Adoption Journeys

Journey to Noah, The Petraske Adoption Story

Noah at home

When our second child was born I had to have a hysterectomy due to complications. Both pregnancies had been high risk and it was always in the backs of our minds that we might adopt. My husband is adopted as are eight other family members! Adoption seemed a natural choice then for us to continue our family.

Noah at home

Noah at home

We had originally started our adoption process with the intent to adopt from Vietnam. I had researched and heard how healthy and well the Vietnamese children were doing. It also was a county where we could adopt a very young infant at that time. This was an important criteria for us. However, the Vietnam program really slowed down and our agency told us that a new program had begun in Kazakhstan and that we might be interested in that. We had been less than thrilled with our original agency. They never communicated with us unless I called them. I hit the internet looking for any information that I could about Kazakhstan and adoptive children from there. In doing so I came across LMI’s website. I contacted Lori just to see what their program was like and just knew that this agency was right for us. Lori answered questions promptly and communicated with us quickly whether by phone or e-mail. We were also paperwork ready and she had just received a picture of a baby boy that needed a family asap and her other families weren’t ready like we were. As soon as we saw that picture we just knew that we had found our son!

We adopted in Kokshetau, Kazakhstan – Noah was born in the maternity hospital there, but placed in the “infectious” hospital because he had been born with syphilis. Noah was four months old.

We left March 11, 2000, and arrived home April 5th.

Noah always smiling!

Noah always smiling!

Because of Noah’s young age and his easy going nature, it was great. He
smiled immediately for my husband and I and in fact would not smile for
anyone else, even the people we saw regularly there, until our plane trip
home. He also traveled very well and we did not have any problems. We were fortunate to get a bulk head seat with the attached bassinet when traveling home which helped on the long flight.

I would have to say that pleasantly we had no surprises. We felt that LMI
prepared us very well for our trip.

We had a Russian Hare Krishna driver. He was very friendly and extremely helpful, but occasionally our lack of Russian and his limited English made communication pretty interesting.

When we first saw Noah it was such an incredible feeling that it actually was happening and he was going to be our son. We felt very blessed and in awe of him.

Noah was in good health. He did have severe cradle cap and exzema that
covered quite a bit of his cheeks. Our pediatrician prescribed an antibiotic
cream which cleared it up quickly. Noah is doing well. He has had a string
of ear infections, but then so did our other son at this age. All of his
blood work has been great. He was slightly anemic at first, but that also
went away after we had been home a short time. He is developmentally on target and unfortunately, for his mom, began walking at 11 months of age!

Our house is now happily back into baby mode again and enjoying it immensely. Our other two children were aged 4 and 6 when we returned home. They love Noah so much and are very nurturing to him. It’s been such a joy to watch them all interact.

We felt very well prepared for our trip by LMI and because we read all that we could and asked questions to those who had gone before us. We were able to get around well and didn’t find language to be too much of a problem. Quite a few people speak English and many menus were also in English. The hardest part of the whole trip was leaving our other two children behind as we boarded our plane to go. While I did miss them terribly, it was a wise decision to leave them at home. The traveling was very long and tiresome and it let us focus our attention on Noah.

My recommendations, advice, support, hints or tips I can give to
families who are just beginning the process with Little Miracles…

It’s hard to believe that all of the paper chasing will actually result in a
child, but it does and it is so incredibly worth it. Try to find a support
group to help you and answer questions. I found that to be very invaluable.

We are so happy!

Petraske family home for a year.

Petraske family home for a year.