Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taking your kids to Russia?

Your thoughts?  Randy and I have been going back and forth since the beginning on whether or not we should take Camden to Russia with us.  What are your thoughts?  Mainly this is for people who have gone and experienced everything of course!  Is it toddler friendly?  Are kiddos allowed in the orphanages? Etc?  If you were to adopt again, would you take your adopted child back with you for the second adoption?  Just wanting some opinions!



  1. I would not. Maybe an older child - maybe - but definitely not a toddler/preschooler. There is a lot of running around and crazy hours and sitting and waiting that would lead to a small child being bored. Plus, you need your focus to be on your new son/daughter(s) and bonding with them - I would imagine that would be a lot harder while also trying to consider Camden's needs. For us, we spent a lot of time at the baby home and I'm pretty sure other kids aren't allowed into the baby home so you'd have to arrange care for him while you're visiting. Have you checked with your agency? I'm pretty sure ours advised against it but they would also be a good resource.

    Lol - sorry, this comment ended up being longer than your post!

  2. I did not and would not. My daughter is 4 1/2 and I just completed adoption #2. It was a nice thought, but many baby homes won't let kids in. Additionally, it will likely be a VERY stressful time, lots of running around and emotional highs and lows. Combined with a time change and toddler behavior -- not a great plan!!

  3. Trip one -no way!
    Trip two -yes, if it feels right for your family.

    Trip one is crazy. Long hours of traveling to get there, jet lag, paper work, baby meeting, and traveling all the way home, in a week. If we adopted again, I would not bring Oliver on the first trip, especially if he was only three. At times it was hard for me just taking care of myself. Plus I think it's important to focus on the child(ren) you are meeting.
    However, I would bring Oliver on the second trip and I would stay the whole month again...I would pray I wasn't there in the dead of winter, but what can ya do.
    -I have seen siblings allowed into the orphanages.
    -Maybe you can contact your agency and see what they think about bringing a child. Maybe they have ideas for you about what your son can do while you're in court or having medicals done..those seem like the most difficult times to have a young child around.
    -I don't know anything about your son, but some kids are easy going and some are super high maintenance. If he is not up for an adventure is it probably best he stays home.

  4. We were recommended not to and very glad we didn't. All along we planned on bringing our boys over for the pick up trip (we came home for 10 day wait). We were told they would not be allowed in the orphanage (our boys were 10 and 7) and it really was better to focus on the baby. Those first few days can be rough and exhausting!

  5. Absolutely positively no way on trip #1. Only if they were older on trip #2--and if they could go to the orphanage and if your agency could offer a solution for court and if it wasn't the dead of winter. As much as I missed our girls during our 23 day stay on trip #2, they would have been absolutely miserable if they'd been with us. -20 degree temps and literally stuck inside a small apartment all day long. The added stress of adding a new comer to the family while still trying to navigate a foreign country is definitely something to consider. I would have to agree with the above commenters about using that time after Gotcha Day to bond. It is such a long time to be gone (if you stay for the waiting period) but with us, our region was such a long way from Moscow that with travel time, it would have only made a difference of 6 days if we flew home after court and came back on trip #3. We used video skype to keep in contact with our girls.

  6. I would on trip #2. I think it would help for entire family bonding time. Not trip 1 because you are trying to see this new person you are going to add to your life. Some baby home let you bring children and some don't. You should ask that question ahead of time, on trip 1 to see what they say.

  7. We did on both trips, and would do it again in a heartbeat! However, we also took someone with us on both trips so the children could stay with that person when they couldn't go with us. The first trip my husband's single brother went with us...but the children ended up going with us everywhere we went. I personally was very thankful that they were there with us. They were ages 5 & 4. They were beyond thrilled to go 'back to Russia' as they were both born there, and they were thrilled to be able to meet their new little brother. The second trip we ended up being gone for five weeks due to a postponed court date. (Went to court at the appointed time, sat through court for 1 1/2 hours, judge decided she wanted some more information, court was postponed four days.) It was so fun to have our children with us so we could go exploring in the city of their birth. We had my parents with us on that trip, and the children did stay at the motel with them several different times. Our children were able to go into the baby home with us every time we went.
    That's my two cents! I wouldn't do it again and leave our children at home. I know folks do it all the time, but for us it was great to start the bonding as a whole family...and I think it made it easier on our newest addition to have some other children with him all the time.

    Sorry for the book!!

  8. We brought 6 y.o. son with us for trip #1. Have no intention to bring him for trip #3 (still debating trip #2). Trip #1 was his chance to see his birth land (adopted 3 years prior). We had no problems receiving permission to bring him with us on the orphanage visits. We're glad we did--esp. when we had to turn down a referral. We want/need trip #3 to be one-on-one time with child #2. Son is just too active/busy to slow down and handle lots of down time that occurs during trip #3.

    As for toddler friendly: yes and no. The Russians have always been gracious to our son and always offered a seat to him or mom. Yet, we just didn't see many children/families out and about. Moscow is not stroller friendly.

    Also depends on your child's personality and how well they travel, play independently, etc.

  9. We did take our 4 1/2 yr old with us on trip # 2/3 (we stayed 26 days) and it was a great experience for him. It was challenging at times for sure, but he loved it. Food was a problem, he's not an incredibly picky, but it was difficult to find bread for the PB&J sandwiches (we packed the PB and Jelly). Also we were concerned about his noise level bothering others in the hotel. So I would say 1st trip definitely not, it is too physically and emotionally demanding for a small child, but 2nd or 3rd should be a good option. We were so glad that our son was able to experience life in Russia. I would recommend asking about apartment rentals rather than staying in a hotel for whichever trip you choose to take him. Then you can cook familiar foods and not have to worry so much about noise levels. Oh and we played airport several times at home to prepare him for security checks (he was subject to pat downs in the Moscow airport as well as was our 2 yr old).

  10. Hi I'm new to your blog.............We are waiting on a referral for Russia and we didn't even give it a thought to bring our son (4 year old). When we started our 2nd adoption we were planning all along to do Kaz as that is were our son was adopted. When we found out he would not he allowed to go to the baby house we were in shock - the agency had a few suggestions - leave him home (for a month - no way) bring someone with us (MIL said yes) or hire a sitter in Kaz. After much thought we felt none of these really sounded like great options so we stopped Kaz and full force into a Russian adoption. Our new agency told us that Nick should come along as he is as much a part of our family and the adoption as we are and he should be included........alot of interseting comments & thoughts on the pros & cons........our plan is to take him...but at this point we have been waiting a long time so who knows what the end result will actaully be. Which way are you leaning towards?