of TheReluctantGenius.com "for professionals who need professional help." She and her husband John have been married for 23 years and live in Playa del Rey with their dogs, Hankie and Lizzie.|