That's Our Boy!
In July 1999 my wife, Kay, read a beautiful letter on the CWA Listserver written by Kerry Marks of CWA about a "beautiful boy from Tula (Russia)." When she began to cry, I asked her what was wrong. "I'm just reading a touching letter about our son!", was her reply. Rather than being excited, I was puzzled. After all, we were very close to a referral, but we were on the waiting list for a little girl. Kay showed me the message. It was a broadcast to all eligible adoptive parents of Russian children, not to us specifically, but my wife repeated, "That's our boy!" I read the letter eagerly and was soon close to tears myself.
Kerry's letter told of a beautiful, blond, baby boy--just over two years old--who was bright and charismatic, but whose feet were severely "pigeon-toed." She further explained that her passionate interest in this child was not only due to his remarkable nature, but the fact that her own brother had suffered with--and successfully survived--a similar handicap. Knowing that the waiting list was mainly comprised of folks wanting not only girls, but infants, her plea was that some family would be moved to help this special boy have a brighter future, one that would only be possible with proper medical care, the kind that her parents had given her brother. At the time, the description of that little boy was also uncannily like that of my brother's oldest child, Matthew Bryan Freeman, who had only two years earlier (almost to the day) been killed by a drunk driver. Little did we know then how similar they were!
We quickly E-mailed the CWA staff about our interest in Dimitri Vladimirovich Rosnov. We soon found out that we were the first--perhaps only--to respond to Kerry's letter. Immediately the exchange of information began, and we were provided photographs of "Dima." Only three of the twenty-eight images sent were retrievable on our computer, but we fell instantly in love with him. We soon learned that he was more than pigeon-toed; he had severe club feet, but we were unwavering in our desire to adopt Dima. The wait had begun.
As 1999 was coming to a close, we still had not gotten the go-ahead from the Tula government that we could retrieve our son. The presidential election in Russia was imminent, and Y2K was looming just weeks away. A couple of CWA staffers suggested we give up on Dima. Several referrals for girls came to us, and we considered a couple, but never in place of our boy. We held on to the hope of getting our son.
Suddenly, during the first week of December, everything fell into place, so quickly that it was frightening. We knew that we had to take care of everything before the U.S. Embassy closed its offices for the holidays. That gave us just two weeks.
Our trip was relatively uneventful, but glorious, especially upon our first meeting with Dima. His platinum blonde hair caught the sun, his blue eyes twinkled, and his grin sparkled; he looked like an angel with light shining from his every pore. We were breathless and completely smitten when the hungry boy shared his animal crackers with us that first afternoon. AND, he looked exactly like my nephew had looked seventeen years before. We adopted Dima on my birthday, December 16. What a gift!
Adam Matthew Freeman turned four years old February 10, 2001. After three surgical procedures, he is running and jumping like most children. He is more beautiful and special with every passing day. He has never been a replacement for our lost nephew; he is too much his own man. But when he walks down the hall of my parents' home and sees photographs of Matt on the wall, he says, "That's me, Papa!"
"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the Name of the Lord!"