A Family That Never Was

From time to time, people have asked how the adoption is going.

It’s been hard and it’s been a struggle, but we kept on keeping on. As the process dragged on, and on, and on, however, there’s one thing we’ve dreaded more than any other.

And now it’s come to pass.

Russia curtails American adoptions

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

Russia is effectively shutting its doors, beginning today, to most Americans who want to adopt Russian children. The action follows new obstacles to adoption from China and Guatemala.

Those three countries account for 70% of the orphans who have come to the United States in the past five years, about 10% of all U.S. adoptions.

Russia tightened its rules for accrediting adoption agencies last year and has yet to renew any licenses for the 50 or so American agencies that had been working there. The one-year licenses of the last two agencies operating there expire today.

The bottom line: we signed with a lackadaisical agency who placed us in one of the worst regions in Russia possible. Everything dragged on and on as the rules kept changing, and nobody seemed in a particular hurry to help move things along. It’s been three years of pain and heartache and worry and, yes, prayer. It’s been more than a year and a half since we saw and held this beautiful baby girl in Siberia who just needed a family, who just needed a goddamn chance. We met her when she was one year old. She’s nearing three, now.

This is devastating and totally heartbreaking, and the sense of loss and waste is bitter and devastating. This all should have been wrapped up months – no, years ago. But incompetence and bureaucracies and politics and crap kept things moving at a snail’s pace, and now the race is over. We lost.

Judith and I are strong, and we’ll get through it.

Wondering about Louisa Marie, and thinking what might have been for us and for her – for a family that will never be, now – well, that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life.

This is tragic and I’m shell-shocked, angry, shattered, miserable and gutted. Totally spent and gutted.

One day I’ll have more to say about this. Much, much more.

But right now, I just need to grieve.

Louisa’s not coming home.


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