Monday, June 13, 2011

Kirill's Miracle Story: The Final Installment

After we got Kirill, Greg and our Russian staff went to pick up his passport and complete some additional paperwork. We thought it would take about an hour or maybe two, but like everything else in this adoption, nothing was easy! :) When Greg got to the bank to do the paperwork, there was a paper missing that was left back in Pechory (an hour drive from Pskov). So Greg and our staff had to drive there and back, meet with the bank, pick up the passport, and be back at the hotel by 5 p.m. so we could catch our overnight train that left at 6:30 p.m. YIKES! Once again, God was faithful and Greg got it all done just in time for us to leave for the train station around 5:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, Kirill and I stayed back at the hotel and had some bonding time. The first thing I wanted to do (after hugging and kissing him excessively) was give him a proper bath. I undressed the little guy and just lost it. He was so painfully thin. I have never seen anything like it in real life. He was also covered in scabies. I called Greg and told him he had to pick up some scabies cream while they were out. 

After his bath, I tried to dress him in some of the clothes we had bought. We had purchased 2T's and it was apparent that he was going to need 12 month clothes. I cinched up the waist of a pair of shorts as tight as they would go and made them work. He had to wear them the rest of the trip because all of the other pants and shorts we bought were so big they would fall to the ground when he stood up. Keep in mind he turned 5 years old in May. He wouldn't drink much but he ate all day long. Our Russian facilitator had made us a home-cooked meat pie and Kirill LOVED it! He ate half of it by himself over the course of the day. I was worried about him not drinking though; he was obviously dehydrated and needed fluids. I gave him lots of "juicy" foods...applesauce, yogurt, get some fluids into his system.

When Greg got back to the hotel, I slathered scabies cream all over him. Then, we grabbed our bags and headed to the train station. As we left the hotel, we had to say goodbye to our Russian staff. We have grown to love them so much. It was really hard to say goodbye, not knowing when we would see them again. I cannot explain how much they mean to us; they fought so hard to help us bring Kirill home. I would HIGHLY recommend our adoption agency, Creative Adoptions, to anyone thinking of international adoption. 

We boarded the train and had sleeping compartment to ourselves. No sketchy knife guys this time! We all ate supper and then we tried to lay Kirill down to sleep. He kept rocking and moaning restlessly. We have since learned that he does this when he's fighting sleep. Finally, around 10:30 p.m., Greg sat on the floor next to his bed and started praying. He said, "God, you know how to speak so that he understands. Please give him peace that he is safe and let him rest." Within seconds, he was asleep.
Eating meat pie on the train
We arrived in Moscow the next morning and our facilitator there took us to our hotel. The U.S. Embassy doctor came to do Kirill's medical exam. He told us K weighed 22 lbs. and that he was concerned about his malnourished state. I showed him that he was eating and had started drinking a little more. He told us that his heart sounded good. He also said the scabies cream we used wasn't very strong and gave us the name of a spray to use instead. The whole exam lasted about two minutes. He signed off on his part of the Embassy paperwork and wished us luck.

Our translator came to the hotel to help us with our Embassy paperwork. She took it ahead of us to the Embassy to make sure we had everything in order for our appointment. We headed to our Embassy appointment at 11:30. They had agreed to expedite our paperwork. We went to the front of every line and were in and out in 45 minutes. It was the fastest, smoothest part of the adoption by far! Ha!

Now here's the funny part. I had not had a true come-apart yet on this trip. I had tearful moments, but nothing like what happened in the U.S. Embassy. We were standing in line to pay for Kirill's visa and the emotions overwhelmed me. I have no idea why it happened at that moment. There wasn't really a trigger. I looked at Greg and said, "I'm about to lose it," and then burst into tears. You might think it was about K becoming a citizen of the U.S. But it had nothing to do with that. I'm really glad he's a U.S. citizen since that is where we live, but we are not citizens of the world so I don't really get emotional about the borders in which people reside. I think we were just quiet and still in that line and I finally had a chance to just let the emotions envelop me.

We left the Embassy and went back to the hotel. We rested for a few minutes and then headed to Red Square to take pics of K in his home country. We also stopped a the pharmacy for scabies spray. While we were there, the pharmacist was so sweet to Kirill. We were so refreshed by her kind gestures. We had been getting stares from people on the streets. Nobody was rude to us; I think people were just curious to see a child with disabilities in public. You just don't see people with disabilities our in public in Russia. But we believe this will change; we met many Russian people who gave us hope that the attitudes there are changing.

Our last night in Russia was very bittersweet. We went to eat dinner with our American friends who graciously hosted us for over a week during our wait to pick up Kirill. It was a perfect way to end our time in Russia.
Greg, Kirill, Rich H., me, Emily H., Nicole D. and Max D. (not pictured...Rob D. and Caiden D.)...our American friends!
Caiden D., Rob D., Greg, Kirill, me, Nicole D. and Max D....our gracious hosts!
The next morning we went to the airport and headed home! We checked into our flight and settled in on the plane for the LONG (12 hour) flight. We met some really sweet people on our flight who were returning from a 5- year missionary stint in Russia. Believe it or not, one of them had a child with DS! We also met a separate group of people returning from a mission trip. We had a lot of time to visit with them because Kirill didn't sleep the entire flight.
First plane ride

In D.C., we were greeted by our adoption agency social worker, one of my DS mommy friends, and two of my college friends. We didn't have much time with them, but I was so happy they all came to meet us at the airport.

