I wrote this right after Rosh HaShanah and forgot to actually post it.....
I met an incredible two-year old this week. He’s a very blond, adventurous, fearless, ferociously smart, funny boy. He landed in DC three weeks ago and it must seem like some crazy combination of an alien planet and heaven to him. All sorts of new foods, a new language, new adults around him, cable television and lots of toys. He’s learning a lot and I’m sure teaching his mother a lot as well.
Actually, I’ve decided that she’s one of the bravest people I know. If you had asked me which of my friends were the among my bravest friends, I’m not sure who I would have put in the top five, but I’m honestly not sure I would have put Toby among them. Not that I’d have any good reason to exclude her, but I mean really, the woman doesn’t like bananas. That’s not very brave.
But after this weekend, she is absolutely number one on the list. And I’m not sure that there’s anyone between her and number 27. And I don’t know who 27 or 28 would be. (I think 29 would probably be someone I shouldn’t name publicly and who would kill me if they saw their name here – I am not that brave).
But back to Toby. First, she started the adoption process at all. The amount of paperwork, interviews, home studies and notarizations required is overwhelming. No sane person would do it. I think we may yet discover a correlation between bravery and insanity.
Then, on two different occasions, she had to travel to Russia, a country not known for being vegetarian-friendly, and at least once trip was on Aeroflot, you know the airline that use to have their smoking section on the left side of the plane and the non-smoking section on the right. Or maybe it was the other way around. In any case, on the first trip to Russia, she met a boy and had to make a decision. Yes, she knew she would have to make a decision, but knowing something is coming is nothing compared to actually having to do something about it.
And the second trip was three weeks long. And on that trip, her parents went with her. Three weeks with anyone in Russia under those stressful circumstances would have been a long time, but she also had to manage her parents during all of that. To give them a bit of credit (because I’ve met them and they are very nice people), they did offer to accompany Toby and Nate on the 18-hour train ride rather than take the two-hour flight to Moscow from their middle of no-where locale.
And then, all of the sudden and in Russian, she was decreed to be a mom. In my opinion, given the corruption in Russia, just trusting the judge was pretty brave. For all she knows, they could have also made her take home a few old statues of Lenin just to make more room in their storage facilities. If I were her, I would be wary of any large COD packages for at least the next few months.
Lastly, she let me babysit her new son. Of all the things, that’s probably the least brave, and since she chose to trust me, I did not teach him how to do “see-food”, or to say crazy things, or see how many crackers he could stuff in his mouth at one time. But Toby, for the record, next time, all bets are off.