31 March 2009

advantage, Kate

I thought that living in Russia would be both better for d2b and would make things easier for me to adopt. I was woefully mistaken on the last count. But, I still think that there are aspects of my living here that will make me a better parent to my Russian-born child/ren. (Yes, I plan to raise them to be proud of being an American. I'm not one to hyphenate when it comes to being American.) Surely living here has its advantages.

Let's see...

I can visit between trips. Oh. But I'm not going to be adopting locally, so that's out.

I can communicate in Russian. Well, actually, I'm more of a survival-Russian-speaker than a conversationalist. And baby talk is as different in Russian as it is in English. No one thinks to teach you the baby talk. You learn "stomach" not "tummy", "cat" not "kitty", "pajamas" not "jammies".

I understand more of the Russian culture and mindset. I don't know how that really helps, though.

I won't have to make as many international flights. But, I will have to make TWO trans-Atlantic flights with d2b immediately following getting custody. Those are the flights that AP's either tell horror stories about or have blacked out from their memories. I'll have two instead of one.

I won't be jetlagged for my first trip. THAT's a good thing! I don't do well when I'm tired.


Yeah. No jetlag. Okay...

I'll take it.


Debbie said...

I think the "understanding the Russian culture" will be huge... just our limited time there helps us understand why our DS does some things that just are not "american" at all! And we probably handle them a bit better! :) But don't knock the language knowledge also - our "baby talk" Russian does help!

Tina in CT said...

Your colleagues can teach you the Russian baby talk for D2B/D2Bs.

I am sure your living there for when the girl/girls come home to you will be an advantage.

Once you move back to the US, you will have "Americanized" them so they will have a smoother transition.

Here's hoping that the D2B's (or D2Bs') arrival will be soon.

Tami said...

The Russian culture thing will be big for them as they get older. You'll be able to share so many things with them, that Shad and I won't. You know not only about the traditions and holidays...you UNDERSTAND them. That's HUGE in making sure they keep a bit of their native culture.
And I'm jealous about the jet-lag thing. It KICKED my tail when we adopted Alek...and Anya...and Nick...and of course, Maddie.

Anonymous said...

yeah - I say focus on the No Jetlag bit.

But I do agree with the other commenters that the cultural thing is BIG. and important.

Rachael said...

d2b will teach YOU the baby talk. I learned a LOT from Katya! And, I think you're more proficient in Russian than you're giving yourself credit for. That's going to be a HUGE help. Also, the Russian memories and the tie to the country as d2b gets older will be a shared identity that will be helpful in the long haul in understanding each other/bonding even if it isn't really so helpful now.

J. said...

Well if its any consolation, the transatlantic trips were ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM in either adoption. So, now I guess add that to the advantage side!

Matt and Carla Morgan said...

No jet lag it is :) Personally, I think your sense of humor will serve you VERY well as a parent!!

It sucks that it didn't make the adoption process easier. That would have been a bonus, indeed.


Heidi said...

I think you will have a wonderful advantage knowing their culture!
The jet lag is something to be happy about, maybe you won't have the fog brain I had when meeting my children. Kinda nutty/dreamy.
As for baby talk, you'll have an advantage their too I think.
Can't wait!

Unknown said...

House. My neighborhood. Sale. Come on, bring your sweet tea.

Annie said...

Yes; the Russian culture thing WILL be huge. I felt it was a big advantage for me, and I don't even live there. Rachael is right, too...having that first time shared together in Russia will SO help transitioning. ONE step at a time. (And I thought it was helpful to just have that two weeks in Russia together!)

Yes; I'd say the flight home was the worst part of it. And for us, it never was really the FLIGHT...it was the changing planes once we got here....so my BIG piece of advice is: fly into your closest US airport even if it means paying more. Hours (seemingly) waiting to get luggage, then transporting luggage, then getting luggage checked, and doing it again. Awful! In ADDITION to customs!

Jenni said...

Nice way to look for the positive, Kate! And I must say, the worst memories from both our adoption trips was waking up at 2 am every morning, stomachs rumbling from hunger and unable to go back to sleep. So the no jet-lag this is definitely a perk.

If it's any consolation, the transatlantic flights were not a big problem for the kids. Even with the 6 HOUR LAYOVER in Frankfort (which Jeff and I did not deal so well with), the kids were little champs. So, D2B may pleasantly surprise you on that count.