The crew in D.C.
On our flight from D.C. to Chicago, Kirill still didn't sleep and we were all getting irritable. It had been 24 hours since we woke up that morning in Moscow. Kirill finally passed out about an hour before we landed in Birmingham. Little stinker! 

After two years, we were finally home. We were greeted at the airport by our family as we came out of the concourse first. Then a host of people were waiting in baggage. You've seen the video...and my ugly! 

So finally, this chapter of our adoption journey was over. I couldn't believe it. I still don't sometimes. I look at Kirill a hundred times a day and wonder if he's really here or if it is a dream. Our God is so good, so faithful!

1I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will sing your praises before the gods.
2I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.
3As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.
4Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD,
for all of them will hear your words.
5Yes, they will sing about the LORD’s ways,
for the glory of the LORD is very great.
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7Though I am surrounded by troubles,
you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
and the power of your right hand saves me.
8The LORD will work out his plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.


  1. Tears here! Continuing to praise God for all that He has done, and will do in your lives!!

  2. Amazing testimony to what faith in God can do!
    Elijah came home with scabies too and I used the spray while in Russia but Elijah had a horrible reaction to it. Good thing he didn't have an exam at the Embassy the next day because he had such a rash I was afraid they wouldn't let us fly home. LOL! When we got home, I took him to our prediatrician who gave us a cream. I'm so happy that Kirill is home, safe and sound!! Love to you guys!

  3. Peace and love, and lots of sun and food for you all. Thanks for sharing your hearts and generous souls with the world. We pray for acceptance and health, happiness and joy for all these amazingly strong and determined families like yours who beat the odds and persist to save lives. Truly a blessing to find time to spread the love around and hug everyone who helped from all of your fans!!

    Love your blogs quote--our eyes are open wide. :)

  4. NO such thing as an ugly cry! Saw the video you were beautiful through out. I on the other hand .. super ugly cry, LOL
    I have been amazed at your lack of "losing it moments" you are always (in the videos) so strong and together. I have been in awe of it since I started to follow this amazing journey. To give the high sign to your husband when you were at the Embassy, as your first real moment to loose it is remarkable. I'm smiling that you were strong enough to tell him first. Tesney you were born to be Kirill's mama! it has been an honor to follow along so far and I cannot wait to see how your Little Prince just blossoms now that he is home!!!

  5. It is heartbreaking how malnourished he was. I thank God that he is now with a loving and faithful family.

  6. Tesney,
    I'm so grateful to God for your story, and I am really glad you have decided to share it with all of us, and give him glory. I really enjoy reading about all that you guys have experienced. What a journey. It makes me all the more excited to be going to pick up our two children in U - hopefully next month (our dossier is 'en route'). :) I hope you will keep us all posted. Blessings to your family,
    Shannon H. in Texas

  7. Beautifully written post and like all the previous ones, I bawled. I am praying that your sweet boy feels safe and loved. . .enough that he can eat, sleep and drink without fear. That he will gain weight and flourish. Actually, I KNOW that all of these things will happen as he is with you guys, his forever family who love him so much. How is Clayton doing?

  8. Wow Tesney. Thank you for that. We almost used Creative Adoptions. I'm glad to know that your experience with them was great. Our agency did a great job as well, but we were so close to using CA, I'm glad to hear it. Benjamin was 18 pounds but he was only 18 months. :( I will pray for strength and growth. It's amazing what happens in only the first few months home! Thank you for blessing us with your story!

  9. I am full of praise for your victory! What an awesome testimony of God's sovereignty. You have no idea how deeply this has spoken to me where I am in my life right now. Thank you for your willingness to so openly share! Praying for your sweet boy to strengthen quickly and for your family to melt together effortlessly!

  10. What a wonderful story. Blessings to you and your family. Youve ended one chapter of the story and are starting a new one! God is so faithful. I will be praying for rest for you and little one.....

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You truly have touched so many lives with your story. Praying your adjustment period goes as well as can be expected. Our youngest son was almost 3 years old, malnourished with ricketts, and weighed 19 lbs. He was in 12 months size clothing. It's been three years and he is still small for his age, but we have resolved the nutritional issues. It's amazing what love, food, and compassion does for these little ones! God bless you all.

  12. what a beautiful story...thank you for sharing your happy your sweet boy is home with you all :)

  13. Kirill's story has touched my heart in a very deep way. Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to reading about his progress!

    PS I totally "ugly cried" when I watched your two videos!! wow.

  14. Thank you God for giving Krill this family and this family Krill. May he be all that you meant him to be and may You always be with them in this journey of life together as a family.
    In Jesus name

  15. I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago, and I have read so many of your posts to catch me up. Your stories have made me cry, laugh, and stand in amazement how you so selflessly answer God's calling for your life. I LOVE your heart, and you truly LIVE OUT the scripture on this blog.
    Praying for you, your husband, and your 2 precious sons. I look forward to hearing more and more about the adventures God takes you guys on! Isn't everything so much more fun with Jesus? ;)
    Kristin Amato

  16. Thank you Tesney for being so faithful to post for us all your inner most thoughts and prayers. I feel like we were there with you.
    Our prayer is for you all now as you adjust to life as a family of four! Woo hoo!
    Kirill is so blessed to have found parents like you. I know he will blossom and grow in stature and in strength and in his love for God because of you three.
    You will never know how many lives you have truly touched because of your journey. May God be glorified thru Kirill.
    We love you and can't wait to meet Kirill. Bring him to Destin. Jim & Linda Allen

  17. thank you so much for your wonderful heart, your wonderful journey and your wonderful faith! krill is one lucky boy! x